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.
Totals and Favorites
Biggest Favorite: The Dallas Stars are -200 favorites over the Calgary Flames.
Largest Totals: The Stars and the Flames have the greatest chance of going over 5.5 goals according to odds makers.
Petr Mrazek ($7600): Mrazek has been sensational for the Wings lately. While there used to be a bit of a goalie controversy or time share going on in Detroit that is quickly becoming a thing of the past as Mrazek has been one of the best goalies in the league period lately, recording two shutouts and a save percentage of over .950 in his last seven outings. The Wings take on the Isles tonight which is admittedly a tough matchup. However, with the Isles struggling a bit offensively this year I wouldn’t expect a ton of goals scored. Mrazek isn’t guaranteed a win against a solid team like the Isles but he’s someone I’d avoid stacking skaters against for the time being.
Jonas Hiller ($6800): The Flames goaltending has been shaky all season and even though Hiller went on a solid run recently his last two appearances have been poor. Hiller’s season long averages remain some of the worst in the league as well, with a save percentage well under .900 and a GAA of 3.16. The Flames are on the road tonight against a Stars team who put 40+ shots on net in their last game but only came away with one goal. Expect them to be cranky tonight and don’t be afraid to roster players from Dallas against the Flames netminder.
Patrice Bergeron ($7500) – Brad Marchand ($6400) – Ryan Spooner ($4600)
The duo of Bergeron and Marchand have been incredibly hot of late for the Bruins recording 7 goals and 9 points between them in their last 4 games. In their last game out the duo were joined by the rising offensive star Ryan Spooner and the line gelled quickly as Spooner assisted on a Marchand goal. One of the best things about this line is the fact that all three will feature prominently on the Power Play for the Bruins which has been one of the best, if not the outright best, in the league this season. The Flyers have been solid of late but this is still a line I’d want a little exposure to tonight if possible. Using more than one if stacking in a tournament is certainly a decent idea given how well they are playing.
Top Upside at Defense
P.K. Subban ($6300): Subban seems like a relatively straight forward choice tonight if paying up on D. With the Montreal offense struggling Subban has been shooting and playing more and has now cracked 30+ mins of ice time in his last two games. Moreover, he’s been remarkably consistent for fantasy recording 4 or more fantasy points in 6 of his last 7 games played. The Canadians get to play the defensively inept Blue Jackets tonight and they should be fired up after breaking their 5 game winless streak their last time out. I like using Subban if paying up on D and think he’s a pretty logical choice on a shorter slate.
Ryan Murray ($3600): The Blue Jacket who may have benefitted the most from the recent trade they made for defender Seth Jones is their other young D-Man Ryan Murray. Murray’s been playing a ton of minutes with Jones and ever since the two hooked up his level of play has gone up significantly too. Murray has 3 or more fantasy points in 3 of his last 4 games and is seeing over 24 minutes a night consistently. He’s got a pretty nice matchup tonight against the Canadians whose net minders have struggled of late. I like the value you get with Murray and would target him if planning to pay down on D, he’ll get a lot of PP time and has a lot of upside in this spot.
Superstar to Build Lineups Around
Tyler Seguin ($8500): With the Stars losing 5 of their last 6 games and Seguin himself having just two points in his last 6 games it might seem counter-intuitive to use Seguin at his inflated price tonight. However, the Stars offense won’t be held down forever and Seguin himself has not stopped firing the puck or being aggressive. In his last game out Seguin put 8 shots on net and is still fourth in the league in that category. Even better is the fact that the Stars will be at home tonight and get a great matchup with the Flames who will be tossing out one of two struggling goalies to matchup against Seguin. I like this spot a lot as a bounce back game for the Stars big guns, and think Seguin can lead the way for you tonight with a big game.
Chris Kreider ($4300): Kreider has been excellent of late and is up to 4 points in his last 4 games out. With his improved play has come an increase in ice time and he’s averaged well over 15 mins a night over this same stretch of games. Kreider has been playing on an effective second line with Derek Stephan lately and even if Rick Nash returns tonight I expect that to continue. He’s cheap and has nice upside tonight against the Sabres who still struggle defensively at times.
Ales Hemsky ($3600): With the Stars getting a nice home matchup and coming off a losing effort, where they launched 40+ shots on net but only came away with one goal, I expect the team will be fired up for tonight’s game. Hemsky is playing on the Stars third line but gets a decent chunk of PP time as well and is in a good spot to produce against the Flames, who give up a lot of goals on special teams. He has three points in his last four games and is decent value tonight. I’d target him if you need a real salary saver at wing.
Also check out: the Stars Antoine Roussel
This list isn’t meant to be comprehensive and will only update significant, more recent injuries
- Niklas Kronwall is out for the Red Wings
- Rick Nash is questionable for the Rangers
As always hit me up on twitter as @thefantasygrind with lineup questions or other DFS questions!