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
Tampa Bay Lightning @ Buffalo
Nikita Kucherov ($7,200) – Tyler Johnson ($5,000) – Ondrej Palat ($4,600)
With the unfortunate injury to Steven Stamkos, the Lightning could turn to an old reliable line with the reformation of the Triplets. Kucherov continues his torrid start to the season with 14 points in his last nine games and a league-leading 21 overall. Johnson has been solid with nine points in 17 games on the season but being back with Kucherov could spark him offensively. Palat has dropped off since last season, but is still capable of being a 50-point player and could benefit offensively the most if this line is reformed.
Nashville Predators @ Ottawa
James Neal ($6,200) – Ryan Johansen ($5,300) – Viktor Arvidsson ($4,700)
Neal is one of the most consistent wingers in the league and he has been putting up the numbers as of late. He’s picking up his scoring with seven goals in his last 10 games and is riding a five-game point streak. Arvidsson has four points in his last four games and netted a goal and seven shots (SOG) against the Leafs on Tuesday. Johansen has struggled offensively this year to date but he has picked up an assist in back-to-back games and seems to have his offense turning the corner. Ottawa has been more stout this season defensively but this line has been very good as of late.
Superstar to Build Around
Mark Scheifele ($7,300) – Don’t look now but Scheifele is tied for the league-lead in points with Kucherov at 21. The Jets center is developing into one of the best pivots in the league and is playing on a dynamic scoring line with Patrik Laine. The duo has outperformed expectations already and have a great chance to add to that total tonight. Scheifele has 13 points in his last 10 games and faces the Flyers 30th-ranked scoring defense, that is allowing 3.5 goals per game to opponents this season.
Value on Offense
Antoine Roussel ($3,900) – Roussel has been more than a pleasant surprise since his promotion to Tyler Seguin’s wing is now up to nine points in his last seven games. Roussel is up to 12 points in 17 games, on pace for career-highs, and has a great matchup against a bottom-10 Avs defense.
Brandon Sutter ($4,100) – With the offense in Vancouver one of the more anemic in the league, the Canucks bumped Sutter up to the first line with the Sedin twins and he has promptly produced. He has points in back-to-back games with a goal and two assists. He has also added eight SOG and is seeing an increased amount of power play (PP) time.
John Gibson ($7,800) – Gibson has not had the start to the season that many had hoped, but he has shown flashes of strong play and posted one of his strongest games of the year against the Oilers on Tuesday. He held Edmonton to one goal on 34 shots. Gibson and the Ducks host the offensively depleted Devils, who go into this game missing both Taylor Hall and Mike Cammalleri.
Connor Hellebuyck ($7,400) – Winnipeg is one of the surprises of the early season and Hellebuyck has settled into the starting role there very well. Over his last 10 games, nine starts, he has posted a 6-3-0 record with a 2.23 GAA and a .926 SV%. He has won four straight starts and is coming off his first shutout of the season. Hellebuyck faces a Flyers team tonight that has lost four of its last five.
Value on Defense
Michael Del Zotto ($4,300) – In his first five games of the season back from injury Del Zotto has a goal and three assists. He is also doing it all-around as well, averaging two shots on goal and two blocked shots per game. He is seeing well over 18 minutes of ice time per game and is averaging just under four FPTS per game.
Michael Matheson ($3,700) – Matheson snapped a seven-game point drought over the weekend with two assists against the Islanders. He followed that up with another helper against the Habs on Tuesday. He is averaging almost three FPTS per night this season, adding over one block and two SOG per night.
Power Play Defensemen
Kevin Shattenkirk ($5,300) – Shattenkirk continues to pile up the power play points (PPP) and leads all defensemen in the league in the category with nine. He has multi-point games in his last two games, with three of his four points coming on the man advantage. With Tarasenko uncertain to play tonight, Shattenkirk might see more offensive responsibility on the PP.
Victor Hedman ($5,700) – Hedman is starting to heat up offensively and, despite the injury to Steven Stamkos, he should continue to run the point on their potent first PP unit. He has eight points in his last eight games, with three of those coming on the power play. The Lightning face the Sabres tonight, with Buffalo being a middle-of-the-road defensive team on the penalty kill.
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.