The NHL Cheat Sheet is your quick-hit daily look into odds, fantasy studs, value picks, and more to help you navigate your DFS Hockey lineups.
Highest Vegas Totals
- Nashville Predators vs. Toronto Maple Leafs – 5.5
- Dallas Stars vs. Winnipeg Jets – 5.5
- Ottawa Senators vs. Edmonton Oilers – 5.5
Craig Anderson ($8,000): There are so many stud goalies tonight it was hard to pick just one for this spot, but after a three-win week that garnered him one of three NHL “Player of the Week” honors I like Anderson this evening. His three wins were against Buffalo, Carolina and Detroit and he stopped 97 of the 102 shots his faced during the week. The win streak pumps him up to 25 on the year, tied for sixth in the league, and he faces the Oilers on Tuesday night. While he has been much better at home than on the road, he has an improved defense in front of him with the addition of Dion Phaneuf and Edmonton is a middle-of-the-road offense at home on the year. He is brimming with confidence coming off last week and should seriously be considered for your lineups tonight.
Top Line of the Night
Tyler Seguin ($8,600) – Jamie Benn ($8,400) – Jason Spezza ($5,800) – Dallas Stars
The Stars apparent new top line will feature the recently returned Jason Spezza playing the wing for Seguin and Benn. I have written about both Seguin and Benn many times this season. The continue to jockey for second place in the scoring race behind Patrick Kane with Benn holding the slight 67 points to 65 points edge at the moment. Seguin has been on fire since coming out of the break with 12 points and 37 SOG in his 10 games. Benn has been hot as well with nine points of his own. Spezza had missed about two weeks of action but returned Thursday with a pair of assists, one coming on Benn’s goal on the PP. The Stars have lost three straight games so this might be an experiment to see if it will jump-start the scoring, but the trio will be playing together on the Stars top power-play unit, regardless. Seguin and Benn, especially going against the Jets and their 24th ranked scoring defense, are in the conversation for must starts tonight no matter who their third linemate is.
Top Upside at Defense
Shayne Gostisbehere ($6,000): Ghost netter the game-winner in OT on Saturday night to extend his point streak to an incredible 15 games. Keep in mind he is a rookie, and a defenseman. He has 11 points in his last 10 games and 18 of his 34 points on the year have come on the impressive run. The Flyers face the Hurricanes tonight and Gostisbehere has already staked ownership of Carolina this season with two goals, two assists and six SOG in three games against.
Kevin Connauton ($3,000): I had Connauton in my “Others to Consider” on defense yesterday after his three-point game on Saturday against the Blues and he followed that up with a goal and four SOG last night against the Capitals despite only seeing 11:35 of ice time against Washington. He has equally as tough of a matchup tonight against Ben Bishop and the Lightning, but he has goals in three of his last four games with 11 SOG in those games and at $3,000 is a top value pick on the blueline this evening.
Superstar to Build Lineups Around
Steven Stamkos ($7,200): Much like the goalie position, there are a ton of top players that could be considered for this slot tonight. Stamkos has been re-united with Ryan Callahan and Alex Killorn and the three have picked up chemistry again quickly. Stammer was fantastic last week with goals in his last three games of the week on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. He capped the week with a multi-point game against the Hurricanes on Sunday. The Lightning face the Coyotes tonight who are on the second night of a back-to-back after losing 3-2 last night in Washington and having to travel from DC for the game this evening. Roll Stamkos tonight as your superstar of the night in a highly-favorable matchup.
Erik Haula ($3,200): Haula has been a pleasant surprise for the Wild lately after not producing much all season. In his first 46 games the young centerman had only 11 points, but has exploded for nine points in his last 7 games to help power a rejuvenated Minnesota team. All of his points have come in four of those seven games and all have been multi-point efforts. He is coming off arguably his best game of the season in the Wild’s outdoor win in the Stadium Series game on Sunday against the Blackhawks when Haula posted a goal, two assists, a blocked shot and two SOG.
Casey Cizikas ($2,900): The Islanders fourth line produces more offense than most people think a fourth line normally produces and have consistently been one of the Isles best lines all season. Cizikas has found his offensive touch lately for NY and has points in five of his last seven games. The Isles fourth-line center is now up to 20 points on the season and is coming off a very solid performance in the Isles last game against the Devils when he provided the lone goal on four SOG in NY’s 1-0 victory. He has two goals and four assists in those last seven games and against the Wild earlier this month he had a solid outing with two SOG and a BS in the Isles winning effort.
Claude Giroux ($7,000) There’s no good time to lose your best player and captain, but the Flyers losing Giroux for a few games in the middle of a playoff race is probably the worst. Giroux will be out of the lineup for the second straight game after missing the weekend game against the Maple Leafs and this will probably lead to Sam Gagner centering the line of Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn.
Anze Kopitar ($6,400) Kopitar skated on Monday after suffering a lower body injury on Thursday that caused him to miss LA’s game over the weekend. He has not been ruled out for tonight’s matchup against the Flames, so monitor his status during the day if you are considering him for your lineups tonight.