NHL DFS Picks: Yahoo Plays and Strategy for Thursday, January 18

NHL DFS Picks: Yahoo Plays and Strategy for Thursday, January 18

There are 11 games in the NHL on Thursday. Chicago plays in Buffalo after their Wednesday tilt was postponed due to snow, Boston is home to Colorado, Montreal travels to Ottawa, Dallas plays in Philadelphia, Detroit visits Tampa Bay, St. Louis takes on Washington, Calgary hosts Toronto, Seattle travels to Edmonton, Nashville visits LA, Arizona plays in Vancouver and Vegas is home to the Rangers. Below, you'll find suggested options for crafting an effective lineup.


Stuart Skinner, EDM vs. SEA ($26): Skinner has won his last eight games as he has turned his season around after a very poor start. Skinner has given up five goals on 107 shots in his last four games. He has stopped all the talk about the Oilers needing a goaltender as he has turned his season around. Skinner is 19-9-1 with a pair of shutouts and a 2.61 GAA.


Andrei Vasilevskiy, TB vs. MIN ($35): Vasilevskiy is having a tough go of it this season. It started off poorly as he missed the first seven weeks of the season, after undergoing back surgery during training camp. He is only 12-9-0 with a 2.86 GAA and an .898 save percentage. His peripherals are the worst of his career. The good news is that he has won three straight games, giving up six goals on 82 shots. He is a high price and you are better off playing Skinner and using the extra $9 on better players.


Nathan MacKinnon, COL at BOS ($37): MacKinnon has had at least one point in 28 of his last 29 contests. He has been a stud with 17 goals and 52 points since Nov. 20 in 20 games and has 23 goals and 72 points in 45 games, tied with Nikita Kucherov for the NHL lead. He has clicked with ex-Halifax teammate Jonathan Drouin as Drouin has seven goals and 17 points in his last 17 tilts. MacKinnon is a top-three forward in the NHL and is a top candidate for the Hart Trophy this season.


Anze Kopitar, LA vs. NSH ($24): Kopitar has 39 points in 41 games this season and is as usual, atop the Kings scoring list, one point better than Adrian Kempe. But Kopitar has not picked up a point in his last two games and he has only five assists in eight games. Kopitar is a good scorer, but I would rather spend the money on Nathan MacKinnon, Auston Matthews or Connor McDavid on Thursday.


Zach Hyman, EDM vs. SEA ($25): Hyman is having another great season. He has 26 goals and 42 points in 39 games, the second straight season the winger is averaging over a point per game. Hyman has eight goals and 11 points on the power play and gets the great assignment of playing alongside the great Connor McDavid.

Max Pacioretty, WAS vs. STL ($10): Pacioretty has returned to action after missing the first 35 games of the season recovering from Achilles surgery. He signed with the Capitals in the offseason, with the knowledge he would likely miss the first half of the season. Pacioretty has a goal and a pair of assists in seven games this season. Pacioretty has had six 30-goal seasons in his career, but he hasn't hit that milestone in the last four seasons. His price is outstanding and he is worth placing in your fantasy lineup.


Blake Coleman, CGY vs. TOR ($30): Coleman is having a career year with 38 points in 44 games, tying his previous career best, set last season in 82 games. He has been awfully hot of late with 10 goals and 16 points in his last 11 contests, but there are so many better players to use if you are going to spend that much money on a winger. He has 20 goals this season, but Coleman has only two goals on the power play, as he is averaging only 46 seconds per game with the man-advantage.

Andrew Mangiapane, CGY vs. TOR ($16): Mangiapane has been held off the scoresheet in three of his last four games. He will likely move back down to the third line as Jonathan Huberdeau is due back after missing Tuesday's tilt with an illness. Mangiapane had a career high 35 goals in 2021-22, but that likely will end up being a career high as he has yet to get more than 18 goals in any of his other five NHL seasons.


Victor Hedman, TB vs. MIN ($20): Hedman is having a terrific season in 2023-24, after a tough season the previous year. Hedman had 49 points in 76 games in 2022-23, averaging only .64 points per game, his worst performance since 2015-16 when he averaged .60 points per contest. It has a been a different story this season as he has 40 points in 42 games. He is quarterbacking the first power play, and has 18 of his 40 points with the man-advantage.

Adam Fox, NYR at VGK ($24): Fox has been hot of late with four goals and six points in his last six games. Fox has seven goals and 30 points in 33 outings this season, missing 10 games earlier in the year with a lower-body injury. Fox has had back-to-back 70-plus point seasons and while he is averaging close to a point a game this season, he could fall just short of a third 70-point season, due to his earlier injury.


Noah Hanifin, CGY vs. TOR ($22): Hanifin is a high price for a player who has seven goals and 23 points in 44 games this season. He chips in with blocked shots, as he has 64, but his lack of hits hurts him fantasy-wise. Hanifin is averaging 1:43 of power-play time per game this season, but he has not seen much action of late with the man-advantage, as he has received a total of 2:31 over the last six contests.

Adam Larsson, SEA at EDM ($18): Larsson is a nice defenseman, the problem is that he is not a great fantasy player. Larsson has three goals, 11 assists, 73 hits and 82 blocked shots this season. He's been blanked in his last two games and hasn't produced a point in two games this season against his former Edmonton teammates.