Leverage Our Trends Tool Daily

At FantasyLabs, we believe that we have the best daily fantasy sports tools and data available. We also realize that these tools and data are only as beneficial as our ability to communicate their functionality and worth.

Shortly after you create a trend using our free Trends tool, you will be able to see it under the “My Trends” column in our Player Models. Using Trends daily in your lineup construction process is a huge edge — especially when it allows you to create custom filters for things that really matter, like peripheral stats in NHL.

What the F*@# is a Peripheral Stat and Why Should I Care?

Hey man, relax. We’re all friends here. “Peripheral stats” is just a fancy way of describing small events in hockey such as blocked shots or shots on goal. You should care because targeting these small events is exactly what will lead to larger events — goals — and that’s exactly what we want.

Trends can be used to filter players in the top per-game percentile rank of one or both of these peripheral stats, and better yet, break things down further by salary to find value at different price points on teams implied by Vegas to score the most goals. Using our signature metric at FantasyLabs, Plus/Minus, we can easily see if a sample of players performed below or above salary-based expectations.

Peripheral Stats and Trends

On DraftKings, paying up for defensemen priced at $6,800 and above in the 90th percentile in shots per game historically returns the most value. However, in a more narrow scope, we may need to find value by jamming in as many peripheral stats as possible to fill our rosters.

I’m going to look at shots again today, but instead of just using season-long data I’m going to also focus on using Trends to limit my player pool.

Let’s start with that 90th percentile in shots per game filter, using tonight’s nine-game slate as an example.

Step 1: Shooters on the Power Play

trend 1

As you can see, players who shoot a lot on the power play typically perform above salary-based expectations at 45.9 percent Consistency. The problem is that there are 33 “current matches” for this slate ranging from $4,400 to $7,600. Let’s dig deeper.

Step 2: Team Filters > Team > Check Teams with Top-Half Vegas Implied Totals

trends no plus

Remember when I told you to relax before? I realize there is no Plus/Minus and Consistency above; we’re going to be fine.

Filtering by team skews the sample: On a more narrow scale, it can help us limit our player pool for the given slate using current matches to that trend. Keep these separate in your mind.

Going forward, however, the Trends you see will not include the Team filters for that reason, but I will add a Vegas filter of teams implied for over 2.7 goals to simulate a similar situation. 

The good news is that we are down to 20 current matches for today’s slate. Now we can break things down by salary.

Step 3: Punts

punts trend

Now we are getting somewhere.

It makes sense that punt players that shoot in the top 90 percentile would have value. For example, on tonight’s slate, Patrick Sharp meets this threshold at just $4,700 on DK. He has 13 shots over his last three games, plays on the second power play unit for the Stars, and he will be playing for a team in the top half of Vegas implied totals.

That’s a great value.

Step 4: Mid-Range Salary Tier

mid trend

Boom. Moving up to the mid-range salary tier, we see a huge spike in both Plus/Minus and Consistency.

Identifying seven players in this range is a great start to identifying some of the top value plays in regards to peripheral stats on a given slate, and you can do this very quickly.

Per our Team Lines page, two of the five matches in this salary range play on the second power play unit in Toronto. Consider stacking Nazem Kadri and James van Riemsdyk tonight versus New York to gain access to high-end shot volume without breaking the bank.

At defense, you could also look to Dougie Hamilton at $5,100 as a value play as a home favorite in a non-division game. He falls under the 90th percentile for average shots on goal per game, and he’s also in the 85th percentile in blocks. The only other two players to hit this threshold on tonight’s slate are Brett Burns ($8,100) and Erik Karlsson ($6,700). Unsurprisingly, Hamilton has exceeded salary-based expectations in four of his last six games, and the trend for comparable situations yields a +0.74 Plus/Minus at 60.8 percent Consistency.

Step 5: Paying Up?

pay up

Plus/Minus takes a turn for the worst here, and it is very possible that shots are priced into salaries.

It makes sense on tonight’s slate that an elite goal scorer like Alexander Ovechkin falls under this threshold (99th percentile of shots on goal per game), but he is $8,200 DK. I am still considering paying up for these players in my stacks, but it seems targeting peripheral stats may help us find value more than it helps us differentiate elite-level upside.

Using Trends, we can find similar volume at a cheaper price. Consider rostering John Tavares (96th percentile) at just $6,500 versus Dallas. He plays on the first power play unit for the Islanders and is playing as a home favorite in a non-division game that is tied for the third-highest Vegas total.

Conclusion

Peripheral stats matter.

Targeting players who shoot is just one example in which you can find immediate short-term value using our Trends tool.

In addition to accumulating reliable historical data, limiting your player pool is one of the many ways to leverage this tool into DFS success.