The NHL Cheat Sheet is your quick-hit daily look into odds, fantasy studs, value picks, and more to help you navigate your DFS Hockey lineups.
Highest Vegas Totals
– Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Boston Bruins – 5
Braden Holtby ($8,200): No goalie in the league has played more games since the start of last season besides Holtby (Jonathan Quick is tied with him). With that being said, it’s safe to assume that Holtby will get the nod tonight in net against the Senators when the Capitals welcome Ottawa to the nation’s capital. Holtby turned in another gem on Monday night, holding the Penguins to one goal on 45 shots and improving his league-leading GAA to 1.87 and pushing his SV% into a tie for fourth. At home this season Holtby has been fantastic posting an 11-2-0 record with a 1.84 GAA and .932 SV% so pay the price and roll him tonight in your lineups.
Top Line of the Night
Alex Ovechkin ($8,900) – Nicklas Backstrom ($6,400) – T.J. Oshie ($5,800)
The Caps front line would be one of the top lines on any night, but with such a limited player pool tonight for DFS players to choose from, they are the top line of the evening. Backstrom has been fantastic with points in eight of his last 10 games and is coming off a three-point game on Monday against the Penguins. Oshie had possibly his best game of the season with the Capitals and snapped a four-game pointless streak with a two-goal, three-point outing. Ovechkin has been mired in a slight slump as of late with only six points in his last 10 games, and held pointless in back-to-back games. However, in his career against the Senators he has 37 points in 34 games. This is a very favorable matchup for this line on Wednesday night and with such a limited player pool, it’s feasible to get them all into your lineup.
Top Upside at Defense
John Carlson ($6,700): Carlson is my top defender of the evening for the Capitals. He is coming off a multi-point outing on Monday against the Penguins and is riding a three-game point streak at the moment. He had a fantastic all-around game on Monday night with the two points, three blocked shots and eight shots on goal. During his current streak he has a goal, three assists, eight blocked shots and 14 SOG.
Trevor Daley ($3,400): The Daley experiment in Chicago didn’t work out the way both parties had hoped but, with his trade to Pittsburgh, he’s primed for a top-four role with the Penguins and should see a lot of chances to produce especially with the depth issues that the Penguins have had this year. He had 16 goals in Dallas last season, and should be in line for a larger offensive role now, especially with Kris Letang being placed on IR, so take advantage of his affordability and play him tonight in his Penguins debut.
Superstar to Build Lineups Around
Patrice Bergeron ($6,800): Bergeron continues to be one of the most consistent point producers this season and has points in eight of his last 10 games and currently has a modest five-game scoring streak. Bergeron is tied with David Krejci for the team lead with 29 points and leads the Bruins with 97 shots on goal. He has 10 points, eight blocked shots and 34 SOG in his last 10 games and with Marc-Andre Fleury now set to miss at least a game or two for the Penguins, Bergeron and the Bruins will have a great matchup with Pittsburgh backup goalie Jeff Zatkoff and his 2.43 GAA.
Jay Beagle ($2,800): Centering the Capitals third line with Jason Chimera and Stanislav Galiev, Beagle has points in back-to-back games. He only has nine points on the season and is not to be counted on long-term to give you offensive production, but Beagle is a very inexpensive value play who has been effective for the Capitals his last few games.
Matt Beleskey ($4,200): Beleskey hasn’t had the start to the season that he, or the Bruins, had hoped for but he has been turning it around as of late and is beginning to see the production come. He is a staple of the Bruins top-six forward rotation right now and has six points in his last seven games. The Bruins have a favorable offensive matchup against the Penguins on Tuesday night at home and Beleskey has done his most damage on friendly ice this season with 10 points in 14 games.
Marc-Andre Fleury ($7,800) Fleury was placed on IR with a concussion and will be expected to miss at least 10 days for the Penguins. It’s a tough blow to the Penguins who are struggling in the standing right now after recently firing head coach Mike Johnston. The Penguins will go forward with Jeff Zatkoff as their starter in net going forward.
Kris Letang ($5,700) As was mentioned above Letang was placed on IR by the Penguins on Tuesday and he is expected to be out for at least a week until after the Christmas holiday. With young players like Brian Dumoulin and David Warsofsky filling in, as well as the acquisition of Trevor Daley, the Penguins have plenty of options until Letang returns.
Make sure to check out my NHL Line Stacks and Pete Jensen’s NHL Targets posts today before finalizing your lineups. As always for any DFS Hockey questions or comments this season, find me on Twitter at: @JHarding_Hockey