Yahoo DFS Hockey: Friday Picks
Yahoo DFS Hockey: Friday Picks

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.

In the throes of winter, you may not want to spend much time watching people skate around on ice. Perhaps watching repeats of beach volleyball feels more palatable. However, we're still in the hockey mood, and there are six games Friday from which you can choose to fill out your Yahoo Daily Fantasy roster.

GOALIE

John Gibson, ANA vs. ARI ($34): Gibson's overall numbers aren't great, but he did post a shutout Wednesday to follow up his 51-save gem from New Year's Day. Beyond that, though, the Coyotes aren't much of a threat offensively, as they're averaging a mere 2.08 goals per game. Arizona isn't a threat in general, frankly, having lost eight in a row; the defense is just as bad as the offense. You've got to like Gibson's chances of picking up a win in this matchup.

GOALIE TO AVOID

Cam Ward, CAR at CHI ($33): Ward is projected to start both Thursday and Friday, which would put him at a disadvantage in this matchup with the Blackhawks. While he's having one of the better seasons of his career and he beat the Blues on Thursday, Ward has still posted sub-.900 save marks in three of his last five outings and six of his last 11. Additionally, while the Hurricanes have been formidable at home, they're only 6-10-6 on the road.

CENTER

Nazem Kadri, TOR at NJD ($17): While Kadri may be overshadowed by his younger, more promising teammates, his 6.9 fantasy points per game exceed William Nylander's average and equal Mitch Marner's. However, Kadri is slightly cheaper than both those hyped-up teammates. The Devils have given up 31.5 shots on goal per game, while Kadri has notched 117 of his own, and all those attempts have resulted in 14 goals.

CENTER TO AVOID

Jonathan Toews, CHI vs. CAR ($20): Although Ward may be playing back-to-back games, his defense should be able to bail him out to some degree. The 'Canes are surprisingly only giving up 27.2 shots on goal per game, which puts them in the NHL's top five. On top of that, one third of Toews' points have come on the power play, and Carolina boasts the best penalty kill in the NHL – a feat helped in no small part by the fact that the Hurricanes have been shorthanded the fourth-fewest times in the league.

WING

Michael Frolik, CGY at VAN ($18): After a cold streak, Frolik has picked his play back up recently, tallying six points in his last five games. The Canucks are giving up 2.88 goals per game, and their team save percentage is a mere .906. While Frolik isn't likely to take advantage of Vancouver's poor penalty killing, he won't need to do that in order to continue his impressive run.

Anders Lee, NYI at COL ($16): Lee has scored an impressive 14 goals in 36 games this season. Granted, his shooting percentage is unsustainably high, but he tallied 25 goals just two seasons ago, so it's not like he's a total fluke. Besides, this is a great matchup for Lee, as the Avs own a league-worst 3.37 GAA and give up 32.3 shots on goal per game as well.

WINGS TO AVOID

Filip Forsberg, NAS at FLA ($18): The Predators will be on the second night of a back-to-back, while the Panthers won't, which already puts Forsberg and company at a slight disadvantage. Forsberg will also have to go up against workhorse Roberto Luongo and his .919 save percentage, making it unlikely that he'll turn around a rough season in which he's only averaging 5.6 fantasy points per game. If you really want to own a Predator, you could have Viktor Arvidsson (7.5 fantasy points per game) for a mere dollar more.

Reilly Smith, FLA vs. NAS ($18): Meanwhile, the Predators could be starting Juuse Saros on Friday, presuming they don't want to start Pekka Rinne on back-to-back nights. Saros does not have a large sample size of NHL action, but what we've seen has been impressive: a 1.16 GAA and .957 save percentage in six appearances. It's enough to make you concerned about Smith's upside in this one, especially since he's only averaging 4.4 fantasy points per game.

DEFENSEMEN

Sami Vatanen, ANA vs. ARI ($17): Arizona gives up a whopping 34.7 shots on goal per game, although Vatanen (50 shots in 37 games) may not necessarily be the best guy to take advantage of that. However, Arizona has also given up 3.24 goals per game this season, and Vatanen does have 16 points to his credit. Ten of those points have come on the power play, and the Coyotes' struggles have been due in part to their 29th-ranked penalty kill.

Nick Leddy, NYI at COL ($14): It's already been established how many goals and shots the Avalanche give up. Well, Leddy takes a decent number of shots (63 on goal in 35 games), and he's also averaging 3:10 per night with the extra man. On top of all their other issues, the Avs rank 25th in penalty-kill percentage, so Leddy's power-play prowess could come in handy.

DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID

Steve Santini, NJD vs. TOR ($18): It feels very odd to see Santini listed at $18. Here's a guy who's played in two games this season and is averaging 13:22 of ice time with no power-play minutes. It's not like he was tearing it up in the AHL either (zero points in 15 games). Maybe he has some sort of long-term potential, but that isn't likely to materialize Friday.

Jason Demers, FLA vs. NAS ($17): Demers has an impressive seven goals this season, but he also has a 14.6 shooting percentage. That's well above his career average, and it's definitely unsustainable. Even with that production, he's still only averaging 4.4 fantasy points per game. If you really wanted a Florida defenseman, you could get Keith Yandle for the exact same price. That's a much more sensible option.

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.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.
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