The NHL Cheat Sheet is your quick-hit daily look into the top lines and line changes, fantasy studs, value picks and more to help you navigate your fantasy hockey lineups.
Top Lines of the Night
Dallas Stars at Arizona Coyotes
Tyler Seguin ($7,900) — Jamie Benn ($7,300) — Alexander Radulov ($6,200)
This Stars line is beginning to gel and has a prime matchup Thursday against the lowly Coyotes. Seguin leads Dallas with three goals and five points on the season, and the center sits second in the NHL with 37 shots on goal. Benn has four points and 15 shots in his last four games, with three points coming on the power play, and Radulov had his strongest game for the Stars with a goal and five shots against the Coyotes two days ago, when Dallas won 3-1. Also of note: Arizona ranks last in the league with 4.2 goals against per game.
Tampa Bay Lightning at Columbus Blue Jackets
Steven Stamkos ($7,600) — Nikita Kucherov ($7,500) — Vladislav Namestnikov ($5,000)
Stamkos and Kucherov picked up right where they left off last season before Stamkos was injured, as the pair is tied for the league lead with 12 points this season. Kucherov has at least one goal in all seven of the Lightning’s games, and Stamkos also has points in each game while being an assists machine with 10 in seven games. Namestnikov is enjoying an incredibly strong start as the third wheel on this line, scoring points in six of the Lightning’s seven games to open the season. The Lightning face Sergei Bobrovsky and the Blue Jackets on Thursday, but these guys are must-start players right now despite the difficult matchup.
Superstar to Build Around
Vladimir Tarasenko ($7,700) — Tarasenko has been a fantasy beast the last few games, especially after the St. Louis Blues called up Jaden Schwartz to his line. Tarasenko enters Thursday riding a three-game point streak after he scored a beauty of a goal Wednesday against the Chicago Blackhawks. He added an assist on one of Schwartz’s three goals and fired six shots. He has four points and 12 shots in his last three games.
Value on Offense
Kailer Yamamoto ($4,700) — Yamamoto has looked solid since he was moved up to the Edmonton Oilers’ top line next to Connor McDavid, and he’s taking advantage of Leon Draisaitl’s injury absence with two points and eight shots on goal in two games on this line. Yamamoto also has seen time on the Oilers’ second power-play unit.
Matthew Tkachuk ($4,900) — Tkachuk is off to a strong start for the Flames, skating on Calgary’s second line, and he has five points and 17 shots on goal in his last five games, scoring points in four of those. He’s averaging 3.6 fantasy points per game on the season and faces the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday.
Ben Bishop ($8,400) — Bishop continued his strong start to the season for the Stars on Tuesday, stopping 27 of 28 shots against the Coyotes. He’s 3-1-0 in five starts on the season with a 1.49 goals against average and .944 save percentage. He’ll face the Coyotes again Thursday.
Jaroslav Halak ($7,200) — Don’t let his stats spook you: Halak is a strong play for the Islanders on Thursday against the Rangers, with a 14-7-0 record, 2.57 goals against average and .921 save percentage in 22 career appearances against the Blueshirts. Halak also is 7-3-0 against the Rangers since joining the Isles.
Value on Defense
Will Butcher ($4,000) — Butcher continues to be an early favorite for rookie of the year, as he’s off to an incredible start for the New Jersey Devils. The rookie blueliner enters Thursday with nine assists, tied for third-most in the league, and is riding a four-game point streak, with points in five of his six games overall. He isn’t getting great category coverage — just five blocks and four shots — but the points are there, and he also has ample power-play production.
Charlie McAvoy ($3,900) — McAvoy has points in back-to-back games for the Boston Bruins. The rookie collected assists against the Coyotes and Golden Knights, with one coming on the power play. He has one shot on goal and four blocked shots. On the season, McAvoy has four points, two power-play points and five shots on goal this season.
Shayne Gostisbehere ($5,500) — Ghost is enjoying a bounce-back open to his season, after his sophomore slump last year for the Philadelphia Flyers. He has nine assists and 10 points on the season, and is riding a three-game point streak going into Thursday night’s game against the Nashville Predators. Gostisbehere has three consecutive multi-point games, with one power-play point in each outing.
Justin Faulk ($5,300) — Faulk finally found the scoresheet Tuesday with a multi-point game, as he collected two power-play assists in the Hurricanes’ 5-3 win over the Oilers. He’s skating in the ‘Canes’ top-two pairings and runs the point on the first PP unit. Faulk has a good matchup Thursday against the Flames, who are allowing almost three goals against per game this season.
Make sure to check out the Cheat Sheet every day and as always for any DFS hockey questions or comments this season, find me on Twitter at: @JHarding_Hockey.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is HardingJ2) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.