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Yahoo DFS Hockey: Wednesday Playoff Picks

Chris Morgan

Chris Morgan is a writer of sports, pop culture, and humor articles, a book author, a podcaster, and a fan of all Detroit sports teams.

There are two games Wednesday, and with Sidney Crosby out with a concussion, the entire daily fantasy hockey landscape has changed. Here are some player recommendations to consider...

GOALIE

Braden Holtby, WAS at PIT ($29):
Yes, Holtby's playoffs have left something to be desired, but he's averaged 12.8 fantasy points per game, which is the most of any goalie in action Wednesday. He was great during the regular season, posting a 2.07 GAA and a .925 save percentage. The Capitals allowed a league-low 2.16 goals per game, and also 27.8 shots on net per contest. If Holtby shows that form again, he'll be a steal at this price, and the absence of Crosby definitely helps the netminder’s cause.

GOALIE TO AVOID

Marc-Andre Fleury, PIT vs. WAS ($36):
Fleury is $5 pricier than any other goalie Wednesday. This for a goalie who had a 3.02 GAA and a .909 save percentage this season. Sure, he's been decidedly better in the playoffs, but it kind of feels like playing with fire to trust Fleury at this price. That feeling is exacerbated by the fact the Penguins allowed 32.6 shots on net during the regular season, and that number is up to 37.3 in the playoffs. Throw in that Washington scored 3.18 goals per game this year, and there is reason for trepidation.

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CENTER

Leon Draisaitl, EDM vs. ANA ($24):
Anaheim was strong defensively overall this season, but on the road they allowed 2.80 goals per game. The Ducks also haven't been as stout at goal prevention in the playoffs, especially on the penalty kill. Anaheim has the second worst penalty-kill percentage of any playoff team, while Draisaitl averaged 3:15 per game with the extra man and recorded 27 PP points this season. He's also tallied eight points in his last five contests, including three with the extra man.

CENTER TO AVOID

Connor McDavid, EDM vs. ANA ($34):
With Crosby hurt, McDavid is the most expensive center, and his regular-season performance certainly helps to justify that. However, in the playoffs he hasn't quite broken out yet with “just” six points in nine games. He still has to deal with Ryan Kesler, the Ducks have gotten Cam Fowler and Sami Vatanen back on defense, and John Gibson had a 2.22 GAA and a .924 save percentage this season. To justify this price, McDavid needs to really impress, and it may be hard for him to do that, even at home. And yes, Draisaitl does usually play on McDavid's wing, but he's had a better postseason, and also costs $10 less.

WING

Corey Perry, ANA vs. EDM ($18):
Edmonton has been fine defensively overall, but they have one game this postseason where they gave up seven goals, and another where they ceded six. That latter game was in their last contest with the Ducks. Overall, Cam Talbot has a .918 save percentage in the postseason, which lines up with his .919 save percentage during the regular season. Perry put 215 shots on goal in each of his last two seasons, and this year he also averaged 3:05 per game on the power play. After the All-Star break, the Oilers had the 25th-ranked penalty kill. Patrick Eaves is banged up, and there is a good chance he won't play in this game, which could mean more minutes for Perry. Perry didn't play a ton in Game 3, but even with that, he played 3:15 on the power play and has taken 18 shots on goal in his last six games.

Jordan Eberle, EDM vs. ANA ($16): Eberle hasn't had a great postseason, but he's averaged 5.8 fantasy points per game. He ended the regular season with a four-game point streak, and then added another point in the first game of the playoffs, but since then things have tapered off a bit. That said, he notched 20 goals on 208 shots this year and had 14 power-play points. The playoffs are still a bit of a small-sample size, and Eberle's price has fallen on account of his recent rough stretch. Anaheim has allowed 2.71 goals per game in the playoffs, and the Ducks allowed 2.80 goals per game on the road this year, so there is some reason for positivity.

WINGS TO AVOID

T.J. Oshie, WAS at PIT ($28):
Oshie had a good series against the Maple Leafs, but things haven't gone quite as swimmingly against the Penguins. He only has two points, both assists, and he has been held without a shot in two of the three games. Oshie had an excellent regular season, but he also had a 23.1 shooting percentage, and his luck is bound to run out eventually. Fleury may have struggled during the season, but he has a .933 save percentage in the playoffs. Oshie is the second most expensive winger, and there's reason for some skepticism about him on the road in this one.

Bryan Rust, PIT vs. WAS ($18): Rust is the sort of player who will likely be hurt by Crosby's absence, and as of now, it appears Matt Cullen will be centering Rust's line. That's certainly a step down from Nick Bonino, and Rust doesn't see much power-play time either. While he was good against Columbus, he's been held scoreless in this series.

DEFENSEMEN

Oscar Klefbom, EDM vs. ANA ($19):
Klefbom has averaged 6.8 fantasy points per game, which is more than even, say, Kevin Shattenkirk. He notched 201 shots on goal, and on top of that he blocked 146 shots. In the playoffs, he's added 20 shots on net and 18 blocked shots, and that's against two teams that tend to limit shots in San Jose and Anaheim. He's also averaged 2:44 per game on the power play in the postseason, and during the regular season he notched 16 points with the extra man. If the Ducks' penalty kill issues continue, that could bode well for Klefbom.

Shea Theodore, ANA at EDM ($17): Theodore started 36.2 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, which is the most of any Ducks defenseman. You might think the return of Cam Fowler and Sami Vatanen would have hindered him, but thus far that hasn't been the case. Theodore notched two points in Game 3, and he played 3:05 on the power play. He also blocked four shots, which is unusual for him, but certainly is intriguing. However, the fact that Edmonton had the 25th-ranked penalty kill after the All-Star break is probably a better predictor of future results, and it will be interesting to see how both teams respond after the Ducks put up six goals last game.

DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID

Justin Schultz, PIT vs. WAS ($22):
The lack of Crosby will likely hurt the power play, and 20 of Schultz's points came with the extra man this season. Washington's penalty kill has been fine in the playoffs, and it ranked seventh during the regular season. On top of that, the Capitals allowed a league-low 2.16 goals per game, and if they can find that form again, it won't be a good thing for Schultz and company.

Matt Niskanen, WAS at PIT ($17): He may have avoided suspension for the Crosby cross-check, but he still has only notched 17 shots on goal in nine playoff games. Niskanen also isn't much of a power-play weapon, as he averaged 1:53 per game this season and only notched nine points with the extra man. Additionally, don't expect too much help on the defensive end of the ice, as he only blocked 93 shots in 78 games.
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.