DFS NHL Optimal Lineups and Top Plays: February 22 Cover Image
DFS NHL Optimal Lineups and Top Plays: February 22
Kenneth Le

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Tim Beckham Headshot

Beckham, who added first base to his resume last season after having already played at each of the other infield spots, is putting in time as an outfielder this spring, Bill Chastain of MLB.com reports. "It's just repetition," Beckham said. "The more comfortable I get out there, the more opportunities I'll get. I don't think it's going to be hard at all. It's not going to be tough learning the position."

The addition of a fifth position to Beckham's defensive repertoire had been speculated about shortly before the start of initial workouts, and is now officially in process. The 27-year-old utility man has embraced the latest opportunity, remarking that his goal is simply to "play and win games", regardless of where he's deployed on the field. The additional versatility can only help Beckham's cause for a spot on the 25-man roster, although he'll likely need to display improvement in his plate discipline and overall offensive consistency to stick.
7:53 am (EST)
Jake Gardiner Headshot

Gardiner notched an assist on William Nylander's game-tying power-play goal in the third period Tuesday, then buried the game-winner in overtime to secure a 5-4 victory over Winnipeg.

After failing to hit the scoresheet 12 times in a span of 13 games, Gardiner has exploded seemingly out of nowhere with five points in the Leafs' last two contests. His offense has come in fits and starts, but the bottom line is that Gardiner is now just one point off his career high (31, which he's done twice) while boasting a plus-20 rating that's light years better than any figure he's put up in the past.
3:39 am (EST)
Josh Leivo Headshot

Leivo dished out a pair of assists and took four shots on goal in Tuesday's 5-4 overtime victory over Winnipeg.

He's lit aflame since being given a regular role in the lineup, ripping off eight points and 18 shots in his last five games. Leivo's 48 points in 51 AHL games last season are certainly suggestive of intriguing upside, and the quickness with which he's taking to the NHL all of a sudden bears noticing in fantasy. The 23-year-old may just be getting showcased for a trade, but either way, he skated 16:19 (with 3:19 of that on the power play) in this one, and if that degree of opportunity persists, he could very well keep putting up points at a decent clip.
3:35 am (EST)
Leo Komarov Headshot

Komarov put home a pair of goals -- one on the power play -- in Tuesday's 5-4 overtime win against the Jets.

Not much of a producer all year long despite solid ice time, Komarov's quietly broken out lately, putting together a five-game point streak during which he has six total points (three on the power play) and 15 shots on goal. By way of comparison, he had six points in the prior 32 games combined. Komarov being the kind of player he is, you have to consider any points he notches to be a bonus on top of his elite production in the hits category (283 last year; 182 in 59 games this year).
3:30 am (EST)
Nino Niederreiter Headshot

Niederreiter distributed two power-play assists in Tuesday's 5-3 loss to the Blackhawks.

Niederreiter led the Wild with five shots on goal, but finished with a minus-2 rating. Both of his assists came on goals by Mikael Granlund, as the second power-play unit converted on both of the team's opportunities with the extra man. Niederreiter's 45 points are a new career best.
2:45 am (EST)
Richard Panik Headshot

Panik contributed a goal, an assist, four shots and a plus-5 rating in Tuesday's 5-3 win over Minnesota.

Thirteen of Panik's 31 points have come in the past 12 games. His line with Jonathan Toews and Nick Schmaltz combined for all five goals and finished with 10 points among themselves.
2:39 am (EST)
William Nylander Headshot

Nylander scored the game-tying goal and added an assist -- both on the power play -- in Tuesday's 5-4 overtime win over the Jets.

He hasn't exactly had the steadiest run of late, but Nylander still has 11 points in his last 10 games. The 20-year-old has missed the scoresheet four times in that span and hasn't strung together a point streak longer than two games since mid-January, but Nylander's still sitting on a healthy 42 points in 58 games, so his fantasy owners are probably feeling quite forgiving toward his inconsistencies.
2:35 am (EST)
Auston Matthews Headshot

Matthews racked up three assists -- two on the power play, the other on the game-winning goal -- in Tuesday's 5-4 overtime victory against Winnipeg.

Is he good? He is good. This latest piece of work gives Matthews a cool 12 points in his last 10 games, and you have to give him a narrow edge over fellow Calder competitor Patrik Laine (two goals) in this one, as Matthews did after all achieve the desired outcome of winning. Those two are set to duke it out for the NHL's top rookie honors down the season's stretch run, with Laine currently edging Matthews by two goals with four games in hand.
2:29 am (EST)
Nick Schmaltz Headshot

Schmaltz finished with a goal and two assists in Tuesday's 5-3 win over Minnesota.

Schmaltz racked up all three of his points in the third period. He potted his fifth goal in 41 games just 33 seconds into the frame, then assisted on the second and third goals of Jonathan Toews' hat trick. Schmaltz came into this contest with just 11 points, but his spot on a line with Toews and Richard Panik gives him scoring upside.
2:22 am (EST)
Mathieu Perreault Headshot

Perreault collected two assists and four hits in Tuesday's 5-4 overtime loss to the Leafs.

He's racked up six points in the last four games, taking full advantage of lining up with Mark Scheifele and Patrik Laine on the Jets' lethal second line. It's been an awful season for Perreault, but he's been a different player recently, including playing much more physically. Perreault has put up 17 hits in the last three games; before that, he was averaging just 1.2 hits per game. If that new dimension sticks, it'll obviously add to his fantasy value in leagues that count hits.
2:21 am (EST)
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