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
Washington Capitals @ St. Louis Blues
Alex Ovechkin ($8,200) – Nicklas Backstrom ($6,600) – T.J. Oshie ($5,900)
This line has combined for 35 points so far in the month of January, with Backstrom having 13 and Ovie and Oshie each having 11 points. Backstrom’s 13 points are second in the league this month (Brad Marchand has 14), and he is riding a seven-game point streak with four multi-point games. Ovie is goal-less in his last three games, but he too has a solid five-game point streak and is second in the league to Brent Burns in shots on goal (SOG). Oshie has points in three of his last four games, and all three games have been multi-point outings. He had a power play goal (PPG) and two assists against the Penguins Monday.
New York Rangers @ Toronto Maple Leafs
Rick Nash ($6,500) – Mika Zibanejad ($6,000) – Pavel Buchnevich ($4,200)
With these three being healthy now, this line should get back to producing. Zibanejad and Buchnevich played well early in the season before both went down with injuries. The duo picked up where they left off in their first game together against the Stars on Tuesday with two goals and three assists. Buchnevich has points in all three of his games since his return and has a seven-game point streak dating back to before his injury. Nash has points in back-to-back games and clicked immediately on this line, picking up two assists and adding two SOG.
Superstar to Build Around
Rickard Rakell ($6,500) – There are a lot of very good, high-priced options tonight, but I like Rakell and his matchup. Rakell has jumped past Ryan Kesler for the Ducks team lead with 19 goals with goals in back-to-back games and in three of his last four games overall. Rakell had a goal and an assist last week against Colorado and with Avs’ starter Semyon Varlamov out with an injury, Rakell’s matchup is even better facing Calvin Pickard and his 3.06 goals against average (GAA).
Value on Offense
Melker Karlsson ($3,100) – Karlsson skated on the Sharks’ top line with Pavelski and Thornton last night against the Kings and picked up an assist and put one SOG. His assist came on Brent Burns’ first period goal, with Thornton getting the other helper, and Karlsson saw more than 18 minutes of ice time vs Los Angeles.
Jason Chimera ($3,500) – Chimera has a three-game point streak going at the moment where he has scored a goal in each game and added an assist against the Bruins on Monday for a multi-point game. The Islanders face the Stars tonight, who rank in the bottom-five in the league in scoring defense.
John Gibson ($8,300) – After a slow start to the year, Gibson is beginning to show why the Ducks traded away Frederik Andersen. In his last 10 games he is 7-1-2 with two shutouts, a 1.48 GAA and a .952 save percentage (SV%). He is 6-1-1 in eight starts in January and leads all goalies this month in GAA and SV%. He faces the Avs tonight, a team he beat in his only start against them this season.
Pekka Rinne ($7,300) – Rinne played a brilliant game on Tuesday but couldn’t get bailed out by his offense and lost to the Canucks 1-0. Rinne is 3-2-1 in January so far, allowing two goals or less in five of those starts. He has posted fantastic peripherals as well this month with a 1.63 GAA or .946 SV%.
Value on Defense
Jared Spurgeon ($4,800) – Spurgeon had a multi-point game against the Devils on Tuesday night, netting a beautiful PPG and an assist. The Wild defender now has nine points in his last 10 games, and has an assist and two SOG in his only game vs Arizona this season.
Ryan Murray ($3,400) – Murray is getting in on the blue line scoring action for the Blue Jackets with points in back-to-back games. Not one for putting up the numbers, Murray had two assists against Carolina on Tuesday, and in his last two games he has three assists, three blocks and six SOG.
Power Play Defensemen
Matt Niskanen ($4,400) – Niskanen checks both the value box and the power play (PP) defenseman box tonight, especially with John Carlson expected to miss his second straight game. Niskanen has back-to-back multi-point games after netting two goals against the Flyers and notching two assists on Monday against the Penguins. One of his two assists on Monday was a PP assist, and he has added two blocks and seven SOG in those outings. He’ll run the Caps’ top defense pair and the point on their top PP unit until Carlson returns.
Mark Giordano ($5,200) – Despite a tough matchup tonight against Nashville, Giordano is coming off a great game against Florida on Tuesday night. Gio had two PP points, one goal and one assist, and added another assist to give him a three point night. Giordano has eight points in his last 10 games and six of those eight points have come on the PP.
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.