This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
We are marching toward the NHL playoffs, which is a line you can use basically every day in March, but eventually it would get tedious. Fortunately, it's still early enough in the month that I can get away with it. There are 10 NHL games Thursday, and here are the guys I would target, and avoid, for your daily fantasy lineup.
Alex Stalock, MIN at SAN ($36): Stalock began his career in San Jose, and his recent run of play makes it feel like he can have himself a revenge game. Over his last 15 games he has a 2.00 GAA and .927 save percentage. The Sharks have only averaged 2.61 goals and 29.8 shots on net per game, and a mix of injuries and trades have made them arguably even worse than that.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Jaroslav Halak, BOS at FLA ($33): Florida is avoiding Tuukka Rask and his 2.13 GAA, but Halak is no slouch. In fact, he has a 2.44 GAA and .917 save percentage. However, the Panthers have averaged 3.48 goals and 33.7 shots on net per game at home. This is a tough matchup, and with 20 goalies in action you can find a less risky option.
Mathew Barzal, NYI at OTT ($23): It's been a while since Barzal lit the lamp, but he's been helping others get on the scoresheet recently. Oven his last seven games he has eight assists, giving him 38 helpers in 65 games. The Senators have been really struggling since the All-Star break, as they have a 3.47 GAA and have allowed 35.0 shots on net per game in that time.
CENTER TO AVOID
Nicklas Backstrom, WAS at NYR ($25): The Rangers allow a lot of shots, but Backstrom's shots haven't yielded much this year, as he's shooting at an 8.8 percent rate. Plus, the Capitals are on the road for the second leg of a back-to-back. That's primarily why I am recommending avoiding Backstrom, as the Capitals are the only team in that position Thursday.
Bryan Rust, PIT at BUF ($27): This isn't only about the fact Rust posted a hat trick in his last game. It is about the fact he's tallied eight goals and eight assists on the season with the man advantage. The Sabres have the league's worst penalty kill, so anybody on the Penguins who sees power-play time feels like a good bet Thursday.
Alex Iafallo, LOS vs. TOR ($17): The Kings have a lousy offense, but Iafallo has been doing his best to keep them from being entirely punchless. He has eight points in his last nine games, and he now has 40 points in a season for the first time in his career. Playing alongside Anze Kopitar helps. It's also beneficial to be playing the Maple Leafs, who have a 3.27 GAA.
WINGS TO AVOID
Patrick Kane, CHI vs. EDM ($31): Kane has been stellar, but he's also expensive. This matchup may not be as good as you would expect, though. The Oilers have been one of the best defensive teams on the road. Edmonton has a 2.67 GAA in away games, fourth lowest in the NHL. The Oilers also have the second-ranked penalty kill. As such, don't expect Kane to have his usual power-play success.
Viktor Arvidsson, NAS vs. DAL ($16): Arvidsson looked good after returning from injury, but that was a brief run before he started to struggle. Over his last 16 games he only has three points. As for the Stars, they have a 2.53 GAA, second lowest in the NHL.
John Klingberg, DAL at NAS ($18): Klingberg has a four-game point streak, including three points with the extra man. That gives him 17 power-play points in 55 contests. The Predators have the 29th-ranked penalty kill, so Klingberg's acumen on the power play could be on display Thursday.
Charlie McAvoy, BOS at FLA ($18): McAvoy gets overshadowed by Torey Krug, and in a more literal way by the 6-foot-9 Zdeno Chara, but he's got 30 points in 64 games himself. The 22-year-old has been hot recently as well, as 13 of his points have come in his last 14 contests. Speaking of recent runs of play, the Panthers have a 3.53 GAA since the All-Star break.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Shea Weber, MON at TAM ($21): Andrei Vasilevskiy has had a couple rough starts recently, but they have come on the road. In his last 10 home starts the Russian has a 2.09 GAA and .927 save percentage. That doesn't bode well for Weber, especially since he's no longer a power-play weapon. The veteran defenseman only has eight points with the extra man.
Rasmus Dahlin, BUF vs. PIT ($16): Dahlin was hot recently, but he has been held without a point in his last five games. On top of that, while he's having an impressive season for a 19-year-old, he only has four goal on the year. Meanwhile, Tristan Jarry has a 2.32 GAA and .924 save percentage.