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
Chicago Blackhawks vs Buffalo Sabres
Patrick Kane ($7,700) – Artem Anisimov ($6,200) – Artemi Panarin ($7,200)
I have written about this line a decent amount this season, but this is a great matchup for Chicago. Panarin was the only member of this line who did anything in the Winter Classic, notching an assist to give him 15 points in his last 10 games. Kane has been shut out in his past two games but had nine points in his eight games prior to that, and he has 10 points in 11 career games vs Buffalo. Anisimov has been kept off the scoresheet his last two games as well, but in his four games since returning from injury he has two goals, one power play goal (PPG), and eight shots on goal (SOG).
Los Angeles Kings vs Detroit Red Wings
Jeff Carter ($6,900) – Tanner Pearson ($4,700) – Devin Setoguchi ($3,400)
Carter is the cream of the crop for this line and is having a very productive season for a down L.A. team. Carter is on pace for a 70-point season and his 21 goals are tied with Patrik Laine for second in the league. Carter had three points in two games against the Sharks last week and has seven goals, nine points and 25 SOG in his last seven games. Pearson is beginning to heat up as well for L.A. with six points and 21 SOG in his last six games. He also had three points against the Sharks in two games. Setoguchi is the value play on this line who hasn’t found the scoresheet in his last four games. He’s good for a point every now-and-then, but Carter and Pearson are my targets here.
Superstar to Build Around
Vladimir Tarasenko ($8,200) – Tarasenko had an outstanding game against the Blackhawks in the Winter Classic on Monday, helping to send the Blues to a 4-1 win. The Russian sniper had two goals and put up nine SOG. The goals gave him 18 on the season, good for sixth in the league, and he’s up to fourth in the league in scoring with 41 points. Tarasenko had been slumping heading into January with only one point in his last four games in December, but should come out firing tonight against a weakened back end for Carolina.
Value on Offense
Sebastian Aho ($4,700) – Aho pushed his point streak to four games with a goal and three SOG vs the Devils on Tuesday. He has goals in back-to-back games and has points in five of his last six overall with three goals, two assists and 21 SOG.
Spencer Abbott ($3,200) – Not to overload on Chicago on this post, but Abbott was called up from the AHL when Tyler Motte was sent down. The winger has 21 points in 30 games in the AHL this season and has been skating with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa in practice.
Peter Budaj ($7,900) – Budaj has truly been one of the pleasant surprises of the season, posting 17 wins and a 2.00 goals against average (GAA), which is fifth in the league. Over his last nine starts he’s 4-3-1 with a 1.56 GAA and a .943 save percentage (SV%), and he won his last two outings, both against the Sharks. He faces Detroit tonight, who have ranked in the bottom-five in the league in scoring over the last month.
Jake Allen ($8,200) – Allen was superb on Monday in the Winter Classic, stopping 22 of 23 shots and looks to ride that momentum into the second half of the season. Allen faces Carolina at home tonight and he is undefeated against the Hurricanes in his career, while also posting a 2.07 GAA and .921 SV% in 16 home starts this season.
Value on Defense
Jared Spurgeon ($4,700) – Spurgeon has been on a tear for the Wild, riding a three-game point streak and putting up seven points in his last nine games. Spurgeon had goals against the Isles and Predators and then posted two assist against the Blue Jackets and has 16 points in 32 games on the year.
Jaccob Slavin ($4,400) – Slavin has filled in solidly for Justin Faulk on the Hurricanes blue line and has three points, 13 blocks and 11 SOG in his last six games. He also sees time on the Hurricanes second power play (PP) unit, where he has four points this season.
Power Play Defensemen
Zach Werenski ($5,300) – Weresnki has been better than expected this season and is in the running for Rookie of the Year. He has eight points in his last 10 games and seven have come on the Blue Jackets top-ranked PP unit. On the season Werenski leads all rookies with 15 power play points (PPP) and is second among NHL defensemen in that category.
Victor Hedman ($5,900) – Hedman continues his blazing run right now and posted his second straight multi-point game on Tuesday against the Jets. He has two assists in back-to-back games and three of the four came on the PP. He also added six blocks and three shots in those games. He has 16 points, nine PPP, 20 blocks and 23 SOG in his last 10 games.
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.