This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
Wednesday's 7:30 PM Eastern time NHL slate features only three games, but there's no shortage of entertaining action despite this slate's small size, with a Penguins-Capitals playoff rematch highlighting the night. Despite the relative lack of choices, there's still value to be found here, so read on to see which players to target and which ones to avoid.
Mike Smith, CGY at ANH ($29): Smith is primed for a strong performance relative to this slate's other goaltenders, as Anaheim's offensive production has been among the worst in the league while the other five teams playing all rank among the top 10 in goals per game. His affordability just further solidifies Smith's value.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Semyon Varlamov, COL vs. NSH ($37): As was just mentioned, most of these offenses are capable of producing terrific numbers, so no goaltender is completely safe. Varlamov offers the greatest downside, however, seeing as he costs the most to get. Facing the fearsome Predators after giving up six goals in his last start to push his losing streak to three makes the Russian netminder a risky choice.
Adam Henrique, ANH vs. CGY ($14): Henrique skated a season-high 21:24 Sunday, and he could be in for another massive minutes load with fellow Anaheim centers Ryan Getzlaf (upper body) and Ryan Kesler (undisclosed) both in danger of sitting this one out. Should Henrique have to hold down a role on both the top line and top power-play unit, he'll be in position to easily outperform his $14 valuation.
CENTER TO AVOID
Sheldon Dries, COL vs. NSH ($17): Dries is riding a two-game point streak, but that production's likely to dry up given his meager season ice time average of 8:33. It's best to either pay up for more established players or take a chance on a cheaper guy to save money.
Dmitrij Jaskin, WAS vs. PIT ($10): Jaskin is the latest Capitals player to get a crack at the top line with superstars Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov, as almost every winger on the roster has been tried there while Tom Wilson serves his lengthy suspension. The Russian-born Czech has mustered one point through two games alongside the talented pair of Russians, and the scoring upside that this prominent role brings makes him well worth a look at the minimum price.
Gabriel Landeskog, COL vs. NSH ($25): Landeskog has 10 goals and six assists over his past 10 games, outpacing the fantasy production of linemates Nathan MacKinnon (six goals, nine assists) and Mikko Rantanen (four goals, 13 assists) over that span. The Swede also leads the group in both rating (plus-11) and power-play points (six) this season. All three have been nearly unstoppable in the early going, but Landeskog has offered the best value of the group recently while remaining the cheapest of the three at $25.
WINGS TO AVOID
Patric Hornqvist, PIT at WAS ($21): Since a two-game stretch in which he scored five of his six points this season, Hornqvist has totaled just 1.9 fantasy points in five subsequent games, posting a minus-6 rating. The value just isn't there at $21, especially with the Swede skating only 15:12per game.
Filip Forsberg, NSH at COL ($26): Forsberg has seen extra defensive attention in the past two games with usual linemate Viktor Arvidsson sidelined by a lower-body injury. That attention has helped hold Forsberg without a point in those two games sans Arvidsson. Until his fellow Swede returns, it may be best to avoid Forsberg based on those recent results.
Mark Giordano, CGY at ANH ($21): Giordano has established a tremendous floor for himself with significant contributions in every meaningful category, which is how he's been able to produce 7.4 or more fantasy points in eight of the past nine games. In addition to his point-per-game pace through 15 and plus-10 rating, the veteran blueliner is averaging 3.5 shots and 1.5 blocks per contest. You can set it and forget it when it comes to Giordano.
Ryan Ellis, NSH at COL ($17): Ellis is yet to light the lamp this season, but he's still providing solid value with eight helpers and a plus-9 rating in 14 games. Considering he's posted at least nine goals in each of the last four campaigns despite battling a few significant injuries, Ellis' fortunes in that category are bound to turn around soon. In the meantime, owners have a nice buy-low opportunity with Ellis at $17.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Jamie Oleksiak, PIT at WAS ($18): Oleksiak's enjoying some unsustainable early-season success, which has over-inflated his price. He's already more than halfway to last season's 47-game total of 14 points with eight in 12 games, including four goals. That production should decline precipitously as his 20.0 shooting percentage drops in line with Oleksiak's career 7.5 percent mark, especially since he doesn't even see time on the potent Pittsburgh power play.
Matt Niskanen, WAS vs. PIT ($17): While every other defenseman in this slate priced at $16 or more is averaging at least 6.0 fantasy points, Niskanen's sitting at just 5.3. Considering he's actually likely to slow down offensively since he's on a 44-point pace after posting only 29 last season, there's not much reason to pick Niskanen over the available alternatives.