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
Detroit Red Wings vs Boston Bruins
Thomas Vanek ($5,100) – Frans Nielsen ($4,900) – Andreas Athanasiou ($4,500)
This is a very underrated and dynamic line right now for the Red Wings. Vanek has been one of the best bargains from this past offseason and has 30 points in 33 games on the year. He has 12 points, 25 shots on goal (SOG) and two power play points (PPP) in his last 10 games. Nielsen has been very solid this season and has points in five of his last six games. He has one goal, five assists and 10 SOG in those games. Athanasiou had one of the highlight goals of the season against the Penguins over the weekend and has seven points and 19 SOG in his last six games. This line is only getting better, and they check both of my boxes as a top line and a value stack tonight.
Winnipeg Jets vs Arizona Coyotes
Mark Scheifele ($6,500) – Nikolaj Ehlers ($5,900) – Drew Stafford ($4,000)
Scheifele has picked up the scoring slack for the Jets since the loss of Patrik Laine on January 7th. He has points in three of the five games since the Laine injury with two multi-point games, including his last game out against the Sharks. Stafford and Ehlers join Scheifele with points in three of the last five games, despite being held off the scoresheet against San Jose. Stafford has a goal, three assists and 10 SOG in his last five games. Ehlers has three assists and 12 SOG in his last five games. He also has two points in two games vs the Coyotes this season.
Superstar to Build Around
Evgeni Malkin ($7,300) – Malkin is having yet another MVP caliber season, but he’s been overshadowed a bit by Sidney Crosby’s stellar performance. But Geno has been consistently fantastic this season with 49 points in 43 games. He’s riding a four-game point streak and is coming off a hat-trick against the Capitals. He has seven goals, 12 points and 27 SOG in his last nine games. He has a decent matchup tonight against Carey Price, who has been struggling as of late, and on the season, Malkin has a goal and an assist in two games vs Montreal.
Value on Offense
Brendan Perlini ($3,300) – Perlini has been a pleasant surprise for the Coyotes this season. The rookie winger has eight points in 18 NHL games, after 19 points in 17 AHL games before his call up, and has three goals and one assist in his last four outings for Arizona. Two of his four points in those games have come on the power play (PP), where he has been skating on the Coyotes’ top unit.
Marian Gaborik ($4,300) – Gaborik has been very down this season for the Kings, posting only eight points in 22 games. He has started to produce more as of late with the resurgence of Anze Kopitar, posting four points and 13 shots in his last five games. He has seven points in 12 games at home this season.
Cam Talbot ($8,200) – Talbot pushed his win streak to three games with a 3-1 win against the Coyotes on Monday, stopping 21 of 22 shots. Talbot is having a very solid season and currently sits tied with Devan Dubnyk for second in the league with 23 wins. Talbot faces the Panthers tonight and in his career vs Florida he’s 2-1-0 with a 1.68 goals against average (GAA).
Ondrej Pavelec ($6,800) – Pavelec was recalled from the AHL earlier this week with both Connor Hellebuyck and Michael Hutchinson struggling as of late. The veteran will make his first start of the season tonight against the Coyotes. His AHL stats weren’t great this season, but he has a fantastic matchup and is at a solid, value price tonight.
Value on Defense
Adam Larsson ($3,500) – Larsson has been pretty invisible offensively this season in Edmonton, but he has points in three of his last four games. He has a two-game point streak and had one of his best games of the season on Monday with one assist, one SOG and four blocked shots.
Jason Demers ($3,500) – The Panthers have been playing better of late, and Demers has been a solid contributor for them this season. He has been hot lately with points in three of his last four games. He has also added seven blocks and three SOG in those games and is seeing some PP time.
Power Play Defensemen
Brent Burns ($8,000) – Not much else needs to be said at this point about Burns. He has 45 points in 44 games and leads the league with 173 SOG. Burns netted a PP goal against the Jets on Monday, giving him three PPP and 13 points overall in his last 10 games.
Justin Schultz ($5,200) – Schultz broke a two-game scoreless drought in a big way with four assists on Monday in that wild 8-7 OT win vs the Capitals. With Kris Letang out again, Schultz is running both the top pair and the first PP unit and is seeing plenty of opportunities for production.
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.