TGIF -- unless youíre a hockey fan. The NHL is taking it easy to end the work week, as there are only two games on the docket. However, that doesnít mean you canít play daily fantasy, so let's identify some players to pursue and avoid in Yahoo Daily Fantasy.
Corey Crawford, CHI at WPG ($29): With only four goalies in action, your choices are limited. Crawford has been pretty good, as heís posted a 2.59 GAA and .917 save percentage. This is more about Chicago being a better team than Winnipeg. The Blackhawks have won three in a row and have a plus-12 goal differential; the Jets have lost their last two and have a minus-13 goal differential. Crawford is also $1 cheaper than Winnipegís Connor Hellebuyck, which is another point in his favor.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Connor Hellebuyck, WPG vs. CHI ($30): Hellebucyk hasnít played much recently, and thereís good justification for that. Heís got a 2.78 GAA and a woeful .909 save percentage. Chicagoís offense isnít as potent as it has been in the past, but the 'Hawks are still averaging 2.80 goals per game. Given Hellebucykís struggles this season, itís hard to trust him.
Mikael Granlund, MIN vs. TAM ($20): Sure, Granlund hasnít scored a point in his last two games, but before that he had a 12-game point streak. Heís already hit new career highs in goals and points, and heís tallied 12 power-play points as well. Meanwhile, the Lightning have allowed 2.87 goals per game and have the 21st-ranked penalty kill, so Granlund could get back on the scoresheet after a brief hiatus.
CENTER TO AVOID
Brian Boyle, TAM at MIN ($16): The Wild have been decidedly better than the other three teams in action Friday, and goalie Devan Dubnyk has a 1.99 GAA. Indeed, the Lightning have the toughest matchup, although their centers arenít a terribly exciting group with Steven Stamkos out to begin with. Boyle has only averaged 4.9 fantasy points per game, so even if this matchup wasnít so bad, there would be better choices available.
Jason Zucker, MIN vs. TAM ($20): Zucker doesnít get much time on the power play, but he hasnít needed it to have a good fantasy season. Heís scored 16 goals on 107 shots in 53 games, and heís averaged 7.3 fantasy points per game. Meanwhile, Tampaís Ben Bishop hasnít managed to turn his season around, as he has a .907 save percentage.
Ryan Hartman, CHI at WPG ($17): Hartman has scored goals in three straight games, and heís tallied 19 shots on net over his last five contests. The Jets have been one of the worst teams in the league defensively, as theyíve allowed 3.13 goals and 30.7 shots on net per game. Given how few players are in action Friday, Hartman represents an interesting value play.
WINGS TO AVOID
Nikolaj Ehlers, WPG vs. CHI ($20): Ehlers has been good this season, but his 7.0 fantasy points per game are not quite elite. Meanwhile, the Blackhawks have allowed 2.60 goals per game, which ranks in the top 10 in the NHL. With two defensively challenged teams in action, you can do a little better than Ehlers. Itís
not a bad matchup, but itís a relatively uninspiring one.
Jonathan Drouin, TAM at MIN ($19): As previously mentioned, Dubnyk has been one of the NHL's best goalies with a 1.99 GAA, and his .933 save percentage leads the NHL. Drouin has had a solid season (6.8 fantasy points per game), but this is far and away the toughest matchup any team is facing Friday. This is not the day to target Lightning players.
Jacob Trouba, WPG vs. CHI ($17): Trouba has played a ton of minutes since taking the ice this season, averaging 24:26 of ice time. Heís put 104 shots on net in 41 games, adding 80 blocks, so he has a nice fantasy floor. The matchup with the Blackhawks isnít great, but Trouba is having a good year, and he comes relatively cheap Friday. That couple of extra bucks saved makes Trouble worth sticking in your lineup, especially since he can help you on both ends of the ice.
Brent Seabrook, CHI at WPG ($15): After a dry patch, Seabrook has four points in his last five games. Heís also tallied 12 power-play points while playing 3:05 a night with the extra man. The Jets have the 28th-ranked penalty kill, which is something Seabrook can definitely take advantage of.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Victor Hedman, TAM at MIN ($24): Hedman is having an excellent season, but he has zero goals in his last 15 games. This is once again about the difficult matchup with the Wild, though. Hedman is the most-expensive defenseman Friday, meaning he has a lot to overcome to end up a being a good value. He will be hard-pressed to earn his price point, which you canít say about a lot of other blueliners in action.
Marco Scandella, MIN vs. TAM ($14): The defensive pool gets shallow pretty fast due to the relative dearth of teams in action. Scandella is where things start to get iffy. Heís only averaged 3.7 fantasy points per game, which is far from impressive. Even in a favorable matchup and with so few players to choose from, he seems like an iffy proposition.