This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
It's a quiet four-game night in the NHL on Friday. The Avalanche are huge favorites on home ice, whereas the Golden Knights are receiving sizable road chalk. The Winnipeg-Montreal and Los Angeles-Anaheim bouts are projected to be close. Here are picks and pans for each position ahead of Friday's action.
All statistics from Natural Stat Trick and Hockey Reference.
Devan Dubnyk, COL vs. SJ ($23): This salary is a gift. As noted, Colorado is the largest favorite on the docket, and the Avalanche rank first in Corsi For percentage and have surrendered the fifth fewest goals per game. Dubnyk has been mediocre since joining with an .887 save percentage and 3.32 GAA through four starts, but those results are already built into his salary.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Jake Allen, MON vs. WPG ($26): It's been an underwhelming stretch for Allen. He's only won four of his past 11 starts while posting an .898 save percentage and 2.94 GAA. Additionally, the Jets should prove to be a tough matchup Friday. Winnipeg has scored a respectable 3.09 goals per game for the campaign, but the Jets have also lost five straight, so it would be surprising if they weren't in top form.
Nazem Kadri, COL vs. SJ ($12): For weeks, Kadri's salary wasn't aligned with his production, but it's been nearly sliced in half ahead of Friday's favorable matchup against the Sharks. San Jose has surrendered the fifth most goals per game in the league and lost nine of its past 12 contests with 46 goals allowed during the stretch. Kadri's only found the scoresheet once through his past 11 games, but he's generating opportunities with 56 shot attempts and 11 individual high-danger scoring chances.
CENTER TO AVOID
Logan Couture, SJ at COL ($18): As noted, the Avalanche have been an excellent possession and defensive team all season, so this probably isn't the best matchup to target Couture in. While he's in great form with two goals and two assists during his current three-game point streak, there's some plus-minus risk here, too.
Kyle Connor, WPG at MON ($24): The high-scoring winger has been held to a single goal while posting a minus-7 rating during Winnipeg's current five-game losing streak. Connor is projected to skate on an intriguing line with Pierre-Luc Dubois ($13) and Blake Wheeler ($16), and Montreal isn't clicking on all cylinders right now, either. The Canadiens have surrendered 52 goals during their current 5-10 skid.
Trevor Zegras, ANA vs. LA ($12): The gifted rookie is worth a look at this salary. Zegras is projected to center fellow youngsters Troy Terry ($10) and Maxime Comtois ($12), and the Kings are far from a matchup to avoid. Los Angeles has surrendered a healthy 31 goals through 13 April games, and Zegras' should see favorable on-ice matchups. For example, Zegras and Kings' No. 1 center Anze Kopitar ($22) were only on the ice for 31 second together during Wednesday's game.
WINGS TO AVOID
Timo Meier, SJ at COL ($18): Not only is this a tough matchup, Meier was dropped to the fourth line Wednesday against Arizona. He's also gone 25 games without a multi-point showing and recorded just four goals and seven assists during the stretch.
Phil Kessel, ARI vs. VGK ($17): The veteran is quietly turning in another strong season with 1.27 goals and 2.68 points per 60 minutes, but this probably isn't the best spot to target him. Vegas has surrendered the fewest goals per game and boasts the best penalty-kill percentage in the league.
Cale Makar, COL vs. SJ ($24): Sporting a league-high 2.48 points per 60 minutes among regular defensemen, Makar is a strong lean in the noted favorable matchup against San Jose. He's also collected four assists through the first two meetings against the Sharks and is locked in as the power-play quarterback of the No. 1 unit.
Neal Pionk, WPG at MON ($17): As noted, the Canadiens are struggling, and their penalty-kill percentage has dipped all the way down to a 25th-ranked 77.1. Pionk has returned to quarterbacking the No. 1 power-play unit and also offers a respectable fantasy floor through his shot volume and willingness to block shots. For the campaign, he's registered a respectable 29 points, 88 shots and 69 blocks through 49 contests.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Jakob Chychrun, ARI vs. VGK ($23): It's been a breakout campaign for Chychrun, as he's racked up an impressive 36 points, 148 shots and 82 blocks through 50 games. However, the Golden Knights have held him to just two assists and a minus-2 rating through six prior meetings, which reinforces how difficult a matchup they are.
Alec Martinez, VGK at ARI ($21): Adding another Coyote or any defenseman from the Sharks would be the easy route, but highlighting Martinez's modest upside is probably more helpful. While the veteran offers a high floor through the peripheral categories and skates with the No. 2 power-play unit, he's recorded just five assists through the past 10 games.