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.
Highest Vegas Totals
- Montreal Canadiens vs. Washington Capitals – 5.5
- Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Boston Bruins – 5.5
- San Jose Sharks vs. Colorado Avalanche – 5.5
Braden Holtby ($8,700): Holtby has seen his numbers rise as of late but is still only one of three goalies in the league who sits inside the top-10 in wins, GAA and SV%. Holts continues to pace the league in the wins category now with 38 on the season posting a ridiculous 38-6-3 record. He hasn’t allowed less than two goals against in a game in his last nine starts but he is riding a three game winning streak and is facing the struggling Canadiens tonight. On the year against the Habs Holtby has been sterling, posting two wins and a 1.50 GAA in both of his matchups with Montreal. It’s an expensive price tag to pay, but the matchup is worth it if you can afford to spend up for him.
Top Line of the Night
Alex Ovechkin ($9,200) – Evgeny Kuznetsov ($6,700) – Justin Williams ($5,300)
The Capitals new top line had a great outing on Monday against the Coyotes, providing the bulk of the offense in the Caps 3-2 win. Kuznetsov, as I have written before, could very well be the MVP of the Capitals this season. He has been the team’s most consistent player and scorer this year and he picked up right where he left off the last time he was paired with Ovie at the beginning of the season. He opened the scoring on Monday with a PP goal, assisted by Ovie, and then hooked up with Justin Williams to pick up the assists on Ovechkin’s goal in the third. This line accounted for five points in Monday’s win with Ovie and Kuznetsov picking up two each and Ovechkin adding an additional nine SOG. Ovechkin has overtaken Patrick Kane for the league lead in goals and Kuznetsov sits third in the league in assists. Williams is having a great season with 42 points in 58 games and is on pace to break to 50-point barrier for the first time in five seasons.
Top Upside at Defense
Kris Letang ($6,900): Letang has been on fire since the break and has 12 points in the Penguins 10 games since coming out of it. It’s actually 12 points in seven games, thanks to a mini three-game slump that he was in two weeks ago when he didn’t record a point. Letang is currently riding a three-game point streak, to counter his equally-long scoreless streak it broke, with assists in three straight games including a triple-assist game on Sunday against the Sabres. It was his fourth multi-point game since coming out of the All-Star break. The Penguins face the Bruins tonight in Boston and in 25 games on the road this season Letang has solidly put up 20 points..
Hampus Lindholm ($4,300): Lindholm isn’t the Ducks defenseman many think about when they look at the offensive production from the Anaheim blueline. He has seen an uptick in production in his last four games and has stepped up his goal-scoring with four in his last 10 games and he has added 23 shots and 12 blocks in those games as well. He has two goals and two assists in his last four, both assists coming on the PP. The Ducks are back into playoff contention and are challenging the Kings for the lead in the Pacific Division and Lindholm is seeing time in all areas of the Ducks top-four and PP.
Superstar to Build Lineups Around
Ryan Getzlaf ($6,000): $6,000 for a top superstar tonight? Yup. Getzlaf is my top player of the evening and his body of work in February has been nothing short of fantastic. He is tied for the NHL lead in points scored with Connor McDavid with both Canadian superstars putting up 16 points this month. Nipping at his heels are Sidney Crosby and John Tavares at 15 for those thinking Crosby tonight too. But a closer look at his numbers shows how good he has been all-around. Getz has five goals, three game-winners, 11 assists (second in the league in Feb.), a +13 +/- rating, 23 SOG, nine blocks and five special teams’ points (4 PPP, 1 SHA). The numbers speak for themselves and Getzlaf has found a great chemistry with the newly acquired David Perron and the recently promoted from the bottom-six Mike Santorelli and the trio have been powering the Ducks offense as of late. Getzlaf is the 10th-most expensive center on the evening, and at that price is a huge bargain compared to his current level of production.
Joonas Donskoi ($3,800): Donskoi has been a pleasant surprise for the Sharks this season despite not putting up earth-shattering numbers. He has steadily put up 27 points on the season playing in various roles all around the San Jose lineup. He’s currently occupying the wing for the surging Logan Couture on the Sharks third line opposite Melker Karlsson and has six points and 11 SOG in his last 10 games. He snapped a three-game pointless drought with an assists against the Blues on Monday night on Tomas Hertl’s PP goal in the first period. Donskoi is fantasy-relevant at the moment thanks to Couture’s return to form so roll him on this limited night in a favorable scoring matchup.
Jimmy Hayes ($3,800): Hayes has had a solid first year in a Bruins uniform with 28 points in a mostly bottom-six role, but that production in 58 games puts him on pace to potentially break his 35-point campaign from last year with Florida. With their top-six healthy he finds himself once again on a line with Ryan Spooner and Matt Belesky on the Bruins third line. Hayes snapped a three-game scoreless streak with an assist on one of Belesky’s two goals and overall he has five points in his last seven games for Boston. On a limited night DFS players have to look at value players like Hayes for a flier, but the matchup could be good with Marc-Andre Fleury of the Penguins allowing six goals over his last two starts.
Semyon Varlamov ($7,900) Varly is dealing with the flu and will miss the Avs game with the Sharks on Wednesday night. Coach Patrick Roy has announced that Calvin Pickard will mind the net for Colorado so look elsewhere away from Varlamov for options between the pipes.
Ryan O’Reilly ($6,100) O’Reilly will be sidelined for the next three or four weeks dealing with a lower-body injury. The injury hurts the Sabres, though far from playoff contention, and O’Reilly as he was on pace to potentially break his career-high of 64 points. The injury opens the door for Jack Eichel and some of the Sabres other young playmakers to see and increased role in the offense so look there for some potential top-six value plays.