The NHL DFS Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each day’s slate using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable players.
Sunday has a three-game main slate starting at 6:00 pm ET.
Note: Projections may change throughout the day after this article is posted. Consult the Player Models directly for any updates.
Dylan Larkin ($7,100 DraftKings, $6,000 FanDuel) vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Dylan Larkin is the highest-salaried center on the DraftKings main slate but has a more palatable salary at FanDuel. Irrespective of platform, Larkin ranks highly in our projections and is worth including on DFS rosters on Sunday.
The Detroit Red Wings are playing on the second night of an Original Six back-to-back. They lost to the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday and now face the Chicago Blackhawks, who will be doing their part to ensure that most players hit their goals bonuses this year. Larkin has two goals and two primary assists through his first four games of the season. Individually, the Red Wings center has created 11 scoring chances and seven high-danger chances across all strengths, resulting in 12 shots on net. That averages to 3.0 shots and 4.5 scoring or quality chances per game.
We’ve seen enough from the Blackhawks this season to know that at least one of those opportunities will find the back of the net.
Brock Nelson ($4,800 DraftKings, $4,700 FanDuel) vs. Vegas Golden Knights
The New York Islanders are another team that finds themselves on the second night of a back-to-back. Center Brock Nelson is coming off a two-point performance against the Arizona Coyotes last night and has metrics to support sustained production.
Nelson has been on the ice for 33 scoring and 15 high-danger chances, individually creating 11 and six, respectively. The former first-round selection centers the Islanders’ second powerplay unit and also fills the boxscore with blocks and shots Further, Nelson’s on-ice PDO is below 1.000, and he’s got solid metrics to support increased output, implying that he’s a progression candidate.
We should expect more showings like the one we saw last night as output catches up with production.
Alex Debrincat ($6,400 DraftKings, $7,300 FanDuel) vs. Detroit Red Wings
Not a lot of things are going right for the Blackhawks right now, but winger Alex Debrincat is one of the few things working out. Among wingers, Debrincat ranks near the top of the FantasyLabs Ceiling Projections.
Across all strengths, Debrincat has positive relative metrics across the board. The 23-year-old is tied for the team lead with two goals, and all three of his points have come with the man advantage. Debrincat has helped create more scoring chances than any other Blackhawks forward and skates on a line with Patrick Kane, elevating his breakout potential.
PDO is generally a good indicator of whether a player is a progression or regression candidate. Debrincat has bottomed out with a 0.898 PDO and can only go up from here.
Matt Duchene ($3,300 DraftKings, $3,600 FanDuel) vs. Minnesota Wild
The Nashville Predators are coming off a tough 6-4 loss at the hands of the Winnipeg Jets last night. They have to bounce back against a Minnesota Wild squad that is also playing on the second night of a back-to-back.
Matt Duchene may only have one point so far on the season, but he will figure prominently in the Preds plans on Sunday night. Duchene has the third-best Corsi rating on the Predators and has played the second-most minutes among forwards. The left-winger skates on Nashville’s top line and top powerplay unit, which has resulted in Duchene having the best shots-for percentage on the team.
Overall, 81.8% of Duchene’s starts come in the offensive zone, and he’s trending towards an offensive outburst. We’re betting that comes against the Wild on Sunday.
Roman Josi ($7,200 DraftKings, $6,300 FanDuel) vs. Minnesota Wild
There are a handful of highly-rated defensemen near the top of the FantasyLab projections, but one player stands higher than the rest — Predators defenseman Roman Josi.
Josi ads value to every aspect of the Predators game plan. The hulking defenseman plays on the powerplay, penalty kill and spends more time on the ice than any other Predator. Josi leads the team in shots on goal, scoring, and high-danger chances, and both of his points have come on the powerplay. The Preds also rely on Josi to fill shooting lanes, amplifying his fantasy production.
Josi leads our projections and is rated as our top play on defense.
Jonas Brodin ($2,700 DraftKings, $3,600 FanDuel) vs. Nashville Predators
Skating opposite of Josi will be Minnesota Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin. Brodin comes in with a low salary on both platforms, but strong advanced metrics, highlighting his value.
That value is also reflected in our projections, rating Brodin as a mid-range option with an elite ceiling. Similar to Josi, Brodin is the Wild’s ice-time leader, with his relative production metrics above 50.0%. The Wild out-chance their opponents in scoring and high-danger chances with Brodin on the ice, resulting in a 63.4% expected goals-for percentage. Brodin’s actual percentage is below expected, making him a progression candidate over the coming games.
Brodin brings a lot to the Wild, and he’s available at a bargain price.
Be sure to check the Starting Goalie Page throughout the day to see which goalies are confirmed starters.
Marc-Andre Fleury ($7,600 DraftKings, $7,700 FanDuel) vs. Detroit Red Wings
Marc-Andre Fleury‘s tenure as a Blackhawk is off to a shaky start. The veteran netminder is stopping 84.0% of shots through three games but should start to see his metrics work their way back up towards career averages.
As is typically the case with goalies, Fleury has been better at home throughout his career. The reigning Vezina winner has a 91.7% save percentage, with 42 of his 67 shutouts coming on home ice. Fleury got his first home start at the United Start under his belt in his last outing and should be ready for the Red Wings on Sunday night. Detroit has scored one goal over their past two games and are playing on the second night of a back-to-back.
Based on our projections, tonight’s contest will be a confidence-boosting outing for Fleury as he sits near the top of our ceiling projections among goalies. That makes him our top play on the Sunday slate.
Robin Lehner ($7,000 DraftKings, $8,100 FanDuel) vs. New York Islanders
Robin Lehner is one of the most affordable goaltending options on the DraftKings slate tonight. Lehner hasn’t gotten off to a good start this season, but the Golden Knights are improving their team metrics, and Lehner’s should follow.
For the first time this season, Vegas limited their opponent to fewer than 11 high-danger chances at five-on-five in their previous game against the Oilers. Connor McDavid and company were limited to six quality chances and 16 scoring opportunities in that game. We should expect sustained defensive structure from the Knights as they try to get their season back on track.
That will benefit Lehner, who is below career averages in save percentage, powerplay save percentage, and high-danger save percentage this season. Things should come together for Lehner against an Islanders team that doesn’t sell out on offense and is coming in on the second night of a back-to-back. Lehner is a value play in net.
With Lineup Builder, it’s easy to incorporate stacks into our DFS lineups for tournaments.
There are several combinations of Blackhawks players that rate highly in our projected points lineup builder. The highest of which combines the previously mentioned Debrincat and Fleury. When Seth Jones and Kirby Dach are added to the lineup, they rate as one of the best four-player stacks. Jones has yet to be on the ice for a five-on-five goal, despite being on the ice for 36 scoring and 17 high-danger chances. Those metrics are elevated to 61 and 28, respectively, when we consider Jones ice-time across all strengths. Both he and Dach feature on the Hawks powerplay, with Dach centering Debrincat’s five-on-five line.
The Blackhawks are feeling the pressure to get back on track after getting booed off of home ice in their last outing. This is a good spot to put forward a Hawks stack as they have a favorable spot against the Wings.