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
– Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Philadelphia Flyers – 5
– Chicago Blackhawks vs. Nashville Predators – 5
– Dallas Stars vs. Los Angeles Kings – 5.5
Jonathan Quick ($8,500): Quick just continues to produce for the Kings who are once again a legitimate title contender. Over his last nine starts dating back to December 28 he has allowed more than two goals against in a game only once, a four goal loss to the Senators on Saturday, but he quickly followed that up with a solid win against the Ducks on Sunday. He has been one of the most consistent goalies in the league this season which has led him to 25 wins (good for third in the league), a tie for eighth in GAA at 2.10 and he sits just outside the top-10 in SV% at .923. With the offensive inconsistencies of the Stars lately and Jamie Benn (four points his last seven) and Tyler Seguin (three points his last seven) both fighting scoring slumps, Quick is a great option tonight for the Kings to keep the Stars normally potent offense in check.
Top Line of the Night
The Capitals have ridden this line to the best record in the league and Ovechkin and Backstrom continue to prove that they are one of the best scoring duos in the NHL. Ovechkin snapped a two-game pointless streak with a PPG against the Rangers on an uncharacteristically low two SOG. Backstrom snapped the same two-game slide with an assist on that goal and he is now up to 42 points in 42 games and leads the team in that category. Oshie has been slumping lately with only four points in his last 10 games, including being held pointless his last three games, but he has always played well against Tuesday’s opponent the Columbus Blue Jackets. In his career, mostly with St. Louis when they were division rivals, Oshie has 18 points in 29 career matchups with CBJ. This line has a great matchup tonight with Columbus, who are the worst team in the league, and so far in seven January games they have allowed more than three goals per game.
Top Upside at Defense
Victor Hedman ($5,600): Hedman is beginning to show the flashes of the production we had been expecting of him going into this season after and uncharacteristically slow start to the season for the puck moving Swedish blueliner. He has come on particularly strong lately with points in four of his last five games. He has seven points and two multi-point games in that span while adding 13 blocked shots and 16 SOG. One of those games was a three point game against the Oilers in Edmonton on January 8, and the Lightning welcome the Oilers to Tampa Bay tonight. Hedman will have a great opportunity to pick up his production where he left off 10 days ago and is my top defenseman of the evening.
Shayne Gostisbehere ($4,800): Ghost is back for the Flyers and seemed primed to produce once some puck luck goes his way. He’s finally healthy and over the knee injury that forced him to miss two games and in his first two games back, despite not recording a point, he has put a fantastic 11 shots on goal. He has been shooting the lights out this season and has 19 points since his call up. He will have a great matchup to produce tonight against the Maple Leafs now that he is back in the Flyers top-four and top power-play unit.
Superstar to Build Lineups Around
Patrick Kane ($9,100): Fresh off another top-star of the week Kane continues to set the league ablaze this season. In four games last week Kane tied for the scoring lead for the week with seven points thanks to four goals and three assists. He had points in three of the four outings, including a hat-trick and an assist in a four-point game against Toronto. He followed that up with a goal and assist on seven SOG against the Canadiens on Sunday night. Kane is on pace for new career highs in all the major scoring categories. Through 48 games this season he has 69 points and is only four points away from his second highest season total ever. His 29 goals are one away from tying his career high. He has run away from Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin in the scoring race and right now is well on his way to a career season and should breach the 100-point plateau. He is facing the Predators tonight, who have been very inconsistent this season especially Pekka Rinne, and this season against Nashville Kane has two goals, one assist and seven SOG in three games.
Sam Bennett ($3,800): Another NHL Star of the week, Bennett is fresh off a breakout scoring run in the Flames three contests last week. His play this season has been inconsistent but he lit up the scoresheet last week and led the league with six goals in three contests. He kicked off his week with a goal against the Sharks and then had his big four-goal game against the Panthers on five goals. He kept the streak going with a goal and four SOG on Saturday against the Oilers. He gets the Devils tonight in a tough matchup but you should roll the hot hand and take the value tonight.
Kevin Fiala ($2,500): You can’t get any cheaper tonight than $2,500 and Fiala is seeing prime position since his call up by the Predators. The 19-year-old former first-round forward has been in the AHL all season and was third on the Milwaukee Admirals with 21 points in 34 games. In his first NHL game last week he managed a goal while adding five SOG. He followed that up with three SOG on Saturday against Minnesota. He is seeing prime placement in the Nashville lineup playing on their top line with Ryan Johansen and James Neal. As long as he is in that position, no matter how long he remains called up, he will have solid fantasy value and has shown so far he is not afraid to put the puck on the net. Roll Fiala tonight despite a tough matchup with the Blackhawks.
Kyle Palmieri ($5,100) Don’t let the DTD dissuade you from picking Palmieri. He was held out of practice on Monday as a maintenance day and he will almost be guaranteed to be in the lineup against the Flames on Tuesday night. With Mike Cammalleri still on the DL, Palmieri is a solid play should he be in the lineup.
Braden Holtby ($8,600) As was said above Holtby exited the Caps win over the Rangers over the weekend with a case of dehydration. He has the most starts in the league this season and he should be fine coming off this but the Capitals might turn to Phillip Grubauer tonight to give him a maintenance day and night of rest. Before you pull the trigger on Holtby in your lineup tonight check his status.