Yahoo DFS Hockey: Friday Picks

Yahoo DFS Hockey: Friday Picks

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.

It's a tidy five-game slate in the NHL on Friday. Carter Hart ($37) is the only confirmed starting goalie, so checking the RotoWire news feed will be important. Washington beat Buffalo 6-4 on Thursday, so there's potential for backup netminders to start with the two clubs facing off again in the second leg of a back-to-back set. Additionally, it's worth noting that Ottawa will be playing for the first time this season.

GOALIE

Vitek Vanecek, WAS vs. BUF ($20): If the Caps turn to the 25-year-old rookie Friday, his salary stands out as a clear discount and profit opportunity. Buffalo scored four goals in Thursday's loss, so this isn't a risk-free recommendation. Still, Vanecek posted a respectable .917 save percentage through 31 starts in the AHL last year, and you can stack your lineup with high-end skaters with the savings in goal.

GOALIE TO AVOID

Frederik Andersen, TOR at OTT ($33): The veteran allowed four goals on 32 shots in the season opener and didn't look sharp. His save percentage is down to an underwhelming .909 dating to the beginning of last season, and the new-look Toronto blue line will probably be a work in progress a few more weeks. Add Ottawa's underrated offensive potential, and Andersen carries more risk than should accompany his hefty salary. 

CENTER

Nathan MacKinnon, COL vs. STL ($34): The Blues held MacKinnon off the scoresheet Wednesday, but the Hart Trophy candidate registered six shot attempts, including three high-danger chances. While St. Louis obviously remains a tough matchup, the Avs are at home again, so look for a bounce-back showing from MacKinnon with coach Jared Bednar finding some softer matchups for his star center. It's also worth noting that MacKinnon is projected to have familiar wingers Mikko Rantanen ($29) and Gabriel Landeskog ($24) back on his flanks Friday.

CENTER TO AVOID

Nazem Kadri, COL vs. STL ($22): The 30-year-old center is a supporting piece, so his inflated salary stands out. This is especially true considering the noted lineup changes the Avs are expected to employ. St. Louis only allowed eight high-danger scoring chances Wednesday, and Kadri was held to two shot attempts. Simply put, there are likely better values with better matchups available Friday.

WING

Steven Stamkos, TB vs. CHI ($29): When healthy, Stamkos scores. The 30-year-old forward collected a goal, two assists, two power-play points and five shots against Chicago on Wednesday to improve to 253 points — 102 tallies — through 218 games dating to the 2017-18 campaign. Expect more of the same Friday. After allowing the most high-danger scoring chances per hour in the league the previous three years, Chicago surrendered 10 more to Tampa Bay on Wednesday.

Drake Batherson, OTT vs. TOR ($10): Ottawa is giving Batherson a legit offensive opportunity to start the season, so at minimum salary, he's worth considering. The Maple Leafs surrendered — and in many times gifted — Montreal 13 high-danger scoring chances Wednesday, so there are still notable defensive concerns for Toronto, and especially with the unprecedented offseason and so much offseason roster turnover. Batherson's positioned to translate his AHL production (38 goals and 116 points in 103 career games) to the highest level.

WINGS TO AVOID

Patrick Kane, CHI at TB ($30): Obviously, you fade Kane at your own risk, considering he ranks sixth in total points (270 through 233 games) the previous three years. Still, the Lightning smothered Chicago on Wednesday, and Kane didn't even generate a high-danger scoring chance. It's also possible the 32-year-old winger is past his prime. 

Bryan Rust, PIT at PHI ($25): Everything went right for Rust in 2019-20, including an unsustainably high 17.9 shooting percentage and 17 power-play points. For the time being, he's still on the No. 1 unit with the man advantage, but a quick look at Rust's track record affirms the 28-year-old winger had a career year last season and is more of a supporting piece than go-to contributor. 

DEFENSE

Morgan Rielly, TOR at OTT ($18): Big minutes will be part and parcel for Rielly this season. The veteran blueliner logged 28:35 Wednesday against Montreal, including 4:17 with the man advantage quarterbacking the No. 1 power-play unit. Ottawa also allowed the second-most goals per 60 minutes in the league last season while owning the 28th-ranked penalty-kill percentage, so the matchup checks out, too. If you're spending up on a defenseman, Rielly should be on your radar at this discounted salary.

Oskar Lindblom, PHI vs. PIT ($18): While you might not want to take advantage of the position oversight, it's definitely important to be aware that Lindblom is eligible to slide into a defense slot. The 24-year-old winger scored in the season opener and is skating in a favorable situation alongside Sean Couturier ($20) and Travis Konecny ($17) atop the depth chart at even strength.

DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID

Torey Krug, STL at COL ($19): Interestingly, the first-year Blue started 75 percent of his shifts in Wednesday's win in the defensive zone. It's unlikely to be a year-long trend, but Krug began 68.4 percent of his shifts last year in the offensive zone, so it's definitely noteworthy. Obviously, Krug offers potential as the Blues' power-play quarterback on the No. 1 unit, but there's a good chance Colorado rebounds Friday and limits Krug's impact.

Ryan Graves, COL vs. STL ($18): An overachiever, Graves has carved out a secure role with the Avs. However, he's not a particularly strong offensive contributor, so his fantasy value hinges on shots, blocked shots and posting a positive rating. At this price, relying on the peripheral points can be risky, and especially in the noted tough matchup against St. Louis.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Neil Parker plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: naparker77, DraftKings: naparker77.
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only NHL Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire NHL fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Neil Parker
A loyal Cubs, Cowboys and Maple Leafs fan for decades, Neil has contributed to RotoWire since 2014. He previously worked for USA Today Fantasy Sports.
Yahoo DFS Hockey: Wednesday Picks
Yahoo DFS Hockey: Wednesday Picks
FanDuel NHL: Wednesday Targets
FanDuel NHL: Wednesday Targets
DraftKings NHL: Wednesday Breakdown
DraftKings NHL: Wednesday Breakdown
PuckCast w/ Statsman and AJ -- Week 7 Review
PuckCast w/ Statsman and AJ -- Week 7 Review
NHL Barometer: Risers & Fallers
NHL Barometer: Risers & Fallers
FanDuel NHL: Tuesday Targets
FanDuel NHL: Tuesday Targets