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
Buffalo Sabres vs New York Islanders
Jack Eichel ($7,500) – Kyle Okposo ($6,000) – Matt Moulson ($3,900)
As I said yesterday, picking against the Islanders is a good idea. Tonight is another example of that. Eichel had his best game of the season on Tuesday, netting two goals, an assist and five shots on goal (SOG). Okposo had three assists and and is only getting better for Buffalo playing with Eichel. He leads the team with 21 points, 12 power play points (PPP), and has 11 points in his last 10 games. Moulson saw time on this line against the Kings and picked up two assists. He might rotate in and out of this line with Evander Kane, but I think he is a really solid value tonight if he sticks here. This is an especially good matchup because the Islanders are starting goalie Jean-Francois Berube for the first time this season.
Washington Capitals @ Carolina Hurricanes
Alex Ovechkin ($8,300) – Evgeny Kuznetsov ($5,700) – Justin Williams ($4,900)
Ovechkin is looking for a jumpstart after only three points in his last seven games, and the Hurricanes could be what he needs. Ovie has 76 points and averages over five SOG per game in 66 career games against Carolina. Kuznetsov looks to be turning his season around after a very slow start. He now has points in five straight games, all assists, and is up to 16 points in 28 games. Three of his seven assists in those games have come on the power play (PP). Williams has goals in back-to-back games and has four goals and five points in his last five games. His goal on Tuesday against the Islanders came on the PP.
Superstar to Build Around
Sidney Crosby ($8,600) – Crosby pushed his point streak to nine games on Wednesday with an assist against the Bruins. That’s 14 points in his last nine games, and he’s added three PPP and 24 SOG in that span as well. He has settled in nicely with Patric Hornqvist and especially Conor Sheary, who has nine points in eight games. Crosby faces the Kings tonight at home, where he has 14 points in 12 games this year. The Kings have been defensively weak this month, allowing three goals per game in December.
Value on Offense
Valtteri Filppula ($4,600) – Filppula pushed his point streak to three games with three assists against the Flames on Wednesday night. That’s eight points in his last 10 games for the veteran center, skating on a line with Jonathan Drouin and Brian Boyle.
Derek Ryan ($3,600) – I wrote about Ryan on Tuesday, and he promptly extended his point streak to four games when he collected three assists. Two of them came on the PP. He now has at least one point in six of his last seven games and has 10 points in his last 10 games overall.
Sergei Bobrovsky ($7,800) – Not much more to be said about Bob this season, he has been fantastic. He held the highly-potent Oilers offense in check on Tuesday night, stopping 33 of 34 shots and running his winning streak to six games. He’s 8-1-1 with a 1.60 goals against average (GAA) and .937 save percentage (SV%) in his last 10 games, and he leads the league with 17 wins.
Philipp Grubauer ($8,000) – There are a lot of good goalies available tonight, but I like Grubauer’s matchup a lot. He’s having another fantastic season backing up Braden Holtby, going 4-1-1 and posting a 1.67 GAA and .940 SV% in his six appearances. In his last three starts he has allowed a total of four goals against, including back-to-back one goal games against the Sabres.
Value on Defense
Justin Schultz ($4,400) – Schultz might benefit the most from the unfortunate loss of Kris Letang in Pittsburgh. Schultz has 12 points in his last eight games and looks to finally be showing the offensive skill that was expected from him. Expect him to see more offensive opportunities in the coming weeks.
Matt Niskanen ($4,600) – Niskanen has points in back-to-back games and had his best game of the season on Tuesday against the Islanders. Niskanen notched the game winning goal in the third period, his first of two goals on the night. He also added six SOG and one block. He’s seeing increased PP time as well, as one of his goals came on the man advantage.
Power Play Defensemen
Brent Burns ($8,400) – Burns pushed his point streak to six games with a multi-point outing against the Senators on Wednesday. He got his streak started with a PPG against the Canadiens, his opponent tonight, on December 2nd. During this run he has four goals, two assists, two PPP, 13 blocks and 32 SOG.
Rasmus Ristolainen ($5,900) – Ristolainen has come alive since Eichel returned to the Sabres’ lineup. The young blue liner has points in six of the seven games that Eichel has been back in the lineup. He has 10 points, five PPP and 18 SOG in those seven games and is currently riding a four-game point streak that includes two multi-point games.
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.