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…
Highest Vegas Totals and Biggest Favorite
Biggest Favorite: The Blues are -200 to beat the Sens
Largest Totals: The Sens and Blues have the best chance of going over 5.5 goals according to odds makers
Jonathan Quick ($8200): Quick has been terrific of late winning five straight games and allowing two or less goals in four straight. Quick has now posted save percentages of .950 or better in each of his last four games as well and been a huge catalyst for the Kings who are playing much better of late. The Kings play the Avalanche on the road tonight which isn’t the easiest of matchups as Colorado does have some talent up front, that being said I wouldn’t fear this spot much given how Quick and his team are playing. Quick makes for a good target in net and someone I’d avoid starting skaters against.
Cam Talbot ($6600): The Oilers have been having issues with their net-minders all season getting erratic play form both. Talbot has certainly bene the more consistent of the two Oiler goalies lately but he’s still not someone I’d trust for fantasy or someone I’d be scared of starting skaters against. Talbot’s GAA is barely under 3 for the season and his save percentage (which has increased lately) is still hovering around the low .900’s. Carolina doesn’t have the greatest special teams but their power play has bene better on the road this year and few of their top players have been producing lately. I’d definitely consider targeting their players this week and probably just avoid rostering Talbot.
Anze Kopitar ($5500) – Milan Lucic ($4700) – Tyler Toffoli ($5800)
This line has been really strong recently recording 17 points as a trio in their last 5 games. Anze Kopitar has been one of the best values in DFS alone recording points in 5 straight games while playing a ton of ice with the absence of Jeff Carter. This trio has been getting a lot of ice at regular strength together and also sees time on the power play together. If looking to pair just one of these wingers with Kopitar the young Tyler Toffoli is probably your best target as he’s now scored 6 times in the last 6 games and has one of the highest shoot percentages in the entire league for top 6 wingers at over 17%. Colorado isn’t a great defensive team and is in the bottom of the league in terms of shots against. I’d definitely target this line tonight and try to get some exposure to this hot trio.
Top Upside at Defense
Kevin Shattenkirk ($6400): Shattenkirk is a super important piece of the Blues power play and is already up to 6th in the league amoung defensemen in power play points despite missing 10 or so games early in the season. The Senators are a great target for which to use Shattenkirk (and the whole Blues power play unit) against as they have the second worst penalty kill in the league. There’s a couple other great defensemen on the slate tonight but I love the spot for Shatty and would suggest paying up fro him if you can.
Brad Hunt ($2800): Hunt is a purely offensive defenseman who was called up recently by the Oilers because of some injuries. Hunt has seen quite a bit of playing time on the Power Play since being called up and while he hasn’t landed points through three games he’s been getting some shots through. Hunt’s super cheap and while he’s not a lock for a big game the fact he’ll be seeing power play time with a nice group of forwards against a weak defensive team means he’s potentially in a spot to be a great value play. Hunt’s perhaps more of a tournament play than cash game consideration but he’s got potential at a bargain bin price nonetheless.
Superstar to Build Lineups Around
Taylor Hall ($7600): Hall is just playing unreal hockey this year. On top of averaging over a point per game he’s been an absolute beast at getting SOG every night and is now second in the league in that category, trailing only Alex Ovechkin in that category. The Oilers have a nice matchup tonight against the Hurricanes who are bottom ten in goals against and penalty killing. There’s a couple nice players on the slate tonight as far as high end forwards go but none who have bene as consistent or explosive as Hall has been this season. If I was targeting one superstar tonight to build all my lineups around Hall would undoubtedly be my first choice.
John Mitchell ($3100): Mitchell has been bumped up to the first line recently in Colorado and will be playing between Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Duchene, two highly skilled forwards. Mitchell doesn’t get a huge amount of PP time but he’s still benefitted from the promotion by getting three points in his last four games. I like the increase in playing time Mitchell has received and the fact he’ll have a chance to play a prominent offense role at even strength. He’ great value at $3200.
Jannik Hansen ($3900): Hansen is still playing on the Canucks top line with the Sedin twins and as a result getting a ton of playing time with the teams best two offensive players. Hansen will never be confused for an offensive superstar but the Canucks lack of forward depth has forced him into an offensive role. The Nucks take on the defensively deficient Coyotes tonight and Hansen will be in a great spot to produce a decent game at a bargain price.
Teddy Purcell ($4100): Purcell has been seeing a ton of time on the Oilers top line and top player power play unit this season. While the Oilers have been semi-dormant offensively lately they’re a team capable of exploding any night and it’s often their top line that does the damage when they do. Purcell gets to play a ton of minutes with two great young players in a lot of offensive situations. Against the weaker penalty kill and goaltending of the Canes I think he’s a great value play tonight.
**This list isn’t meant to be comprehensive and will only update significant, more recent injuries
Jeff Carter is questionable tonight for the Kings
As always hit me up on twitter as @thefantasygrind with lineup questions or other DFS questions GL!