Yahoo DFS Hockey: Sunday Picks

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Yahoo DFS Hockey: Sunday Picks
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In less than a week, the NHL regular season will have come to a close (except for that makeup game between the Jets and Kraken). This is a big day of NHL action, though a few of the games are in the afternoon. I'm focused on the seven starting at 7 p.m. ET or later. These are my recommendations.

GOALIE

Logan Thompson, VGK vs. SAN ($37): With Robin Lehner out for the season, Thompson is the main man in net for the Golden Knights. The rookie has been the better of the two anyway with a 2.56 GAA and .920 save percentage. San Jose has fallen all the way to 30th in goals per game, and will be on the road for the second leg of a back-to-back.

GOALIE TO AVOID

Vitek Vanecek, WAS vs. TOR ($24): Vanecek picked up a shutout in his last start, but that was against lowly Arizona. Toronto represents a much-tougher matchup. Even though the Leafs are on the road for the second consecutive night, they've still averaged 3.83 goals and 34.7 shots on net. That doesn't sound favorable enough to trust Vanecek.

CENTER

Nicklas Backstrom, WAS vs. TOR ($12): I may be worried about Washington's goalie, but I'm not concerned about the rest of the lineup. Erik Kallgren will likely be in net for the Leafs, and he comes in with a 3.48 GAA and .882 save percentage. Backstrom has notched an assist in back-to-back games to give him 31 points in 44 games, including 14 with the extra man.

CENTER TO AVOID

Ryan Johansen, NAS vs. MIN ($17): Mikael Granlund gets to center Nashville's big line, but Johansen has put up impressive numbers thanks in part to a robust 20.7 shooting percentage. It's good to be lucky, though it's also not necessarily sustainable. The Preds on the second leg of a back-to-back, and I expect Cam Talbot in net for the Wild with his 2.15 GAA and .925 save percentage across 12 appearances.

WING

Valeri Nichushkin, COL at WPG ($20): This is the version of Nichushkin that some envisioned when he was drafted. After 10 points in his last seven games, he's up to 50 in 59. Nichushkin is also firing a lot of puck on net with 166 shots. The Jets have allowed 33.2 shots on net per game, so the Russian should have plenty of opportunities.

Jake DeBrusk, BOS at MON ($18): Both teams skated Saturday, but the Canadiens are the one with the NHL's highest GAA. After a few scoreless games, DeBrusk got back to business with a two-point effort to continue his improved play since joining Boston's top line. As long as he's on Patrice Bergeron's wing, he offers upside.

WINGS TO AVOID

Timo Meier, SAN at VGK ($24): Meier is the only wing for the Sharks who has really produced this year. However, he's on the road for the second leg of a back-to-back facing a team in what is effectively a must-win situation for them. The Golden Knights are largely healthy, and Thompson has posted a .920 save percentage. I could envision Mark Stone's line being called upon to try and lock down Meier and company.

Blake Wheeler, WPG vs. COL ($18): Even with the poor shooting percentage and the relative dearth of goals, Wheeler has 55 points in 61 games. The problem is he's only produced one point in his last six. Even though his last start went poorly – and facing the Oilers can be tough – Darcy Kuemper still maintains a 2.48 GAA and .923 save percentage.

DEFENSE

Jared Spurgeon, MIN at NAS ($19): Not all that long ago, Spurgeon was riding a seven-game point streak. He's also notched three points in his last four games. Nashville may try using Juuse Saros on consecutive nights, which was recently unsuccessfully attempted. Otherwise, David Rittich will be in net and he's registered a 3.42 GAA and .883 save percentage.

Shea Theodore, VGK vs. SAN ($18): Theodore had kicked his game into gear of late with 11 points in his last 11 outings. He's also put 32 shots on net during that time to give him 188 on the year. As I noted, the Sharks are on the road for the second leg of a back-to-back, and James Reimer has a 2.82 GAA and .913 save percentage.

DEFENSE TO AVOID

Morgan Rielly, TOR at WAS ($23): While I'm wary of Vanecek, I also don't want to pay Rielly's salary in this situation. The Maple Leafs will be away from home for their second game in as many days. Washington has only allowed 29.0 shots on net per contest and also boasts a top-10 penalty kill. Rielly generates a lot of his fantasy value on the power play, so that's not in his favor.

Mattias Ekholm, NAS vs. MIN ($17): Roman Josi is probably a little too productive to recommend avoiding, especially since he's at home for the second straight night, but his teammate Ekholm isn't on the same level. He's recorded four points from his last six games, but I don't see him adding to that. And as previously mentioned, Talbot has recently been hot.