Yahoo DFS Hockey:

Sasha Yodashkin
Chris Morgan likes Connor Hellebuyck's chances at a victory in Game 5 at home versus St. Louis on Thursday.

Yahoo DFS Hockey: Thursday Playoff Picks

Chris Morgan likes Connor Hellebuyck's chances at a victory in Game 5 at home versus St. Louis on Thursday.

Wednesday's NHL slate features just four games after 7:00 PM Eastern time, but there's plenty of value to be found with a few of the league's best offenses and most vulnerable defenses among the teams in action. Read on to see which players should be targeted here and which ones are best avoided at their respective prices.


Connor Hellebuyck, WPG at ANH ($24): Hellebuyck's 30-20-2 record has a lot to do with the plentiful offensive support coming from his teammates, but he has a nice opportunity to post a strong personal showing in addition to another victory here. He comes in having stopped 63 of 67 shots en route to consecutive wins over the Bruins and Flames. Those two teams are both significantly more dangerous up front compared to Anaheim's league-worst offense (2.30 goals per game).


Garret Sparks, TOR at BUF ($28): Sparks can't be counted upon in this second leg of a back-to-back. He's winless in his past five appearances and has surrendered six goals in each of his last two starts.


Bo Horvat, VAN vs. OTT ($22): Horvat has already set career highs in both goals (25) and points (54), but the 23-year-old center has his sights set even higher judging by his strong late-season push. He has two goals and six points over the past five games, and Horvat's unlikely to slow down against a Senators team that's allowing a mind-boggling 4.31 goals per game on the road. Needless to say, that's a league-worst mark.


Lars Eller, WAS vs. TB ($17): Eller's average of 4.5 fantasy points is the lowest mark among all centers that cost more than $13. He's unlikely to improve that mark against the league-best Lightning.


Alexander Nylander, BUF vs. TOR ($10): Nylander got his first points of the season in his fourth appearance of the campaign with two assists Sunday against St. Louis, and the eighth overall selection in the 2016 draft will look to build on that performance when his brother William and the Maple Leafs come to town. With Toronto finishing up a back-to-back, the younger Nylander could be worth a flier at the minimum $10 considering the upside held in his elite hockey genes. 

Kyle Connor, WPG at ANH ($17): While many of his teammates have extreme home/road splits favoring their results in Winnipeg, Connor's been consistent regardless of location. Despite posting a 5.0 higher shooting percentage on home ice, Connor has a nearly identical 28 points in 37 home contests and 27 points in 35 road games. His ability to perform on the road should pay off against against a Ducks team with a minus-54 goal differential -- the second-worst mark in the NHL.


Alex Ovechkin, WAS at TB ($35): Ovechkin's in a bit of a scoring dry spell by his lofty standards, having been held without a goal in five of his past six games. He still costs $35 despite this dip, and living up to such a lofty price tag will be a tall order against a Tampa Bay team that's outscoring opponents 3.85 to 2.60 on average.

Jeff Skinner, BUF vs. TOR ($22): While it's tempting to pick against Sparks given his recent struggles, Skinner may not be the guy to add to those struggles. The sniper's disappearing act has been a major factor in Buffalo's recent free fall. Of Skinner's 37 goals this season, only one has come on his last 15 games -- a span during which he's also failed to produce a multi-point outing.


Alexander Edler, VAN vs. OTT ($19): Edler's tremendous all-around ability gives him a high floor, which has enabled him to lead all healthy blueliners priced below $24 with 7.9 fantasy points per game. His ceiling here is as high as it will get for the rest of the season given Ottawa's aforementioned struggles when it comes to keeping the puck out of its net on the road. With 25 points in 47 appearances, Edler's already posting his best point-per-game ratio (.53) since delivering a .59 mark back in 2011-12.

Victor Hedman, TB at WAS ($24): While the Lightning are in the midst of a historically strong season, Hedman has actually underperformed relative to the high bar he's set for himself offensively over the previous two seasons. That is, until recently. The hulking blueliner still has only 47 points in 65 games after posting 135 points over 156 appearances in his past two completed campaigns, but he comes into this one riding a five-game point streak and having played at a point-per-game pace over the past 10. With Washington playing the second leg of a back-to-back, a locked-in Hedman is worth paying up for.


Erik Cernak, TB at WAS ($18): Why play Cernak when fellow Lightning blueliner Ryan McDonagh can be had for the same price? McDonagh outclasses Cernak in every aspect of the game, with eight goals, 30 assists, a plus-39 rating and 6.7 fantasy points per game to Cernak's four goals, 10 assists, plus-25 rating and 5.3 fantasy points per game.

Cody Ceci, OTT at VAN ($16): Ceci finally scored his first goal of the 2019 calendar year Saturday, but that doesn't mean owners should be lining up to draft him here. His passable offense (six goals, 18 assists) is outweighed by dreadful defense (minus-18 rating), both from Ceci himself and the team around him.

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