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
San Jose Sharks vs. Columbus
Joe Pavelski ($7,400) – Joe Thornton ($5,600) – Tomas Hertl ($4,700)
Pavelski has established himself as one of the best players in the league and has continued that with a hot start. He has scored in five of seven games so far and is third in the league in points with nine. He has 24 points in 29 games in his career against Columbus. Thornton and Hertl have struggled this year, prompting Hertl’s demotion to the third line in the Sharks’ last game. This is a great game for the line to get going against a team that all three – especially Thornton and Pavs – have dominated in the past.
Tampa Bay Lightning @ Montreal
Steven Stamkos ($7,700) – Nikita Kucherov ($6,200) – Vladislav Namestnikov ($4,100)
It might have been against the Maple Leafs, but this line had a night on Tuesday, combining for 10 points in the Lightning’s 7-4 win. Stamkos and Kucherov seem to be clicking well and each had a four-point night against Toronto. Stammer has points in five of six games this year, while Kucherov has found the scoresheet in four contests. Namestnikov has looked solid on this line as well and is riding a two-game, multi-point streak with a goal and an assist in each of his last two games. Three of his four points have come on the power play as well. I think he is a great value pick while on this line despite the tough matchup with Carey Price.
Superstar to Build Around
Auston Matthews ($7,000) – The kid has already proven he’s the real deal, now he is just building on it. Everyone expected a drop-off after his four-goal debut and he had that, for one game. Matthews has points in five of his six games and is riding a four-game point streak. He has back-to-back, multi-point outings against the Blackhawks and Lightning and leads the league in goals, is second in points and is top five in SOG. He has a tough draw tonight against the Panthers and starter Roberto Luongo, but he has been a great source of production this season for Toronto no matter the opponent.
Value on Offense
Travis Konecny ($4,200) – I believe we need to pounce on Konecny while he’s this cheap. He has points in five of his seven games so far and is coming off a solid game against the Sabres where he notched a power-play goal and added four shots. In my opinion, he’s a fantastic pick with another great matchup tonight against the Coyotes.
Andreas Athanasiou ($3,100) – Athanasiou has found twine in two straight games for the Red Wings and is skating on the team’s hottest line with Darren Helm and Thomas Vanek. He has three points and five SOG in his last two games and has a decent matchup tonight against the Blues.
Roberto Luongo ($7,800) – Bobby Lu bounced back in his last outing on Saturday and picked up the win against the Avs, stopping 26 of 28 shots. He takes the crease tonight against the Leafs sporting a 3-1-0 record with a 1.99 goal against average (GAA) and .922 SV%. He has dominated Toronto in his career to the tune of a 20-8-0 record and .926 SV%.
Steve Mason ($7,800) – Despite allowing four goals against to Arizona earlier this season, Mason is a great start tonight against those same Coyotes. He had a solid outing in his last start, holding the Canadiens to two goals against and stopped all eight shots he faced against the Sabres in relief of Michael Neuvirth on Tuesday. He gets the nod at home tonight where he has posted a GAA that is more than half a goal lower this season than his road splits.
Value on Defense
Alec Martinez ($4,400) – Martinez has been solid for the Kings so far and has at least 2.5 FPTS in five of his six games this year. He is riding a three-game point streak with two goals, four points, five blocks and eight SOG.
Johnny Boychuk ($4,800) – This might be a little high for a value pick but Boychuk has been productive as of late for the Islanders. After a down season last year, Boychuk is shooting more this year and has two goals, an assist, nine blocks and 16 SOG in his last three games. If he puts up those numbers going forward he’ll be a great source of FPTS.
Power Play Defensemen
Kevin Shattenkirk ($5,500) – Shattenkirk leads all defensemen in the NHL right now with five power-play points (PPPs). In back-to-back matchups with the Flames over the weekend, he racked up two more points on the man advantage. He added nine SOG in his last three games and is a great source of PP offense on a good team.
Shea Weber ($6,300) – I wrote about Weber last night and he continued his torrid start. He is riding a four-game point streak, with three multi-point games. He has three PPPs in that span and connected on the game-winner last night on the man advantage.
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.