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
Blake Wheeler ($7,400) – Mark Scheifele ($7,100) – Patrik Laine ($5,600)
This could be the perfect breakout game for this line. Wheeler is one of the most underrated players in the NHL and he just continues to put up numbers for the Jets. He has at least one goal and one point in each of his first three games so far this season. Scheifele was held scoreless against the Bruins but scored in his first two games and has 10 SOG in three outings, while adding four blocked shots. Laine has shown his rookie tendencies so far and has been held off the scoresheet in two straight games. He faces Auston Matthews tonight in a matchup of the first two picks in this year’s draft, and he should have a good opportunity to get back on the scoring track against a weak Toronto defense.
New York Rangers
Chris Kreider ($5,700) – Mike Zibanejad ($5,600) – Rick Nash ($6,100)
Kreider is one of the hottest scorers in the league right now, putting up a goal and an assist in each of his three games so far. He has also put up the third-most shots in the league so far with 18. Zibanejad put up four points in his first two games but was held scoreless against the Sharks. He has still put up four points and added 10 shots. Nash bumped up to this line from the third line and will remain here for the time-being. He scored his first goal of the season against San Jose, but recorded only one shot in the game. He has value right now playing on this line, but is expensive for such little production.
Superstar to Build Around
Auston Matthews ($6,700) – After his historic four-goal debut, Matthews was shutout against the Bruins in his follow-up. Matthews is averaging four SOG per game through two games and has an extremely juicy matchup tonight against the Jets, making him a top play in my opinion at a reasonable price. The Jets are one of the worst defensive teams in the league at the moment, allowing 4.00 goals per game.
Value on Offense
Darren Helm ($3,700) – Helm is playing on an underrated scoring line in Detroit with Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Vanek. Helm has at least one point in each game, has scored a goal in each of his last two and is coming off a multi-goal game against Ottawa on Monday. He has solid value right now playing on this line.
Kevin Hayes ($3,600) – Hayes is centering the Rangers’ third line with J.T. Miller and the two have found the scoresheet in two of the Rangers three games. Hayes was solid on Monday against the Sharks, netting his first goal of the season and putting up four SOG.
Top Line Adjustments
These are the players that have moved up the depth chart to play on a better line.
• Mitch Marner ($4,700), Zach Hyman ($3,400), Toronto Maple Leafs
• Mathieu Perreault ($4,400), Winnipeg Jets
• Jimmy Vesey ($4,100), New York Rangers
• Justin Abdelkader ($4,300), Riley Sheahan ($3,700) Detroit Red Wings
Henrik Lundqvist ($8,500) – Lundqvist has been average so far through two starts. He is 1-1-0, but has allowed three goals against in both outings. He allowed three goals on only 18 shots against the Blues Saturday. He faces the Red Wings tonight, a team he has historically dominated with a 2.17 GAA and a .932 SV% in 10 career games. He is the top goalie on a limited night and has a good shot at the win tonight.
Frederik Andersen ($7,100) – Andersen bounced back in a big way against the Bruins after his five goal against opening night loss to the Senators. He shut down the Bruins potent offense, allowing a single goal against on 25 shots. For those that want to save salary in their lineups tonight and go with a goalie that has a solid matchup, Andersen is the least-expensive starter available tonight against the Jets inconsistent offense.
Value on Defense
Nikita Zaitsev ($3,600) – Zaitsev has had a solid start to his rookie season for the Leafs. The KHL transplant notched his first point against the Bruins and through two games he has three SOG and has added four blocked shots. He’s running the point on the second power play unit and could produce there as well.
Nick Holden ($3,200) – Holden climbed the Rangers depth chart quickly and finds himself on the first pairing with Ryan McDonagh. He could be a surprising source of blueline offense for the Rangers, having two 20-point seasons in his last three years. He has two points in three games so far.
Power Play Defensemen
Mike Green ($5,400) – Green notched a hat-trick on Monday against the Senators. He now has multi-point games in two of his first three outings of the year. One of his goals Monday came on the PP. Green has seven shots in three games and is running the point of the Wings first PP unit, seeing over two minutes of PP time per game.
Ryan McDonagh ($4,900) – McDonagh picked up two assists on Monday against San Jose, with one on the man advantage. He has put up nine shots in three games, added four blocked shots, is sixth in the league in TOI and is seeing well over three minutes of PP time per game so far this season on a potentially lethal Rangers first PP unit.
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.