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
Pittsburgh Penguins @ Los Angeles
Phil Kessel ($6,100) – Evgeni Malkin ($7,000) – Chris Kunitz ($4,200)
Malkin and Kessel have rekindled their chemistry from last season, and that could be dangerous for the rest of the league. The two are both averaging at least a point-per-game on the year and are both riding four-game point streaks. Malkin has four goals in his last three games and Kessel has seven points in his last four outings. Kunitz has been productive with this potent duo, riding a three-game assist streak of his own. This line faces the struggling Kings, who are on their third and fourth goaltenders this year and are bottom-10 in the league in scoring defense.
Vancouver Canucks @ Ottawa
Daniel Sedin ($5,400) – Henrik Sedin ($4,400) – Loui Eriksson ($4,500)
The all-Swedish top line for the Canucks hasn’t clicked the way most were anticipating, but the trio had a solid game last night against the Canadiens and Carey Price. Despite being shut out the line combined for 10 SOG. With the devastating news about Craig Anderson’s wife, and the goalie subsequently taking a leave of absence, the Senators are down to newly acquired Mike Condon to man the net tonight. This line could have a very solid matchup tonight against a weaker back end for the Senators and come in as a very solid value stacking option.
Superstar to Build Around
Steven Stamkos ($7,900) – Stamkos is back stronger than ever and is coming off his best game of the year so far. Stammer and the Lightning hammered the Islanders on Tuesday 6-1 and he posted a goal, a power play assist and seven SOG. He is now tied for the league lead with seven goals and sits in tie for second with 12 points. Stamkos is shooting a ton, averaging over four SOG per game, and I think he is a great play tonight against division rival Boston Bruins.
Value on Offense
Jori Lehtera ($4,100) – Lehtera hasn’t put up great numbers yet, only one assist on the year, but he is back centering Vladimir Tarasenko and Jaden Schwartz and this line could be lethal tonight. He has seven shots in the last three games and the Blues face the Stars tonight who are allowing more than three goals per game.
Brad Richardson ($3,800) – Despite playing on the Coyotes third line, Richardson has been the most productive player on the team so far. He is riding a three-game point streak with two goals, two assists and nine SOG. He has produced against solid competition lately in the Flyers, Avs and Sharks and has another good game tonight against the Predators.
Corey Crawford ($8,200) – Crawford has been great as of late, riding a three-game winning streak and not losing in regulation in his last four games overall. He has allowed only three goals on his streak and posted a shutout against the Kings over the weekend. He faces the Avs tonight at home, where he has been fantastic this season posting a 1.98 GAA in five starts in his friendly confines.
Braden Holtby ($8,300) – Holtby has rebounded after a couple of bad outings with back-to-back great outings, especially Tuesday stopping 43 of 45 shots against the Jets. The Capitals welcome the Jets to Washington tonight and Holtby is putting together another solid campaign early in the season with a 2.13 GAA and .925 SV%.
Value on Defense
Oscar Klefbom ($4,000) – Klefbom is due to breakout for the Oilers. Playing on the top pairing and seeing solid power play (PP) time, he’s on the cusp of starting to produce. That could start tonight against Rangers. Klefbom was very good in his last outing against the Leafs, putting up 6 FPTS thanks to eight SOG and four blocks.
Slater Koekkoek ($2,800) – Koekkoek has been up and down between the NHL and AHL this season but cracked the lineup and made his season debut against the Islanders and notched a pair of assists. He also added two blocks, solid production despite only playing 13 minutes. He should crack the lineup again tonight vs the Bruins.
Power Play Defensemen
Kris Letang ($6,600) – When he’s on, Letang is one of the five-best defensemen in the league. After missing four games with injury, Letang returned to the lineup last night and immediately paid dividends. He put up a power play goal and an assist and added six shots and a block. He is in the category for consideration of must start every night he is on the docket in my opinion.
Ryan McDonagh ($5,500) – McDonagh is back to looking like the all-star defenseman he was earlier in his career. He is playing fantastic at the moment, riding an eight-game assist streak that has seen him put up nine assists, two on the man advantage, and 16 SOG. The Rangers offense is rolling right now and McDonagh has been right in the middle of it with his fantastic level of production.
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.