This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
If you can take your eyes away from March Madness for a few minutes, there are 12 NHL games on the docket Thursday. You could also carve yourself out some time for making a daily fantasy lineup. If you do, here are some players to target, and also some to avoid.
Carey Price, MON vs. NYI ($32): Price has a 2.45 GAA and .918 save percentage over his last 14 games. However, that includes one terrible night on the road against, inexplicably, the Ducks. Otherwise, he's been even better than those numbers look. The Islanders are a strong team, but they mostly get it done defensively. Offensively, they've averaged 2.77 goals and 28.3 shots on net per game.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Pekka Rinne, NAS vs. PIT ($29): Rinne has a .915 save percentage this season, but over his last seven games his save percentage is .898. This is also a tough matchup, as the Penguins have averaged 3.38 goals and 32.9 shots on net per contest. Most of the best goalies Thursday don't have iffy matchups, but Rinne does. That is enough to cause skepticism.
Anze Kopitar, LOS vs. SAN ($17): Kopitar has notched three points in his last two games, two of which have come with the extra man. It's been a tough season at times for the Slovenian, but he has managed to secure 20 goals and 31 assists in 71 games. Somewhat strangely, the Sharks have really struggled on the road defensively. They've got a 3.43 GAA in away contests.
CENTER TO AVOID
Max Domi, MON vs. NYI ($21): Like I said earlier, the Islanders have been getting it done defensively all season. That includes on the road. New York has a 2.37 GAA in away games, second lowest in the NHL. That doesn't bode well for Domi, especially since he only has one power-play point in his last 35 games.
Matthew Tkachuk, CGY vs. OTT ($24): You don't need a ton of justification for putting Tkachuk in your lineup beyond his numbers. He's tallied 33 goals and 74 points in 73 games. However, this is also a truly fantasy matchup. The Senators have a league-high 4.31 GAA in away contests, and they are on the second day of a back-to-back to boot.
Alex Tuch, VGK vs. WPG ($17): Tuch is closing in on 50 points, which is impressive given that he's only played in 65 games. The additions at the trade deadline that pushed him to the third line haven't hurt him too much either, as he's got five points in his last five contest. I wouldn't be surprised if Tuch crosses the 50-point threshold in this matchup. The Jets have a 3.33 GAA since the All-Star break, and are on the second leg of a back-to-back as well.
WINGS TO AVOID
Mikko Rantanen, COL at DAL ($28): Moving down to the second line hasn't hurt Rantanen's numbers too much, but this matchup could be enough to cause him some trouble. The Stars have a 2.27 GAA at home, which is lowest in the NHL. In such a matchup, not having Nathan McKinnon or Gabriel Landeskog on your side at even strength could really hurt him.
Mike Hoffman, FLA vs. ARI ($19): Hoffman has 64 points with is impressive, but 33 of those points have come with the extra man. That doesn't bode well in this matchup, as the Coyotes have the second-ranked penalty kill. On top of that, the Coyotes have a 2.70 GAA since the All-Star break.
Alex Pietrangelo, STL vs. DET ($21): Pietrangelo's 22 assists in 62 games is a little low for him, but his 13 goals is impressive. He's also been hot recently, as five of those goals have come in his last 12 contests. The Wings have definitely not been hot as of late. They have a 3.50 GAA since the All-Star break, third highest in the NHL.
Zach Werenski, CLM at EDM ($17): Werenski has 12 points in his last 14 games, including three with the extra man. That gives him 14 power-play points in 73 games, and the defenseman has averaged 2:34 per contest on the power play as well. Meanwhile, the Oilers have the 30th-ranked penalty kill, so this adds up to a nice opportunity for the University of Michigan product.
DEFENSE TO AVOID
Victor Hedman, TAM at CAR ($24): Hedman is having another fine season, but the Lightning are on the road for the second game of a back-to-back. He's also facing a Hurricanes team with a 2.63 GAA at home and has only allowed 28.3 shots on net per contest in those games. Carolina also has the sixth-ranked penalty kill, and 24 of Hedman's 49 points have come with the extra man.
Shea Weber, MON vs. NYI ($23): We've got another Hab stuck taking on the Islanders. As previously noted, they have a 2.37 road GAA, which is in fact the same as their overall GAA. The latter is lowest in the NHL. Weber, like his teammate Domi, has also been struggling on the power play recently. He only has one point with the extra man in his last 18 contests.