Yahoo DFS Hockey: Friday Picks

Sasha Yodashkin
RotoWire.com
Sasha Yodashkin looks at Friday's Yahoo slate, rolling with Jets star Patrik Laine on the road in Detroit.

Yahoo DFS Hockey: Friday Picks

Sasha Yodashkin looks at Friday's Yahoo slate, rolling with Jets star Patrik Laine on the road in Detroit.

Friday's NHL slate is light as usual, with four games on tap beginning at an unusual 6:00 PM Eastern start time. Stacking Jets players will be a popular move against the hapless Red Wings, but that's not the only strategy out there. Read on to see which players are primed to provide the best value and which ones should be avoided.

GOALIE

Semyon Varlamov, COL vs. OTT ($34):

It's a little too early to start thinking about the Vezina Trophy, but Varlamov would certainly be in the running if we were, as he's 4-1-2 with a minuscule 1.56 GAA and astronomical .953 save percentage. An Ottawa team that's expected to finish well outside the playoff picture is unlikely to put much of a dent in the Russian's pretty numbers.

GOALIE TO AVOID

Martin Jones, SJ at CAR ($30):

Jones may be on a three-game winning streak, but his save percentage is still below .900. A road tilt against a Hurricanes squad that's scored 14 goals in its last three home games has the potential to turn very sour for Jones and anyone who deploys him.

CENTER

Jordan Staal, CAR vs. SJ ($14):

Staal can be had for just $14, even though his production and role suggest he should be worth much more. The veteran center is averaging a robust 19:49 of ice time per game, and he's put together a well-rounded stat line with four goals, two assists and a plus-3 rating through nine games. Staal's 26 shots over that span suggest his scoring is sustainable, as finally having a competent team around him has Staal on a career-high pace in the shots category.

CENTER TO AVOID

Tyler Johnson, TB at VGK ($19):

Almost all of Johnson's value this season stems from a two-game stretch in which he followed up a two-assist effort with a hat trick. Since then, he's gone four games without a point. Considering Vegas netminder Marc-Andre Fleury has stopped 93 of 97 shots over his past four starts, Johnson will have a tough time ending his drought here.

WINGS

Gabriel Landeskog, COL vs. OTT ($22):

Landeskog's name has appeared in this column often this season, but that's because he continues to be the cheapest member of Colorado's elite first line while returning similar results to Nathan MacKinnon ($34) and Mikko Rantanen ($25). Despite being noticeably cheaper than both linemates, Landeskog has nearly matched MacKinnon's 14.0 fantasy points per game and Rantanen's 13.0 with 12.9 of his own. The Swede also scored Colorado's would-be only goal in the team's 1-0 loss to the Lightning on Wednesday, but it was disallowed due to a teammate being offside. All three are primed for strong performances here, Landeskog just offers the best bang for the buck.

Patrik Laine, WPG at DET ($27): Laine's off to a slow start with only five points (three goals) through 10 games, but it's safe to expect a turnaround from the 20-year-old stud, who netted 36 and 44 goals in his first two NHL seasons. He couldn't ask for a better opportunity to get back on track than a date with a floundering Red Wings club that sports a minus-19 goal differential (20 goals for, 39 against) nine games into the season.

WINGS TO AVOID

Blake Wheeler, WPG at DET ($27):

Despite the favorable matchup, it's likely Wheeler will actually struggle to live up to his lofty $27 price tag here. His home/away splits might be the most lopsided in the league -- of Wheeler's 100 points since the start of last season, 67 have come at home and just 33 on the road. Seeing as this matchup is on the road, Wheeler's far from a sure bet to produce.

Gustav Nyquist, DET vs. WPG ($16): Nyquist has mustered only one shot on goal in five of nine games this season and already has a minus-7 rating. His lack of scoring opportunities coupled with major rating risk against a superior Jets club make a recipe for a poor fantasy performance.

DEFENSEMEN

Thomas Chabot, OTT at COL ($17):

We keep waiting for Chabot to come back down to earth, but it's time to start considering that the 21-year-old is simply in the midst of a breakout campaign. He's got three goals and 10 points in eight games, yet remains affordable at $17. Even against Varlamov and the Avalanche, it's tough to pass up Chabot's upside at this price.

Dustin Byfuglien, WPG at DET ($24): Byfuglien should get oodles of ice time considering his season average is 24:42, and that ice time is likely to lead to production in this highly favorable matchup. With 45 or more points in each of the past five seasons, Byfuglien's been among the premier producers from the blue line for a while, and skating for a stacked Jets squad helps maximize his value.

DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID

Erik Karlsson, SJ at CAR ($26):

Karlsson hasn't really found his groove offensively, and his defensive struggles from last season have manifested themselves with his new club. With just five points (no goals) and a minus-7 rating through nine games, he's performed nothing like a $26 player thus far.

Erik Johnson, COL vs. OTT ($19): Johnson will likely stay overpriced for a while with a three-point performance from Oct. 6 propping up his point total (five in 10 games), but in reality, the 30-year-old blueliner isn't much of an offensive threat with no more than 27 points in any season since 2013-14. While his solid defensive play gives Johnson a high floor, you'd like a higher ceiling than he offers at $19.























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