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NHL DFS: Yahoo Plays and Strategy for Wednesday, March 7

NHL DFS: Yahoo Plays and Strategy for Wednesday, March 7

There are only three NHL games Wednesday, but there are two nationally-televised games featuring former rivals. The Sabres and Maple Leafs were rivals, right? Detroit and Colorado certainly were. Also, Ottaw plays Anaheim, which is a 2007 Stanley Cup Finals rematch! We all remember that one fondly! Anyway, here are my players to target, and to avoid, for your DFS lineups.

GOALIE

Ilya Samsonov, TOR vs. BUF ($22): This pick proved a little tricky, as both of the Senators' top-two goalies are banged up, and Toronto is on the first leg of a back-to-back. I imagine the Leafs will save Joseph Woll for the Bruins, though, and let Samsonov start against a team that ranks 23rd in goals per game. The Russian goalie has a .907 save percentage over his last 12 starts, which is a major improvement for him, and thanks to stout play around him he has a 2.48 GAA and 10-2-0 record in that time.

GOALIE TO AVOID

John Gibson, ANA vs. OTT ($30): The Senators are bad, so you might consider rostering the goalie at home against that bad team. However, it's the way in which Ottawa is bad that matters. The Sens are bad defensively, but have averaged 3.27 goals and 32.3 shots on net per game, both above average. As such, I'd avoid Gibson, who is also fighting off an illness.

CENTER

Adam Henrique, ANA vs. OTT ($24): Henrique may be dealt, but right now he's centering the top line for the Ducks and, if nothing else, bolstering his return in a potential deal. He has seven points in his last seven games. I noted the Senators were bad defensively, and indeed they have a 3.59 GAA, bottom five in the NHL.

CENTER TO AVOID

John Tavares, TOR vs. BUF ($26): Tavares has a goal in each of his last two games, so his scoring slump is behind him. On the other hand, his minutes are down. He's averaged 16:01 per contest in ice time over his last six outings, and he's even been playing some on the third line. The Sabres have become a tougher matchup recently, as Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has an 1.91 GAA and .932 save percentage over his last 20 outings.

WING

Jeff Skinner, BUF at TOR ($21): Skinner has three goals (on 20 shots on net) and three assists over his last seven games. Four of those points have come on the power play as well. While Samsonov has played slightly better recently, he's still been a below-average goalie, and the Maple Leafs are barely above the bottom 10 on the penalty kill.

Drake Batherson, OTT at ANA ($19): With four goals in his last five games, Batherson has second 20-goal season in a row, and this time he's done it in only 59 contests. Facing the Ducks could help him stay hot, as the Ducks are in the bottom five in GAA, shots on net allowed per game, and penalty-kill percentage.

WINGS TO AVOID

Alex DeBrincat, DET at COL ($24): DeBrincat and Dylan Larkin have formed a great duo this year. The problem for "The Cat" is that Larkin is out for two weeks. He'll be missing from this game, and Joe Veleno isn't at the same level. That'll make it harder for DeBrincat to live up to his DFS salary.

Jonathan Drouin, COL vs. DET ($16): Drouin has averaged 3:34 per game on the power play, with 14 points with the extra man in 61 contests. However, the Red Wings actually have the 10th-ranked penalty kill, and Alex Lyon has a .911 save percentage as well.

DEFENSE

Rasmus Dahlin, BUF at TOR ($21): Dahlin has established himself as a top power-play producer. He had 32 points with the extra man last year, and he has 18 this season. Toronto, with its below-average penalty kill, shouldn't impede the Swedish blue liner much.

Pavel Mintyukov, ANA vs. OTT ($12): Rookie defenseman Mintyukov has picked up 24 points in 50 games. He's been on-and-off the top power-play unit all season as well, with seven points with the extra man. The Senators have a bottom-five GAA, and with their top-two goalies day-to-day, Mads Sogaard could be in net. He has a career .884 save percentage.

DEFENSE TO AVOID

Morgan Rielly, TOR vs. BUF ($20): Rielly has put 149 shots on goal through 56 games. However, the Sabres have only allowed 29.1 shots on net per contest. Then, you throw in Luukonen's play. As I noted, he has a .932 save percentage over his last 20 games. Rielly has picked up plenty of assists recently, but he doesn't have a goal in his last 14 contests, and it will be tricky to light the lamp Wednesday.

Moritz Seider, DET at COL ($19): Seider has 32 points in 61 games, though he's only tallied 98 shots on net. Additionally, 16 of those points have come on the power play. The Avalanche have an above-average penalty kill, and at home this year Alexandar Georgiev has a 2.53 GAA and .908 save percentage.