This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
February is nearing its conclusion, and the trade deadline has passed. We're in the true home stretch of the NHL season, and Thursday is a busy night with 10 games on the docket. Here are some players to target, and to avoid, for your daily fantasy lineup.
Devan Dubnyk, MIN at DET ($26): At this point, if you see the Red Wings on the schedule as an opponent, you want that team's goalie. Detroit has only managed 1.98 goals per game. On Tuesday, I was in attendance to watch Cory Schneider (4.21 GAA, .864 save percentage) hold the Wings to one goal. This is so clearly the worst offense in the NHL. No goalie can find a better matchup, and any price is worth paying.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Connor Hellebuyck, WPG vs. WAS ($29): Hellebuyck has shouldered a big load for the Jets, and he's largely been up for it. The American netminder has a 2.72 GAA and .918 save percentage. However, the Capitals are a daunting opponent, even when they are on the road. Washington has averaged 3.48 goals per contest in away games, second highest in the NHL.
Sean Monahan, CGY at NAS ($18): Monahan has notched four goals in his last four games, giving him 21 on the season. He's also averaged 3:00 per game with the extra man, tallying 14 power-play points. The Predators, on the other hand, have the league's worst penalty kill. Yes, worse than Detroit's. That's a bad place to be.
CENTER TO AVOID
Mathew Barzal, NYI at STL ($23): Barzal has been racking up assists for the Islanders, although he only has one goal in his last 19 games. The Blues are a tough team to face in their own arena though, as they have a 2.38 GAA in St. Louis. Plus, while Jordan Binnington's last outing went poorly, he still has a 1.61 GAA and .932 save percentage in his last five starts.
Brendan Gallagher, MON vs. NYR ($19): Few players put pucks on goal as prolifically as Gallagher. He's notched a whopping 210 shots on net despite the fact he's only played in 54 games. Meanwhile, the Rangers have allowed 35.3 shots on goal per contest. With Igor Shesterkin unfortunately out with injuries stemming from a car accident, Alexandar Georgiev (2.98 GAA, .913 save percentage) will likely be in net.
Kevin Fiala, MIN at DET ($18): Hey, you've got to get some guys facing the Red Wings, right? After all, they have a 3.74 GAA, highest in the NHL, and also the 30th-ranked penalty kill. Fiala's first full season in Minnesota got off to a slow start, but he has 14 points in his last 11 games. That gives him 42 points in the season, second most on the Wild.
WINGS TO AVOID
Kyle Palmieri, NJD at SAN ($18): Palmieri has excelled on the power play during his time in New Jersey, and this year is no different. Eighteen of his 43 points have come with the extra man. Well, despite having a 3.27 GAA, the Sharks somehow have the league's top penalty kill. Plus, at home that GAA is 3.23, and more importantly they only allow 29.2 shots on net per contest in San Jose.
Jamie Benn, DAL at BOS ($17): Benn has an assist in three straight games, but that only gives him 17 helpers to go with 18 goals. It's been a rough year in Dallas for the one-time Art Ross winner. Boston has taken a bit of a dip defensively recently, but it still has a 2.30 GAA at home.
Alexander Edler, VAN at OTT ($18): Edler gets overshadowed by Quinn Hughes, who has basically pushed the Swede off the power play, but he's no slouch. In fact, he's notched six points in his last six games. As for the Senators, they now have a 3.34 GAA, second highest in the NHL. Plus, defensemen can add fantasy value with blocked shots, and Edler has 144 of those in 52 games.
Aaron Ekblad, FLA vs. TOR ($17): Ekblad's 3.6 percent shooting is the lowest in his career, but he still has 38 points on the season. He's also been hot recently, as he has at least one point in six of his last seven games. The Maple Leafs have a 3.27 GAA, but have been even worse recently. Since returning from injury, Frederik Andersen has a 3.71 GAA and .871 save percentage.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Torey Krug, BOS vs. DAL ($20): Krug has had his typical season, but this is a tough matchup on a day where you have a lot of options. The Stars have a 2.51 GAA, second lowest in the NHL. Plus, with Ben Bishop looking human recently, Dallas can still turn to Anton Khudobin. The Stars' ostensible backup has a 2.21 GAA and .931 save percentage.
Neal Pionk, WPG vs. WAS ($18): Pionk is all about the power play. A whopping 24 of his 42 points have come with the extra man. Well, this matchup is not good for a player like that. The Capitals have the fourth-ranked penalty kill, and they will be starting Ilya Samsonov (2.41 GAA, .916 save percentage) in this game as well.