This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
Wednesday's NHL slate is a light one, with just three games on the docket beginning at 8:00 PM Eastern time. Despite the limited selection, certain players stand out as strong value plays at their respective prices while others will have a hard time living up to their valuations and should thus be avoided. Read on to see who falls into which category.
Anders Nilsson, OTT at ANH ($24): Rolling with a Senators netminder has rarely worked out this season, but this is one of the rare instances in which using one makes sense. While no other offense in this slate ranks worse than 17th, Anaheim's comes in ranked 30th with just 2.35 goals per game. At only $24, Nilsson will give owners plenty of spending power at other positions and is likely to deliver a serviceable performance in this favorable matchup.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Philipp Grubauer, COL at CGY ($27): You probably can't go wrong with any of the three guys priced above Grubauer, but the German netminder is going to have his work cut out for him if he gets the start for the second night of Colorado's back-to-back. Regardless of who ends up guarding the Avalanche's crease, that player is best avoided against a red-hot Flames team that's gone 4-1-0 over its past five games while lighting the lamp 24 times in that stretch.
J.T. Compher, COL at CGY ($17): Compher is Colorado's premier source of production after the team's potent first line, and he's the lucky fifth man on the top power-play unit along with the three first-liners and skilled blueliner Tyson Barrie. If you don't have the $30-plus necessary for one of the team's three best forwards, Compher at $17 is a terrific consolation prize, especially given his recent form (two goals, four assists in the past seven games).
CENTER TO AVOID
Mikael Backlund, CGY vs. COL ($19): Backlund isn't worth $19, even with his team rolling right now. While he's scored four goals in his past 12 games, Backlund doesn't have an assist over that span, and his offensive output is limited by the total absence of power-play production.
Johnny Gaudreau, CGY vs. COL ($30): You'll be hard-pressed to find a player hotter than Gaudreau across the NHL. His two-goal outing against the Blackhawks on Monday was his 12th multi-point effort in the past 18 games, and it gave Gaudreau 10 goals in his past seven games. An Avalanche team that's playing its second game in as many nights is unlikely to slow down Johnny Hockey.
Ondrej Kase, ANH vs. OTT ($19): Nilsson will likely outperform his usual numbers in this one, but we're still talking about a goalie with an .890 save percentage backstopping a team that allows 4.00 goals per game. Kase has been one of the few bright spots for the Ducks offensively with 11 goals and 19 points in 25 appearances. That production is no fluke, either, as the Czech winger has flung 81 pucks on net while converting shots at a 13.6 percent rate that's right in line with last season's 13.7 mark.
WINGS TO AVOID
Filip Forsberg, NSH at CHI ($26): While Forsberg's a great player, putting $26 into a guy who missed over a month due to injury before skating under 14 minutes in his return Monday is a risky move. It's best to wait for Forsberg to show that he's back in form before inserting him into DFS lineups.
Brandon Saad, CHI vs. NSH ($17): Saad's in the midst of a profoundly mediocre season, with 12 goals, 12 assists and an even rating in 43 games. There's nothing exciting about using him against a Nashville team that's holding opponents to a league-low 2.45 goals per game.
P.K. Subban, NSH at CHI ($22): Subban's back to pre-injury form with two goals, two assists and an average of 12.1 fantasy points per game over his past three contests. A Blackhawks team that's getting outscored 3.60 to 2.91 on average is unlikely to slow down the talented blueliner.
Erik Gustafsson, CHI vs. NSH ($17): Gustafsson's found a new gear offensively with seven goals and 19 points over his past 21 games, including eight points in the last six. At just $17, he offers tremendous offensive upside for a defenseman despite the difficult matchup.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Cam Fowler, ANH vs. OTT ($18): Like Forsberg, Fowler's another guy who still looks rusty after recently returning from injury. His first game since Nov. 12 was Sunday, and Fowler was far from his best with no meaningful statistics besides a minus-2 rating en route to minus-4.0 fantasy points.
Duncan Keith, CHI vs. ANH ($16): While his teammate Gustafsson has been hot for a while now, Keith's current three-game point streak was preceded by an eight-game drought. If you're intent on using a Blackhawks blueliner, it makes much more sense to pay the extra dollar for Gustafsson.