This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
It's a quiet, two-game slate in the NHL Sunday and Colorado is returning from a layoff having last played Feb. 2. The Washington-Pittsburgh clash pits two long-standing rivals against each other, and the Golden Knights are coming off a 3-1 win over San Jose on Saturday. Both games feature small home favorites with a 6.5 over/under total.
Vitek Vanecek, WAS at PIT ($26): With the Penguins plodding along to a 6-5-1 record this season, Vanecek and the Capitals are ripe for a road upset. The Czech netminder carries a risk with an .886 save percentage through his past five appearances, but he could be the least popular target and provide contrarian value in a four-goalie pool. Turn to Ilya Samsonov ($25) if he receives the starting nod after clearing COVID-19 protocol.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Tristan Jarry, PIT vs. WAS ($20): This is a cushy salary to lock in Jarry as your second goalie, but he's been so inconsistent this season that it's impossible to roster him with confidence sporting a disastrous .857 save percentage and 3.95 GAA. Backup Casey DeSmith ($22) hasn't been markedly better with .881 and 3.09 marks through his past five starts.
Cody Glass, VGK vs. COL ($15): With two tallies and five helpers through eight games this season, Glass is affirming himself as one of the best young players in the league. There's also likely to be against-the-grain value skating in a third-line role while also receiving looks with the No. 1 power-play unit while most will probably target Vegas's top two trios.
CENTER TO AVOID
Nathan MacKinnon, COL at VGK ($34): Obviously, you're fading MacKinnon at your own risk, especially with Vegas playing its second game in as many nights. Still, the superstar will be hitting the ice for the first time since Jan. 31 and there's potential for him to aggravate his lower-body injury. Also, the Golden Knights have limited opponents to a tidy 2.09 goals and 8.36 high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes at five-on-five this season.
Alex Tuch, VGK vs. COL ($17): A stack candidate with linemate Cody Glass ($15), Tuch is producing at a point-per-game pace over his past nine outings with three goals, six assists and 16 shots. He's also averaging 2:36 of power-play time during the stretch. As noted, the Avs could also be rusty following a long layoff.
WING TO AVOID
Bryan Rust, PIT vs. WAS ($22): Consider fading Rust following his first multi-point showing of the season Thursday. While he's racked up an impressive 14 shots through the past two games and carries an unsustainably low 6.7 shooting percentage, it's a shallow player pool and his poor puck luck might actually be in line after recording a career-high 17.9 shooting percentage last season.
Alec Martinez, VGK vs. COL ($19): With a limited blueline pool, targeting a high-floor contributor is important and Martinez provides sneaky value with eight assists and 44 blocks through 12 games this season. The salary is reasonable while the 33-year-old also receives power-play time.
Dmitry Orlov, WAS at PIT ($10): Through three games since returning from the COVID-19 protocol list, Orlov has played sparingly (15:37 per night) and has only recorded four shots and one block. While discouraging, he's carrying a minimum salary so there's little risk lining up the proven producer Sunday. After all, Orlov has topped 25 points in each of the past five seasons.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Cale Makar, COL at VGK ($26): It's tough to fade Makar. He's on a five-game point streak and is arguably the NHL's best young offensive defensemen, but there's reason to consider alternatives with the highest salary for D-men - especially with the noted unfavorable matchup and Colorado's long layoff.
Shea Theodore, VGK vs. COL ($26): Consider Theodore a high-risk, high-reward candidate if he dresses Sunday. While he's missed the past two, the 25-year-old defenseman has produced at a point-per-game mark this season and averages 2:56 of power-play time quarterbacking the No. 1 unit. Still, he's an injury risk and Colorado has surrendered just 2.07 goals per 60 minutes at even strength.