This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
Tuesday was a busy day for the NHL with 13 games on the slate. Wednesday is a bit different. There are only two games on the docket, and one of them is the second leg of a back-to-back for the Blackhawks and Predators. That makes for trickier choices for your daily fantasy lineup. On the other hand, the Blackhawks, Senators and Canucks all feel like teams that may cede a lot of goals this season. Maybe it won't be so bad for DFS purposes.
Juuse Saros, NAS vs. CHI ($28): I have no faith in any of the goalies for the other three teams in action. Even Saros has a .905 save percentage this season, but he's never had a save percentage lower than .914 over a campaign. This is really about a complete lack of interest in any other goalie, and the upside that Saros has, as opposed to the matchup.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Braden Holtby, VAN vs. OTT ($29): The Canucks have been alternating starts for their goalies, which would mean Holtby is up for his start Wednesday. Holtby disappointed with a .897 save percentage last year, but this year it's down to .888 through four starts. Yes, Vancouver held Ottawa to one goal in the last meeting, but that was with Thatcher Demko in net, not Holtby.
Bo Horvat, VAN vs. OTT ($21): Horvat refuses to live in the shadow of Elias Pettersson. He's notched five goals and five assists through eight games, and he's on a four-game point streak. Like I said, the Canucks just put seven goals up on the Senators, and the Sens had a 3.35 GAA last season. Only the Red Wings were worse.
CENTER TO AVOID
Ryan Johansen, NAS vs. CHI ($15): Johansen is a playmaker, but he's scored 14 goals in four of his last five seasons. Since this is the second leg of a back-to-back, maybe the Predators' center is going to be a little tired and play at a slightly lesser level.
Brady Tkachuk, OTT at VAN ($20): Tkachuk has been consistent in his early career. As a rookie he had 45 points in 71 games. Last season he had 44 points in 71 games. He won't be playing 71 games this season, but he has four points through six contests, and he's put 24 shots on goal as well. While Vancouver's goaltenders have struggled, it hasn't helped that the team has allowed 36.3 shots on net per game, and that's after giving up 33.3 last season.
Viktor Arvidsson, NAS vs. CHI ($18): Arvidsson has done good work as a playmaker with four assists in six games, but he only has one goal despite putting 23 shots on net. The Blackhawks allowed the most shots on goal per game last season, and the goaltending situation is dire this year. Chicago started Malcolm Subban on Tuesday, leaving Kevin Lankinen for this game. The 25-year-old rookie has a .909 save percentage even though he made two of his starts against the Red Wings.
WINGS TO AVOID
Patrick Kane, CHI at NAS ($29): Kane is doing the best he can with limited talent around him, but this is the worst Blackhawks roster he's been a part of in a long time. That makes it harder to score and to pay off with a high salary like this. Being on the road for the second of a back-to-back doesn't help either.
Dominik Kubalik, CHI at NAS ($18): I guess I'm doubling down on Blackhawks. Kubalik has five points in seven games, but three of them (and eight of his 20 shots on goal) came in one game against the Panthers. While the Czech player scored 30 goals as a 24-year-old rookie, I'm skeptical he will ever approach a 19.1 shooting percentage again.
Nate Schmidt, VAN vs. OTT ($17): Schmidt has a goal and an assist through eight games with his new team, but he's playing over 22 minutes a night and seeing time on the second power-play unit, so he's in a pretty decent spot. Speaking of old faces in new laces, Matt Murray has been perhaps the worst goalie in the NHL this season. He's picked up five starts and has a 4.47 GAA and .862 save percentage.
Mattias Ekholm, NAS vs. CHI ($13): I was concerned about Ekholm's lack of shooting to start the season, but he just put five shots on net against this Blackhawks team on Tuesday night. He also picked up an assist, even if it is only his second point of the season. I like Ekholm at this salary, especially if he can be as active again.
DEFENSE TO AVOID
Ryan Ellis, NAS vs. CHI ($20): Ellis has been more active than Ekholm – he has 18 shots on goal and 15 blocked shots – but he only has a single point. Despite this, Ellis has the second-highest salary of any defenseman Wednesday. Until he starts getting on the score sheet more, I don't want to pay that kind of salary for him. In fact, I probably would prefer just to shell out the $25 for Roman Josi.
Duncan Keith, CHI at NAS ($18): Keith has five points, all assists, but the Blackhawks have had an easy schedule since opening the season with two games against Tampa (games Keith registers zero points in, for what it's worth). Additionally, three of his points have come with the extra man, but he's only played 1:25 per game on the power play. If that continues, it's going to be hard for him to keep scoring like that with the extra man.