This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
Wednesday's NHL slate is a small one, with just three games on tap beginning at 8:00 PM Eastern time. While there aren't many options to choose from here, certain guys still stand out as players to target while others should be avoided. Read on to see who falls in which category.
Martin Jones, SJ vs. CAR ($30): This slate features two of the league's three lowest-scoring offenses, and Jones has a better chance of limiting Carolina's 29th-ranked unit than Chicago's Corey Crawford does of stymying 30th-ranked Anaheim. While Crawford's been putrid of late, Jones comes in hot after making 40 saves in Sunday's 3-1 win over Montreal.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Curtis McElhinney, CAR at SJ ($31): McElhinney lacks the pedigree of the three other projected starters in his price range, as the 35-year-old career backup sports a 2.82 career GAA and .910 save percentage. Sooner or later, his 2.10 and .930 marks through 10 appearances will regress. That regression could well begin on the road against a Sharks team that's 8-3-2 in its own building.
Robert Thomas, STL vs. EDM ($12): Pressed into first-line duty for the injury-riddled Blues on Saturday, Thomas responded by scoring a goal. The 19-year-old forward has two goals and two assists in the past five games, so he's displayed the scoring touch necessary to keep capitalizing on this newfound promotion. It helps that he'll be facing Oilers netminder Cam Talbot, who gave up 23 goals in losing each of his last six starts before getting benched from Nov. 25 until now.
CENTER TO AVOID
Sebastian Aho, CAR at SJ ($28): Aho's overpriced at $28 – his average of 8.2 fantasy points per game is easily trumped by Ryan O'Reilly's 9.5 and Leon Draisaitl's 8.6. Instead of paying up for Aho, just grab one of those alternative center options at $23 or $22, respectively.
Pontus Aberg, ANH vs. CHI ($16): Aberg's not a household name on the top line for Anaheim, but he's playing like one. Three goals and an assist in the past two games have Aberg up to six points over his past five appearances, and while his 19.1 shooting percentage won't last all season, it could certainly hold up through this matchup with Crawford, who has allowed 23 goals over his past five starts.
Alex DeBrincat, CHI at ANH ($17): After going through an extended cold spell, DeBrincat seems to be regaining the dominant early-season form that saw him rack up eight goals and 14 points in the first 10 games. The second-year forward has a point in five of the past six games and is skating on the top power-play unit, so his valuation could soon start to climb from the current $17.
WINGS TO AVOID
Evander Kane, SJ vs. CAR ($22): Kane has just one assist without a goal over the past seven games, and his minus-6 rating over that span has dropped his season mark to minus-10. Until he snaps out of this drought, Kane's lack of responsibility in his own zone makes him an option to avoid at $22.
Alex Chiasson, EDM at STL ($16): The entire Oilers team should be avoided if Connor McDavid (illness) sits out as he did Monday, and Chiasson's primed for regression regardless of McDavid's status. Chiasson's 11 goals are only two shy of his 2013-14 career high, but the career 12.8 percent shooter's due to slow down dramatically in that category as his 33.3 percent season mark normalizes.
Dougie Hamilton, CAR at SJ ($16): Hamilton's 3.1 shooting percentage is keeping his price down, as the skilled blueliner's ready to erupt offensively. Despite ranking second among NHL defensemen with 97 shots on goal, Hamilton's lit the lamp just three times thus far. While Jones played well in his last start, his season save percentage is still an unsightly .894, so perhaps this will be the matchup in which Hamilton breaks through.
Vince Dunn, STL vs. EDM ($18): Dunn was skating on St. Louis' top power-play unit even before Alex Pietrangelo injured his hand, and that unfortunate event should create even more opportunities for the offensively-gifted blueliner to strut his stuff. Between Talbot's recent struggles and Edmonton's 75.6 percent penalty kill, there's plenty of reasons to be optimistic about Dunn's outlook here.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Erik Karlsson, SJ vs. CAR ($24): Karlsson has underperformed his $24 valuation all season, and he's only getting worse if anything. Over the past five games, Karlsson has no goals, one assist and a minus-5 rating that's brought his season mark to minus-11. While the name recognition makes Karlsson tempting, he represents poor bang for the buck.
Brent Seabrook, CHI at ANH ($16): Seabrook's offensive upside is nearly nonexistent, as evidenced by his measly one point in the past nine games. In a slate that features a few exploitable goalies (Anaheim's John Gibson isn't one), you can find higher ceilings on the blue line for less than $16.