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 Totals
Biggest Favorite: The Minnesota Wild are -190 favorites over the Winnipeg Jets
Largest Totals: The Blackhawks v the Maple Leafs and the Stars v the Ducks both have O/U of 5.5
John Gibson ($7000): Gibson currently leads the NHL with a goals against of 1.84 and has been pretty spectacular since joining the Ducks and taking over as their starting netminder. As winners of 6 of their last 9 games the Ducks have been improved lately and a lot of that can be attributed to Gibson, who looks likely to get the start in net tonight. While the matchup tonight with Dallas looks scary the Stars have been very ordinary of late and their superstars have struggled to find the back of the net. Gibson looks like a solid tournament play at goalie tonight and isn’t someone I’d target a bunch of skaters against.
Connor Hellebuyck ($7100): Hellebuyck has actually played quite well this year so his inclusion here is based mostly on his recent play, which hasn’t been great. Having let in 3 or more goals in each of his last three games—while also recording save percentages of under .900—the bubble looks like it might have burst on Hellebuyck, a player who the Jets have leaned on a lot this year due to injuries. The Jets have a tough road matchup with the Wild tonight who admittedly can be very hot or cold offensively but it’s still not a good spot for Hellebuyck to rebound with a win (the Jets are the biggest dog on the slate). I like targeting Wild skaters tonight as the defensive struggles for Winnipeg could continue here.
Vladislav Namestnikov ($3400) – Steven Stamkos ($7600) – Ondrej Palat ($3900)
The Lightning have come alive as a team recently recording 3 or more goals in three straight games. This line was put together in their last matchup and produced as each man had a multi point night. Many people have been waiting for Tampa’s offense to get going this year but now might be the time we finally see it hit full stride. The young Namestnikov has really excelled lately playing with Stamkos and is up to 5 points in his last three games. His surge gives the Lightning a lot more balanced attack and his price makes him one of the best bargains in fantasy. Meanwhile Ondrej Palat looks fully healthy and has had success playing with Stamkos in the past. Ultimately this line looks like one of the best values in fantasy right now as all men are playing well and will see extensive time on the Tampa Power Play. Get some exposure to this suddenly productive Tampa offense through them tonight.
Ryan Suter ($6100): Suter is an easy person to forget about when making lineups because he’s known more for his steady play on the defensive end than his scoring. However, on top of playing a ton of minutes in general he also plays a ton on the power play and is up to 30 points now through 42 games. The Jets are a great target tonight since they have the fourth worst penalty kill in the league and with Suter as the Wild’s main QB he’s a great way to get some exposure to their offense tonight. Suter’s always a good source of blocked shots and SOG given how much he plays and I like targeting him if you’re paying up on defense for this slate.
Colin Miller ($3400): Miller’s a decent puck moving defenseman who doesn’t play a ton for the Bruins but does see a lot of time on the power play. Even though he’s more of a specialist this gives him a good chance to record some cheap assists and SOG for fantasy purposes every night. The Bruins have a nice matchup versus the Sabres tonight which makes me like Miller as a value choice. He’s one of the better cheap options under $3500 on DK.
Superstar to Build Lineups Around
Patrice Bergeron ($7300): There’s a couple top centres in play tonight but Bergeron for me is probably the one I’d really want some exposure to. The Bruins are without their other top centre in David Krecji which means that Bergeron is now being counted even more by the Bruins and is the main centre piece of their first line and power play. Known mainly for his defensive play early in his career, Bergeron has been a near point per game player this season and also been a big factor in turning the Bruins power play into the best unit in the league. The Sabres aren’t the dumpster fire they were last season but still struggle defensively at times and have the 6th worst penalty kill in the league, making this a very high upside spot for Bergeron and the rest of the Bruins PP. I like the price on Bergeron and think he’s a great cornerstone on this slate.
Value Plays to Fill out your lineup with
Eric Staal ($4900): Staal has been heating up lately with four points in his last four games and 14 SOG in that same stretch. While the Hurricanes aren’t exactly an offensive force for the talent Staal possesses he still seems criminally underpriced on DK, especially in this matchup. The Canucks are below average in almost every defensive category as a team this year and make for a good opponent for Staal to continue his recent offensive outburst against. If you need a value play at C tonight he’s someone I would not be afraid to call on.
Ryan Spooner ($4600): Filling in for the injured David Krejci, Spooner has been all kinds of effective as Boston’s second line centre. At $4600 you’re getting a player who now plays in a pivotal top 6 role at even strength, plays on the top power play unit, and gets a decent matchup tonight against a Sabres team who really hasn’t been great on the penalty kill all season. I really like him as a value play tonight and until Krecji returns for the Bruins.
Also check out: the Lightning’s Vladislav Namestnikov as mentioned in the hottest line section and Rickard Rakall of the Ducks
**this list isn’t meant to be comprehensive and will only update significant, more recent injuries
David Krejci is out for the Bruins
James van Riemsdyk is out for the Leafs
As always hit me up on twitter as @thefantasygrind with lineup questions or other DFS questions GL!