DFS NHL Breakdown (Monday, Dec.6): Best Avs Models, But Canucks Offer Opposite Value on DraftKings, FanDuel
The NHL DFS Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each day’s slate using tools and metrics from FantasyLabs to highlight notable players.
Monday has a main roster of six games starting at 7 p.m. ET.
To note: Projections may change throughout the day after the publication of this article. Check out the player models directly for any updates.
And don’t forget to check out our Lineup Builder if you like creating your lineups by hand or our Lineup Optimizer for those of you who like to enter multiple lineups into tournaments.
Nathan MacKinnon ($ 9,200 DraftKings, $ 9,200 FanDuel) vs. Philadelphia Flyers
Either way, the Philadelphia Flyers are going to have to pick up the pieces after a 7-1 bombing at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightning last night. It won’t be easy against Nathan MacKinnon and the Colorado Avalanche.
MacKinnon has upped his production from his recent sample, recording six points from his previous three games with two multi-point outings. The 26-year-old is making the most of his time in the front row and the Avs power play unit, with four of MacKinnon’s 16 points on the power play and 78.0 percent of his time on the power play. starts in the offensive zone.
The Flyers are in shambles right now, as MacKinnon begins to find his scoring rhythm. He is the best player in the middle on the slate tonight.
Bo Horvat ($ 5,100 DraftKings, $ 5,600 FanDuel) vs. Los Angeles Kings
The Bruce Boudreau era begins tonight when the Vancouver Canucks host the Los Angeles Kings for the second night in a row. We like the Canucks for responding and Bo Horvat for leading the charge.
Boudreau has a good track record of getting the most out of his players in the regular season, and Horvat is a player who could thrive in a new system. The Canucks captain sits fourth on the team for expected goal percentage, while also being on the ice for the second scoring chance and the third most dangerous chance among the Canucks forwards. Horvat is slightly below expected totals but is expected to see his production ramp up in his next games.
The Kings have lost a lot of chances recently, and Horvat is expected to be the beneficiary on Monday night. Horvat is our best center value game.
Mikko Rantanen ($ 8,800 DraftKings, $ 8,200 FanDuel) vs. Philadelphia Flyers
The Avs offense crosses their front row and naturally it makes sense to include our best option in the middle with his winger Mikko Rantanen.
Rantanen has better advanced metrics than MacKinnon, posting 67.3% expected goals for the score in all strengths, ranking among the league’s elite in scoring and high danger chances. Despite the continued success from an analytical standpoint, Rantanen has been stranded in his recent streak, registering only one assist in his last three games. The 25-year-old continues to have opportunities in the attacking zone and is expected to put on an outstanding performance.
He enjoys a discounted rate compared to his cross, but Rantanen should find a way to beat his median projections against the Flyers tonight.
Alexander Radulov ($ 3,200 DraftKings, $ 4,700 FanDuel) vs. Arizona Coyotes
Often there are gaps between what DraftKings and FanDuel have for player salaries. And Alexander Radulov is enjoying a hugely discounted rate on DK slates tonight.
The Russian winger remains an elite producer for the Dallas Stars. Radulov is sixth in goal percentage with the Stars, playing the fourth most power-play minutes and starting 67.2% of his shifts in the attacking zone. Radulov has moved in the right direction from his recent sample, attempting two or more shots in five of his last seven outings, but he’s yet to break through with a fantastic strong performance. It could come at home against one of the worst teams in the league.
Radulov is rated highly in our projections, but that is not reflected in his salary tonight. It’s a game of value on both platforms tonight.
Miro Heiskanen ($ 6,500 DraftKings, $ 6,200 FanDuel) vs. Arizona Coyotes
There is another Stars player who is looking forward tonight: top defenseman Miro Heiskanen.
The Stars continue to rely on Heiskanen under all circumstances. The Finnish defenseman skates on the Stars’ power play and shorthanded, leading the team in power play and second on the team in blocked shots. Heikanen’s forward measures in all strengths are affected by his time on the penalty spot, but he continues to underproduce five to five. His PDO on ice is 0.986, implying that Heiskanen is a candidate for positive regression.
Heiskanen is racking up fantastic points on both ends of the ice, but doesn’t get the recognition he deserves for what he brings to the table. Without a doubt, Heiskanen is a top game on the blue line.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson ($ 4,400 DraftKings, $ 4,200 FanDuel) vs. Los Angeles Kings
Oliver Ekman-Larsson has been a stabilizing force on the Canucks backend, but lacks the garish offensive stats to illustrate his contributions. We like Ekman-Larsson as the breakout candidate tonight against the Kings.
Although the relative OEL readings for all forces are less than 50.0%, there are a few important factors worth considering. First, the veteran defender starts only 42.2% of his shifts in the offensive zone. Second, Ekman-Larsson averages 2:15 shorthanded minutes per game. Nonetheless, his actual production remains well below expected values ââand his on-ice PDO of 0.966 ranks 15th on the team.
The Canucks are set for a strong performance tonight and OEL should be factored into the scoring.
Be sure to check the starting goalies page throughout the day to see which goalies are confirmed starters.
Braden Holtby ($ 8,400 DraftKings, $ 8,100 FanDuel) vs. Arizona Coyotes
Few things impact a goalie’s whimsical value like meeting the Arizona Coyotes. Despite the game, Braden Holtby found his rhythm playing for the Stars this season.
After a few years of decline, we are starting to see an improvement in Holtby’s play. The veteran goalie has a 92.7% save percentage, with his power play, even strength and high-risk save percentages above career standards. That translated to 4.8 above-average goals in Holtby’s first 11 games of the season, and his best adjusted goals-against average since his victorious William Jennings season in 2016-17.
Holtby won’t face an onslaught from the Coyotes tonight, setting the stage for another solid performance from the former Vezina winner.
Thatcher Demko ($ 7,800 DraftKings, $ 7,600 FanDuel) vs Los Angeles Kings
Thatcher Demko remains below career averages this season, but a shift in philosophy behind the bench could get him back on track.
Despite the poor performances at the start of the season, Demko still ranks very well in our projections. The situation favors the Canucks tonight as they host the Kings on the second night of a game in a row with trips. Additionally, Demko has been much better at home this season, posting a 91.8% save percentage within his friendly limits, compared to 89.9% as a visitor.
The Canucks are performing below expectations and Demko’s improvement in play will go a long way in helping them reach their potential.
With Lineup Builder, it’s easy to incorporate stacks into our DFS lineups for tournaments.
We’re highlighting a Canucks stack tonight for the same reasons we liked the Winnipeg Jets stack yesterday. Vancouver is in an ideal position on the ice at home to face a team playing their second game in as many nights. More importantly, the Canucks are underperforming their metrics and are a candidate for positive regression.
The stack that we highlight includes three players already mentioned. Horvat, Ekman-Larsson and Demko are integral to their respective positions and all three are playing below expected values. You can add any number of forward Canucks to the mix to formulate an ideal stack, however, we include Connor Garland.
Garland got off to a great start with the Canucks, but has seen some lull from recent games. Garland skates on the front row with Horvat while watching the time on the Nucks power play.
The Canucks are low-cost home favorites, but we like their chances against the Kings tonight.