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 DFS Hockey lineups.
Top Lines of the Night
San Jose Sharks @ Toronto Maple Leafs
Joe Pavelski ($7,400) – Joe Thornton ($5,100) – Patrick Marleau ($5,100)
Thornton has five assists and two multi-point games in his last four outings. Two of his assists have come on the Sharks’ power play. Marleau has points in back-to-back games and netted his seventh goal of the season over the weekend. Pavelski had a three-game point streak snapped against the Hurricanes on Saturday but has points in eight of his last 10 overall. He added two shots on goal (SOG) and three blocks and leads the team in points, power play points (PPP) and assists. The Sharks top line has a favorable matchup against a weak Toronto defense tonight.
Anaheim Ducks @ Dallas Stars
Corey Perry ($6,600) – Ryan Getzlaf ($6,500) – Rickard Rakell ($6,400)
Perry is back to being one of the more elite wingers in the league and has 25 points in 29 games on the year. He is currently riding a five-game point streak and is tied for the team lead in points with Ryan Kessler. Getzlaf snapped a two-game pointless drought with a power play assist (PPA) against the Senators Sunday. He does have four assists in his last five games and eight points in his last 10 overall. Rakell has 11 goals in 18 games so far and has points in each of his last two games. He’s averaging almost three SOG so far this season as well. This line has a great matchup tonight against the Stars, who rank last in the league in goals against average (GAA).
Superstar to Build Around
Cam Atkinson ($7,200) – Atkinson has arguably been Columbus’ best position player and leads the team with 12 power PPP, 17 assists, 27 points and 77 SOG. He has been on a torrid run lately with 12 points in his last 10 games. He is riding a three-game multi-point streak at the moment with two goals and four assists and six SOG. At $7,200, he comes in much cheaper than the other top options tonight.
Value on Offense
Anders Lee ($4,100) – Lee is on a tear for the Islanders, posting nine of his 11 points on the year in his last nine games. Lee has seven goals, two on the power play (PP), and two assists while posting 21 SOG. The Isles have a tricky matchup tonight vs the Capitals, but Lee has been scoring from the dirty areas as of late.
Derek Ryan ($3,100) – Ryan is a pleasant surprise as a source of offense for the Canes right now. He has seven points in his last 10 games and is currently riding a three-game point streak. He has three goals, one power play goal, one assist, four SOG and two blocks in his last three games centering the Carolina second line.
Jimmy Howard ($8,200) – Howard has continued to play very well in goal for the Red Wings when called upon this season. In his last three starts he is 1-1-1 and has allowed only five goals against. He played brilliantly over the weekend against the Flyers before taking an OT loss. Among qualified goalies this season, Howard is third in GAA and second in save percentage (SV%). He has a great matchup against the Coyotes, who are the second-worst scoring team in the league.
Devan Dubnyk ($8,100) – Dubnyk takes a four-game win streak into his matchup tonight in a favorable game against the struggling Panthers. Dubnyk leads the league in both GAA and SV% at the moment and is tied for fourth-most wins in the league with 13. The Panthers rank 23rd in the league in scoring this season and are bottom-five in scoring in December, averaging only two goals per game this month.
Value on Defense
Shea Theodore ($3,600) – Theodore is finally beginning to produce this season now that he has settled into the lineup. He has assists in back-to-back games for the Ducks, posting two vs the Sharks and adding one on Sunday against Ottawa. He has also added four SOG and is seeing a solid 18 minutes of time on ice (TOI) this year.
Brad Hunt ($3,100) – Hunt found his way into the lineup for the Blues in both games over the weekend after his recall from the AHL. He promptly picked up two assists and three SOG, while seeing 13 minutes per night. At the time of his call up, the offensive-defenseman was leading the AHL in scoring with 29 points. However, be wary of Carl Gunnarsson drawing back into the lineup if healthy.
Power Play Defensemen
Rasmus Ristolainen ($5,600) – Ristolainen is on fire at the moment for the Sabres with eight points in his last six games. Risto is riding a three-game point streak with a goal and four assists. He has five PPP, 14 blocks and 18 SOG in these last six outings and leads the team with 16 assists and 12 PPP.
John Carlson ($5,900) – Carlson is beginning to turn things around after a slow start. He has points in four of his last five games, and all four points have come on the PP. He now has 12 points on the season and faces an inconsistent Islanders’ defense tonight.
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.