This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
Friday's NHL slate features six games and begins at 7:00 PM Eastern time. Read on to see which players stand out as the top value plays to target in this medium-sized slate and which ones are best avoided at their respective prices.
David Rittich, CGY vs. ANH ($29): Rittich has missed some time due to illness of late, but he's been excellent when he's played, winning four of his past five starts while allowing a total of 12 goals over that stretch. Assuming he gets the nod over Mike Smith in Calgary's goalie rotation, Rittich will have a terrific opportunity to build on his recent success against a Ducks team that averages a league-low 2.33 goals per game.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Devan Dubnyk, MIN at VGK ($30): Dubnyk has struggled of late, winning just twice in his last eight starts. Turning things around won't be easy against a Vegas club that's 23-10-5 in its own building.
Pavel Zacha, NJ at DET ($13): Someone has to win this battle of bottom-dwellers, and it could well be the Devils considering they've won two straight while the Red Wings are playing their second game in as many nights. Zacha has been instrumental in New Jersey's recent uptick, as he's logged a goal and three assists in three games since returning from an upper-body injury that kept him out for over a month. Perhaps finally living up to the potential that enticed the Devils to select him sixth overall in the 2015 draft, Zacha is a low-risk, high-reward play at $13.
CENTER TO AVOID
Nick Bjugstad, PIT vs. NSH ($17): Bjugstad has gone cold of late, totaling just a goal with no assists over his past six games. Don't expect him to break out of this rut against a Predators team that's holding opponents to 2.60 goals per game – fourth-fewest in the league.
Pavel Buchnevich, NYR vs. STL ($16): If you're tempted to go against the grain and pick against the Blues, Buchnevich is an enticing option. Moved up to the top line, the talented Russian has responded with a five-game point streak. If he can keep this production up, he won't be available for as little as $16 much longer.
Jonathan Marchessault, VGK vs. MIN ($22): Marchessault continues to be a major problem for opposing defenses. He has four goals and five assists in the past six games, along with 21 shots and a plus-7 rating. The diminutive forward should continue to produce against the fading Wild.
WINGS TO AVOID
Gabriel Landeskog, COL vs. ARI ($28): Landeskog might return for his first action since March 7, but that doesn't mean he should be in your lineup. Colorado's captain will have some rust to shake off, and he'll have to do it against a Coyotes team that's killing off a league-high 85.6 percent of opposing power plays.
Craig Smith, NSH at PIT ($18): Smith doesn't have a multi-point game since Jan. 5, accruing just five goals and five assists in the subsequent 28 games. He's come up short of his 15:07 season ice time average nine times in his last 13 games, so Smith's not getting many opportunities to shake his recent slump.
Colton Parayko, STL at NYR ($17): Parayko's a high-floor option on the blue line with some offensive upside. He has a plus-19 rating this season and is a strong source of blocked shots, with 19 over his past six games. Parayko also has five points over that six-game span, and he has a nice opportunity to keep rolling against a Rangers team that's won just twice in its last 15 games.
Mark Giordano, CGY vs. ANH ($27): Giordano is in the thick of Norris Trophy contention, as he's in the midst of a tremendous season that's included well-rounded contributions across the board and 72 points. As a critical member of a Flames team that's scoring a league-high 4.08 goals per game at home, Giordano should wind up among the top performing skaters in this slate.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Travis Hamonic, CGY vs. ANH ($18): Hamonic doesn't offer much offense for an $18 blueliner, with just 17 points this season and more than 21 in only one of the past seven campaigns. He blocks a lot of shots, but there's much better upside to be found among Calgary's defensive ranks in this favorable matchup.
Dylan McIlrath, DET vs. NJ ($16): Even at $16, McIlrath's overpriced. The physical blueliner hasn't demonstrated the skill set necessary to crack the NHL level consistently, which is why he has no points in two games this season and just five points in 45 career games at the NHL level less than a month before his 27th birthday.