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 four-game main slate starting at 7:00 pm ET.
Note: Projections may change throughout the day after this article is posted. Consult the Player Models directly for any updates.
Patrice Bergeron ($8,400 DraftKings, $8,100 FanDuel) vs. Vancouver Canucks
Nothing cures an offensive slump like a matchup with the Vancouver Canucks. Patrice Bergeron has three points over his past five games, but he sets up well at home on Sunday’s slate.
Bergeron continues to dictate the offense for the Bruins. Of all the Bruins players to play more than seven games, the veteran center has the best expected goals-for rating at five-on-five. However, we’re expecting progression from Bergeron, as his PDO remains below 1.000 and his actual values are lower than expected. He’ll have a chance to work his way up against a Canucks squad that has given up four or more goals in six of its past eight games.
As a team, the Bruins have underachieved relative to their analytics. Look for Bergeron to lead the charge as the B’s start to heat up.
Sean Couturier ($5,700 DraftKings, $6,800 FanDuel) vs. New Jersey Devils
The Philadelphia Flyers travel to take on the New Jersey Devils on Sunday night, putting Sean Couturier in a good spot to bust out of his recent slump.
The Flyers center has been held off the scoresheet in five straight games and recorded just one assist over his past nine, although it hasn’t been from lack of effort. Couturier has recorded shots in 18 straight games, putting 22 on net over his previous six games. The veteran centerman is one of only three Flyers players with an expected goals-for percentage above 50.0% at five-on-five and remains below his expected goals total.
We’re expecting a high-scoring affair in Jersey, and Couturier should figure into the scoring. According to our projections, Couturier has 12 Pro Trends working in his favor and he should be able to surpass his median projections.
David Pastrnak ($8,600 DraftKings, $8,700 FanDuel) vs. Vancouver Canucks
Points have come in bunches for David Pastrnak this season. The former Rocket Richard trophy winner has six multi-point games this season, with five of those coming over his previous eight outings.
Based on FantasyLabs modeling, Pasta rates highly against the Canucks tonight. Pastrnak leads the winger corps with 22 Pro Trends working in his favor. Similar to Bergeron, Pastrnak has a number of advanced metrics working for him as well. The Czech winger sits right behind Bergeron in expected goals-for percentage, with a 63.2% rating at five-on-five. The Bruins continue to set their top line up for success with Pastrnak getting 74.7% of his starts in the offensive zone.
Pastrnak has one of the best fantasy ceilings on the slate, making him our top play on the wing.
Rickard Rakell ($5,200 DraftKings, $4,600 FanDuel) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs have been hemorrhaging chances against over their recent sample. The Anaheim Ducks are in a position to exploit that Sunday night.
The Leafs have allowed 12 or more high-danger chances in four of their past five games, and Rickard Rakell will be there to capitalize on Sunday night. The Swedish forward has points in three straight games, recording points at even strength and on the powerplay. Rakell has one of the best high-danger ratings on the Ducks, ranking fourth on the team with a 58.8% rating across all strengths.
The Ducks like Rakell’s offensive profile, starting him 67.8% of the time in the offensive zone. Rakell will have plenty of opportunities to extend his recent hot streak against a porous Leafs defense.
Dougie Hamilton ($7,700 DraftKings, $6,900 FanDuel) vs. Philadelphia Flyers
No team gives up more quality chances than the Flyers. Dougie Hamilton and the Devils will be ready to pounce when those opportunities present themselves Sunday night.
Hamilton has been one of the most valuable players on the Devils this season. The veteran rearguard has been on the ice for more high-danger chances and shots, while ranking second in scoring opportunities. Hamilton has posted above-average relative metrics despite getting just 49.3% of his starts in the attacking zone. He ranks highly in our projections with one of the best ceilings among defensemen.
The Flyers have given up 47 high-danger and 124 scoring chances over their past three games. Hamilton and company are primed for a strong showing tonight.
Cam Fowler ($4,000 DraftKings, $4,400 FanDuel) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
Cam Fowler remains an undervalued fantasy contributor, and he should be able to break out of a recent downturn against the Maple Leafs.
So far this season, Fowler is averaging 11.1 fantasy points per game; however, the veteran d-man hasn’t eclipsed 8.0 fantasy points in his previous four outings. Fowler remains a presence on the Ducks powerplay, with seven of his 13 points coming on the man advantage. The most impressive measure of Fowler’s offensive presence is his scoring and high-danger chance ratings being above 50.0% despite starting just 37.2% of his shifts in the attacking zone.
Fowler and the rest of the Ducks can take advantage of a Leafs team giving up too many chances against.
Be sure to check the Starting Goalie Page throughout the day to see which goalies are confirmed starters.
Linus Ullmark ($8,200 DraftKings, $8,600 FanDuel) vs. Vancouver Canucks
Linus Ullmark’s salary reflects his value to the Bruins but also the lack of confidence the betting market has in the Canucks.
Ullmark has struggled with consistency this season, but he can build off his solid performance against the Flyers in his last outing. The 28-year-old stopped 29 of 31 shots in that contest, which was the third time in seven starts that he posted a save percentage above 88.6%. Still, we’re expecting progression from Ullmark as he is below career norms to start the season and won’t face a ton of pressure from one of the worst teams in the league.
The Canucks haven’t attempted more than seven high-danger chances at five-on-five in any of their past four games, getting out-chanced in three of four. That should help Ullmark post above-average save percentages in consecutive games for the first time this season.
MacKenzie Blackwood ($7,700 DraftKings, $7,900 FanDuel) vs. Philadelphia Flyers
You wouldn’t know it from looking at their position in the standings, but the Flyers have been one of the worst teams in the NHL this season. MacKenzie Blackwood and the Devils are in a position to extend the Flyers’ bad start to the season.
The Devils goalie has been effective this season, posting a 91.2% save percentage or better in four of his last six starts. That has elevate his season-long save percentage to 92.2% and helped him to a 3-1-2 record to start the season. The Flyers have posted expected goals-for percentages below 50.0% in five straight games, attempting 20 or fewer scoring chances at five-on-five in four of those five games.
Blackwood is 2-0-1 at home to start the season with a 95.3% save percentage. He should help the Devils to their second win over their past seven games against the Flyers tonight.
With Lineup Builder, it’s easy to incorporate stacks into our DFS lineups for tournaments.
Our projections rate two teams above the others, with several Maple Leafs and Bruins stacks featuring prominently in our lineup builder. We’ve elected to go with the Bruins stack, as they host the Canucks as substantive favorites.
The Bruins remain below expected values this season, and that makes them progression candidates against an inferior Canucks squad. Bergeron and Pastrnak are underachieving relative to their impressive metrics, and both could exceed ceiling projections tonight. They skate together on the B’s top line and powerplay unit, giving them ample opportunity to take advantage of the Canucks’ questionable defensive zone coverage.
Charlie McAvoy projects as one of the Bruins’ best defensive options and is worth including in most Bruins stacks. McAvoy spends time on the powerplay with Pastrnak and Bergeron and provides fantasy value on both ends of the ice. Ullmark is the projected starter and natural inclusion in any Bruins’ stack. Like Pasta, Bergeron and the Bruins in general, he should see his metrics progress in a favorable spot versus Vancouver.
Boston is the highest-priced favorite in the betting market, highlighting our confidence in them as the notable stack on DFS slates tonight.