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.
Lines and Favorites
Biggest Favorite: The Washington Capitals are -290 favorites to beat the Coyotes
Largest Totals: The Blue Jackets v the Bruins has the highest expected O/U total on the slate
Brian Elliott ($8400): Elliott has now won five straight games and pushed his season long save percentage to .931. The Blues have quietly again been one of the most solid teams in the Western conference and have allowed the fourth fewest goals against per game in the league as well. The Sharks are a tough opponent, and a team who have scored the fourth most goals in the league this year and have the fifth ranked power-play as well. That being said the Blues at home are one of the best teams in the league and Elliott’s level of play of late means a big game for the goalie is quite possible here. San Jose skaters are definitely a risky proposition tonight in this matchup versus Elliott and for that reason, I would probably consider them as tournament only plays.
Ben Scrivens ($6900) or Mike Condon ($7200): I’ll continue my fade of the Montreal Canadians netminders today and also recommend you think about rostering some skaters against them as well. Mike Condon may have rebounded with a nice game against the Flyers where he stopped 35 of 37 shots but we’ve seen him follow up good games with bad one’s lots this season already. Even with the good game Condon—who is the likely starter—still sports a .902 save percentage and is playing in front of a Canadians team who is probably too far back to be thinking about a playoff run. The Predators on the other hand still have something to play for and have some talent up front and on the backend you can target in this game for fantasy. I’d fade whoever is in net for the Habs and consider Nashville skaters for your roster.
David Krejci ($6100) – Loui Eriksson ($5500) – David Pastrnak ($4000)
After one slow night this line was back at it racking up 3 points between them versus the Dallas Stars. The duo of Krejci and Erikson have now scored seven goals between them in their last six games and been a steady source of offensive production. The young David Pastrnak was added to this line in the Bruins last game, and although he hasn’t done much since the All-Star break, he’s getting a chance to play with Boston’s talented duo on a nightly basis which adds to his fantasy upside. This line has a great matchup tonight at home versus the Blue Jackets, a team who has given up the second most goals against in the NHL all season, and a team who are coming off a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of the Sabres. The Bruins meanwhile are flying high after a big 7-3 win over Dallas and I expect this line to help continue that roll tonight. Target this trio if you’re looking for a high upside stack.
Top Upside at Defense
P.K. Subban ($6300): The Canadians are certainly slipping and nearing elimination. That being said they still have some serious talent on their back end that is capable of putting up a big fantasy night. PK Subban has been the subject of trade rumours lately and was blamed by his coach for their team’s loss a couple nights ago. Two days ago he responded with a big game, where he posted 2 assists and played over 30 minutes, and I think you could see a repeat performance tonight. On top of needing Subban to play a ton (and play good) every night I think the Canadians will also be able to take advantage of the Predators below average penalty kill in this game—which ranks 23rd in the league. Subban is the main cog on the backend for the Canadians and if he plays near 30 mins in this game will be in for his second big fantasy performance in a row. He’s my choice if paying up on D on this short slate.
Nathan Beaulieu ($3100): Beaulieu is the other defenceman to consider on Montreal, especially if you’re looking for a much cheaper option. He’s been seeing consistent power-play time with the second unit and should see more and more ice time as the end of the season draws near—especially with Montreal on the verge of being eliminated form playoff contention. He’s unlikely to get you a huge game but the fact he’s now playing over 20 mins a night consistently and getting power-play time means there’s more chance he racks up those blocked shots and SOG points for fantasy. I’d target him if you need a value play to filyou’re your roster with.
Superstar to Build Lineups Around
Alex Ovechkin ($9100): Sometimes it’s best just to go with the obvious choice and that is likely the way you should go tonight as well when thinking about which stud players to roster. Alex Ovechkin is currently in the middle of another late season goal scoring tear and now has nine goals in his last seven games. And if the goal scoring points alone weren’t enough to convince you, Ovechkin is also shooting the puck more than anyone on the planet right now and has amassed an amazing 31 shots on goal over his last four games as well (good for about 8 per game). The Capitals (the leagues best team) play at home tonight versus the Coyotes who have the third worst penalty killing unit in the league and now sit last as a team in goals against per game. This game could get ugly for the Coyotes and a big fantasy game is possible for nearly everyone on the Capitals offense tonight. As a result, I’d definitely recommend making some room for the Great 8 tonight.
Dale Weise ($3900): Weise is one of those players you don’t consider as an offensive threat and then when you start analyzing his stats you realize he’s actually quite productive (14 goals). Tonight Weise is getting moved up to the second line to play alongside the Canadians best goal scorer in Max Pacioretty and may also see some power-play time with him as a result. The Predators are a decent matchup and at only $3900 I really like Weise as a value play at wing. The move to the top six definitely increases his upside.
Craig Smith ($4100): Smith is another player who has recently been moved to play alongside an elite scoring winger (Filip Forsberg) and has seen his fantasy totals rise as a result. Smith has two goals in his last three games and is also seeing some time on the power-play now that’s been moved to play alongside Forsberg. I love the matchup the Predators have tonight versus Montreal and think Smith makes for a good value target as a result. He’s another player to consider if you need a cheap winger.
Also check out: The Coyotes Martin Hanzal ($4300) who has put up some monster games recently and comes very cheap at centre.
This list isn’t meant to be comprehensive and will only update significant, more recent injuries
- Torey Krug is questionable for the Bruins
As always hit me up on twitter as @thefantasygrind with lineup questions or other DFS questions!