The NHL Cheat Sheet is your daily look into news, fantasy studs, value picks, and more to help you navigate your DFS Hockey lineups.
Highest Vegas Totals
– San Jose Sharks vs. Washington Capitals – 5.5
– Edmonton Oilers vs. Dallas Stars – 5.5
– St. Louis Blues vs. Calgary Flames – 5.0
Stud Goalies (to avoid playing skaters against)
Carey Price ($8,400): Price got the night off on Sunday against Ottawa but will be back in net when Montreal takes on the win-less Penguins on Tuesday. Sidney Crosby and company have looked bad through two games with Phil Kessel netting the team’s lone goal on the season. Now a matchup with Price, the reigning Hart and Vezina trophy winner, who is sporting a 1.50 GAA and .948 SV% through his first two starts.
Top Line of the Night
Dylan Larkin ($3,700) – Henrik Zetterberg ($6,600) – Justin Abdelkader ($4,600) – Detroit Red Wings
This line is one of the early surprises of the NHL season. Larkin, 19, was thought to be a long shot to grab even a third-line role when training camp began for Detroit. In two games he has established himself nicely with three points (1G, 2A), 10 SOG and centering one of the most prolific scoring lines in the league at the moment. Zetterberg (1G, 4A) and Abdelkader (4G, 1A) round out the top line for Detroit that has a potentially high scoring matchup with a Lightning squad that’s on the second night of a back-to-back slate and a potential matchup with backup goalie Kevin Poulin.
Top Upside and Value at Defense
Marc-Edouard Vlasic ($3,400): Vlasic has had a strong start to the season for the 2-0-0 Sharks. He has two assists in as many games, five SOG and four blocked shots. He is playing on San Jose’s top defense pair and is manning the point on their second power-play unit which is giving him ample opportunity to produce. He is a solid, and affordable, option in what could be a high scoring game with the Capitals.
Seth Jones ($3,700): Jones is beginning to develop into one of the best young defensemen in the NHL. Coming off a solid 27-point season in ’14-’15, Jones has two assists and four SOG on the season while seeing more TOI at even strength and is running the point on the Preds second power-play unit. He is a great value option for your defense to offset a more expensive option on a Predators team that heavily relied on their defensemen for offensive production last season and has a great matchup Tuesday with the Devils.
Best Superstar to Build Lineups Around
Max Pacioretty ($7,400): Pacioretty has been nothing short of great to open the season for the Canadiens. The new Habs captain is rolling right along with four points (2G, 2A) and 13 SOG in his first three contests of the year. Pay the price to get him in your lineup in a matchup against a Penguins team that yielded 39 shots against to the Coyotes on Saturday night.
Best Value Plays to Fill out your lineup with
Temmu Pulkkinen ($2,900): Pulkkinen is another sniper coming up for the Red Wings this season. He led the AHL in goals last year with 34 tallies in only 46 games before a mid-season call up. Now manning Detroit’s third-line with Riley Sheahan and Gustav Nyquist, Pulkkinen has netted two goals in two games while seeing only the ninth most TOI out of Detroit’s forwards. He is an inexpensive option for your lineup in a good matchup.
Oscar Lindberg ($3,000): Lindberg has jumped onto the DFS scene with an impressive four goals in three games to open the season. Playing on a line with J.T. Miller and Viktor Stalberg, the third line for the Rangers has been a major cog helping to power this team their 3-0-0 start to the season. Roll the hot hand with Lindberg right now until he cools down and take advantage of his affordable pricing.
Cedric Paquette ($2,800) Pacquette was expected to be a third-line contributor for the Lightning after a solid season there last year where he posted 12 goals and a 13.9 shooting % while playing limited minutes in 64 games. However now he finds himself on the shelf for the time being but monitor his progress as he could be a low-end value buy when he returns.
Check out my NHL Targets and NHL Line Stacks posts later today before finalizing your lineups. As always for any DFS Hockey questions or comments this season, find me on Twitter at: @JHarding_Hockey