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
Johnny Gaudreau ($7,300) – Sean Monahan ($6,400) – Kris Versteeg ($3,600)
Big things are expected from Gaudreau this season, and after his zero point performance on Wednesday, expect him to come out firing tonight. Monahan joined Gaudreau having an off night on Wednesday, as the duo combined for a -5 rating and five SOG. They’re too good to be held down two games in a row and have a favorable matchup tonight. Versteeg will bump up to the top line in a great value spot to produce some points.
Filip Forsberg ($6,800) – Ryan Johansen ($5,600) – Kevin Fiala ($3,600)
Forsberg is the established star of the Predators, netting his second-consecutive 60 point season to lead the team. Johansen settled in quickly last season, notching 34 points in 42 games after his trade to the Preds. Fiala showed his scoring prowess last season, leading the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL with 50 points in 66 games. He could be a dynamic player on this line and these three could become a lethal trio this season.
Superstar to Build Around
Connor McDavid ($8,000) – Almost any night that McDavid is on the ice he should be considered for your fantasy lineup. In his opening game of the season on Wednesday night he netted two goals, added an assist and fired six shots on goal. He will face the same Calgary Flames team tonight that he faced two days ago, and I think he should be the top player you consider building around, especially on such a limited night of hockey action.
Value on Offense
Travis Konecny ($3,700) – Konecny is one of two highly-touted rookies in the Flyers lineup tonight and could pay dividends quickly. He was an offensive dynamo in juniors, coming off a 101-point season last year. He will slot into the second line in Philly with Sean Couturier and Jakub Voracek, and see time in the PP rotation. The Flyers have a great matchup tonight against Kings backup Jeff Zatkoff.
Jesse Puljujarvi ($4,100) – Puljujarvi kicked off his career in style scoring a goal in his first game on Wednesday. He joined Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine in having great NHL debuts this week. Puljujarvi is playing limited minutes right now to get him going, but in his bottom-six role will be playing against softer defenses and could have a great opportunity to produce early on this season before moving up.
Top Line Adjustments
These are the players that have moved up the depth chart to play on a better line.
• Dustin Brown ($4,100), Devin Setoguchi ($3,000), Los Angeles Kings
• Matthew Tkachuk ($3,500), Calgary Flames
• Richard Panik ($3,900), Chicago Blackhawks
• Zack Kassian ($3,000), Edmonton Oilers
• Colin Wilson ($3,100), Nashville Predators
• Michael Raffl ($3,800), Philadelphia Flyers
Pekka Rinne ($7,900) – Rinne is looking for a bounce back year in Nashville after his numbers ballooned a bit last season. He kicks his year off against the Blackhawks, a team he fared well against last year. Despite his 2-3 record vs Chicago last season, he posted a 2.23 GAA and .925 SV%. Rinne will have a revamped defense in front of him with P.K. Subban in town, and looks to be a solid play tonight against the Hawks.
Cam Talbot ($7,600) – Talbot had a strong game on Wednesday against the Flames picking up the win despite allowing four goals. He will slot back into the crease tonight as the Oilers head to Calgary for the rematch. His splits were about even last season at home and on the road, but with a revamped defense in front of him this season I think he is a solid play.
Value on Defense
Oscar Klefbom ($4,200) – Playing with Connor McDavid will pay off for the young blueliner, and it showed on Wednesday. He notched an assist with McDavid and saw over six minutes of PP time. The Oilers went 1 for 6 on the PP but with that much time going forward, Klefbom is a great defense option.
Ivan Provorov ($3,400) – Provorov is thought to be a more complete defenseman than Flyers stud Gostisbehere, but he could be in for a learning curve. The rookie will start the season on the Philly second defense pair and will be on the point of the second PP unit. He will have ample opportunities to produce and showed very well in the preseason.
Power Play Defensemen
Roman Josi/P.K. Subban ($6,700/$6,000) – The Predators offense from the blueline will be even better this year with Subban in the mix. He will open the ice for Josi the way Weber couldn’t. The pair will be together at even strength and on the Predators potent first PP unit. It will be pricey to deploy them both, but I think having one in your DFS lineup should pay off.
Shayne Gostisbehere ($6,200) – Ghost turned heads last year after his promotion to the Flyers and almost won the Calder Trophy. In 64 games, he was fifth in rookie scoring, first among rookie defensemen, and was second among rookies to Panarin with 21 PPPs. He will be back manning the point on the Flyers’ stout first PP unit this year, so fantasy players can expect those numbers to go up.
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.