• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

NHL DFS: Thursday picks and fades

·4 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Check out our top plays and fades for the NHL Thursday slate!

GOALIE

Marc-Andre Fleury, MIN vs. VAN ($29): Fleury has been magnificent since joining the Wild, posting a .921 save percentage and a 6-1-0 record. The Canucks have been riding a high recently, but they still rank 25th in the league over the last month with 2.34 xGF/60 at even strength per Natural Stat Trick. Fleury could bring them the regression they'll eventually have to face.

GOALIE TO AVOID

Semyon Varlamov, NYI vs. NYR ($32): Varlamov has recorded a .906 save percentage and a 3.50 GAA over the last seven games. We don't really know if Varlamov will get the start, but he hasn't played in over a week and the Islanders are already out of playoff contention. The Rangers have scored at least three goals in seven of the last eight games and bring a ton of risk for any goalie matched against them.

CENTER

Nico Hischier, NJ vs. BUF ($18): Hischier is the clear No. 1 center with Jack Hughes (knee) out for the season, and he's generating solid production with 20 points over the last 16 games while averaging 21 minutes. The Sabres have been brutal defensively this season with a 3.53 GAA and a 75.9 percent penalty kill, so Hischier can hit his ceiling Thursday.

CENTER TO AVOID

Elias Pettersson, VAN at MIN ($24): In DFS tournaments, it's important to fade players that will be highly rostered, especially if they're high-risk options. Pettersson has posted 20 points over the last 13 games, meaning he'll be a popular DFS pick, but he carries a higher risk once we dig deeper. Fleury is in net for the Wild, who have a league-best 1.94 xGA/60 at even strength over the last 15 games.

WING

Kevin Fiala, MIN vs. VAN ($23): Fiala is on a roll, posting seven goals and seven assists across the past seven games. Unlike Pettersson, his matchup Thursday is ideal, as the Canucks have struggled defensively all season, especially on the penalty kill where they rank 31st in the league at 73.7 percent.

Minnesota Wild left wing Kevin Fiala is a top NHL DFS option
Consider Kevin Fialia in your NHL DFS lineups tonight. (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Alex Tuch, BUF at NJ ($18): Tuch is skating on the second line and has posted 10 points and 29 shots on net over the last 12 games. Meanwhile, the Devils just assigned goaltender Nico Daws to the AHL, meaning 34-year-old Andrew Hammond is their likely starter. He has posted an .866 save percentage and a 4.88 GAA through four games this season.

WINGS TO AVOID

Ross Colton, TB vs. TOR ($19): Colton is enjoying a late-season surge with eight goals and two assists over the last 16 games. Unfortunately, it's tough to see how this is sustainable, as he's averaged just 12:06 of ice time in that span. He is handling some power-play minutes, but that loses some of its intrigue against Toronto's seventh-ranked PK (83.2 percent).

Rickard Rakell, PIT vs. BOS ($18): Rakell has been inconsistent lately. He has gone pointless in six of the last eight games, and he recorded a combined five points in the other two games. This could be another dud game as the Bruins have been fantastic defensively, posting a 2.04 xGA/60 at even strength which ranks second best in the league.

DEFENSE

Tony DeAngelo, CAR vs. WPG ($23): DeAngelo has been an excellent on-ice asset for the Hurricanes this season, leading the blue line with 19 power-play points and posting 48 total points through 59 games. Despite solid goaltending, Winnipeg has struggled on the PK (74.3 percent), ranking 30th in the league.

[Play in one of Yahoo's NHL DFS contests]

Travis Sanheim, PHI at MON ($17): Sanheim has found a home on the top defensive pairing with nearly 25 minutes of ice time through the last seven games, and he has produced five points, 16 shots on net and 19 blocked shots. He hasn't produced on the power play this year, but Thursday's matchup against the Canadiens – who rank 28th in the league with a 74.6 percent penalty kill – could get him on track.

DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID

MacKenzie Weegar, FLA vs. DET ($21): Weegar looks like an enticing DFS option against the Red Wings, but Detroit is most vulnerable on the PK, and Weegar isn't on Florida's power play despite playing on the top defensive pairing. His ceiling takes a hit as a result.

Ryan Pulock, NYI vs. NYR ($18): Pulock is finally healthy enough to get the minutes he needs, but he has still produced just three points over the past 17 games. It's worth noting that he provides a solid floor with shots on net and blocked shots. However, his ceiling is simply capped right now, especially with Vezina front-runner Igor Shesterkin in the opposing crease.