This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
There are six games in the NHL on Friday with three considerable mismatches. Colorado, Vegas and Tampa Bay are all huge favorites, and the Wild, Bruins and Blues are also receiving small chalk. It's also an interesting schedule spot with Tampa Bay and Chicago playing for the second consecutive night, whereas all the other teams except Boston and Washington are on the front end of a back-to-back set, so double-check your goaltender selections before contests lock.
Curtis McElhinney, TB at CHI ($23): The Lightning scored three unanswered goals for a comeback win over Chicago 3-2 in overtime Thursday, and Tampa Bay is a significant favorite again. This will be just the fourth start of the season for McElhinney, and he's allowed a single goal in two and six in the other, which provides a peek at his fantasy floor and ceiling. At this salary, though, he's a foundation piece for lineups. Tampa Bay is allowing the fewest five-on-five goals in the league, and the Lightning own the second best penalty-kill percentage, after all.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Philipp Grubauer, COL vs. ANH ($40): Check any team statistics and everything lines up for Grubauer to have the best fantasy showing from the goalie pool Friday, but he's also the most expensive option. Additionally, before shutting out San Jose on Wednesday, he failed to post 20 fantasy points in each of his past nine starts. His .906 save percentage during the noted nine-game stretch doesn't match the salary, either.
Anthony Cirelli, TB at CHI ($19): This is a reasonable price to target Cirelli at, considering he's recorded a respectable six goals and seven assists through 15 games this season. He's locked into a scoring role, skates with the No. 1 power-play unit and has been lining up with Steven Stamkos ($31) more frequently of late. The Blackhawks are a run-of-the-mill defensive team, so there's nothing scary about the matchup.
CENTER TO AVOID
Patrice Bergeron, BOS vs. WAS ($31): While an obvious candidate for statistical correction after recording just a single goal and single assist through the past six games, Bergeron would be a lot more attractive if his salary dipped as a result of his recent scoring woes. It hasn't, and Washington isn't a doormat. The Capitals have allowed just 2.26 goals per 60 minutes at five-on-five this season while also sporting an 11th-ranked 80.6 penalty-kill percentage.
Reilly Smith, VGK at SJ ($14): The Sharks are a mess defensively with the second most goals against and sixth most high-danger scoring chances allowed per 60 minutes in the league this season. So, it's a solid matchup for Smith to kick his recent offensive lull. He's recorded just two assists through the past nine games for just 0.76 points per 60 minutes, which significantly trails his 2.62 mark through his first three seasons with the Golden Knights.
Andreas Athanasiou, LA vs. STL ($13): The speedster is on a mini roll with a goal and two assists through his past four games and has clicked with linemates Gabriel Vilardi ($14) and Jeff Carter ($16) for an impressive 4.35 goals and 19.37 high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes. Athanasiou should also be an against-the-grain option, and while the Blues have won three consecutive games, they've also allowed 12 goals during the stretch.
WINGS TO AVOID
Alex Ovechkin, WAS at BOS ($35): This is a daunting matchup. Boston has allowed just 2.26 goals per 60 minutes with a 53.7 Corsi For percentage at five-on-five, and the Bruins boast a fourth-ranked 88.2 penalty-kill percentage. Additionally, Ovechkin has recorded double-digit fantasy points in just one of his past 10 games. The high-volume shooter definitely has a high fantasy floor and the potential to post a contest-winning point total, but the current form, salary and opponent are worrisome.
Mats Zuccarello, MIN at ARI ($20): After recording 11 points during a six-game point streak, Zuccarello has missed the scoresheet in consecutive games and registered just two shots. Additionally, his current 18.8 shooting percentage and 4.54 points per 60 minutes are well above his career marks, so the negative regression is probably going to continue.
Shea Theodore, VGK at SJ ($26): As noted, this is a favorable matchup for the Golden Knights, and Theodore recorded a team-high 10 shot attempts during Wednesday's 5-1 win over Minnesota. The 24-year-old defenseman has averaged 25:25 of ice time and recorded three assists through the past five games, so he also enters in solid form.
Jan Rutta, TB at CHI ($13): The 30-year-old Czech has has been skating in a top-pairing role alongside Victor Hedman ($) at even strength and killing penalties. It's turned into a sneaky productive gig, too. Rutta boasts a plus-9 rating through the past six games, and he's also chipped in three assists, eight shots and four blocks. Obviously, those numbers don't jump off the page, but it's still a respectable floor from his salary range.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
John Carlson, WSH at BOS ($25): Similar to teammate Alex Ovechkin ($35), there's no doubt Carlson can reward on this salary, but he's also facing one of the most difficult opponents in the league. With the hefty salary, tough matchup and plus-minus risk in mind, it's alright to look past Carlson on Friday.
Brent Burns, SJ vs. VGK ($20): This is another daunting matchup. The Golden Knights allow just 2.07 goals per 60 minutes at five-on-five and boast a fourth-ranked 88.2 penalty-kill percentage. Burns has only registered double-digit fantasy points in one of his past nine outings and has recorded a minus-6 rating during the stretch. Plus, Vegas enters with a four-game winning streak.