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
Edmonton Oilers vs Chicago
Connor McDavid ($8,200) – Milan Lucic ($4,800) – Jesse Puljujarvi ($4,300)
Hot off the heels of his first-career hat trick, McDavid looks to lead the Oilers top line tonight against the Blackhawks. McDavid snapped a two-game drought in a big way with three tallies on four shots on goal (SOG). He now has 22 points in 19 games. Puljujarvi was thought to be McDavid’s winger of the future and he is there now. He notched an assist on two of McDavid’s three goals over the weekend. Lucic is back on this line looking to spark his offense. He was solid in the early going of the year with McDavid and could easily find that scoring again.
Columbus Blue Jackets vs Colorado
Brandon Saad ($5,300) – Alex Wennberg ($5,100) – Nick Foligno ($5,000)
This line has quietly developed into one of the best first lines in the league, and I think they are a great total value tonight. Wennberg has come out of nowhere since the Ryan Johansen trade last year and is developing into one of the best passing centers in the league. He sits tied for the league lead with 14 assists and 10 power play points. Foligno has bounced back from a down year to lead the team with seven goals and 18 points. Saad snapped a two-game pointless drought with an assist against the Capitals, giving him 10 points in his last 10 games.
Superstar to Build Around
Sidney Crosby ($8,500) – Crosby continued his torrid start with a power play goal over the weekend. He now has a power play goals (PPGs) in back-to-back games, and he has 13 points in his last 10 games. Crosby has 12 goals in 12 games this season and faces the Rangers tonight, one of the teams he has dominated the most in his career to the tune of 71 points in 55 games. The Rangers are coming off a hard-fought loss last night, are missing Mika Zibanejad and are possibly starting backup Antti Raanta in goal tonight, making Crosby even more appealing.
Value on Offense
Sam Gagner ($4,200) – People forget that Gagner has scored 40 points or more in six of his nine years. He is proving to be that same player with Columbus and has 11 points in 15 games this year. He has found the score sheet in five straight games and has 10 points in his last 10 games overall.
Mike Ribeiro ($3,900) – Despite a tough matchup with Tampa, Ribeiro is a solid value tonight. He is riding a two-game point streak and has four points in his last five games overall. He is the Predators’ second line center at both even strength and on the power play (PP).
Pekka Rinne ($7,300) – Although he allowed three goals against and took the loss on Saturday against Anaheim, Rinne has been absolutely fantastic in this month. In eight starts in November, Rinne leads all goalies in the league with a 1.36 GAA and a .953 SV%. He has a tough matchup tonight against the Lightning, but the game is in Nashville where Rinne has posted a 1.32 GAA on the season in six home starts.
Devan Dubnyk ($7,800) – Dubnyk has been phenomenal and has backstopped the Wild to the best team goals against average (GAA) in the league. Among qualified goalies, Dubby is fourth in both GAA and save percentage (SV%), and of his seven wins, four have come from his league-leading shutout total. Dallas’ offense hasn’t been its usual self this season and Dubnyk is playing fantastic hockey at the moment, so I like him tonight.
Value on Defense
Dougie Hamilton ($4,700) – Hamilton snapped a 10-game point drought with three assists over the weekend. He is now up to nine points on the year and with a game against the Sabres tonight, it could be the spark he needs to up his production.
Oscar Klefbom ($4,500) – Another defender fantasy players have been hoping would get going is Klefbom. He has solid peripheral numbers with 32 blocks and 43 SOG in 19 games, and finally started to put the puck in the net with two goals in his last two games. He is playing on the Oilers top pair and mans their top PP point, so the production could be on the way.
Power Play Defensemen
Kris Letang ($6,900) – It’s a steep price to pay for a defenseman, but Letang is arguably worth it. I wrote about him on Friday as a power play defenseman to watch, and he notched a PP assist against the Isles. He added a goal as well and had 10 SOG in two games this weekend. I’m expecting more of the same tonight against the Rangers.
Zach Werenski ($5,700) – Werenski has not looked out of place at all this year as a 19-year old rookie and is putting up impressive offense as well. He has nine of his 14 points in his last 10 games, including four power play points. He notched a power play assist against the Rangers last night and added two SOG and two blocks as well.
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.