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: Anaheim Ducks -190
Largest Totals: Toronto v Columbus 5.5… Vegas has this game as the most likely to reach over 5.5 goals
Stud Goalies (to avoid playing skaters against)
Martin Jones ($7000)—San Jose: Jones has been on fire to start the season and only allowed 1 goal in his first 3 games. While you may not yet think of Jones as an elite goalie now is not the time to start testing that theory by playing skaters against him. San Jose is also playing very good defensively and has upgraded their backend a bit for 2015. The Sharks take on the Devils tonight who are already one of the most offensively challenged teams in the league. Don’t risk your DFS lineup by using skaters against Jones today, but do give consideration to using him as your goalie on DraftKings.
Dud Goalies (to possibly target skaters against)
James Reimer ($6200): The Leafs have been awful to start the year and as expected have allowed a ton of goals (12 through 3 games). Part of the issue is their weak lineup but the goaltending hasn’t been good either. Reimer has a sub .900 save percentage and allowed 4 goals versus Ottawa on just 33 shots. The Leafs face the Blue Jackets who have also been struggling to keep the puck out of her net, but also have a lot of skill up front. Expect the Jackets forwards to score some goals in this game and consider Reimer a good target for your skaters tonight.
Henrik Zetterberg ($6700) – Dylan Larkin ($3800) – Justin Abdelkadar ($4700)
This line has been on fire to start the season. Through three games the trio has 16 points combined and has scored at least one goal in every game. Zettreberg has been a beast logging a ton of ice in the absence of Paval Datsuyk while Abdelkadar looks primed to become one of the top power forwards in the league. The best thing about this trio is that they’re still cheap as both Larkin and Abdelkadar are well under 5k each. They play the Hurricanes tonight and have a good matchup, definitely a line to roll with in all formats.
Top Upside and Top Value at Defense
Sami Vatanen ($5000): The Ducks have started the season incredibly flat and just got shutout in their last game by the lowly Coyotes. The good news for them though is that they are facing the Colorado Avalanche tonight who can’t seem to keep the puck out of their own net and have now allowed 13 goals in three games. Vatanen is the Ducks lead point man on the power play and possesses a wicked shot from the point, which made him pretty productive last season. If the Ducks are going to get on track offensively this is the game it should happen. I’d try and pay up for Vatanen is possible tonight.
Jared Spurgeon ($3400): Spurgeon’s part of a deep Wild D-core but has fantasy value because of his role on the power player. Over his last three games Spurgeon’s seen right around 30% of the work on the backend for the Wild and that greatly increases his chances of getting you some points. He’s not a massive point producer but his role on the team means he can always land you an assist or two whenever he’s in the lineup. Probably the best bet for a decent fantasy game under $3500 on D tonight.
Best Superstar to Build Lineups Around
Joe Pavelski ($6900): Pavelski is always one of the safest plays in DFS hockey as he can pretty much do it all. Pavelski plays multiple roles special team, and will see an increased role in the top 6 tonight as the Sharks other top centre Logan Couture is out of the lineup. This means more opportunities for points and a very high floor… great for cash games. Playing with Joe Thorton to start the year this duo has shown good chemistry and started the season well, which could be bad news for the New Jersey Devils who are looking like one of the weaker teams in the league for 2015-16. Expect Pavelski to see a ton of ice and be in line for a possible big night, a great skater to start your lineups with.
Best Value Plays to Fill out your lineup with
Leo Komarov ($3000): Komarov’s a tough two way player who has recently been moved up to the Leafs first line and will skate with Van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak tonight. The Leafs may not be the best team but they have a good matchup tonight for fantasy against the Blue Jackets who have been equally inept to start the year. I expect a back and forth battle and the possibility for a lot of goals. Komarov’s insanely cheap and in a good spot to pick up some points for your team tonight.
Jiri Sekac ($2700): Sekac will be the third wheel on a line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry tonight as the Ducks have reunited their star players in hopes of jump starting their offense. Sekac’s a young Czech player with great speed who was traded from the Canadians to the Ducks last season. There’s potential here for an offensive outburst as Sekac will also be seeing power play time, as he did last game. At $2700 Sekac’s a near must play due to price and will at least be assured of getting some quality ice time in a game where you could see Anaheim finally breakout offensively.
Paval Datsyuk: Datsyuk is out for the Red Wings to start the year meaning Zetterberg and Brad Richards should see more ice time.
Johan Franzen: Out with a concussion
Logan Couture: Out with an ankle injury
As always hit me up on twitter as @thefantasygrind with lineup questions or other DFS questions GL!