This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
Friday's NHL slate begins at 7:00 PM Eastern time and features six games. With plenty of playoff implications on the line in this slate, read on to see which players are primed to step up and provide strong value and which ones are best avoided at their respective prices.
Anton Khudobin, DAL vs. VGK ($30): Khudobin has been among the league's best backups, with a 2.55 GAA and .924 save percentage. Those rates improve to 2.35 and .930, respectively, on home ice. Vegas averages only 2.77 goals per game on the road, so Khudobin's a sneaky value play at $30 here.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Frederik Andersen, TOR vs. PHI ($33): Andersen has gotten the hook in consecutive games, allowing four goals in each while stopping only 25 of 33 shots. He's also gone 16 starts without allowing fewer than two goals, so Andersen doesn't have the upside to justify the risk presented by his recent struggles, especially against a Flyers team that's making a late-season charge.
Derick Brassard, COL vs. ANH ($10): The Avalanche have been off since Monday, giving them a distinct freshness advantage over a visiting Ducks team that's playing its second game in as many nights. That's far from the only problem for an Anaheim team with a minus-57 goal differential this season. As a member of both the top line and top power-play unit for Colorado in the wake of Gabriel Landeskog's upper-body injury, Brassard's primed to capitalize on these favorable circumstances.
CENTER TO AVOID
Derek Ryan, CGY vs. NYR ($16): The Flames are likely to produce plenty of strong fantasy performers in this one, but Ryan may not be one of them. Prior to his three-point night in Tuesday's 9-4 win over the Devils, Ryan had just one point in his previous 10. With more than one shot in only three of those 10 games and more than two shots in one, Ryan's lack of offense has been no fluke.
Johnny Gaudreau, CGY vs. NYR ($30): Gaudreau had one of the best performances anyone's posted all season in Tuesday's win over the Devils, with three goals, three assists and eight shots on goal. While he's unlikely to match that effort here, Gaudreau's still capable of being the centerpiece of a successful fantasy lineup with his team set to host a Rangers club that's won only once in its past nine games. New York's also surrendering 3.82 goals per game on the road – fourth-most in the league.
J.T. Compher, COL vs. ANH ($16): Compher is the other man flanking superstar Nathan MacKinnon along with Brassard following Colorado's line reshuffling, so it's not a bad idea to stack these guys in this favorable matchup. With 15 goals and 30 points in 54 games, Compher was already providing solid value relative to his $16 valuation even before moving up to the top line.
WINGS TO AVOID
Artemi Panarin, CLS vs. CAR ($25): Panarin's ill-timed goal drought is up to seven games, and he's supplied just three assists and a minus-7 rating over this poor stretch. Reversing course won't be easy against a hot Hurricanes team that's 13-3-1 in its last 17 games.
Jonathan Marchessault, VGK at DAL ($20): Marchessault is another guy who's had trouble scoring recently, with only one goal and one multi-point performance in his last 14. With how well Khudobin's played in Dallas, it's hard to see Marchessault breaking out of his recent funk.
Alexander Edler, VAN vs. NJ ($17): Edler's a great all-around defenseman capable of making significant contributions in every category, which is why his average of 8.0 fantasy points leads all blueliners that cost under $25. He should exceed that robust average in this home meeting with an undermanned Devils team that's 2-7-1 in its past 10 games.
Shayne Gostisbehere, PHI at TOR ($18): Gostisbehere hasn't come close to matching last year's 65-point campaign, but he has a modest three-game point streak going, racking up four assists, seven shots and four blocks over that stretch. With Gostisbehere hot and Toronto in a funk, this could be the time to use the offensively gifted blueliner.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Mark Giordano, CGY vs. NYR ($27): Giordano's in the midst of a fantastic campaign, but he's slowed down compared to his blistering start. Over his past 20 games, the 35-year-old defenseman has come up short of his season average of 10.0 fantasy points 19 times. Given Giordano's meager upside relative to his $27 valuation, you're better off paying up for more of Calgary's expensive forwards than for him.
Jamie Oleksiak, DAL vs. VGK ($18): Oleksiak's price won't budge from $18 despite a 27-game point drought. One word: avoid.