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 -165 favorites over the Maple Leafs
Largest Totals: Dallas @ Toronto—5.5
Stud Goalies (to avoid playing skaters against)
Jonathan Quick ($7500): After a slow start Quick has been on a tear lately winning 6 games in a row while posting an absurd .956 save percentage. The Kings have also been playing much better as a team and have now scored 3 or more goals in their last 5 games. With Quick getting good offensive support don’t be shocked if the wins keep piling up as he’s one of the best goalies in the league when he is locked in like this. I wouldn’t roster skaters versus the Kings or Quick for the time being as they look like they’ve found their swagger again early in the year.
Dud Goalies (to possibly target skaters against)
Jonathan Bernier or James Reimer (Maple Leafs): It almost doesn’t matter who the Leafs start in net at the moment as both goalies make good targets. Both sport save percentages under .900 and both have let in 4 or more goals in two of their last three starts. The trend here is very simple, every time the Leafs play consider starting one or multiple skaters against them. The Leafs have given up 3 or more goals in each of their past 4 meetings and are also now third last in the league in penalty killing… to put things mildly they are falling apart defensively. Target whoever starts for them in net on this short slate and don’t feel bad about it.
Jeff Carter ($5700) – Tyler Toffoli ($5600) – Milan Lucic ($4600)
The Kings resurgence of late has been mainly due to the play of their newly designed scoring line. With Milan Lucic joining the sharpshooting Tyler Toffoli and Jeff Carter this line has scored 9 points in their last two games and are seeing the most of any trio for the Kings. While the matchup isn’t great you can’t overlook how well this line is playing and that they are now the main source of offense for a great team. On a three game slate with minimum options I would overlook the matchup tonight and target at least one or two of these skaters. Of the three Toffoli might be the safest as he’s been averaging well over 3 SOG of late which is a nice boost for fantasy.
Top Upside and Top Value at Defense
John Klingberg ($5100): Klingberg came onto the scene last year and lit things up with Dallas on the PP and has essentially picked up right where he left off this season. So far, as the Stars main blue line quarterback on the PP, Klingberg has rung up an impressive 11 points in 11 games with 4 of those coming on the PP. The Maple Leafs are reeling right now and the Stars have been great offensively to start the year. Klingberg could be in for a multi-point effort tonight and is a near must roster with limited options on the short slate.
Jason Demers ($3300): Demers isn’t known as an offensive Dynamo but he has been putting up pretty big numbers thus far (7 points on the year and 4 in his last 3 games) for a non-offensive defenseman. Demers has a decent shot and has been a playing a decent amount on the PP and getting over 25% usage in that area in the past three games. At $3300 in a tasty matchup where the Stars will be expected to score a lot, using Demers for savings makes a ton of sense.
Best Superstar to Build Lineups Around
Jamie Benn ($8000) or Tyler Seguin ($8500): I’ve already alerted you to the fact the Stars are playing the Leafs tonight (possibly the worst team in the league) and will be in a great position to put up a ton of goals. The Stars first line is anchored by their two superstars, winger Jamie Benn and Centre Tyler Seguin who are both on a pace to score well over a point per game this year. Matchups simply don’t get any better than this in daily hockey and while you could choose one of these players, the best idea might be to target both and then simply look for value plays elsewhere to fill out your lineup with. Dallas likes to give their star players a ton of ice time and both will play a major role on the PP meaning nice SOG totals too. On a short slate I would simply reserve a place for at least one of these players and go from there. The talent and level of play from both have been unreal this season.
Best Value Plays to Fill out your lineup with
Brayden Schenn ($4300): I like targeting Schenn on this short slate and think there’s good upside with him at his price tonight. Even though he doesn’t usually skate with the first line Schenn is a part of the Flyers first unit PP and recently got a new line mate in Jakub Voracek which could lead to more to more offensive chances at even strength as well. Schenn’s a big body and always has multi-point potential because of his positioning around the net with the man-advantage. A good value pick for tonight.
Leo Komarov ($3300): Komarov and the Leafs have been bad as a team lately but they will be playing the Dallas Stars who aren’t exactly world beaters defensively either. The Leafs will be outgunned but their top line should get chances and Komarov, at only $3300 represents a great cheap way to get a part of that line. Komarov has actually been the Leafs best player many a night and gets some time with the second unit power play. He’s decent value tonight too.
Duncan Keith: is out indefinitely
As always hit me up on twitter as @thefantasygrind with lineup questions or other DFS questions GL!