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
Patrick Kane ($8,000) – Artem Anisimov ($4,900) – Artemi Panarin ($6,300)
After separating this line against the Predators over the weekend, the Blackhawks have re-formed their best line from last year. Kane finally found the scoresheet, collecting two assists on Saturday. He’s added 10 shots in three games. Panarin and Anisimov are both scoreless on the season, with Chicago hoping that putting them back with Kane will spark the offense. This line was dominant at home last season, where they take on the Flyers tonight.
Jamie Benn ($7,700) – Tyler Seguin ($7,600) – Patrick Eaves ($4,200)
The Stars have one of the most potent offenses in the league and it starts at the top with Benn and Seguin. Benn has the most points in the NHL over the last two seasons and has continued that trend with points in each game so far. He has three points, two power play points (PPP) and three SOG. Seguin shows no ill-effects of his World Cup injury and netted three points over the weekend against the Avs. Eaves is going to be fantasy relevant as long as he plays on this line and he is proving his worth with at least one point in each game so far.
Superstar to Build Around
Alex Ovechkin ($8,400) – There are a number of possibilities to build around tonight, but I love Ovie’s matchup. Yes, he does not have a point yet this season, but he is due. Through two games he has eight SOG against two solid defensive teams in the Penguins and Isles. Tonight he faces a Colorado team that has allowed eight goals in two games and is playing on the second night of a back-to-back, after edging the Penguins in OT last night. It’s a favorable matchup for Ovie who has nine points in 12 career games against the Avs.
Value on Offense
Jonathan Marchessault ($4,000) – Marchessault has slotted in perfectly on the Panthers top line with Barkov and Jagr in Huberdeau’s absence. He has a goal in both games so far, and added two assists on Saturday against Detroit. He is shooting the puck as well, posting eight shots in two games.
Josh Bailey ($3,500) – Bailey is looking like a different player so far this season. He has a goal and an assist in three games, including a beautiful game winner in OT over the weekend. He is shooting the puck more as well with eight shots in three games. He has moved up to the first line with John Tavares and while he remains there he is fantasy relevant.
Top Line Adjustments
These are the players that have moved up the depth chart to play on a better line.
• P.A. Parenteau ($4,300), New Jersey Devils
• Brock Nelson ($4,000), New York Islanders
• Richard Panik ($4,400), Tyler Motte ($3,800), Chicago Blackhawks
• Alex Killorn ($4,400), Tampa Bay Lightning
• Connor Sheary ($4,000), Pittsburgh Penguins
• Nick Ritchie ($4,000), Anaheim Ducks
• Colin Wilson ($3,100), Nashville Predators
• Ty Rattie ($2,600), St. Louis Blues
Chad Johnson ($7,600) – Johnson gets the nod tonight against his former team when the Flames face the Sabres. Both teams have had their struggles early on in the season but Johnson turned in a gem on Saturday against the Canucks, despite taking the 1-0 OT loss. He stopped 30 of 31 and has a good home matchup tonight against the Sabres and their inconsistent offense.
John Gibson ($7,700) – Despite the slow start this season Gibson is still a very viable fantasy option. He had a solid outing against the Islanders over the weekend despite taking the OT loss. He stopped 27 of 30 shots and faced some tough rushes from NY. Gibson is a great option tonight as the Ducks face the Devils. New Jersey has struggled so far, only mustering three goals in their first two games.
Value on Defense
Kris Russell ($3,900) – Russell has been revamped since his late-training camp signing with the Oilers. He has always garnered points from blocked shots, and continues with that with six through three games. He has also added three assists and three SOG. I’m looking to take advantage of his price and his increased offensive output right now complementing the strong Oilers offense.
Trevor Daley ($3,900) – Daley has looked strong for the Penguins so far. He has come back from his foot injury in the playoffs last year and has posted points in back-to-back games. He had an assist against the Ducks and then a power play goal last night against the Avs. He is seeing solid ES minutes and time on the PP, giving him very good value.
Power Play Defensemen
Rasmus Ristolainen ($6,400) – Many were expecting a breakout year from Ristolainen this year, and he has done that. He has four assists through two, three coming on the man advantage, while adding seven shots on goal and five blocks. He faces a Calgary team that has been porous on defense this year in a great offensive matchup tonight.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson ($6,100) – Much like Ristolainen, OEL is expected to bust out this year. He impressed last season finishing second among defensemen in the league with 21 goals and 27 PPPs. He notched an assist against the Flyers over the weekend and is a threat every night to put up even strength and PP points, shots and blocks.
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.