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
Tampa Bay Lightning @ Florida
Steven Stamkos ($8,000) – Nikita Kucherov ($6,500) – Ondrej Palat ($4,600)
Stamkos and Kucherov have been absolutely dominant recently, with Stamkos being one of the leading goal scorers in the league and the duo sitting inside the top-four in the league in points. Both are riding four-game point streaks, one that has seen Stamkos put up three power play points and 14 shots on goal (SOG). Kucherov has added eight points on his streak with four coming on the man advantage. Palat is penciled in this spot, but Vladislav Namestnikov saw time here over the weekend. Palat has struggled this year, so monitor this situation before the game, but, for me, Stamkos and Kucherov are must-start players on every night at the moment.
Boston Bruins vs Buffalo
Patrice Bergeron ($6,600) – Brad Marchand ($7,000) – David Pastrnak ($6,400)
This line has done nothing but deliver this year for the Bruins. It took Bergeron a while to settle in, but his last two games have been fantastic. He’s posted a goal and two assists against the Lightning and the Rangers and added 12 SOG in the process. Marchand is riding a three-game point streak and is among the league-leaders with 13 points on the year. Pastrnak is off to a great start and is showing the scoring flashes that were expected of him last year. He has seven goals in nine games so far, sitting in a tie for second in the league in that category. They have a great matchup tonight with the Sabres.
Superstar to Build Around
John Tavares ($7,600) – Despite the Islanders being terrible thus far, Tavares has been his regular, solid self. He has 10 points in 12 games and is riding a four-game point streak. He has a goal and three assists on this run and is averaging four SOG per outing. The more impressive aspect is that he has done this with at least one, if not both, wingers being different in almost every game this season. He has a juicy matchup tonight with the Canucks, losers of eight in a row and a team that Tavares has put up eight points in eight career games against.
Value on Offense
Valtteri Filppula ($3,700) – Filppula has come out of nowhere to be a source of production for the Lightning as of late. He has managed four points in his last three games. He has power play points in back-to-back games, running the point on Tampa’s second PP unit.
Cal Clutterbuck ($3,800) – Clutterbuck found himself in an unusual spot last game, manning the wing on the Islanders front line with John Tavares. He had a solid outing posting an assist and four SOG against the Oilers, and he should be back there tonight against the Canucks at a great price.
Tuukka Rask ($7,900) – Rask was simply dominant to start the year, but he’s had some shaky outings as of late. He is coming off a five-goal against outing vs the Rangers but has a great chance to bounce back tonight. He is still one of the league-leaders in GAA, SV% and wins and he faces the Sabres tonight, a team he’s 9-5-1 against in his career.
Jaroslav Halak ($8,000) – Despite the record as of late, Halak has been playing solid hockey. The Islanders are struggling, but they do face a team that is struggling even more. The Islanders welcome the Canucks tonight, losers of eight in a row, and Halak and the Islanders have a prime opportunity to get out of their funk. Vancouver is ranked dead-last in the league in scoring per game.
Value on Defense
Adam Pelech ($2,600) – Islanders defensemen have been a solid source of fantasy production this season, and Pelech is stepping into an interesting spot. He will be slotting in on the top pair with Nick Leddy. Pelech had four points in 10 contests for the Islanders AHL affiliate in Bridgeport before his call-up.
Jason Demers ($3,400) – Demers has started to settle in for the Panthers and is seeing his production pick up. He is slotted in on the top pairing with Keith Yandle, and he’s managed four points, all on special teams, in his last four games. I think he is a solid pick tonight on a limited evening of action.
Power Play Defensemen
Victor Hedman ($5,400) – Hedman is back near the top of the league in scoring for defensemen with 10 points in 12 games and is riding a three-game point streak. He has two multi-point games in his last three outings, three powerplay points in that span, and is one of the leaders at the position in power play (PP) scoring with five on the season.
Rasmus Ristolainen ($5,500) – Risto snapped a three-game point-less streak with an assist against the Senators over the weekend. He also added five blocked shots. Ristolainen continues to be tied with Kevin Shattenkirk and Cam Fowler for the league-lead among defensemen with six PPPs.
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.