The NHL Cheat sheet is your nighty look at some key matchups, fantasy studs, value plays, and important fantasy news and notes for the upcoming slate.
Highest Totals and Biggest Favorite
Biggest Favorite: The Blues are -200 favorites to beat the Maple Leafs
Largest Totals: The Islanders and Senators have the greatest chance of going over 5.5 goals according to the lines
Tuukka Rask ($7500-Bruins): After a slow start Rask looks like he’s finally turned the corner and is starting to play at the elite level we’ve been accustomed to seeing him at the past couple of season. Rask has now put up save percentages of better than .900 in 4 of his last 5 games and was outstanding last night in relief of Jonas Gustavsson. Rask is almost assuredly going to start tonight (although double check as it’s not confirmed yet) and would be a great start against Vancouver who could struggle with the hot offense of the Bruins. I like using Rask tonight as the Bruins should be desperate to end their road trip with a win and his recent level of play could mean a big night with a ton of saves.
Cam Ward ($6300-Hurricanes): Ward has now put up a save percentage of under .900 in 4 of his last 6 games and as been quite average lately. The Hurricanes as a team are really falling apart fast and are now near the bottom of the league in both penalty killing and goals against for the season. Ward isn’t the elite goaltender he once was and with the way his team is playing in front of him it’s safe to continue targeting him with your skaters. Even with Carey Price out I wouldn’t consider using him at all versus the Canadians.
Kyle Turris ($6300) – Mike Hoffman ($5600) – Bobby Ryan ($5800)
There’s little doubt the Senators top line is one of the best in the league right now and the trio have now put up an outstanding 17 points in their last 4 games. Since moving Bobby Ryan up to play with Hoffman and Turris the Sens have been scoring at will every night and are now in possession of the leagues 5th best power play. The Islanders have been much better defensively this year but with the Sens playing at home on a Saturday night I’m expecting them to have no trouble getting up for this game. I’d definitely want some exposure to this trio tonight if making lineups and would definitely consider stacking all three in a tournament, they look unstoppable at the moment.
Top Upside and Top Value at Defense
Torey Krug ($6100): I really like targeting the Boston players tonight and especially their PP as the Canucks aren’t good against the PP and the Bruins have the best PP in the league by far at the moment. One huge reason for the Bruins great play on special teams this season has been the play of Torey Krug. Krug plays a ton of minutes for the Bruins on the PP and has been a great producer in all categories this season (Points, SOG and Blocked Shots). Last night Zdeno Chara had a big game for the Bruins but it could easily be Krug who scores tonight. I think he offers as much upside as anyone on the slate and he would be my recommendation if paying up on D.
**I’m leaving up my value play from last night up as Gostisbehere is still only $3400 and landed another assist last night. He’s still great value
Shayne Gostisbehere ($3400): Gostisbehere is a recent call up from the Flyers farm team. Since joining the Flyers he’s been a revelation and a fixture on the Flyers first unit PP. The young defenseman is averaging 3 SOG in his last four games and already has 4 goals in 9 games on the season. The production may not keep up but with all of the SOG and extended PP time Gostisbehere is seeing it really makes sense to use him as his price is far too low for his potential right now.
Best Superstar to Build Lineups Around
Matt Duchene ($6000): While there might be a few more obvious plays out there tonight (John Tavares comes to mind) but Matt Duchene is arguably playing better than anyone in the league at the moment, offensively anyway. Duchene has 13 points in his last ten games and has been on the point sheet seemingly every night over the past month. The Avalanche first line is uber-talented and Duchene and the Lanche have a surprisingly good matchup against the Wild who’ve been awful at killing penalties in 2015-16. I love the fact Duchene gives you elite production at a reduced price, he’d be my choice to build lineups around tonight.
Best Value Plays to Fill out your lineup with
Matt Belesky ($3900): Belesky has been playing extremely well the past few games and is averaging 4 SOG in his last 4 games. Last night he finally broke through with a goal and assist and the fact he’s playing on the Bruins top line at even strength with two of their best offensive players is a huge boon to his fantasy prospects. Ride this good play from the Bruins winger and take advantage of his cheap salary.
Alex Galchenyuk ($4800): Galchenyuk has taken on a bigger role offensively for the Canadians of late with the injury to Brendan Gallagher and is seeing more time on the Canadians PP as a result. The talented centre now has 7 points in his last 6 games and has taken to his larger role quite well. I love the matchup tonight versus Carolina who’s been bad in all facets of the game recently and think Galchenyuk is a great way to get cheap exposure to the Canadians offense.
Mika Zibanejad is day to day
Brendan Gallagher is on IR with a broken hand
As always hit me up on twitter as @thefantasygrind with lineup questions or other DFS questions GL!