This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
Wednesday's NHL slate is a tiny one, with just two games on tap starting at 7:30 PM Eastern time. Read on to see which players to target and which ones to avoid from the Senators-Maple Leafs and Bruins-Rangers matchups.
Jaroslav Halak, BOS at NYR ($29): Halak has always loved facing the Rangers – he's 18-8-0 with a 2.40 GAA and .928 save percentage against the Blueshirts in his career. Frederik Andersen stands out as the top goalie in this slate, but Halak is the clear choice for the No. 2 spot over Craig Anderson (3.51 GAA, .906 save percentage) and Alexandar Georgiev (3.28 GAA, .897 save percentage).
GOALIE TO AVOID
Craig Anderson, OTT at TOR ($28): While Georgiev at least gets the benefit of facing Boston on the second leg of a back-to-back, Anderson will battle a rested Toronto team. Considering Toronto's averaging 3.56 goals per game, things are unlikely to go well for Anderson here.
Mika Zibanejad, NYR vs. BOS ($22): Defense and secondary scoring have both been problems for the Rangers, but the team's top forwards have been productive lately, led by Zibanejad. The oft-concussed center is enjoying a healthy campaign at age 25, and he's up to 52 points in 52 games thanks to a recent surge that's included nine goals and six assists in the last seven games. Look for the red-hot Swede to keep rolling against a Bruins team that's playing its second game in as many nights.
CENTER TO AVOID
Patrice Bergeron, BOS at NYR ($33): Bergeron scored two goals in his 1000th NHL game Tuesday at TD Garden, but a repeat effort is highly unlikely given the change in venue here. While Bergeron's been spectacular with 14 goals and 33 points in 21 home games, he's amassed a only four goals and 13 points in 16 road tilts. That road production is solid for most players, but you expect more out of someone priced at $33.
William Nylander, TOR vs. OTT ($18): Nylander got off to an excruciatingly slow start after holding out into the season, but he finally seems to be finding a groove – the eighth overall selection in the 2014 draft has six points and a plus-7 rating over the past five games. He's more than capable of sustaining this recent production considering he's coming off back-to-back 61-point seasons, and Nylander gets a golden opportunity to keep rolling against a Senators team that's allowing a league-high 3.73 goals per game.
Mats Zuccarello, NYR vs. BOS ($18): Zuccarello and Zibanejad have demonstrated tremendous chemistry recently, with the former serving as the set-up man and the latter doing most of the finishing. The diminutive winger has responded to his move up to the top line with an eight-game point streak, posting five goals and nine assists (he missed one game during this stretch, in which the Rangers were shut out). There's not much fantasy value to be found on the Rangers outside the Killer Z's, but owners should keep riding Zuccarello and Zibanejad while they're hot.
WINGS TO AVOID
Bobby Ryan, OTT at TOR ($18): Ryan has just one multi-point game since Dec. 1, and he's been a liability in his own end with a minus-12 rating. The heavily favored Maple Leafs are likely to exploit Ryan's defensive deficiencies, and he hasn't shown enough offensively to make up for his rating woes.
Connor Brown, TOR vs. OTT ($14): Brown lit the lamp with one of his five shots against the hapless Ducks on Monday, but that performance was the exception rather than the norm. He had been held to two assists without a goal over the previous eight games, mustering a total of three shots in those eight contests. It doesn't make much sense to look Brown's way when a pair of teammates in much more offensively friendly roles (Zach Hyman, Patrick Marleau) can each be had for just $1 more.
Zdeno Chara, BOS at NYR ($14): As long as the Bruins don't cut down Chara's minutes too dramatically in this second leg of a back-to-back, the hulking blueliner's primed to provide excellent value at just $14. Chara's propped up his value with nine shots and 18 blocks over the past six games, and he has a good shot to get on the scoresheet as well with the leaky Georgiev in net for New York.
Jake Gardiner, TOR vs. OTT ($16): Gardiner took a game to get back into the swing of things since returning from a back injury, but he's been on his game since with three assists and 19.8 fantasy points over the last two contests. He's been a high floor option all season with 27 points and a plus-20 rating, and Gardiner's ceiling is robust as well against the league's worst defensive team.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Kevin Shattenkirk, NYR vs. BOS ($18): Shattenkirk's average of 4.4 fantasy points points is easily the lowest mark among all blueliners that cost $16 or more in this slate, and he's trending in the wrong direction. The highly paid blueliner was awful in New York's last game Monday, posting minus-1.0 fantasy point in just 13:25 of ice time.
Travis Dermott, TOR vs. OTT ($15): The case against Dermott is similar to the one against his teammate Brown. His average of 3.6 fantasy points is the lowest among all defensemen that cost $14 or more, while much more productive teammates (Gardiner, Jake Muzzin) can be had for just $1 more and $3 more, respectively.