This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
A few teams have hit the 50-game mark here in the NHL, which combines with the looming All-Star break to let us know we've really gotten deep into the season. The excitement hasn't dimmed at all, though. There are nine NHL games Thursday, and these are the players to target, and to avoid, for your DFS lineups.
Jacob Markstrom, CGY vs. CHI ($29): Markstrom has had a tough campaign personally and lost starts to Dan Vladar as a result, but he plays behind a defense that has allowed a meager 27.8 shots on net per contest. Chicago has averaged a paltry 2.39 goals and 26.1 shots on net per contest, so if Markstrom is ever going to have himself a nice day, it's going to be a day like Thursday. Calgary does play Friday as well, so it's possible Vladar will start this one. Keep an eye out, and go with the netminder who gets the call.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Andrei Vasilevskiy, TAM vs. BOS ($37): Vasilevskiy is as steady as a goalie gets, but the Bruins have the NHL's top offense. Boston is tied with Buffalo in first at 2.81 goals per game, but the Bruins have also averaged 33.5 shots on net per contest. With so many options on the table, I don't want to mess with them.
Dylan Larkin, DET at MON ($23): Larkin has at least one point in seven of his last eight games, giving him 42 points in 45 contests. He's also averaged a robust 3:39 per game with the extra man and has 13 power-play points. The Canadiens have a bottom-eight penalty kill, and with Jake Allen banged up Sam Montembeault will likely be in net. He has a career .897 save percentage.
CENTER TO AVOID
Brayden Point, TAM vs. BOS ($28): I don't want to mess with the Bruins, part two. Boston isn't just great offensively. The Bruins have a 2.02 GAA and the league's best penalty kill. As such, I also want to avoid a player like Point with a high salary that will be hard to live up to.
Artturi Lehkonen, COL vs. ANA ($20): Nathan MacKinnon returned on New Year's Eve. Since then, Lehkonen has 11 points in 12 games, and I don't think that is a coincidence. The Ducks have a 4.15 GAA and have also allowed 38.8 shots on net per contest. Both are last in the NHL.
Nick Schmaltz, ARI vs. STL ($18): Some may think only of Clayton Keller on the Coyotes, but don't overlook his linemate Schmaltz. He's averaged 19:28 in ice time and has 24 points in 32 games. Jordan Binnington has gotten progressively worse over his career, and this season he has a 3.28 GAA and .891 save percentage.
WINGS TO AVOID
Filip Forsberg, NAS vs. NJD ($23): After a hot streak, Forsberg has been held without a goal in his last six games. He's put 21 shots on net in that time, but it's hard to get goals or shots against the Devils. New Jersey has a 2.60 GAA and has only allowed 28.0 shots on goal per contest.
Jeff Skinner, BUF at WPG ($22): Skinner is on a five-game point streak, but I can see that ending in Winnipeg. Connor Hellebuyck has a 2.38 GAA and .925 save percentage, for starters. On top of that, the Jets have the second-ranked penalty kill, and 13 of Skinner's 48 points have come on the power play.
Rasmus Andersson, CGY vs. CHI ($19): Andersson has 26 assists through 48 games, but he also has seven goals this year, including two in his last five games. Chicago has been relying on Petr Mrazek with Alex Stalock out, and Mrazek has a 3.89 GAA and .888 save percentage.
Justin Faulk, STL at ARI ($17): In addition to being on a three-game point streak, Faulk has tallied 114 shots on net through 48 games. That's second most on the Blues. The Coyotes have allowed 34.6 shots on goal per contest, so Faulk should have plenty of opportunities to put pucks on the Arizona net.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Victor Hedman, TAM vs. BOS ($24): The Bruins with their 2.02 GAA and top-ranked penalty kill strike again. Ten of Hedman's 31 points have come on the power play. Plus, the Swedish defenseman has only two goals this season. Sure, his 2.3 percent shooting should improve, but likely not in this matchup.
Cam Fowler, ANA at COL ($17): Fowler has five points over his last three games. However, those points came against the Blue Jackets and the Coyotes. The Avalanche are a different story. They have a top-10 GAA, and Alexandar Georgiev has a 2.62 GAA and .918 save percentage.