The NHL Cheat Sheet is your quick-hit daily look into odds, fantasy studs, value picks, and more to help you navigate your DFS Hockey lineups. For the third time in four days there are only three NHL games on the slate. That being said, there’s still some DFS Hockey contests to be played. Let’s take a look:
Highest Vegas Totals
– Calgary Flames vs. Ottawa Senators – 5.5
– Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Washington Capitals – 5.0
– Nashville Predators vs. San Jose Sharks – 5.0
Stud Goalies (to avoid playing skaters against)
Pekka Rinne ($7,900): Rinne has been as strong as ever in the early part of the year. He had back-to-back rough outings against the Islanders and Lightning surrendering four goals in each game, but has only surrendered five total goals in his other five starts on the season combined. Rinne is averaging 6.1 fantasy points per contest with a 5-1-1 record, a 1.84 GAA and .932 SV% and is going against a middle of the league offense for San Jose.
Top Line of the Night
Alex Ovechkin ($9,300) – T.J. Oshie ($5,900) – Evgeny Kuznetsov ($5,400) – Washington Capitals
This line has proven to be one of the best in the league, as will most when led by Ovechkin. Ovie has points in every game so far this season with nine points in six contests, including three multi-point efforts and 32 SOG. He is the highest scoring DK DFS player going Wednesday night with a 6.5 fantasy point-per-game average. Oshie (4.6 FPPG) has points in four of his last five games and also has three multi-point games. Kuznetsov (5.1 FPPG) has settled in nicely as the center of this line and has allowed coach Barry Trotz to keep Nicklas Backstrom on the Capitals second-line to spread out the scoring. Kuz is one of the hottest scorers in the league with nine points (3G, 6A) in his last three games, including a hat-trick and two assists in the Caps last outing.
Top Upside and Value at Defense
John Carlson ($6,400): Carlson is the most expensive defensemen on the night but also has the high FPPG average with 5.0. He has points in six of seven games this season for Washington, including his last five contests. He put three assists on the board in the Caps last outing on Friday against Edmonton and has managed five power-play points (1G, 4A) thus far. In what could be a high scoring Metro Division matchup against the Penguins, roll Carlson to have a big impact.
Ryan Ellis ($3,600): Ellis has had his two best games of the season over the Predators last two contests. He has three points, four blocked shots, seven SOG and has managed 12.5 fantasy points. The blueline in Nashville is as deep as any in the NHL so production is at a premium, but Ellis seems like he could be on the verge of breaking out and is a great value buy for Wednesday night.
Best Superstar to Build Lineups Around
James Neal ($6,200): I didn’t want to put Ovechkin here after just writing about him above, so this spot was a debate between Neal and Nicklas Backstrom ($6,600). The good news is both are affordable enough to fit both into your lineup, but the case for Neal a little stronger. He has a five-game point streak during which he has amassed all nine of his points on the season. He has managed six goals and three assists during the streak and has put 24 over that span. He is as streaky of a player as they come in fantasy, but when he gets on a roll like this ride him until he cools off.
Best Value Plays to Fill out your lineup with
Shane Prince ($2,500): With Mike Hoffman’s status for Wednesday up in the air (see below), Prince has been practicing with Hoffman’s regular linemates Kyle Turris and Mark Stone on the Senators first line. Prince had a breakout year in the AHL last season with 65 points, but has managed only two assists so far this year in a mostly-limited fourth-line role, seeing on average just over 10 minutes of ice time per contest. Still, having him play with two solid playmakers in Turris and Stone who have combined for 15 points this season and the cost of putting a top-line player in your lineup for only $2,500 is a hard thing to pass up on.
Mike Ribeiro ($3,900): Ribeiro is does not shoot much and has only one goal and six SOG in eight games this season. His bread and butter are his assist numbers as supported by his better than 3-to-1 assist to goal ratio last season. He has points in four consecutive games (1G, 4A) including one multi-point effort and is one of the best playmakers at even strength and on the power-play that the Predators have in their top-six rotation. The Preds will look to slow down Martin Jones on Wednesday so look for their top-six to play a larger role in the contest.
Mike Hoffman ($5,000) Hoffman has been nursing a lower-body injury that kept him out of Ottawa’s weekend tilt with Arizona. He is doubtful to play Wednesday so DFS players should look elsewhere for production from the wing position.
Justin Williams ($4,400) Not having Williams could be a big loss for the Capitals in a huge early-season matchup with Pittsburgh. He is questionable right now with an illness so monitor his progress throughout Wednesday. If he’s available to play, Williams is a solid value-buy with four points and eight shots in his previous three outings.
Be sure to check out my NHL Line Stacks and Pete Jensen’s NHL Targets later today before finalizing your lineups. As always for any questions or comments this hockey season you can find me on twitter at @JHarding_Hockey.