Yahoo DFS Hockey: Thursday Picks

Yahoo DFS Hockey: Thursday Picks

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.

After Thursday, the NHL schedule is mainly playoff games plus some one-off contests involving Canadian teams. We will be saying goodbye to the Kings after these three games. The DFS slate is slim, but there are options for your lineups. Hey, once the playoffs start there are no more days with, like, nine or 10 games. It's time to get used to it.

GOALIE

Jacob Markstrom, CGY vs. VAN ($31): Markstrom did his best to try and get the Flames into the playoffs, as he has an 1.85 GAA and .922 save percentage in his last 12 games. His team has only allowed 28.3 shots on net per contest, while the Canucks have only managed 29.1 shots on goal per game. It could be an easy night for the Swedish goalie, who has a few more games on the slate against these Canucks.

GOALIE TO AVOID

Jordan Binnington, STL vs. MIN ($29): Ville Husso started Wednesday, which means Binnington will likely start Thursday. While the one-time rookie sensation has a 2.64 GAA, which is good, he also has a .911 save percentage. The Wild have scored 3.28 goals per game, and the team is really rocking as they get ready for a playoff run.

CENTER

Anze Kopitar, LOS at COL ($20): Though Kopitar has 50 points in 55 games, you would normally be reticent about going with a player facing the Avalanche. After all, they have a 2.43 GAA. However, a lot of that is because of Philipp Grubauer, who started Wednesday. With both Pavel Francouz and Devan Dubnyk currently out, Jonas Johansson will likely be in net for Colorado, and he has a career .894 save percentage. That makes me less concerned about Kopitar.

CENTER TO AVOID

Bo Horvat, VAN at CGY ($18): With four teams on the second leg of a back-to-back, the Flames being at home with Markstrom likely in net is clearly the toughest matchup for any of these teams. I mentioned that Markstrom has a .922 save percentage over his last 12 games. There are several enticing matchups here, so there is no need to take a risk on Horvat, who also only has one goal in his last 13 games.

WING

Johnny Gaudreau, CGY vs. VAN ($18): Gaudreau has started 60.2 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, highest on the Flames. That's definitely benefited him recently, as Johnny Hockey has 15 points in his last 12 contests. The Canucks have a 3.29 GAA and have given up 33.5 shots on net per contest, highest of any team left in action. I expect Gaudreau to stay hot here.

Andre Burakovsky, COL vs. LOS ($18): Burakovsky has gotten hot headed into the playoffs, as he's on a seven-game point streak. He broke out with 20 goals and 45 points in 58 games last season – his first in Colorado – and this season he has 18 goals and 42 points in 52 games. Jonathan Quick is banged up, so it's possible Cal Petersen might start two games in a row. Even if Quick plays, he has an .895 save percentage.

WINGS TO AVOID

Brock Boeser, VAN at CGY ($19): Yes, this is still about Markstrom's current form. Also, Boeser has averaged 3:40 per game with the extra man and has tallied 12 of his 41 points on the power play. The Flames have the 13th-ranked penalty kill, which isn't great, but it's enough to not make this matchup worthwhile from a DFS perspective.

Alex Iafallo, LOS at COL ($17): I didn't want to only recommend avoiding Canucks players. The Kings don't have much depth at center, which means Iafallo's center on the second line is Gabriel Vilardi, who is a top prospect but is unproven. Plus, the Avalanche have allowed a league-low 25.6 shots on net per contest. I'd take a shot on Kopitar with Johansson likely in net, but I am less confident in Iafallo.

DEFENSE

Torey Krug, STL vs. MIN ($18): Krug hasn't been the player the Blues were anticipating this year, but he does have 31 points in 50 games, including 12 with the extra man. This is on 0.9 percent shooting, which is incredibly low. Of course, it's a little late for regression toward the mean. Kaapo Kahkonen will likely be in net for the Wild, and while he got off to a strong start to the season he now has a .908 save percentage on the year.

Samuel Girard, COL vs. LOS ($12): Girard is returning to the lineup just in time for the playoffs. He was a little cold prior to his injury, but on the season he has 32 points in 47 games and had an assist Wednesday. Cal Petersen struggled down the stretch, and Jonathan Quick struggled all season, so this is a good two-game series for Girard to get his feet under him prior to the playoffs.

DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID

Matt Dumba, MIN at STL ($18): With the various backups expected to be in net Thursday, Binnington may actually be the second-best goalie to take the ice. Now, he still has a .911 save percentage, so I wouldn't use him as my DFS goalie, but his 2.64 GAA is not bad. A big problem for the Blues is their bottom-five penalty kill, but Dumba isn't likely to take advantage of that. He only has five power-play points in 50 games.

Quinn Hughes, VAN at CGY ($13): There's not much more to rehash here. Markstrom has an 1.95 GAA and .922 save percentage in his last 12 outings and the Flames have the 13th-ranked penalty kill. Hughes is usually a power-play weapon, and indeed 17 of his 36 points have come with the extra man. However, he's been held without a power-play point in his last seven games.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Chris Morgan plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: cmorgan3, DraftKings: cmorgan3.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Morgan
Chris Morgan is a writer of sports, pop culture, and humor articles, a book author, a podcaster, and a fan of all Detroit sports teams.
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