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: MTL Canadiens -230 over the Leafs
Largest Totals: Stars v Panthers—5.5 (has greatest chance of going over per odds)
Stud Goalies (to avoid playing skaters against)
Carey Price ($8400): This one seems rather obvious at this point but I’ll still use Price as my goalie to avoid. The Canadiens aren’t just getting good goaltending from Price they are also playing amazingly as a team right now making then hard to beat and hard to score on. There’s almost no upside with skaters who are playing against them and I doubt the Maple Leafs will mount much of a threat tonight. Just avoid the Leafs and find some way to roster Price in some lineups if possible.
Dud Goalies (to possibly target skaters against)
Al Montoya ($6700): Montoya is the backup for Florida and gets a really tough assignment tonight versus the run and gun Stars. Montoya was a bright prospect at one point but is basically just a run of the mill back up now who doesn’t play much behind work horse Roberto Luongo. This could get ugly if Montoya comes in a little rusty as the Stars typically pepper the opposing goalie with shots no matter what the score is. It’s definitely a night where you can and should consider all of Dallas’ high priced talent and avoid rostering the Panthers backup.
Tomas Plekanec ($6000) – Brendan Gallagher ($5300) – Max Pacioretty ($7600)
This line has been complete hot fire of late and absolutely torched the Sabres last night. There’s little reason not to at least consider rostering some players on this line tonight either as the Canadiens have an even better matchup against the Maple Leafs. The Canadiens as a team have been killing opponents to start the year and this trio has been a huge part of the equation. Using at least one of these three in cash games is a great idea tonight, all of them are getting SOG and offer high point floors for fantasy.
Top Upside and Top Value at Defense
Andrei Markov ($4500): Markov had a career night versus the Sabres yesterday recording five points. Despite this performance Markov didn’t see his price go up one bit on DK where he remains expensive but very affordable. In terms of no-brainers Markov is definitely it tonight as the Canadiens get another weak opponent and the offensively gifted Markov is seeing a ton of ice time for the Canadiens. Always a decent bet for some SOG’s and blocked shots, don’t be shocked if you see another multi point performance as the Habs are flying right now.
Colton Parayko ($2900): Parayko has been filling in for the Blues with the injury to Kevin Shattenkirk and been producing in his absence. Not only does he already have two goals on the season but Parayko is getting steady powerplay time and also been a nice source of cheap fantasy points with SOG and Blocked Shots. He’s the perfect value play if you’re looking to go expensive with your other D choice.
Best Superstar to Build Lineups Around
Vladimir Tarasenko ($7600): While Tarasenko was shut down by MTL last game he’s still had an excellent start to the year recording 9 points and five goals through 7 games. Tarasenko’s quite simply one of the best snipers in the league and regardless of his point production will always get you a few SOG. I expect him to bounce back nicely in tonight’s game as the Isles just played last night and still give up quite a goals per game as a team. He’s my favorite high priced play tonight and also very affordable compared to some of the other stars who are skating on the slate tonight.
Best Value Plays to Fill out your lineup with
Jori Lehtera ($3900): With injuries befalling some players on the Blues Lehtera has been pushed back up to a top 6 centre role and also been reunited with Vladimir Tarasenko whom he produced some fantasy magic with at various points in 2014. At $3900 and getting work on the Blues first PP Lehtera might be an actual must play tonight. This is a great young player who will be seeing a ton of ice in an offensive role with a potential superstar forward. Don’t overthink this one and make sure you have some exposure to him tonight.
Artemi Panarin ($4700): Panarin came over from the KHL this year has been playing on the Hawks second line with Patrick Kane… the results have been amazing and the line has been dominating against softer competition. I see no reason not to play Panarin tonight either as the Lightening will be coming to town and have been involved in a lot of higher scoring games to start the season, making this a possibly spot for another multi-point game. Until his price starts to reflect his production you can keep using Panarin in your lineups, he’s as solid a play for cash games right now as you’ll find.
Pavel Datsyuk: Datsyuk remains out to start the year for Detroit
Jaden Schwartz: is out for the Blues indefinitely
Kevin Shattenkirk: is out for the Blues but is close to returning
As always hit me up on twitter as @thefantasygrind with lineup questions or other DFS questions GL!