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
Carolina Hurricanes vs. Buffalo Sabres
Jeff Skinner ($6,400) – Victor Rask ($5,600) – Derek Ryan ($4,100)
Skinner is on-pace for his best career season at the moment, certainly his best since his rookie season. Skinner has five points and 13 shots on goal (SOG) in his last four games. Rask has followed up his breakout 48-point season with 31 points in 41 games this year. Rask, too, has five points in his last four games, and he joined Skinner with a three-point game in his last outing. Ryan has been a pleasant surprise this season, and he, too, has five points in his last four games. He has two multi-point games, including against Columbus on Tuesday. This line faces a depleted Buffalo goalie situation tonight on the second night of a back-to-back.
Winnipeg Jets @ Arizona Coyotes
Mark Scheifele ($6,700) – Nikolaj Ehlers ($5,900) – Drew Stafford ($3,900)
Scheifele netted two goals, including one on the power play (PP), and two SOG against the Canadiens on Wednesday. He now has points in five of his last six games, with two multi-point games. Ehlers ran his point streak to six games with a power play point (PPP) when he assisted on Scheifele’s goal. He has 12 points and 27 SOG in his last 10 games. Stafford continues to be one of the best value bargains in fantasy hockey since taking over for Laine. He has a three-game point streak that has produced a goal and three assists. As long as he remains this cheap, I think he’s a strong consideration, especially with such a favorable matchup.
Superstar to Build Around
James van Riemsdyk ($6,000) – There are a lot of appealing options tonight, but JVR is on an absolute tear at the moment. He is riding a five-game point streak and is tied for the second-most points scored league-wide so far in January. JVR has eight points in four January games, including three-consecutive multi-point outings. He is coming off one of his best games of the season with a three-point game (two PPP) against the Canadiens. He has 12 points, five on the PP, and 26 SOG in his last 10 games.
Value on Offense
Ryan Hartman ($4,200) – Hartman has been very productive lately for the Hawks in a limited role. The winger has points in four of his last six games, with four goals, three assists and 19 SOG. He has a hat-trick, two assists and 14 SOG in his last three games.
Matthew Tkachuk ($4,900) – Tkachuk had his nine-game point streak snapped against the Jets on Monday but got right back to it with a multi-point outing against the Sharks on Wednesday. Tkachuk had a PP goal, an assist and five SOG vs the Sharks. The rookie has 27 points 40 games this season.
Braden Holtby ($7,700) – I always say stick with who is hot, and no one is hotter than Holtby right now. Holt is riding an impressive four-game winning streak that has seen him shutdown four top playoff contenders in the Eastern Conference. Holtby has allowed only three goals on his win streak and faces the Blackhawks tonight at home, where he’s 13-5-1 with a 1.81 goals against average (GAA) on the season.
Roberto Luongo ($7,900) – The combination of two good outings and the Islanders’ bad offense make Luongo a great option tonight. He has won his last two starts, holding the Isles and Devils to a combined one goal. The Islanders have three goals in their last three games making Luongo a prime target tonight in goal. The game is in Florida, where Luongo has a 2.29 GAA and .926 save percentage (SV%) this year.
Value on Defense
Taylor Fedun ($3,100) – Fedun has split this season between the AHL and NHL levels but he’s been solid for the Sabres when he’s played. The seldom used defender has six points in 13 games this season, after only seven points in 12 career games entering the year. He has assists in back-to-back games for the Sabres, despite seeing limited ice time.
Nick Leddy ($4,300) – Leddy notched the Islanders’ only goal against the Panthers on Wednesday night and faces Florida again tonight on the road. Leddy has points in three of his last five games and has two goals, one assist, 13 blocks and 10 SOG in that span, averaging almost 4.0 FPTS per contest.
Power Play Defensemen
Dougie Hamilton ($5,300) – Hamilton had a goal and a PP assist on Wednesday in the Flames’ 3-2 win vs San Jose. Hamilton now has points in two of his last three games and has eight points in his last 10 overall. Of those eight points, half have come on the man advantage. He has a favorable matchup tonight against the Devils’ bottom-10 ranked scoring defense.
Duncan Keith ($5,200) – Keith pushed his point streak to five games with a multi-point game on Tuesday against the Red Wings. He had a PP goal and an assist, two blocks and four SOG. The Hawks’ blue liner has points in eight of his last 10 games, four PPP, and has an assist against Washington already this season.
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.