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
Winnipeg Jets @ Vancouver Canucks
Patrik Laine ($7,300) – Mark Scheifele ($7,100) – Nikolaj Ehlers ($5,500)
Laine is the real-deal sniper that everyone predicted he would turn into, sitting third in the league in goals scored with 18 on the year. He has 10 points and 30 shots on goal (SOG) in his last 10 games. Scheifele has four points in six games since his return from injury. He has one goal, three assists and 13 SOG in those six games and continues to lead the Jets in scoring with 30 points in 32 games. Ehlers has tailed off a bit with only two points in his last four games. The points came courtesy of a multi-goal game against Colorado, but he does have 14 SOG over his last four games. This line was shutout against the Canucks on Tuesday but has a great chance for redemption tonight.
Nashville Predators vs Los Angeles Kings
James Neal ($6,400) – Viktor Arvidsson ($6,100) – Mike Fisher ($4,900)
Neal and Arvidsson have been two of the lone bright spots for the Predators’ offense this season, and they continued that on Tuesday night. Neal netted his 13th and 14th goals of the season and added five SOG against the Devils. Arvidsson snapped a two-game pointless streak with three assists, tying him for the team lead in points. Fisher went pointless on the two-game road trip, but added five SOG. Fisher has been very productive at home this season with 14 points in 13 games on home ice. The Predators as a whole have productive at home, ranking fifth in the league in home scoring this season.
Superstar to Build Around
Auston Matthews ($7,600) – Matthews has a fantastic matchup tonight against the Colorado Avalanche and is coming off an 8.0 DKFP game in his last outing. He had a production dip the first half of November, with only two points in eight games, but in his last 14 games he has 12 points. He has five goals and 31 SOG in the month of December and faces the Avs’ defense that ranks dead-last in the league, allowing 3.2 goals per game.
Value on Offense
Henrik Sedin ($4,400) – It hasn’t been a great season for Sedin, but he has begun to turn things around. He has eight points in his last 10 games, including assists in back-to-back outings. He faces the Jets tonight, a team he put up two assists against on Tuesday.
Brian Boyle ($4,000) – Boyle has been a 20-goal scorer in his career, but he might be in line for a huge jump in production if the Lightning’s practice lines can be trusted. Boyle, who has three goals, one assist and 15 SOG in his last four games, was centering a line between Jonathan Drouin and Nikita Kucherov in practice this morning.
Frederik Andersen ($7,900) – Andersen gets the nod tonight for the Maple Leafs against the Avs. He took the loss on Monday against the Ducks, giving up three goals on 28 shots. It was only the second time in his last 13 starts that Andersen had allowed more than two goals against, and he has a great opportunity to bounce back tonight against Colorado’s last-ranked scoring offense.
Cam Ward ($7,400) – I think Ward is a solid option in net tonight and is a great value play compared to some of the top options. He gets the nod for the Canes in net against the Sabres, a team he beat last week, allowing one goal on 24 shots. On the year he has been very good for Carolina, posting a 2.30 goals against average (GAA) and .915 save percentage (SV%).
Value on Defense
Nikita Zaitsev ($3,700) – Zaitsev has suffered from lulls in production this season, but he has been solid with 12 points, 44 blocks and 46 SOG in 31 games. He has points in back-to-back games, giving him three points in his last five, and he’s seeing some power play (PP) time mixed in as well.
Jeff Petry ($4,800) – Petry pushed his point streak to three games with a goal and two assists against the Ducks on Tuesday. That’s a goal in three straight games for Petry who has added five blocks and 14 SOG in this three-game run. He has seven points in his last five games overall.
Power Play Defensemen
Rasmus Ristolainen ($6,100) – Ristolainen is tied for second among defensemen in the NHL with 12 points in December. He has points in seven of his nine games in the month with four multi-point outings. He also has three power play points (PPP) this month, including one on Tuesday against the Panthers when he notched a goal and an assist. Risto is also averaging more than two blocked shots and two SOG per game in his last 10 games.
Justin Schultz ($5,000) – Schultz is in a tie for second-most points scored in December with 14, leading all NHL defensemen in scoring this month. He’s reaping the benefits of playing top minutes and on the Pens’ top PP. He has points in eight of 10 games this month and has at least one PPP in four of his last five 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.