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: Tampa Bay (over Buffalo) -270
Largest Totals: Dallas v Florida—5.5… Vegas has this game as most likely to go over 5.5
Stud Goalies (to avoid playing skaters against)
Carey Price ($8400): While it might seem like a cop out to simply choose the most expensive net minder to put in this slot Price has actually been the best of the best thus far (again) to start 2015-16. Detroit’s first line has been on fire to start the year but facing Price tonight makes pretty much all Detroit players off limits for me personally. There’s just not a ton of upside as the Montreal goalie and last year’s MVP has picked up right where he left off last season. Avoid skaters against him tonight and in the near future.
Dud Goalies (to possibly target skaters against)
Sergei Bobrovsky ($7200): You’re kill’in me Bobrovsky! Is the likely phrase you’ve been hearing from people using the Columbus net minder to start the season… The streaky Bobrovsky has been brutal to start the year and just got pummeled for 6 goals last night by the Leafs. He’s probable to start tonight but even if he doesn’t start I would not entertain starting any Columbus goalie at the moment. They’ve been bad defensively as an entire team to start the year and take on the Blackhawks tonight who are coming off of a couple straight losses themselves and should be hungry for a win. Target Columbus as a team for your skaters going forward.
Steven Stamkos ($7500) – Ryan Callahan ($5600) – Jonathan Drouin ($4800)
So much for this being Tampa’s second line this year. The Stamkos line for Tampa has been on fire to start 2015-16 and put up another multi-point effort in their loss versus the Stars a couple nights ago. Jonathan Drouin has been a great and cheap source of assists to start the season thus far while Steven Stamkos looks primed for another Richard trophy run. This line gets a plum matchup tonight as they take on the Sabres and their incredibly young-inexperienced forward group. Expect more fireworks from this line and don’t be afraid to use them in all formats tonight.
Top Upside and Top Value at Defense
Kris Letang ($6200): Few defenseman are as integral to their team’s offense as Kris Letang. Letang plays almost all the power play minutes for the Penguins and also plays the most minutes of any D-man on the Penguins most nights. The Penguins have struggled offensively to start the year but get the Maple Leafs tonight who have allowed at least 3 goals in every game thus far on the season. If I’m paying up for a D-man tonight Letang would be my target. He’s got multi-point upside against a vulnerable Leafs squad.
Ryan Murray ($2800): The Blue Jackets may have started the season poorly but they’re still putting up a few goals every night… offense is not their issue. Youngster Ryan Murray is finally healthy and is quarterbacking the power play for the Blue Jackets and seeing over 50% of the ice for PP’s on the year thus far. His price is insanely cheap and in his role he’s going to be a cheap source of assists for fantasy. A near must play for value purposes I love the savings you get with Murray.
Best Superstar to Build Lineups Around
Tyler Seguin ($8200): Seguin has been flying around the ice the past few games and the results are starting to poor in. He now has 4 points in his last 3 games and is also registering a ton of shots on net. Against a young Florida team expect Seguin to continue to have his way around the net. The Stars play so wide open that Seguin is almost always going to be able to pad his point total with a lot of SOG’s which is great for fantasy. Dallas/Florida has the highest O/U expectation of the night so this is a great spot to use him as an anchor for your fantasy team.
Best Value Plays to Fill out your lineup with
Valeri Nichushkin ($3500): Nichushkin was a scratch the past couple games but the talented youngster gets back in the lineup tonight for the Stars and will on the second line with Jason Spezza. There’s no doubt that considering the slow start for Nichushkin he’s a bit of a gamble in fantasy but considering he’ll be playing a top 6 offensive role with a great play making centre there’s definitely potential here. I think he’s a great tournament target as he should get PP time and lots of ice against weaker competition.
Thomas Jurco ($2500): This is my extreme value play for people who don’t mind taking a shot with a min priced player. Jurco’s a nice two way player who will be getting time on Detroit’s second line with Thomas Tatar and Brad Richards. While Detroit’s secondary scoring has been slow to start the year at Jurco’s price you’re still getting a player who will see a lot of ice time with some real scorers. Detroit likes to roll its top three lines almost equally and that should also benefit Jurco who could pay off with a measly assist considering how cheap he is. A decent punt play that allows you to fit numerous superstars in your lineup.
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!