The fantasy NHL cheat sheet provides a quick daily read into the top lines, superstars, and value picks that should be considered going into puck drop.
TOP LINE(S) OF THE NIGHT
Arizona Coyotes @ Calgary Flames (9 PM EST).
Johnny Gaudreau ($7,700) - Sean Monahan ($7,200) - Micheal Ferland ($4,700)
It pains me to give the Flames any sort of positive recognition, but in order to maintain transparency, I have to give credit where credit is due. Calgary’s first line has been dynamite over the past 10 games when it comes to fantasy hockey. Monahan has registered 13 points, with 5 of those points coming on the man advantage. Johnny Hockey has been the hottest of the trio with 16 points over 10 games. Ferland’s new found role has been bountiful as of late. Ferland has posted 8 points, which is far from disappointing considering his skillset. Monahan’s pricing makes this potential stack intriguing as Monahan is the 4th most expensive center and has the most favorable match-up. With only 7 games tonight, and some inconsistencies and tough match-ups, this line is my only top line of the night.
SUPERSTAR(S) TO BUILD AROUND
Connor McDavid ($8,100)/Auston Matthews ($7,900)
The ongoing debate of Matthews vs McDavid amplifies tonight as McDavid is 6 points ahead of Matthews with a game up on the Maple Leaf star. On paper, Matthews has the favorable match-up as the Oilers have some holes in their defense and are often fighting tooth and nail to keep pucks out of their net. McDavid put up a poor performance against a bottom-feeder Coyotes squad on Tuesday, but that shouldn’t deter anyone from taking him tonight. Matthews has 6 points in his last 8 games, and has only been held under 2.0 DKP’s once over those 8 games. McDavid has 12 points in his last 10 games, and is averaging 4.2 DKP’s/game even with an on-going carousel of wingers playing alongside him. Be confident building your line-up around either Matthews or McDavid as this game could turn out to be a shoot-out.
VALUE ON OFFENSE
Patrick Marleau ($4,700)
The veteran winger has found success skating on Toronto’s second line. Marleau has 6 points over his last 10 games and see’s time on the second power-play unit. Tonight’s game against the Oiler’s puts Marleau in a great spot. The Oilers have been shuffling their lines around as of late. This game will provide Marleau with plenty of offensive opportunities as the Oilers are ranked in the bottom 5 for goals against/game, penalty kill, and power play goals against.
Brendan Perlini ($3,600)
It’s not very often that a first line winger is priced below $4,000. Perlini’s last 5 games has been a pleasant surprise and makes his basement pricing intriguing. Perlini has a goal in 4 of 5 games which has resulted in an average of 4.0 DKP’s over those 5 games. The Coyotes winger has also registered 12 shots on goal over the 5 game span. Perlini has a strong match-up against the Flames tonight, as the Flames are in the bottom ten for just about every defensive category. If you’re looking to save salary, Perlini is a safe bet to do so.
Just missed: Jesse Puljujarvi ($3,100), Patrick Sharp ($3,500)
Mike Smith ($8,300)
Smith is the highest priced goaltender for tonight’s slate and rightfully so. Smith has a favorable matchup against the Coyotes who are streaky at best when it comes to their offense. Smith’s last 10 games have been acceptable and you can expect another strong performance out of Smith tonight. Smith has posted a 5-3-1 record over his last 9 starts with a 3.08 GAA and a .911SV%. There should be no reason for Smith and the Flames to drop this game tonight. With such a limited slate taking a cheaper goaltender and having them fall flat can be the difference between placing or not placing in your contests.
Carey Price ($7,800)
Carey Price is back to showing the hockey world why he should be considered one of the best goalies in the league. Price has recently returned from injury and has posted a 3-0-0 record since then. Price has also posted a .979SV% and a 0.66 GAA over those 3 games along with registering a shut-out. If Price continues to perform, it should be a no-brainer to have Price in your line-up. Price is facing a Redwings squad that is having troubles scoring so this matchup puts Price in a excellent spot.
VALUE ON DEFENSE
Darnell Nurse ($3,900)
With Sekera out with an injury, Darnell Nurse has stepped up on defense. Nurse is averaging 23.6 minutes/game over his last 10 games. Nurse has 4 points, 27 SOG, and 17 blocks, and averages 3.2 DKP’s/game over those 10 games, which is relatively high for a defenseman priced in Nurse’s range. Expect Nurse to see plenty of minutes tonight against the Leafs. The Leafs give up plenty of shots and often lean on Andersen to keep them in games. Nurse doesn’t see many power-play minutes but does just fine as all his production has come when even-strength.
Just missed: Nikita Zaitsev ($3,800)
POWER PLAY DEFENSEMEN
John Klingberg ($5,700)
Klingberg is the 3rd most expensive defenseman on the slate and is presented with the most favorable matchup. Klingberg mans the blue-line on the first power-play unit. With 21 points, Klingberg leads all defensemen to this point and there is no reason to believe anything will change in the near future. Over the past 10 games Klingberg has put 17 shots on net and has registered 7 points, 1 of these being a power-play goal. The Stars have plenty of offensive talent around Klingberg so there should be no reason to expect any decline to Klingberg’s production.
Oliver Ekman Larsson ($5,400)
Believe it or not, OEL has been the hottest defensemen, let alone player in the NHL over the past 7 games. OEL has only registered less than 2.0 DKP’s once over his past 10 games and has picked up 8 points and 35 SOG over the span while averaging 4.6 DKP’s. The Swedish defenseman has scored 77 goals since the start of the 2013-14 campaign, with 42 of those coming on the power play. Expect OEL to take advantage of Calgary’s penalty kill as they’re the leagues worst 74%.
Just missed: Oscar Klefbom ($5,200)
Make sure to check back every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday as I will be providing cheat sheets for those slates. If you have any inquiries, I can be reached through the comments below our on twitter (@WCS_BFerg).
I am not a promoter at Draftkings, but I am an avid fan and user (my username is HurtinAlbertan69). I often play in the games that I offer advice and insight on. Although I’ve expressed specific views and strategies in the article above, they do not mimic the strategies or players that I will deploy in the slate. I am not an employee of Draftkings (www.draftkings.com) and do not have access to any non-public information.