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: Boston Bruins are -210 to beat the Sabres
Largest Totals: Oilers and Canucks have the biggest chance of going over 5.5 goals tonight
Pekke Rinne ($7300): Rinne hasn’t been his usual dominate self all season but he’s sure played a lot better recently. Rinne’s now posted save percentages of .900 or better in four straight games and is coming off one of his best games of the year where he stopped 35 of 36 shots against the Canadians. Detroit has struggled recently offensively and Rinne is in a great spot tonight to keep his role going. He’s a little under the radar right now but might be a sneaky pick in net tonight and someone I’d avoid rostering skaters against at the moment.
Ryan Miller ($7100) (if he plays): The Canucks haven’t announced a starter yet for tonight but if Miller plays he’ll be one of the riskiest plays on the slate and someone I’d definitely consider targeting for my skaters. Miller has allowed 3 or more goals in four straight games and also been dealing with cramping issues, which forced him to miss some time recently. Playing against the skilled Oilers tonight isn’t a great spot for a bounce back and I’d be wary of using him in any rosters. The Oiler’s skaters are all in play for me tonight.
Leon Draisaitl ($4900) – Taylor Hall ($7400) – Teddy Purcell ($4000)
This line keeps producing and keeps being one of the best nightly picks for a big fantasy night every time the Oilers take the ice. After a brief dry spell this line now has 10 points in its last two games and has a fantastic matchup against the Canucks tonight who are falling fast in the Western conference. Vancouver has allowed 3 or more goals in four of its last six games and received somewhat shoddy goaltending during that span. This is a big game for the Oilers who are still near the playoffs and would like nothing better than too bury their division rival. Expect another big game here from the Oilers big line.
Top Upside and Top Value at Defense
Kevin Shattenkirk ($6300): Shattenkirk has been on fire since returning from injury and been a main driving force on the very effective STL power play. While Dallas is a much improved team this season they are still struggling to kill penalties and are in the bottom half of the league statistically in that regard. I expect this game between Dallas and STL to be a bit back and forth and really like Shattenkirk’s chances to pick up a point or two. He’s been super consistent for fantasy picking up at least 4 fantasy points on DK in six of his last nine games and is a good target if paying up tonight on D.
Trevor Daley ($3500): Ever since he was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins Trevor Daley has been manning the first unit power play for the Penguins and its actually been working out quite well. Daley’s a pretty decent puck moving defenseman who’s proven he can produce offensively in the past. Kris Letang looks like he’ll return tonight for the Penguins but I’d still expect Daley to be a big part of the attack for Pittsburgh and to see lots of PP time. His new role in Pittsburgh makes him a great play for me tonight at only $3700 and easily the best value on the board at D.
Also check out: Justin Schultz ($3300) of the Oilers.
Best Superstar to Build Lineups Around
Vladimir Tarasenko ($8100): Much like Shattenkirk I think Vladimir Tarasenko is in a good spot to post a decent game tonight for the Blues. Tarasenko has been magnificent lately posting points in 7 straight games with 6 goals in that span. While the Stars may seem like a tough matchup as I already mentioned they struggle a bit on the penalty kill and Tarasenko is currently tied for 5th in the league with 7 PPG on the year. There’s definitely a few superstars you could consider paying up for tonight (Taylor Hall, Steven Stamkos) but for my money Tarasenko is the best option if you need to pick just one.
Best Value Plays
Conor Sheary ($2600): The diminutive Sheary was a recent call up for the Pens from the AHL where he was producing at over a PPG. Playing with Sidney Crosby for the most part Sheary produced a couple of points in his first two games and looks likely to see more time in the top 6 tonight. At only $2600 you’re getting a decently talented winger who will be playing with one of the leagues best centres (Malkin or Crosby), it’s a great deal. I like using Sheary tonight as a cheap play at wing.
Alex Wennberg ($3200): Wennberg has been very consistent lately putting up 5 points in his last 4 games while playing over 16 mins a night during that same stretch of games. The best part about using Wennberg right now is that he’s seeing plenty of PP time and also skating with two offensive minded players in Scott Hartnell and Brandon Saad at even strength. With the increased role Wennberg has been great for fantasy and at a cool $3200 he’s one of my top values on this slate.
Also check out: Teddy Purcell ($4000) and Calle Jarnkrok ($3200)
This list isn’t meant to be comprehensive and will only update significant, more recent injuries
Jeff Petry is day to day and questionable tonight for the Canadians
As always hit me up on twitter, @thefantasygrind, with lineup questions or other DFS questions GL!