The NHL Cheat Sheet is your quick-hit daily look into odds, fantasy studs, value picks, and more to help you navigate your DFS Hockey lineups.
Highest Vegas Totals
– Ottawa Senators vs. Dallas Stars – 5.5
– Anaheim Ducks vs. Calgary Flames – 5.0
Stud Goalies (to avoid playing skaters against)
Kari Lehtonen ($7,100): Lehtonen handed the crease over to Antti Niemi over the weekend, but he has been the workhorse in net for the Stars this season and should be back in net on Tuesday night against Ottawa. So far on the year he’s been great, posting a 9-1-0 record to go along with a 2.30 GAA and a .923 SV%. He has been particularly good in November, going 6-0 in the month, allowing only 12 goals against the entire month to date. Roll Lehtonen on Tuesday night, as he’s the best option in net on this limited Tuesday night of action.
Top Line of the Night
This line is in the running to be top line even on nights when every team is playing, so with such a limited pool of talent to choose from tonight it is imperative to get at least two of them in your DFS lineup. Seguin and Benn are keeping stride with Patrick Kane in the scoring race and only a few points separate the three. Seguin, 30 points, is tied with Kane and teammate John Klingberg for the league-lead with 19 assists. Benn is tied with Kane for the lead in goals with 13, and sits only a few behind in the assist column with 16 of his own. Sharp was riding a two game scoreless streak until an assist on Saturday night snapped that for him against Buffalo. The Stars top line will have a great chance to produce against a Senators team giving up 2.70 GA/G, and it’s reasonable to expect this line to strike tonight.
Top Upside at Defense
John Klingberg ($5,900): Tuesday night’s Stars vs Senators game pits the two, top-scoring defensemen in the NHL at the moment with Klingberg and the Senators Erik Karlsson ($7,300). Klingberg is winning that battle by a point at the moment with 23 points and sits tied with Tyler Seguin and Patrick Kane for the league lead in assists with 19. Klingberg has been incredibly solid with his offensive contribution this season with points in 11 of his last 15 games, with six of his seven multi-point games this season coming in that span. The Stars are the more explosive and complete offensive team, and Klingberg comes in $1,400 cheaper than Karlsson which is he’s my top upside play on defense tonight.
Cody Ceci ($3,000): An Ottawa defender to consider for your lineup not named Karlsson, Ceci has been finding the scoresheet more as of late but also getting fantastic category coverage. Over his last seven games Ceci has put up three points (1G, 2A), but has managed to put up 11 SOG and 19 blocked shots. He’s coming off a one assist, two shot on goal and seven blocked shot game on Saturday against Philadelphia and is seeing significant time in the Senators top-four defensive rotation. On a night where the superstars are heavy in salary, plugging a guy like Ceci in will help to greatly off-set your lineup costs.
Superstar to Build Lineups Around
Johnny Gaudreau ($6,200): In an effort to not write a second time about Seguin or Benn in a single posting, Gaudreau is one of the best scorers available on Tuesday night, has a great matchup against Anaheim and comes in at over $2,000 less expensive than either of the Stars’ top-liners. “Johnny Hockey” has managed 20 points on an underachieving Flames team, and is riding a two-game point streak that’s seen him post three points and nine shots on goal. He has five multi-point games on the season and takes on Anaheim’s middle of the pack scoring defense on Tuesday that is surrendering well over two goals per game.
Milan Michalek ($3,700): Once a lethal scorer for the Sens, Michalek has seen a diminished role in the offense over the last few years due to injuries and inconsistent play. He has only managed seven points on the season, but has found the scoresheet in two consecutive games that includes a one goal, three shot outing against Philly over the weekend. He might not do much damage, but he’s on the list for value players to fill out your roster on Tuesday night.
Rickard Rakell ($3,400): Rakell is another player who should be on that list. He has been bumped up to the Ducks top line with Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf and has put up four points in his last six outings there. Despite being held scoreless his last two games, he continues to shoot the puck and has 14 SOG in his time on the Ducks top unit. With a game against Calgary’s worst in the league scoring defense, giving up more than 3.5 goals per night, the Ducks top line could be in position to see a very good production.
Jiri Hudler ($4,600) Hudler missed the Flames game on Friday night but returned to practice on Monday. He did not take part in rushes and was not with his normal linemates on the Flames top line, so monitor this situation if you are thinking of playing Hudler on Tuesday night.
Make sure to check out my NHL Targets and NHL Line Stacks posts today and as always for any DFS Hockey questions or comments this season, find me on Twitter at: @JHarding_Hockey