Yahoo DFS Hockey: Wednesday Picks
Yahoo DFS Hockey: Wednesday Picks

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.

We've finally made it to Opening Night. The most exciting game on ice fires up tonight, and it won't stop until one revered team hoists Lord Stanley's Cup  in June. This slate features four games, including a matchup between the last two champions: the Blues and the Capitals. 

Read on for some tips as you set your daily fantasy lineup before the first puck drops at 7:00 p.m. ET. 

GOALIE

Jacob Markstrom, VAN at EDM ($30): Markstom has been consistent in his last two seasons as a full-time starter, posting a .912 save percentage in each campaign. The Canucks shored up the blue line by signing Tyler Myers this offseason, and 19-year-old Quinn Hughes looks like he'll be a stud. Meanwhile, Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser are poised to take another step in their development this year, giving Markstrom ample offensive support against the Oilers, who averaged 2.79 goals per game last year (20th in the league). 

GOALIE TO AVOID

Martin Jones, SAN at VGK ($30): The Sharks exceeded expectations when they reached the Western Conference final last year, but let's not forget why that was such a surprise. Jones couldn't find his footing in the regular season, finishing with an .896 save percentage while facing the second-fewest shots in the league (28.3 per game). It'll be a raucous Vegas atmosphere for the season opener, and I'm putting my faith in Marc-Andre Fleury ($38) to come out on top. 

CENTER

Auston Matthews, TOR vs. OTT ($34): It can't be overstated how strong of a goal scorer Matthews is. He scored 37 goals – 12 on the power play – in 68 games last year, which pro-rates to 44 goals over 82 games. Something about season openers gets Matthews in the scoring groove, too, as he's racked up seven goals and two assists over three career Opening Nights. Mix in a home matchup against last year's worst defensive team (3.67 GAA) and Matthews is on track to be well worth the hefty price tag. 

CENTER TO AVOID

Paul Stastny, VGK vs. SAN ($21): Stastny excelled in his first season with Vegas, generating 42 points in 50 contest while firing 103 shots on net. Unfortunately, the Golden Knight are expected to even out the lines to start the year, meaning Stastny will center the third unit with Brandon Pirri and Valentin Zykov. Last year, Pirri's scoring binge proved to be a fad while Zykov only produced three points in 18 games, so Stastny has a heavy burden on his shoulders that is tough to justify at this price. 

WINGS

Max Pacioretty, VGK vs. SAN ($21): Pacioretty's shooting percentage rose 3.5 percent (to 11.5) in his first season with the Golden Knights last year, and his 53.5 Corsi For percentage paints a picture of a premier goal scorer. Heading into his second year with the club, Pacioretty will be on a line with Mark Stone, and their first target will be the Sharks, who Pacioretty lit up for 11 points in seven postseason games last year. 

Robert Thomas, STL vs. WAS ($10): Thomas started slow in his rookie year but revved up toward the end, compiling 19 points over the last 30 games. He was a key piece in the team's playoff run as well, and he'll immediately start playing on the top power play alongside sniper Vladimir Tarasenko. Plug him in at this discount while you still have the chance. 

WINGS TO AVOID

Timo Meier, SAN at VGK ($20): Meier enjoyed a breakout season last year with 66 points in 78 games, but he couldn't figure out the Golden Knights in the regular season with zero goals and just one assist over four meetings. He was clearly less productive on the road as well, registering 12 fewer points in opponent's barn compared to the Shark Tank. Meier will face Vegas' top defenders all game, making this a difficult season opener. 

Tanner Pearson, VAN at EDM ($17): It's a heavily discounted rate, but there's a lot of risk involved. Pearson, a first-round pick in 2012, posted just 27 points over 80 games last year. He was also a zero-floor forward with a minus-15 rating and just 41 blocked shots, adding a lot of risk for flaky reward. 

DEFENSE

Tyson Barrie, TOR vs. OTT ($22): Barrie was traded from Colorado to Toronto this summer, and he's in line for a major impact with the new squad. The 28-year-old is a power-play guru, dishing out 23 assists on the man advantage in back-to-back seasons. He's not expected to play with the big dogs like Auston Matthews or John Tavares right away, but he's a bargain right out of the gate with plenty of opportunities on tap. 

Justin Faulk, STL vs. WAS ($17): The pregame banner-raising ceremony may feel a bit odd for Faulk as the only player suiting up who wasn't on the championship team, but those feelings will be extinguished when the puck drops. Faulk is a three-time All Star who will immediately fill into the top pairing next to Alex Pietrangelo as well as on the power play. The Capitals penalty kill was lethargic last year, ranking 24th in the league last year (78.9 percent), so Faulk has the table set for a productive Blues debut.

DEFENSE TO AVOID

John Carlson, WAS at STL ($25): The Blues finished last year with the ninth-best penalty kill (81.5 percent), and most of their success came in the second half of the season. They retained the key members of that unit, and that could spell trouble for Carlson. Last season, Carlson scored 33 of his 70 points (47.1 percent) with the man advantage, so he may have trouble marking the scoresheet in the season opener. 

Colton Parayko, STL vs. WAS ($17): Coach Craig Berube's comments earlier in the week signaled that Parayko would be used heavily in defensive situations to start the season. His absence from the power play and a pairing with lockdown blueliner Jay Bouwmeester supports that notion. There are plenty of options in this price range with high offensive potential.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Jordan Mazzara plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Mazz30, Yahoo: Mazz30.
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only NHL Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire NHL fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jordan Mazzara
Jordan has produced NFL and NHL content for RotoWire since 2017. He's the beat writer for the St. Louis Blues and Seattle Seahawks.
DraftKings NHL: Sunday Breakdown
DraftKings NHL: Sunday Breakdown
FanDuel NHL: Sunday Targets
FanDuel NHL: Sunday Targets
Yahoo DFS Hockey: Sunday Picks
Yahoo DFS Hockey: Sunday Picks
Frozen Fantasy: November Is a Cold Month
Frozen Fantasy: November Is a Cold Month
FanDuel NHL: Saturday Targets
FanDuel NHL: Saturday Targets
Yahoo DFS Hockey: Saturday Breakdown
Yahoo DFS Hockey: Saturday Breakdown