This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
Friday's NHL slate is a light one, with just four games on the schedule beginning at 7:30 PM Eastern time. Read on to see which guys stand out as players to target among the limited options and which ones should be avoided.
Laurent Brossoit, WPG vs. DET ($35): While $35 is a lot for a backup goalie, Brossoit has lived up to that lofty valuation and then some when called upon, with an 8-1-1 record, 2.11 GAA and .939 save percentage. He should keep rolling in this home matchup against a Detroit team that ranks eighth from the bottom with just 2.76 goals per game.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Curtis McElhinney, CAR vs. BUF ($31): McElhinney has been hot recently with three consecutive wins, but he preceded that stretch with a four-game losing streak. Carolina's inconsistent backup will have his work cut out for him against a Buffalo team that currently finds itself in playoff position in the second leg of his team's back-to-back, especially if Sabres star Jack Eichel makes his return from an upper-body injury here.
Bryan Little, WPG vs. DET ($14): Little's an affordable option at just $14, but he's a consistent producer who's surrounded by talent on Winnipeg's second line with Patrik Laine and the second power-play unit. The veteran center has been hot of late with two goals and two assists during his active three-game point streak, so roll him out with confidence against this inferior opposition.
CENTER TO AVOID
Adam Henrique, ANH vs. PIT ($17): Henrique's been stuck in low gear recently, producing just one goal and two assists to go with a minus-5 rating over his past nine games. He'll have a hard time turning things around against a Penguins team that's 9-1-0 in its last 10 games.
Johnny Gaudreau, CGY vs. FLA ($31): You've been seeing Gaudreau's name here a lot recently, but there's no reason to stray away from such a reliable source of multi-point performances. To be exact, Gaudreau's recorded multiple points in 13 of his past 19 games, totaling 16 goals and 21 assists over that span. Expect more of the same against a Panthers team that allows the fourth-most goals per game and is playing its second game in as many nights.
Matthew Tkachuk, CGY vs. FLA ($22): If you can't afford Gaudreau or want to stack Flames in this favorable matchup, Tkachuk is a tantalizing option. He's stuffed the stat sheet over the past six games with four goals, five assists, 16 shots and a plus-4 rating. With 51 points through 45 games and likely still improving at just 21 years of age, Tkachuk's a bargain at $22.
WINGS TO AVOID
Kyle Okposo, BUF at CAR ($18): Okposo rarely lives up to his $18 valuation, with an average of just 3.9 fantasy points per game. No other winger that's priced at $15 or more in this slate is averaging fewer than 4.7 fantasy points. Okposo hasn't been any better lately, with fewer than 2.0 fantasy points in 12 of his past 16 games.
Phil Kessel, PIT at ANH ($26): Kessel's mired in a bit of a slump, with just one assist and no goals in his past four games. Getting back on track won't be easy against a Ducks team that's recorded at least a point in 18 of 24 games in Anaheim, and there are stronger value plays to be found among Kessel's teammates, anyway.
Brian Dumoulin, PIT at ANH ($16): Dumoulin's established a high floor with excellent defensive play for the surging Penguins. He's averaging 6.4 fantasy points per game over the past eight despite posting just two assists over that span, as he's made up for the lack of offense with a plus-8 rating and 18 blocks. For the season, Dumoulin's rating is a gaudy plus-27, good for the third-best mark in the league.
Dougie Hamilton, CAR vs. BUF ($19): Hamilton was cold for a while, but he's heated up with three goals and three assists over the past four games. This hot streak has been long overdue considering Hamilton ranks fourth among all NHL defensemen with 137 shots on goal. He has the offensive skills to keep rolling, having posted at least 42 points in each of the four seasons prior to this one.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Mike Green, DET at WPG ($18): Green's expected to return from a foot injury for this contest, but it's best to hold off for at least one more game before adding the experienced blueliner to DFS lineups. It often takes at least one game to shake off the rust from an extended absence, and Green's been out for exactly a month, having last suited up Dec. 11. If his reactions are a step slow in his return, Winnipeg's top-10 offense is likely to make Green pay in the rating department.
Keith Yandle, FLA at CGY ($20): The Panthers are able to dictate Yandle's matchups with last change at home, but they have no such luxury on the road and the difference shows up in his rating splits; he has a solid plus-3 mark at home and a disastrous minus-15 rating in away games. A Flames offense that ranks third with 3.60 goals per game is likely to exploit Yandle's defensive deficiencies while he's less likely to counter any drop in rating through offensive production, having recorded only 14 points in 22 road tilts compared to 21 points in 19 home appearances.