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
– Winnipeg Jets vs. Toronto Maple Leafs – 5.5
– St. Louis Blues vs. Chicago Blackhawks – 5.0
– Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Vancouver Canucks – 5.0
Stud Goalies (to avoid playing skaters against)
Marc-Andre Fleury ($7,700): This was a toss-up between Fleury and Corey Crawford but Fleury has the better matchup. Despite Pittsburgh’s best efforts to not look like a playoff team this year, Fleury has been excellent for them in net going 6-1-0 in his previous seven starts and posting top-five marks among goalies in both SV% and GAA. Largely thanks to Fleury the Penguins sit atop the league in GA/G at 1.82 and welcome the Canucks on Wednesday night.
Top Line of the Night
I’ve written about this line before and it continues to be one of the most underrated top-lines in the entire NHL. Wheeler is one of the most consistent all-around players in the league and has continued to prove that over his last 10 games this season. Over that span he has put up 11 of his 14 points (4G, 7A), added a blocked shot per game and put 26 shots on goal. Little is right there with him, matching his 10-game span with 11 points of his own and 22 SOG. Ladd is sometimes the forgotten one of the trio, even though he is the Jets Captain, as he sometimes doesn’t bring the offensive punch of the other two. Still he has managed eight points on the season and is fourth on the team with 32 shots on goal. The Jets are one of the highest scoring offenses in the league, currently ranking sixth, and face the Maple Leafs on Wednesday and their scoring defense giving up 3.1 goals per game.
Top Upside and Value at Defense
Sami Vatanen ($5,300): Vatanen, like his team the Ducks, has been slow to produce this season but has generally played well. Despite the fact he has only three points on the season, he had a multi-point effort for the Ducks in their last game against Nashville on Sunday and has good peripheral DraftKings stats with 22 SOG and 20 blocked shots in 11 games. He’s averaging 2.6 fantasy points per game, and is a solid defense options against the Panthers on Wednesday night.
Morgan Rielly ($4,200): The Maple Leafs are doing what most predicted they would this year, but Rielly has been one of the few bright spots, providing the Leafs with offense from the blueline. On top of his three point game for the Leafs on Monday, Rielly has all eight of his season points over the course of his last 10 games. He is getting fantastic category coverage as well with 17 blocks and 18 SOG in that time span as well. He’s a great upside pick while not breaking the bank in your defensive lineup.
Best Superstar to Build Lineups Around
Evgeni Malkin ($7,200): “Geno” has seemingly found the chemistry with Phil Kessel that Sidney Crosby wasn’t able to early in the season and they have become quite the scoring duo. Malkin had a three-game point streak snapped on Saturday, but has still managed 10 points in his last 10 games and has added seven blocked shots and 23 SOG over that span as well. He could do well to shoot more, just 27 on the season in 11 games, but the Penguins have a favorable matchup Wednesday with Vancouver and Malkin is a great play for your DFS Hockey lineup.
Best Value Plays to Fill out your lineup with
Mark Scheifele ($4,700): Another incredibly underrated line is the Jets second line that Scheifele centers. He has exceled in the role and has managed eight points (4G, 4A), seven blocks and 28 SOG so far this season while averaging 3.1 fantasy points per game in DraftKings scoring. With Jonathan Bernier likely out Wednesday for Toronto (see below), Winnipeg will have a potentially potent scoring night and Scheifele could play a big part.
Eric Fehr ($3,800): Fehr was a solid contributor in the bottom-six of the Capitals lineup for years and moved to the rival Penguins this off-season. He missed the first month of the season with an elbow issue, but made his regular season debut for the Pens on Halloween against the Maple Leafs and promptly had a multi-point game with a goal and an assist. He will be playing a primarily bottom-pairing role with Matt Cullen and Sergei Plotnikov but is playing on the wing which should give him a little bit more offensive freedom even in limited action.
Marian Hossa ($5,400) Hossa is nursing a lower-body injury that limited him to only eight minutes on Friday against Minnesota and kept him out Monday against the Kings. He is unlikely to play Wednesday when the Blackhawks welcome the Blues and will be re-evaluated later in the week before the Hawks next game Friday with the Devils.
Jaromir Jagr ($5,700) Jagr is still listed as day-to-day which could turn some DFS Hockey players off to putting him in their lineup but he seems to be healing quickly from the injury that kept him out over the weekend. The ageless wonder should be back in the lineup for the Panthers on Wednesday against the Ducks, so monitor his status. If active he is a great plug into your lineup with 10 points in nine games on the season.
Be sure to check out my NHL Line Stacks and Pete Jensen’s NHL Targets later today before finalizing your lineups. As always for any questions or comments this hockey season you can find me on twitter at @JHarding_Hockey.