This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
The first Sunday without football kicks off with an eight-game NHL slate that features six Central Division teams and four inter-conference matchups. The first puck will drop at 12:30 P.M. EST. Here are some players to help your daily fantasy quests:
Petr Mrazek, CAR at NJD ($26): Mrazek is coming off a 27-save shutout against the Rangers, and now the Hurricanes will venture across the river for a matchup with the Devils. Although Mrazek sports a measly .898 save percentage on the season, it bumps up to .910 on the road. New Jersey is laboring without Taylor Hall (lower body) by only scoring seven goals over the last four games, making it an ideal opportunity to ride Mrazek's hot hand while he's cheap.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Jonathan Bernier, DET at CHI ($27): Don't be fooled by a 35-save shutout in his last outing. We see Bernier's floor more often than not, as he's yielded three or more goals in 15 of 21 appearances – or 71.4 percent. Chicago enters the contest on a six-game winning streak with 5.4 goals per game during that stretch, so Bernier looks tasked for damage control.
Dylan Strome, CHI vs. DET ($18): Since Nick Schmaltz is out for the rest of the year with an upper-body injury, it's impossible to tell who won the trade between Chicago and Arizona. The Blackhawks definitely didn't lose it, as Strome has recorded 27 points in 31 games and 13 in the last eight. He'll be up against a struggling Bernier on Sunday and comes at a major bargain.
CENTER TO AVOID
Vincent Trocheck, FLA vs. TB ($22): Trocheck lost a good chunk of the season due to injury, but he still compiled 18 points in the first 21 games. It has basically been crickets lately, with just one point over the last five contests and just eight shots on net in that span. Over half of his production has also come on the power play this year, and those chances will fade against Tampa Bay's second-ranked penalty kill.
Vladimir Tarasenko, STL at NSH ($24): Things have changed for Tarasenko since the calendar flipped to 2019 by generating eight goals and eight assists in 15 games. The Russian sniper fired more than three shots on net per contest in that span, and he's spent the last five games with a new line of Brayden Schenn ($18) and Ryan O'Reilly ($25). That trio has combined for six goals and 19 points together, and there's no end in sight for their run.
Mats Zuccarello, NYR vs. TOR ($18): This is a puzzling valuation for a skater with five goals and 10 apples over the last 10 games. Zuccarello still mans the top line and power play, and the Leafs aren't impressive at 13th in the league with an 80.7 penalty-kill percentage. His price tag is appealing and he could be stacked with center Mika Zibanejad ($22).
WINGS TO AVOID
Patrik Laine, WPG at BUF ($23): Laine is one of the league's most promising goal scorers, but the 20-year-old hasn't answered the call lately. His lack of production is unprecedented with just one goal in the last 17 games and none in the last 10. The Sabres own the league's ninth-best penalty kill at 82.2 percent, and Laine has only potted one goal against the franchise in his career. There's simply safer options for the price elsewhere.
Jaden Schwartz, STL at NSH ($17): Schwartz marked 24 goals last season, but has fallen to just three in this campaign despite directing 112 shots on net. He hasn't lit the lamp in 21 games, and his bad luck was established further when he had an open shot at an empty net Saturday and missed. Steer clear until this grueling slump breaks.
Roman Josi, NSH vs. STL ($24): Josi is putting himself among the league's best defensemen. He's accrued two tallies and five helpers in the last five games, including an assist against the Blues on Saturday. His ceiling should raise further if Jake Allen enters the blue paint for St. Louis, making him a worthy add at a premium price.
Erik Gustafsson, CHI vs. DET ($17): It's not easy to find goals coming from the blue line, but Gustafsson has a hot hand with three scores – including two on the power play – and an assist in the last four games. Chicago is finally meshing, and Detroit's 24th-ranked penalty kill isn't equipped to handle the heat. Harvest on Gustafsson's low charge.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Tyson Barrie, COL at BOS ($20): Production won't come easy against Boston's fourth-ranked defense at 2.56 goals against per game. Barrie's floor doesn't provide solace either since he comes in with a minus-6 rating and just one assist over the last four outings.
P.K. Subban, NSH vs. STL ($21): Subban has fallen far from expectations this campaign and has registered just one point in nine games. He's still shooting plenty, but he and Alex Pietrangelo ($21) are the only players priced at $20 or above while averaging under 7.5 fantasy points per game – both at 6.2. That's an unsavory recipe for success.