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.
Lines and Favorites
Biggest Favorite: the Dallas Stars are -235 favorites to beat the Flyers tonight
Largest Totals: The Stars v Flyers game has the best chance of going over 5.5 goals according to odds makers.
Henrik Lundqvist ($8100): Lundqvist has been unreal this year and keeps pushing his season stats to record setting levels as he now sits with a GAA of 1.99 and a save percentage of .937. Over his last 3 starts King Henrick has allowed just 4 goals while recording a save percentage of over .950 in that span. The Oilers have some talent up front and are riding a two game win streak but I don’t like this matchup for them and would avoid pretty much all skaters who face the Rangers when Lundvist is playing. Lundqvist is arguably the best goalie in the NHL at the moment and a fantasy killer to your skaters.
Anders Lindback ($6200): The Coyotes have really been struggling to keep the puck out of their net lately allowing 5 goals against in four of their last five games. Tonight they turn to Lindback to stop the bleeding but I’m not sure that will help. Lindback carries an unimpressive .900 save percentage into this game and was brutal in his last go out allowing 5 goals versus a less than offensive minded Hurricanes squad. I’d definitely think about targeting some of the Wild skaters tonight versus this net minder.
Tyler Seguin ($8800) – Jamie Benn ($8400) – Valarie Nichushkin ($3500)
This line had a monster night against Carolina their last time out recording 11 points between them. With talented second year player Valarie Nichushkin joining this trio the offensive potential is through the roof as all three players now bring a unique blend of size, speed and skill. The Stars are currently first in goals scored as a team on the season and also second in terms of power play effectiveness as well. The Flyers have certainly improved their play at both ends of the ice recently but still allow the second most shots on net per game in the league… a dangerous trend when going against a talented line like this. With Nichushkin’s price being so low I’d highly recommend getting some exposure to this line and consider stacking all three as it’s very possible this line generates multiple goals again.
Top Upside and Value Defensemen
John Klingberg ($6000): I hate to recommend so many players from one team but the Stars are clearly the best offensive team in the NHL right now and Klingberg is a big reason why. The offensive minded defenseman recorded three assists in his last game including two on the PP to raise his point total for the year to 30 through 28 games. His mobility and ability to distribute the puck has been a huge reason why the Stars have been so effective since the mid-point of last season. He’s the clear choice amoung top end defenseman tonight for me and I won’t be shocked if he adds to his point total against the sometimes shaky Flyers defense.
David Schlemko ($2600): While you don’t have to go this low in salary if you do I’d recommend Schlemko. He’s been seeing a regular shift on the Power Play for the Devils since returning from injury and even though he’s not an offensive talent the fact he’s being used so heavily in purely offensive situations gives him upside that others in his price range don’t have. Use caution but consider him if you need an absolute punt tonight.
Also check out: Matt Dumba ($3400) and Michael Del Zotto ($3900) for more consistent but higher priced value plays.
Best Superstar to Build Lineups Around
Claude Giroux ($6700): Giroux has been on fire lately scoring 5 points in his last two games. The great thing about Giroux right now is that he’s producing at an elite level yet is priced well below other elite players. Giroux has been the main cog in the Flyers offensive outbursts of late and is averaging 4 SOG over his past 3-4 games. He plays a ton of minutes on the PP and has a great matchup versus the Dallas Stars tonight who can go through serious defensive lapses at times like they did in their last game when they allowed Carolina to score 4 times and twice on the PP in the third period. Use the savings and make Giroux a cornerstone tonight.
Value Options to Fill Out Your Lineups
Oscar Lindberg ($4000): Lindberg is now centring the top line for the Rangers (playing alongside Rick Nash) and seeing a lot of time on the first unit PP as well. The Rags get a matchup with the Oilers tonight who allow a ton of shots on net and are still pretty deficient most nights defensively. Definitely target the dynamic centre if you need a value play at centre as he’s been getting a lot of SOG lately and is poised for a breakout.
Valarie Nuchushkin ($3500): There’s not much that needs to be said here. Nichushkin is playing alongside two of the best players in the NHL right now on the team that scores the most goals in the NHL. He’s an immensely talent winger who looks to be finally coming into his own offensively after a slow start. Get him while his price remains low.
Leon Draisaitl ($4600): Draisaitl and the Oilers have a tough matchup against the Rangers tonight who’ve been very stingy defensively of late. Still, the Oilers top line has been getting results all year and Draisaitl plays a lot of minutes and sees time on the first unit PP. He’s still a bargain at only $4600.
This list isn’t meant to be comprehensive and will only update significant, more recent injuries
Martin Hanzal is day to day for ARZ
Trevor Daly is day to day for CHIC
Jason Demers is day to day for the Stars
Devan Dubnyk is day to day for the Wild and won’t play tonight
Adam Henrique is day to day for the Devils and won’t play tonight
As always hit me up on twitter as @thefantasygrind with lineup questions or other DFS questions GL!