The NHL Cheat Sheet is your nightly look at some key matchups, fantasy studs, value plays, and important fantasy news and notes for the upcoming slate.

Totals and Favorites

Biggest Favorite: The Capitals are -270 favorites to beat the Devils

Largest Totals: The Avalanche v Oilers and the Bruins v Stars both have the best odds of going over 5.5 goals for the night according to odds makers

Stud Goalies

Craig Anderson ($7900): The Senators are not a team that you traditionally target for goaltending however starter Craig Anderson has been playing at a high level lately, and deserves some fantasy love for it. Anderson has posted 8 or more fantasy points on DK in four of his last six games and more importantly, has posted save percentages of .920 or better in that same span. This is a situation where you have a hot goalie playing in front of a team who is still giving up a ton of shots every night, meaning there is some real big game potential (hence the four big fantasy games in last couple of weeks for Anderson). The Sens play Detroit tonight which is a tough matchup but also one which could produce a monster game. I’d take a look at Anderson for tournaments, he could pay off even if the Sens lose the game.

Dud Goalies

Anders Nilsson ($6400) or Cam Talbot ($7200): The Oilers goaltending has been Jekyll and Hyde all season as their goalies have either looked like second coming of Jacques Plante or the reincarnation of Jim Carey—Net detective (google it, he was a real player). Anders Nilsson has been recalled after a stint in the AHL and may get the start tonight. After a solid start to the season Nilsson’s level of play bordered on horrific and he currently sports a GAA of 3.14 for the year. Starter Cam Talbot hasn’t been much better recently though, allowing 7 goals in his last two games. The bottom line is it doesn’t really matter who is in net for the Oilers tonight as both goalies make the Colorado skaters nice targets for your fantasy rosters. I’d target this game in general too with skaters as it has the highest O/U on the slate.

Hottest Lines

Martin Hanzal ($4300) – Max Domi ($4900) – Anthony Duclair ($4100)

There aren’t a ton of lines that have been lighting it up recently (at least not ones playing tonight) so I figured I’d give some love to a lessor known trio who has been producing big time numbers of late. These three players have a tidy 16 points between them in their last three outings but will be in tough tonight to replicate that success against the St Louis Blues who give up the second fewest goals against per game in the league. Centre Martin Hanzal has been one of the best deals in fantasy in his last two starts compiling 6 points and two goals over his last two games and his price makes him someone to consider as a value play regardless of opponent at the moment. All in all, this line is playing so well that I’d still consider getting some exposure to it tonight, especially if I needed a cheaper play or two. All three can be had for well under 5k on their own and make for nice value plays. Target them if you need cheap filler or just want to ride the heater they’ve been on.

Defensive Thoughts

Drew Doughty ($6200): The Kings haven’t exactly been lighting the lamp as a team recently (2 goals in three games) but their top D-man Drew Doughty has definitely come alive recently and is being relied on more than ever to anchor the back end. Doughty has now played over 30 mins in three of his last four games and also has put up 11 points over his last 9 games. All of this is of course leading to some big fantasy totals as Doughty is now producing every night it seems across all the major fantasy categories. Tonight the Kings play the Predators who have had goaltending issues all season and have the 8th worst penalty kill in the league. I like this spot for Doughty and the Kings to put up some points tonight, he’ll anchor the PP for LA and have a great shot at a big game.

Jake Gardiner ($3700): With the trade of Dion Phaneuf, Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner has stepped up to fill a more major role on the team. Gardiner is now seeing time on the first power-play unit and has seen the most time with the man advantage of any Leafs defender over their last three games. While the Leafs offense isn’t the greatest they have a nice matchup tonight with the Flyers who rank as the 6th worst penalty killing unit in the league. At $3700 I like the upside with the offensively gifted Gardiner tonight and love the fact he’s been going over 20 mins of ice a night as well. He looks like a strong value play and someone I’d target if I was in need of a cheap D-man on this slate.

Superstar to Build Lineups Around

Connor McDavid ($7000): There’s not much analysis to be had here except to simply say that Connor McDavid is really, really good at hockey and has looked a lot more comfortable as a player since coming back from injury. With 14 points in his last 9 games McDavid is producing like an elite talent in just his first year in the league but is still priced at an under-elite talent price. The Oilers/Avalanche game will be broadcast tonight throughout Canada and has the highest O/U on the slate making the potential for a blow-up game here extremely high. Expect the Oilers to keep giving him close to 20 mins a night and for the next one to keep producing like the fantasy stud he is.

Value Options

Benoit Pouliot ($4000): Pouliot is playing alongside McDavid and been extremely productive since getting the assignment as his winger. Pouliot’s only drawback is that he doesn’t shoot a ton, but that is counteracted by the fact he’ll be playing with McDavid in all situations tonight and have a great chance to build on the 9 assists he’s recorded in his last 9 games. Target him if you want a cheap way to get more exposure to the Oilers superstar.

P.A. Parenteau ($4200): Parenteau’s always someone I consider as a value play, especially in good matchups because the Leafs don’t have a ton of great offensive options and he generally sees a lot of time in the top 6 and on the power-play. The other great thing about Parenteau is the fact he shoots the puck a lot and has 16 SOG in his last four games. The matchup versus the Flyers tonight is a good one for the Leafs and Parenteau (who has four points in his last three games). I’d make him a target if you need a cheaper winger.

Also check out: the Avs Mikhail Grigorenko ($3100). Grigorenko has been playing alongside Matt Duchene and Jarome Iginla lately and the line has been producing nicely for fantasy.

Injuries

This list isn’t meant to be comprehensive and will only update significant, more recent injuries

  • Alex Barkov is out for Florida
  • Anze Kopitar is questionable tonight for LA and listed as day to day

As always hit me up on twitter as @thefantasygrind with lineup questions or other DFS questions GL!