This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
Any day with double-digit games on the NHL slate is an exciting one. Even with Vancouver's issues there are 10 matchups on the docket. That means a ton of options for your DFS lineup. To help you sort through all the names, I have these recommendations for players to target, or to avoid, for your roster.
Juuse Saros, NAS at DET ($35): Saros has wrested away the starting job in Nashville with a run in which he's posted a 1.21 GAA and .964 save percentage over nine games. Of course, three of those have been games against the Red Wings who… wait, can this be right? Detroit is now last in the league in goals per contest, even below the Sabres? Apparently it's true, as the Wings have scored 2.20 goals per game.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Tristan Jarry, PIT at NYR ($28): What's going on with the Penguins defensively right now? They allowed seven goals to the Bruins and followed that up by ceding eight goals to these same Rangers. Now New York finds itself averaging 3.26 goals per contest with Artemi Panarin back and Mika Zibanejad looking more like his old self. Whether it's Jarry or Casey DeSmith in net – both allowed four goals against the Rangers on Tuesday – I'm steering clear.
Brock Nelson, NYI vs. PHI ($17): Nelson has picked up his play since the beginning of March, as he's tallied eight goals and five assists in 13 games in that time. On the season, he's also notched six goals with the extra man. The Flyers are currently brought to you by the number "30," as they rank 30th in both GAA and penalty-kill percentage.
CENTER TO AVOID
Aleksander Barkov, FLA at CAR ($34): Barkov has been hot since returning from an injury, but matchups matter even when a player is on their game. The Hurricanes have a 2.45 GAA and have allowed only 28.4 shots on net per contest. They have a top-10 penalty kill as well. Also, Petr Mrazek is back, and in two starts he's made 62 saves on 64 shots.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, EDM at OTT ($22): The Oilers are getting the benefit of playing the Senators on back-to-back nights. Sure, Nugent-Hopkins won't be any more rested than anybody else, but Ottawa has the highest GAA in the NHL. This is still a tremendous matchup, and RNH is currently both on Connor McDavid's wing and the Oilers' top power-play unit.
Andrew Copp, WPG at MON ($18): Copp has already put up career highs in goals (12) and points (30) in only 39 games. Can he keep up this pace? It's too soon to say, but he does have 11 points in his last nine contests and has seen a bit of an increase in power-play time as well. The Canadiens are on the second leg of a back-to-back after playing in Toronto on Wednesday, and with Carey Price dealing with an upper-body injury they might be playing third-string goalie Charlie Lindgren in this one.
WINGS TO AVOID
Tyler Toffoli, MON vs. WPG ($24): As I mentioned, the Canadiens are playing their second game in as many nights while the Jets have had the chance to rest. The Jets also have Connor Hellebuyck who has a 2.54 GAA and .918 save percentage. That's a big negative from Toffoli's perspective.
Jakub Voracek, PHI at NYI ($17): If you want assists, Voracek is your guy. However, he's simply not much of a goal scorer. He has six goals and has taken only 68 shots on net in 35 games. Assists help DFS players, of course, but it would be nice if he lit the lamp more often. On top of that, the Islanders have a 2.28 GAA, which is lowest of any team in action Thursday.
Miro Heiskanen, DAL at CHI ($17): Heiskanen has averaged 24:58 in ice time and that includes 2:52 with the extra man. The Finn has tallied eight power-play points, and the Blackhawks have a bottom-five penalty kill. Chicago has also averaged 33.4 shots on net per game, and Heiskanen has put 79 shots on net in 39 contests.
Ty Smith, NJD at BUF ($11): Smith has slowed down a bit, but he still has 19 points in 37 games in his rookie campaign. The 21-year-old has also averaged 2:26 per contest with the extra man. I had to get somebody from the Devils in my recommendations since they are playing the Sabres. Buffalo does have a 3.39 GAA after all, which is third highest in the NHL.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
John Carlson, WAS vs. BOS ($23): Carlson still has a justifiably high salary, even though his power-play numbers are down. In fact, the defenseman has only three points with the extra man in his last 20 games. Boston has the league's top penalty kill, and it has also allowed only 27.6 shots on net per game. Yes, the Bruins have health issues in goal, but even Daniel Vladar and Jeremy Swayman have stepped up when called upon. I would look elsewhere no matter who is in net.
Kris Letang, PIT at NYR ($23): Letang has had success on the power play, but the Rangers have a top-five penalty kill. They've been even better when Igor Shesterkin has been in net as well, as he has a 2.36 GAA and .924 save percentage on the season. In fact, since returning from injury the Russian's save percentage is an even better .929.