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
Minnesota Wild vs Anaheim Ducks
Eric Staal ($6,400) – Nino Niederreiter ($5,500) – Alex Tuch ($2,700)
Staal is on-pace for his best full-season in five years. He has 44 points in 55 games, including three points and 10 shots on goal (SOG) in his last five games. Nino has been on a tear as of late putting up 10 points in his last 10 games, primarily thanks to playing with Jason Pominville. Nino is riding a four-game point streak and has a power play (PP) goal in back-to-back games. Tuch was recalled from the AHL yesterday and practiced on this line. He had seven SOG in his first three NHL games earlier this month and despite not having a point in those games he has put up 25 points in 36 AHL games on the season.
New York Islanders @ Toronto Maple Leafs
John Tavares ($7,700) – Anders Lee ($5,800) – Josh Bailey ($5,400)
Tavares has points in two of his last three games and both points have come on the PP. He has four points, three power play points (PPP), and 21 SOG in six games this month. Lee has been fantastic the last two-plus months. He is up to 21 goals on the season, the majority coming since he moved up to this line. He has 12 points and five multi-point games in his last 10 games, with seven points (4G, 3A) on the PP. Even though Bailey hasn’t scored in his last three games, he has played well and does have nine SOG in his last three games.
Superstar to Build Around
Connor McDavid ($8,100) – McDavid has a prime matchup tonight against the Coyotes, who are playing on the second night of a back-to-back after shutting out the Flames last night. This game could be the game that McDavid needs to get going again after only two points in five games since the All-Star break. McDavid has three points in four games against Arizona this season and should face Coyotes’ backup Louis Domingue — and his 3.19 goals against average (GAA) — tonight.
Value on Offense
Christian Dvorak ($3,300) – Dvorak has found the scoresheet in three of his last five games, and each of those games has been a multi-point outing. He is coming off an impressive three-point night last night where he netted two goals, an assist and three SOG against the Flames.
Markus Granlund ($3,500) – The other Granlund brother is having a solid go of it in his last four games. The Canucks winger is riding a four-game point streak on which he has potted two goals, two assists, two PPP and 10 SOG. Despite a tough matchup tonight against the Penguins, I think he is a solid value option.
Matt Murray ($8,300) – Murray has won three of his last four starts to bring his record to 20-6-2 on the season. He has been fantastic all year posting a 2.35 GAA and a .923 save percentage (SV%), both inside the top-10 in the league. Murray is 7-2-1 in his last 10 games, 11-1-2 at home this year and draws the Canucks 27th-ranked offense tonight in Pittsburgh.
Craig Anderson ($8,000) – In his first start since the beginning of December, Anderson blanked the Islanders on Saturday, stopping all 33 shots that came his way. It has been a trying season for Anderson due to the issues in his personal life, but when he has been in the net he has been very good. He faces the Sabres tonight at home, and Buffalo has lost six of their last nine games.
Value on Defense
Nikita Zaitsev ($4,400) – Zaitsev has ridden a recent surge to tie Brady Skjei for second in scoring among rookie defenders with 25 points. He has points in three of his last four games and has eight points in his last 10 games overall. Zaitsev has solid peripherals posting four special teams points, 20 blocks and 14 SOG in those last 10 games, including a multi-point game against the Islanders last Monday.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson ($4,700) – I wrote about OEL for the Sheet yesterday, and he picked up an assist last night to push his point streak to three games. The talented blue liner has points in four of his last six games, with three PPP. He is a great value tonight and has four points in as many games against Edmonton this year.
Power Play Defensemen
Kris Letang ($6,300) – Despite only having one PPP since his injury return, Letang has looked like his old self. He has points in four of five games in the month of February, scoring once and adding four assists. He has picked up seven blocks and fired 20 shots on goal in February. He continues to run the Pens top PP unit, which will get a notable boost with the imminent return of Evgeni Malkin.
Erik Karlsson ($7,200) – Karlsson snapped a three-game pointless drought with an assist and three SOG against the Isles on Saturday. Karlsson had back-to-back multi-point games coming out of the break before his mini-slump. He has three points and 13 SOG in four games against the Sabres this season, including two PP assists, so he has a very juicy matchup looming 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.