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
Columbus Blue Jackets vs Arizona
Brandon Saad ($6,000) – Alexander Wennberg ($5,700) – Nick Foligno ($5,800)
Wennberg has exploded since the Johansen trade last season and leads the team in assists with 15, while netting two goals in his last three games. He has 21 points on the season, leaving him tied with Foligno for the team lead. Foligno has points in back-to-back games with seven shots on goal (SOG) and three blocks. Saad has eight points in his last 10 games, including six points in his last five. He had an assist and nine SOG vs Arizona on Saturday. This line had a goal, two assists and 18 SOG against the Coyotes over the weekend and should be productive tonight.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs Ottawa
Evgeni Malkin ($7,400) – Phil Kessel ($6,700) – Chris Kunitz ($4,400)
With Kunitz returning to the lineup over the weekend, the Penguins re-formed this line with great results. Malkin has been on a tear this season with 25 points in 25 games. He has 10 points in his last eight games and is currently riding a five-game point streak with 18 SOG. Kessel has 11 points in his last 10, has points in two straight games, and netted two goals on four SOG against Detroit on Saturday. Kunitz played limited minutes but should see an increase in time as he works back from his injury. He had two SOG and 11 points in 18 games before getting hurt.
Superstar to Build Around
Jack Eichel ($7,200) – Determined to make up for time lost from his injury, Eichel has come back like a man on fire. Despite being shut out by the Bruins on Saturday, Eichel opened his season with back-to-back multi-point outings. He had a goal and an assist in his first game and followed that up with two goals against the Rangers. He has four points, three power play points (PPP), and 11 SOG through three games. He has a fair matchup tonight against the Capitals, who he had two points and 11 SOG against in three games last season.
Value on Offense
Jaromir Jagr ($4,600) – It’s been a down year for Jagr and the Panthers as a whole. He had a mini three-game point streak going, but is now scoreless in his last two games. He’s still playing on the top line and shooting a lot, averaging about 2.5 SOG per night.
Ryan Dzingel ($4,400) – Dzingel started the season hot but has predictably fallen off. However, with Bobby Ryan injured he’s been bumped up to the second line and has been productive there. He has a goal and an assist with two SOG in two games on the line with Kyle Turris and J-G Pageau. I still think he’s a solid value play tonight despite a tough matchup.
Sergei Bobrovsky ($8,300) – Bob stopped 18 of 20 shots in his last outing to pick up his 13th win of the year, one behind Carey Price for the league lead. He’s been stellar all year, is 7-2-1 in his last 10 starts, and has allowed only six goals against in his last four starts. He has a juicy matchup with the Coyotes bottom-10 offense.
Braden Holtby ($8,200) – While Holtby has lost his last three outings, he is coming off a strong performance in a shootout loss to the Lightning. He stopped 32 of 33 shots before falling in the fourth round of the shootout. He has been solid overall with a 2.16 goals against average (GAA) and .922 save percentage (SV%) on the year, just outside the top-10 in the league in both.
Value on Defense
Ian Cole ($3,900) – While not the defenseman of note that you would have looked to for production in Pittsburgh, Cole is on a burner right now. He has points in three straight, four of six overall, and has consecutive multi-point outings. He has five points, five SOG and five blocks on this three game run.
Brandon Carlo ($3,600) – With Chara (who could return tonight) and Liles banged up, Carlo has seen an increase in playing time. He’s on the Bruins second pairing and has two assists, four SOG and five blocks in his last three games while seeing almost 23 minutes of ice time per night.
Power Play Defensemen
Oliver Ekman-Larsson ($5,100) – OEL has had a relatively down season but is picking it up lately. He has points in four of his last five games and has produced a PPP in each of his last two. Five of his 12 points this season have come on the man advantage, which is tops on the Coyotes. He has a tough matchup tonight against Columbus, but had a point against them on Saturday and is a solid price.
Erik Karlsson ($7,400) – Karlsson is having a normal year for him with 20 points in 25 games. He isn’t putting up great numbers on the power play (PP) (only five PPP this season) but he is always a top option for blueline production on a nightly basis. He has 61 SOG and 73 blocks on the year, giving him added value, and he’s seeing well over three minutes of PP ice time per night.
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.