FANTASY HOCKEY CHEAT SHEET: TOP LINES, VALUES, GOALIES FOR DECEMBER 07

It’s a small, four-game fantasy hockey slate tonight with some good Western Conference rivalries on tap. San Jose-Dallas and St. Louis-Winnipeg feature some strong defensive teams in action, while the only cross-conference game on the slate is Carolina-Anaheim.

Top Line Stacks

Wild at Oilers

Eric Staal ($6,000) – Mikael Granlund ($5,600) – Jason Zucker ($5,500)

The Oilers have been a solid target for opposing skaters all season, and there’s reason to like the Wild’s forwards a lot tonight. Edmonton has the eighth-worst penalty kill in the league, and the Wild’s deep forward group has helped them to the ninth-best power play in the league. Minnesota features two solid top lines, but the Staal-Granlund-Zucker line looks like the one to target tonight for various reasons.

The trio has eight points in its past three games and has seen lots of power play time together for the Wild in that span as well. These three should stick together for most of the game — even strength and on the power play — and get a great opponent to post a big correlation game for fantasy purposes.


Superstar to Build Around

Patrick Laine, WPG vs. STL, $7,500 — Laine comes into tonight’s game with a wild 21-goal, three-assist stat line through 27 games. The Finnish sniper is all about scoring, and for fantasy purposes, his upside is unquestioned at this point. He has posted four games with 9.0 or more DKFP in his past 10 starts. He’s coming in on a three-game goalless streak, too, which has driven his salary back down to reasonable levels and gets an opponent, in the Blues, whom he scored against five times in a game just two weeks ago. As of writing, this game is the only one on the slate with a puck total over 5.5, and the Blues do come in allowing the 13th-most goals against in the league. Laine seems ripe here for a bounce back sort of night.


Value on Offense

Charley Coyle, MIN at EDM, $3,700 — Coyle not only sees time on the top two lines for Minnesota, playing alongside Zach Parise ($6,000) in a lot of situations at even strength, but he also has been a pillar on its top power play unit, too. The Oilers are a good target tonight for power play specialists, and Coyle’s a good cheap way to get exposure to that unit. If you’re not planning on stacking the Wild, you still can get exposure through Coyle to their special teams. The veteran might not be scoring a ton of late, but his low price tag means any sort of production will have him paying off for you on the short slate.

Andrei Svechnikov, CAR at ANH, $4,300 — Svechnikov is another power play specialist in a decent matchup that looks worth targeting if you need to save some salary. The rookie has recorded 12 points in 25 games on the season, and while he usual skates on a bottom-six line for the Hurricanes, his power play role has remained consistent of late. He’s been skating on their top unit alongside the likes of Sebastian Aho ($5,900) and Jordan Staal ($4,100). The Hurricanes are small favorites tonight, and Svechnikov is a good cheap way to get exposure to an offense that could go overlooked, even on tonight’s small slate.


Stud Goalies

Connor Hellebuyck, WPG vs. STL, $8,400 — Hellebuyck has overcome a slow start to the season and enters tonight on a good run, having won all of his past three starts and is coming off one of his best games of the season where he stopped 27/28 shots in a 3-1 win. His season totals might not look so hot, but the Jets are massive favorites tonight with their money line odds hovering in the -200 to -210 range. If Hellebuyck starts, he’s worth paying up for tonight against an opponent that has scored the eighth-fewest goals in the league.

Martin Jones, SJ at DAL, $7,500 — Jones comes into tonight’s game against the Stars on a tear, stopping 79 of 81 shots over his past two games. The shot totals themselves are a little worrisome as San Jose is allowing a lot of rubber on its own net, but Jones has been up to the task of late and the upside for a big game is enhanced with those kinds of shot against totals as well. The Sharks are small favorites on the road tonight against Dallas, which is 23rd in the league in goals scored as a team. The price looks right to keep chasing Jones in this spot.


Value on Defense

Gavin Bayreuther, DAL vs. SJ, $4,000 — Bayreuther has been one of the Stars’ defenseman who has picked up the slack on the power play with the injury to John Klingberg. He’s consistently playing over 20 minutes a game in his past five starts, and over the Stars’ past three games, he’s seen the most power play time of any blueliner for Dallas. There’s good, cheap upside here with Bayreuther on a short slate, as the Stars’ power play still features a ton of talent capable of busting out a big game on any night.

Tyler Myers, WPG vs. STL, $2,800 — Myers might only have recorded four points on the season to date, but he’s dirt cheap and has seen his role increase of late due to some injuries. Myers has seen a decent amount of power play time for the Jets on their second unit since the injury to Dustin Byfuglien ($5,700), who does have a chance to return tonight. If Byfuglien does sit one more game, Myers would be in a good spot, though, as he’s recorded multiple shots on goal in each of his past three games and has seen his ice time push up as well into the mid-20 range. He’s a great punting target if he’s again forced into a bigger role against St. Louis tonight.


Power Play Defensemen

Jacob Trouba, WPG vs. STL, $5,200 — With the injury to Byfuglien, Trouba has taken on a more significant role of late for the Jets, averaging more than 27 minutes of ice in his past three games. Trouba also has taken up lead point duties on the power play for the Jets and scored his first power play goal of the season in his most recent game, giving him some good momentum heading into tonight’s contest with the Blues. Given that Winnipeg enters tonight second in power play efficiency, Trouba looks like a great target, giving you good exposure to an elite unit for a price that won’t cause you to skimp on the other pieces of your lineup.


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