The NHL Cheat Sheet is your nightly look at some key matchups, fantasy studs, value plays, and important fantasy news and notes for the upcoming slate.
Totals and Favorites
Biggest Favorite: the Ducks are -200 favorites to beat the Coyotes
Largest Totals: the Blue Jackets and Flames have the greatest chance of going over 5.5 goals tonight.
Ben Bishop ($7700): There aren’t a huge number of games on the slate tonight but the goalie who’s played the best recently is definitely Ben Bishop. Bishop and the Lightning started the season slowly but have gradually rounded into form. With a GAA of barely over 2.00 Bishop is now near the leaders in most statistical categories for goalies and has let in one goal or less in 6 of his 7 starts. He faces a talented Penguins squad but also one that has struggled to score at times this season. He makes for an interesting play in net and someone I would not want to be rostering many skaters against.
Anders Lindback ($6400): The Coyotes have been reeling of late and are having a lot of trouble keeping the puck out of their own net, allowing 16 goals against in their last three games. A huge issue for them has been the play of their goalies Lindback and Louis Domingue. Domingue has been horrible in three straight starts and will likely cede duties to Lindback this evening who is still sporting some awful numbers overall on the season, including a save percentage under .900. I’d stay away from rostering any AZ goalie and target the Ducks skaters tonight as a big fantasy game could be in store for many of them.
Ryan Getzlaf ($5600) – Chris Stewart ($4100) – David Perron ($4300)
The Ducks have been rolling lately, and a huge reason why is the improved play of their newly designed top line. This line has shined since being put together and is now up to 13 points as a unit in their last three games. While captain Ryan Getzlaf generally anchors both this unit and the top power play unit as well these three have played together at even strength more than any other trio over the Ducks last three games. Winger David Perron has truly started to flourish in his new role since being traded and is also seeing a lot of power play time. This line has another great matchup against the over achieving Arizona Coyotes who are reeling of late and currently getting some pretty sub-par goalie play. I’d try and get some exposure to the Ducks top line today if possible.
Top Upside at Defense
Mark Giordano ($6800): Giordano is the most expensive D-Man on the slate tonight but he’s also probably the one I’d most want to roster. The Flames face the Blue Jackets who have a pretty weak penalty killing unit that is worse on the road than at home. Giordano’s a great all around defenseman, but in a matchup against the Blue Jackets, who are still at the bottom of the league in goals against the opportunity for a big fantasy night exists. He’s a great way to get exposure to the Flames offense tonight and gives you a ton of upside at your defense position.
Ryan Murray ($3600): Murray’s been playing a ton of minutes with Seth Jones and ever since the two hooked up and it’s helped increase his fantasy potential. On top of playing more minutes at even strength and generally getting a few more blocked shots and chances for SOG per game, Murray is playing on the Power Play more than any other Columbus defenseman at the moment. With the Blue Jackets and Flames having the highest over-under on the slate tonight targeting defense from both teams is absolutely fine and I like Murray as my value play. He’s still very affordable and should have better upside than normal against a team like the Flames who rank near the bottom of most defensive categories.
Superstar to Build Lineups Around
Ryan Getzlaf ($5600): Sidney Crosby is a hard fade right now and I wouldn’t put anyone off him the way he’s playing but value wise and matchup wise, Getzlaf is probably the better play tonight. As mentioned previously the Ducks have been rolling of late and Getzlaf has really picked up his game recently too (6 points in last 4 games). The Ducks get the privilege of facing the Coyotes whose goaltenders have really struggled to stop anything lately, making them excellent targets for tonight. Don’t be shocked if a multi-point game comes up for Getzlaf here and take advantage of the savings while you can, it won’t last forever.
Rickard Rakell ($4400): Rakell has been playing alongside Corey Perry on the Ducks second line of late and still been seeing plenty of power play time with the top unit. With the Ducks getting a soft opponent tonight targeting both their top line and value plays makes sense and Rakell is probably the Ducks player with the best price-comparable to his possibly output. I’d definitely make him a target when looking to fill out your roster.
Brandon Dubinsky ($4400): Dubinsky has been handling a lot more offensive responsibilities since the departure of Ryan Johansen and has amassed a couple decent fantasy games of late. With the Jackets involved in the game with the highest projected point total tonight Dubinsky makes for a great value play at centre and someone I’d feel comfortable using across the board.
Jiri Hudler ($4000): Hudler comes with a small amount of risk since he doesn’t score a ton of goals, but he is playing on the first line in Calgary now and was productive in his last game out with two assists. The Flames played well in their last game, and will look to carry a lot of that offensive momentum into tonight against the Jackets who have struggled defensively all year. Hudler’s a good value at wing tonight and should see more ice than usual playing with Calgary’s top trio.
This list isn’t meant to be comprehensive and will only update significant, more recent injuries
Evgeni Malkin is questionable tonight and day to day with a strained oblique
As always hit me up on twitter as @thefantasygrind with lineup questions or other DFS questions GL!