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
Pittsburgh Penguins vs Calgary Flames
Sidney Crosby ($8,500) – Bryan Rust ($4,300) – Chris Kunitz ($3,900)
Crosby is coming off a three-point game against the Blues over the weekend where he netted two goals and an assist. In three games since the break, he has two goals, two assists and 11 shots on goal (SOG). Rust picked up an assist over the weekend and fired off two SOG. His assist snapped a four-game pointless drought. Kunitz gets another crack at the top line with Sheary out and has looked good in two games there. He has two assists and four SOG since bumping back to Crosby’s wing and overall has points in three of his last four games.
Washington Capitals vs Carolina Hurricanes
Alex Ovechkin ($8,100) – Nicklas Backstrom ($6,600) – T.J. Oshie ($6,400)
This line has not missed a beat since the return from the All-Star break, looking as dominant as they did all January long. Ovie has two goals, one assist and 18 SOG in four games since returning from the break. Ovie is now tied for third in the league with 25 goals this year. Backstrom is having a great season, averaging a point-per-game at the moment. The Caps’ center is riding a four-game point streak since the break, posting two goals (one on the power play (PP)), four assists (one PP), and five SOG. His 53 points on the season lead Ovie by five. Oshie has two goals and one assist in his last three games. This trio has combined for six points in three games against Carolina on the year.
Superstar to Build Around
Mikael Granlund ($6,700) – Granlund has exploded this season, is playing dominant hockey at the moment, and is coming off his best game of the season. Granlund picked up his first career hat-trick on Saturday against the Canucks and added an assist and six SOG for a four-point night. The game pushed his point streak to 12 games, tops in the NHL this season. On the 12-game streak he has posted 17 points (5g, 12a), five special teams points and 36 SOG. He faces the Jets tonight, who he has two points in two games against this season.
Value on Offense
Patrick Marleau ($5,400) – Might be slightly high for a value pick, but Marleau is way out-playing his price tag at the moment. Marleau is running on a six-game point streak that started with his four-goal game against Colorado. On this streak he has seven goals (two on the PP), three assists and 26 SOG.
Brett Connolly ($3,600) – While the Caps’ top line is great, Connolly has been productive playing on their third line. The winger only has 14 points this season but seven have come in his last 10 games. He is riding a three-game point streak and is coming off a multi-point game against LA on Sunday.
Martin Jones ($8,300) – Jones has been great in his last three outings coming out of the break, posting a 2-0-1 record and allowing only four goals against. He’s stopped 82 of 86 shots he faced in those three outings, and he’s got a favorable matchup against the Sabres tonight. Jones is tied for the second-most wins in the league with 27 this season.
Pekka Rinne ($8,400) – Rinne has posted back-to-back solid outings and has a favorable matchup tonight at home. Rinne blanked the Oilers and then took a 1-0 loss over the weekend. He has been great at home, posting a 12-5-4 record and a 2.03 goals against average (GAA). In two games vs Vancouver this season, Rinne is 1-1-0 with a 0.97 GAA.
Value on Defense
Nikita Zaitsev ($4,300) – Zaitsev has been impressive this season for the Maple Leafs, posting 23 points in 51 games as a rookie. Zaitsev is coming off a multi-point game against the Islanders last night, has seven assists and 23 blocks in his last 10 games, and is on the first defensive pair and running the point on the Leafs’ second PP unit.
Justin Falk ($2,700) – Strike while the iron is hot with Falk. He of little offensive production, Falk has points in back-to-back games for Buffalo. Falk only has five assists on the season, but three have come in his last eight games. He collected an assist in both of his outings this past weekend.
Power Play Defensemen
Dustin Byfuglien ($6,200) – Byfuglien has assists in back-to-back games for Winnipeg with both helpers coming on the PP. He has added two SOG and five blocks in those two games. He has nine points and 29 SOG in his last 10 games and four of those points have come on the man-advantage. He also has 20 points in 25 home games on the year.
Kris Letang ($6,000) – Letang was shutout in his first game back from injury but has found the scoresheet in his last two games since. He collected a pair of assists, one on the PP, against Columbus and followed suit with a goal on Saturday against the Blues. Letang is running the Pens’ first defense pair and their top PP unit.
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.