The NHL Cheat sheet is your nighty 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 Dallas Stars are -200 favorites over the Sabres, the Capitals are also -200 favorites over the Avalanche
Largest Totals: The Jets/Coyotes, Stars/Sabres and Leafs/Bruins all have the highest expected goal totals for the slate.
Jake Allen ($7500): Allen has been great for the Blues lately and has essentially seized control of the number 1 job. While Allen went through a recent rough patch he’s bounced back nicely with two straight wins where he’s only allowed 2 goals in each game and posted a save percentage of over .920 in that same span. Allen’s numbers on the year are off the charts and even though I do like the offensive depth of the Red Wings this isn’t a night I’ll be targeting them for fantasy purposes. My advice would be to consider Allen as a goalie tonight and avoid the Red Wings skaters. This isn’t a high upside spot for them at all.
Ondrej Pavelec ($6600): Pavelec and the Jets have been allowing a ton of goals lately, and while they bounced back somewhat in their last game versus the Coyotes they’re now fifth last in the league in shots allowed as a team. Pavelec has always been a streaky goalie and so he could conceivably get hot here soon, but before his win over Arizona he had allowed 4 goals or more in three straight games and has seen his save percentage on the season drop to just above .900. I’d consider using some of the Coyotes skaters tonight as they represent good value in this matchup with the struggling Jets.
Artem Anisimov ($4000) – Patrick Kane ($8600) – Artemi Panarin ($5700)
**This line has been near unstoppable of late, so I’m leaving up my write up from last night. Tonight versus the Canucks, who’ve now allowed 3 goals or more in 7 straight games, I’d want at least a small piece of this line tonight.
This line has been tearing it up almost the entire season and is now up to 13 points combined in their last 3 games. The Blackhawks second line has been taking advantage of softer matchups all year as their top unit has been taking the tough assignments and allowing this trio to run rampant against weaker competition. While Kane and Panarin used to be the only two who saw consistent PP time this unit has been so good together that Anisimov is now getting regular shifts with his linemates on the PP too. This makes Anisimov great value and he’s been producing well in his expanded role. I wouldn’t create a roster without a little exposure to these three tonight.
Top Upside and Top Value at Defense
Oliver Ekman-Larsson ($5500): It was a tough call tonight on who to recommend with so many great defensemen suiting up, but Ekman-Larsson has been playing the best of almost anyone in the NHL lately. Larsson is on a 7 game point streak and is playing over 25 mins most nights now for Arizona. In a good matchup expect Larsson to again be involved in some scoring and to also get you points through blocked shots and SOGs. He’s a legit 4 category scorer and a great target at D tonight.
Jason Demers ($3700): I won’t fault you if you decide to roster Demers higher priced teammate John Klingberg who’s produced at over a ppg pace thus far in 2015, but Demers at only $3700 represents some of the best value on the slate. Demers is still involved on the PP for Dallas, seeing the second most time of any Dallas D-man in that role behind Klingberg. I like how active he’s been with his shot this season and that he gets to play with such a talented group of forwards, he’s my value at D on this slate.
Superstar to Build Lineups Around
Vladimir Tarasenko ($7800): Tarasenko has been lighting the lamp a ton lately with 4 goals in his last 4 games and 6 points in that same span. I love the consistency you get in fantasy with Tarasenko as he’s averaging nearly 4 SOG a night and yet still not priced as highly as other top skaters like Kane and Ovechkin. I think rostering him tonight as a cornerstone in your lineups makes sense as you’ll still be able to field decent rosters with his salary where it is. Make him a prime target tonight when creating lineups.
Mikhail Grigorenko ($2900): Grigorenko has been benfitting form more playing time with the Avalanche top 6 lately due to injuries and suspensions. With Gabriel Landeskog back he’s been bumped to the second line but will still see time with Jarome Iginla and probably work in on the first team PP at some point too. The Avalanche are scoring a bunch right now and even though Grigorenko isn’t a huge SOG guy he is scoring consistently and playing quite a bit in all situations. At $2900 he costs almost nothing has nice upside for the price.
David Backes ($4600): Backes is playing centre in the top 6 for the Blues but is more importantly a big part of their first unit PP. Since being bumped back up to the top 6 Backes has seen a jump in production and his ability to be a big presence in front of the net for the Blues should mean more scoring chances with the man advantage. At $4600 I think he’s cheaper than he should be and in a good spot tonight. I like targeting the Blues offense in general.
Also check out: Artem Anisimov as mentioned in my hottest line section
Hampus Lindholm- is out for the Ducks
As always hit me up on twitter as @thefantasygrind with lineup questions or other DFS questions GL!