This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
Happy New Year! Welcome to 2019, and welcome to yet another day of daily fantasy hockey. There are three games on the NHL slate, including the Winter Classic, and here are players I would suggest you target, and avoid, for your lineup.
Marc-Andre Fleury, VGK vs. LOS ($40): Fleury is honestly the only reasonable option Tuesday. The Golden Knights have a 2.11 GAA at home and have only allowed 28.8 shots on net per contest in those games. Meanwhile, the Kings rank last in goals scored per game, and they are on the second night of a back-to-back as well. That all sounds great for Fleury.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Juuse Saros, NAS vs. PHI ($23): In past seasons, Saros has proven himself one of the best backup goalies in the NHL. This year hasn't been quite up to that level for the Finnish netminder. He has a 3.05 GAA and .894 save percentage in 15 appearances. There are a few goalies in action Tuesday you wouldn't consider anyway, so suggesting you avoid them wouldn't be of use. You may not realize how much Saros has been struggling, however.
Sean Couturier, PHI at NAS ($20): Couturier broke out last year with 31 goals and 76 points, and this year he's followed up with 14 goals and 28 points through 36 games. He also has a point in four of his last six contests. Both of these teams are on the second night of a back-to-back, and as previously noted Juuse Saros has been struggling this season (3.05 GAA, .894 save percentage).
CENTER TO AVOID
Jonathan Toews, CHI vs. BOS ($)19: Toews is having a good year, although he has been held without a goal for seven-straight games. However, the Bruins have a 2.64 GAA, second lowest in the NHL. Plus, the Winter Classic is an outdoor game, you never know about ice quality, and that creates a lot of questions you may want to avoid, at least for pricier players.
Reilly Smith, VGK vs. LOS ($17): Smith hasn't been quite as good offensively this year as in his first in Vegas, save for on the power play. He's averaged 2:50 per game with the extra man and notched 12 points in the process. That bodes well for this matchup, as the Kings have the 30th-ranked penalty kill.
Craig Smith, NAS vs. PHI ($17): The Predators are possession monsters, which is how Smith can start 68.1 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone but only be fifth on the team in that category. Smith has also notched 10 goals on 120 shots through 40 games, so he's clearly staying active offensively. The Flyers had a 3.59 GAA heading into Monday, and though Carter Hart has helped on that front, he started Monday, so he probably won't be in the net for this one.
WINGS TO AVOID
Alex DeBrincat, CHI vs. BOS ($22): DeBrincat is having a good season, but unlike Patrick Kane, he's not necessarily matchup proof. This is certainly a tough matchup, considering that the Bruins have a 2.64 GAA as a team. There are only six teams playing Tuesday, and most of the matchups aren't that difficult, or they involve players you would be avoiding anyway, so relative to all that DeBrincat is a player to avoid.
Ilya Kovalchuk, LOS at VGK ($19): The Kings have been a disaster offensively, so you've probably been avoiding most of their players for the bulk of the season. However, Kovalchuk has a big name, and he has 17 points in 30 contests. Still, the Golden Knights have a 2.11 home GAA, so the veteran Russian may find this game to be tough sledding.
Nate Schmidt, VGK vs. LOS ($21): Schmidt missed the beginning of the season due to a suspension, but he's been making up for lost time. He has 13 points in 22 games, including seven in his last six contests. The Kings are on the road for the second game of a back-to-back, which certainly won't help them defensively, and it won't help their 30th-ranked penalty kill either.
Torey Krug, BOS at CHI ($20): Krug has been stellar when healthy, as he has 23 points through 28 games, including 15 on the power play. He's also put 73 shots on net, and has gone over 200 shots in three of his last four seasons. The Blackhawks have been disastrous defensively, as they have a 3.61 GAA, second worst in the NHL. On top of that, they have the league's worst penalty kill.
DEFENSE TO AVOID
Drew Doughty, LOS at VGK ($17): Goals have been hard to come by for Doughty, as he had zero of them in his last 17 games prior to scoring last night. Still, even with that goal he only has three total on the season. It will be hard for him to amend that in this one, as the Golden Knights have a 2.11 GAA at home, lowest in the NHL.
Duncan Keith, CHI vs. BOS ($14): After only managing two goals last season, Keith has zero of them through 41 games this year. Beyond that, he has zero points in his last seven contests. The Winter Classic may not be the day for him to get back on the score sheet, as the Bruins have a 2.64 GAA, second lowest in the NHL.