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
– Dallas Stars vs. New York Rangers – 5.5
– Minnesota Wild vs. Columbus Blue Jackets – 5.5
– Washington Capitals vs. Boston Bruins – 5.5
Devan Dubnyk ($7,700): Despite having Braden Holtby in the player pool tonight, I like Dubnyk’s pending showdown going against the Blue Jackets more tonight. He’s been very good as of late with a 4-4-1 record and posting a 1.90 GAA and .937 SV% in his last 10 starts. He is up to 16 wins on the season, good for eighth in the league, and has allowed a total of six goals against in his last four starts holding offenses like the Blues, Lightning and Panthers to less than two goals against. Despite the improved play of the Blue Jackets they still rank in the bottom-third of the league in scoring offense making Dubnyk, who is the sixth-most expensive goalie on the night, a great play tonight.
Top Line of the Night
Max Pacioretty ($7,300) – Brendan Gallagher ($6,300) – Tomas Plekanec ($5,200)
This line was re-formed at the Winter Classic and boy did they make the offensive splash that the Canadiens had been missing since losing Gallagher to his finger injury in late November. Playing his first game since 11/22 Gallagher netted a gorgeous goal off a feed from Pacioretty and then added an assist on Pac’s goal while putting up three SOG as well as adding a blocked shot in just over 18 minutes of ice time. Pacioretty added a goal of his own, with Gallagher picking up one of the helpers on that marker, along with that assist to give him a team-leading 31 points. Plekanec, second to Pac on the Habs with 30 points, added an assist on both of his linesmates goals for his first multi-point game in over a month. Earlier this year this line was one of the most prolific and dynamic in the league and they picked right up where they left off when Gallagher was hurt. They have a great chance to see that level of production continue against the Flyers who are still sitting near the bottom-third of the league in scoring defense.
Top Upside at Defense
Duncan Keith ($5,900): With a plethora of good defensemen available on the evening, Keith is one of the top bluelinera to choose from in spite of a tough matchup against the Penguins. He has put up nine points in his last 10 games with 22 SOG and 20 blocks in that span. He is currently riding a nice three-game point streak (2G, 3A) with nine shots and eight blocks. He is one of the best all-around defensemen in the league and with a game against the Penguins and Marc-Andre Fleury, Keith and the Hawks will have a great chance to see production.
Matt Niskanen ($4,400): With John Carlson still not ready to return Niskanen has been the offensive option from the blueline for the Caps. He has points in the three straight games without Carlson in the lineup, two coming on the power-play, as well as eight shots on goal and three blocked shots. With a guaranteed spot on the Caps top defense pairing, as well as running the point on Washington’s first PP unit, he is a top defensive option tonight at a price almost $2,000 less than other top blueliners available tonight.
Superstar to Build Lineups Around
Patrick Kane ($8,800): Kane remains the best player in the league at the moment leading the scoring race by five points with 57 and leading the league in assists with 34. He’s added seven points (2G, 5A) in his last three contests finding the scoresheet in all three and has 12 points in his 10 contests overall. Kane has only seen limited action against the Penguins in his career, seven games, but he has been productive with four assist in those contests. He also has 26 points in 19 road games this season, making him a top play tonight in this road matchup in the Steel City.
Nino Niederreiter ($3,700): Niederreiter has been bouncing around the Wild’s top-six forward rotation, mainly on the second line but he has seen time on the first line, and he has produced nine points over his last 10 games. He was shutout on Sunday against Florida which snapped a three-game point streak. El Nino has managed a point in seven of those last 10 games averaging almost 2.5 shots on goal per game. He is seeing a full fantasy point higher production in that span compared to the rest of his season, 3.2 compared to 2.2, and coming in at under $4,000 with a favorable matchup against the Blue Jackets makes him a very tempting value play tonight.
Colton Sceviour ($2,900): Not the Stars player that many would be expecting but Sceviour, he of 12 points this season, has come on strong with six points in his last seven games for Dallas. His seven game outburst has seen him put up four goals, two assists and 25 shots on goal. He is coming off a two-assist game against the Islanders over the weekend and enters a favorable matchup against the Rangers on Tuesday night who are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games and have slipped to middle of the league in goals against per game at 2.6.
John Carlson ($6,600) The Capitals top blueliner, who has 27 points on the season, continues to be sidelined with an undisclosed injury. However, Coach Barry Trotz noted on Monday that the defenseman could return on the Capitals current road trip. He is not expected back on Tuesday night so DFS players should look elsewhere for production in their lineups.
Jiri Hudler ($4,200) Hudler, who has spent most of the season playing with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan, left the Flames game over the weekend against Colorado after only a few shifts with a lower-body injury. Hudler has 20 points on the wing of the Flames top line this season, but he will not play on Tuesday night when the team welcomes the Lightning to Calgary.