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
New York Islanders @ Colorado Avalanche
John Tavares ($6,800) – Anders Lee ($4,800) – Josh Bailey ($4,800)
There a quite a few really good lines out there tonight, but I like the way this line is playing, and they have a fantastic matchup against the worst scoring defense in the league. Tavares is having a down season with only 27 points in 36 games, but he is beginning to heat up with points in back-to-back games and in three of his last four. He has 10 shots on goal (SOG) in those four games. Bailey is on-pace for a career season and has points in six of his last seven games, all assists. Lee is one of the hottest goal scorers in the league, netting 13 goals since Thanksgiving. He had nine goals in the month of December, good for fifth in the league that month.
Calgary Flames @ Vancouver Canucks
Johnny Gaudreau ($7,400) – Sean Monahan ($6,200) – Alex Chiasson ($3,800)
The Flames reunited Gaudreau and Monahan Wednesday night, and it paid immediate dividends. Gaudreau potted his 10th goal of the season and had six SOG in the game. Monahan picked up a pair of assists, one on the PP and the other on Chiasson’s goal, to snap a five-game pointless drought while adding three SOG of his own. Chiasson notched a multi-point game of his own with his goal and a PP assist. He also had three SOG in the contest. This line has a good matchup against the Canucks tonight, despite the current hot streak that Vancouver is on.
Superstar to Build Around
Auston Matthews ($7,900) – With two assists on Tuesday night, Matthews pushed his point streak to seven games and his multi-point game streak to four games. Matthews has put up two points in each of his last four games and has 14 points in his last 10 games overall. He has 11 points (6g, 5a) and 27 SOG on his current seven game run and faces the Devils tonight, a team against which he had a three-point game in their first meeting.
Value on Offense
Kevin Fiala ($3,800) – Fiala scored his sixth goal of the season on Tuesday against the Canadiens, and then followed that up with an assist last night against the Lighting in the Predators’ rout in Tampa. The rookie is skating on Nashville’s top line with Johansen and Forsberg.
Antoine Vermette ($4,200) – Vermette is coming off his second multi-point game in his last four outings with two assists on Wednesday against Detroit. Overall, he has six points in his last six games and could see an increased role again tonight if Ryan Getzlaf is sidelined by injury again.
Juuse Saros ($7,400) – With Pekka Rinne getting the nod last night, it should be Saros’ net tonight. The rookie has won two straight starts, and in his last three games has allowed only two goals against. He will face the Panthers tonight on the road, and despite only having three road starts this year, the rookie has posted a 0.67 goals against average (GAA) away from home on the year.
Thomas Greiss ($7,500) – Greiss is now the guy in net for the Islanders and should get the nod tonight after five days off. The former backup has won three straight starts, stopping 108 of the last 113 shots he’s faced to post a .956 save percentage (SV%). He faces the Avs tonight who boast the worst scoring offense in the league.
Value on Defense
T.J. Brodie ($4,100) – Brodie has been an under-the-radar contributor for the Flames’ defense and he has nine points in his last 10 games. He has points in back-to-back games and in four of his last five games. He is also contributing almost two blocked shots per contest.
Ryan Ellis ($4,200) – Ellis has been one of the defensemen in Nashville that has stepped up in the absence of the P.K. Subban. Despite paltry shot output (one shot in his last three games) Ellis has points in three straight including a goal on that lone shot. He is also averaging two blocked shots per game this season.
Power Play Defensemen
Duncan Keith ($5,200) – Keith has a great matchup and is a great price tonight for the Blackhawks. The stud blue liner has nine points in his last 10 games, with four coming on the PP. Keith is running the point on the Hawks’ top even strength defense pairing and on their top PP unit as well and is averaging one block and two SOG per game this season.
Jake Gardiner ($4,600) – Despite being kept off the scoresheet in two of his last three games, Gardiner is still the top option for offensive production from the Toronto blue line. Gardiner has nine points (five on the PP) in his last 10 games and is seeing top time with exposure to the Matthews’ line and the Leafs’ top PP unit. He also checks the boxes as both a value and PP defenseman tonight.
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.