The NHL DFS Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each day’s slate using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable players.
Thursday has a nine-game main slate starting at 7 p.m. ET.
Note: Projections may change throughout the day after this article is posted. Consult the Player Models directly for any updates.
Leon Draisaitl ($7,800 DraftKings, $9,900 FanDuel) vs. Florida Panthers
Perhaps it’s fitting that on a day after being treated like a 14-year-old by the local media, Leon Draisaitl is now projected to be one of the top two plays on today’s slate per the FantasyLabs Model. Draisaitl and the Oilers have a tough task vs. the Panthers, but it is worth noting that they have lost two regulation games in a row more than once this season already and are coming off a 5-1 loss to the Flames a couple of nights ago.
Perhaps Florida is just in a spot to get had here after a long stretch of games, but Draisaitl comes in averaging 0.65 goals per game (highest on the slate) and has a Ceiling Projection that is over 4.0 points higher than his peer from Colorado. The discount on the Oilers studs is too good to pass up in this spot, and Draisaitl still carries the best goal-scoring upside at this position.
Anze Kopitar ($4,800 DraftKings, $7,100 FanDuel) vs. Colorado Avalanche
The Kings have been scoring at a more consistent rate of late, and Anze Kopitar has been picking up the pace for fantasy purposes of late too. He ranks in the top 10% of his position in Corsi Rating and Power Play shot attempts over the last month. The Kings center has been a solid fantasy producer over that span, averaging 2.7 shots on net and landing eight points in his previous 10 games.
His price tonight is far more lenient on DraftKings, where he’s well under $5,000, but Kopitar could be considered a contrarian target for GPPs on Fanduel with top winger Alex Iafallo, who also rates out well. The Avalanche are playing their fourth game in six days and still carry one of the worst penalty kills in the league. The recent uptick in production makes Kopitar one of the best bargains at center, especially on DraftKings given his ridiculous 99% Bargain Rating.
David Pastrnak ($7,700 DraftKings, $8,800 FanDuel) vs. Washington Capitals
The Bruins are another team who could be playing for some pride today after getting smoked 7-1 on Willie O’Ree night. The Bruins had been playing great before that game and are facing a Capitals team who has dealt with numerous injuries and poor play in net for much of the last month.
David Pastrnak has landed 11-points and eight goals in his last 10 games and has picked up his pace in the shots on net department. He’s averaging 4.5 per game over his previous 10 starts. Outside of Alex Ovechkin, who is far more expensive on both sites, Pastrnak is the only player on Thursday’s slate averaging over 4.0 shots on goal in long and short-term form while also averaging over 0.45 goals per game. With Washington struggling, taking the slight discount for one of the best fantasy wingers in the game is a fine way to start lineups.
Cam Atkinson ($5,400 DraftKings, $6,500 FanDuel) at Philadelphia Flyers
The Flyers have been a dumpster fire of late, but they take on a Blue Jackets team who may actually be worse defensively. Columbus is the only team that allows more shots on net, per game, than Philly, and they also feature a bottom-12 penalty kill. Cam Atkinson is averaging an elite 4.5 shots on goal + blocked shots over his last 10 games but still comes at a meager price on both major sites.
The winger now plays in a clearly defined L1 and PP1 role on the wing and rates out in the top 5% at his position for shots on goal over the last month. Everything about this match-up and the way Atkinson has produced of late screams “huge bargain,” as the Flyers should be able to find some goals (and maybe even a win) against a weak Columbus team.
Kris Letang ($7,000 DraftKings, $7,200 FanDuel) vs. Ottawa Senators
The Penguins have been rolling of late, and the increased depth at forward has helped finally kickstart Kris Letang’s production. The veteran comes into this game now with 15 points over his last 10 games and is averaging a mind-blowing 5.6 blocked shots + shots on goal over that time frame.
Letang rates out in the top five in Ceiling Projections on both sites, but it’s his short-term trends that should have us bullish. He’s in the top 5% in pretty much every major category over short-term form at his position (via the FantasyLabs Player Trend Tool), and he takes on an Ottawa team who carries the 13th worst penalty kill and allows the sixth-most shots on net per game. Letang should be first on your list of defensemen to pay up for this Thursday.
Jeff Petry ($3,300 DraftKings, $3,800 FanDuel) at Vegas Golden Knights
The Montreal Canadiens have endured a tough season, and that’s affected everyone on their team from a fantasy perspective. Jeff Petry went from one of the most reliable mid-tier targets last year to a player who has little fantasy value. However, Petry has finally started to show some life, and he comes into this game with four points in his last five games.
The most significant factor here is his price tag (and opportunity). Petry’s stock is now so low that he’s priced well below $4,000 on both sites and takes on a Vegas team who still allows a high number of quality scoring chances every game (sixth-most in the league). His Player Rating in the FantasyLabs Model is now perking up a bit as a result, and he makes for a decent value punt if you’re looking to go as cheap as possible with one of your defensive rosters.
Be sure to check the Starting Goalie Page throughout the day to see which goalies are confirmed starters.
Tristan Jarry ($8,400 DraftKings, $8,800 FanDuel) vs. Ottawa Senators
The Penguins have a great match-up today in pretty much all aspects, and that likely makes it a great time to get back on the Tristan Jarry bandwagon. Jarry has had a few sub-par performances of late, but he’s still 8-2 in his last 10-starts and has a great offense to help support him (even if he isn’t on top of his game).
Jarry owns a top-three Ceiling Projection in the Projected Points Model, and the Penguins are the second-biggest favorites on this slate at -305. The Golden Knights are the largest favorites, but they haven’t been as consistent in net, and Jarry comes at a cheaper price tag. He’s the preferred pay-up option here.
James Reimer ($7,600 DraftKings, $7,200 FanDuel) at Seattle Kraken
The San Jose Sharks sit at -105 on the moneyline, making this game against Seattle a near pick ’em. The Sharks are coming off a six-goal breakout game and have won four of their last six games, so they may be undervalued against a weak Seattle team.
We’re not sure if it will be James Reimer or Adin Hill in net yet, but both look underpriced in this spot. The San Jose goalie is ranked fifth in Ceiling Projections in this spot, and Reimer himself is coming off a 39-save performance (on 41 shots). Don’t be afraid to take the value on offer here for a Sharks team who perhaps won’t even be underdogs by puck drop.
Penguins L1 — Sidney Crosby – Bryan Rust – Jake Guentzel
With Lineup Builder, it’s easy to incorporate stacks into our DFS lineups for tournaments.
As mentioned above, the Penguins are in a great spot today against an Ottawa team that isn’t opposed to getting into shootouts. When we run the FantasyLabs Stacking Tool in the Projected Points Model, the Penguins L1 come up just behind the Avalanche’s top line in terms of projections. That said, the Penguins’ top-line is over $5,000 cheaper than Colorado’s top unit on DraftKings, and they have produced five goals in their last two games.
You can certainly grab a piece of Colorado if you want, but the better value proposition is to stack Pittsburgh.
Photo Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images. Pictured: Sidney Crosby (87) and Kris Letang (58)