Cory Schneider, NJ vs. ANH ($32) – After a difficult 2016-17 season, Schneider is back at the top of his game, sporting a .921 save percentage and a winning record for one of the league’s most surprising teams. Even with Ryan Getzlaf back in the lineup, the Ducks have not scored more than three goals in a game since Nov. 15, and Schneider has allowed two goals or less in five of his past six . He also has two career shutouts against the Ducks, who are playing their third game of a six-game road trip.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Martin Jones, SJ at EDM ($32) – Did you know? Since shutting out the high-powered Jets, Jones has allowed 21 goals in his past five games, and three of those teams – Minnesota, Vancouver and Carolina – have offenses that rank in the bottom third of the league. With Cam Talbot back in net, it might allow Edmonton to turn loose on offense, going back to the speedy north-south game that Connor McDavid excels in. The Sharks are 6-2-2, but Jones just hasn’t been very consistent this season.
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Connor McDavid, EDM vs. SJ ($31) – Being on a cold streak like Jones' is bad enough, but imagine having to face the league’s most dangerous offensive player while stuck in one. In seven career games against the Sharks, McDavid has scored four goals and nine points, and just recently scored four points against the usually stalwart Blue Jackets. The Sharks have allowed the fewest goals in the league, but many of their stronger defensive performances came early in the season.
Anze Kopitar, LA at PHI ($25) – There’s definitely more jump to Kopitar’s game this season, but also as a team, coach John Stevens has cranked up the speed on the Kings offense, which has invigorated Kopitar’s game further and quietly has him putting together an MVP-caliber campaign. The Flyers defense is talented but also very young, and they don’t quite have an elite shutdown defender who can match Kopitar’s strength. In past years, he might have been tasked with simply shutting down Claude Giroux’s line, but this season he’s been given free reign to create offense too.
CENTERS TO AVOID
Nathan MacKinnon, COL vs. PIT ($20) – MacKinnon and Sidney Crosby are from the same area in Nova Scotia and train together sometimes, so there’s a bit of a hometown rivalry here. Rather than matching the two, the Avalanche will likely try to hide MacKinnon from Crosby and they’ll have the advantage with last change on home ice. Head-to-head, though, it’s hard to see MacKinnon winning this battle, since Crosby is stronger and better on defense. MacKinnon has been on a four-goal binge in his past two games, but can still be feast or famine at times.
Pierre-Luc Dubois, CLS at BOS ($17) – He’s a talented young player, but he doesn’t get first-line ice time and has scored just 14 points this season. His ice time is trending up and he gets to play with Artemi Panarin, but counting on his linemate to buoy his fantasy value is a risky proposition. The Bruins will most likely throw Zdeno Chara out against Panarin and Dubois’ line, not to mention Tuukka Rask is a pretty darn good goalie. Alexander Wennberg ($15) may be a better option among Blue Jackets centers.
Jakub Voracek, PHI vs. LA ($27) – Jonathan Quick and the Kings won’t be easy to beat, and to make things worse, Voracek’s shooting percentage is well below his career average. That shouldn’t impede Voracek’s production much, though, as the NHL’s assists leader has racked up six helpers in his past four games, and the Flyers are on a roll with six straight wins after going through an embarrassing 10-game losing streak. Voracek, along with Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux, has formed one of the league’s best scoring lines.
Jakob Silfverberg, ANH at NJ ($18) – Silfverberg been on a roll of late with three goals and two assists in his past five games, including two goals in three games since Ryan Getzlaf’s return. The Swedish winger is more of a two-way player, but with Getzlaf feeding him pucks all game, he has to shoot the puck. Schneider will not be easy to beat, but the Ducks have won four of their past five.
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WINGS TO AVOID
Logan Couture, SJ at EDM ($22) – He’ll likely be a game-time decision after getting hit in the jaw with an elbow Friday, but it’s worth noting that Couture has a history of concussions and his status has yet to be updated by the Sharks. Even if Couture plays, he’ll have to face Talbot, who won his previous start and seems to be back on track after recovering from an injury of his own. Couture has nine shots in his past two games but has just one apple to show for it.
Danton Heinen, BOS vs. CLS ($18) – It may be fun to ride the hot hand, but Heinen’s still playing on the third line and scoring three goals in five games – albeit impressive – still shouldn’t be a good enough reason to pick him against Sergei Bobrovsky. Heinen is not an attractive option when Mikko Rantanen ($17), Tyler Toffoli ($17) or even Cam Atkinson ($16) can provide better value in this salary range.
Brent Burns, SJ at EDM ($31) – He’s finally worth picking now that he’s scoring again, registering four goals in his past three games. He continues to fire the puck at a league-leading rate, but finally they’re starting to go in. With just six goals this season Burns is off last year’s pace, but like all good scorers he can light the lamp in bunches and boasts a pretty good track record against the Oilers with 33 points in 60 games.
Drew Doughty, LA at PHI ($24) – He plays better when he’s challenged, and the Kings are playing their fourth straight road game. He been shining despite off-ice talk about contract negotiations, and in his usual Doughty-like fashion continues to do everything: he has a goal and five assists in his past six games, while leading the team with a plus-15 rating and standing second in assists with 20, second in shots with 97 and fourth in blocked shots with 47.
DEFENSE TO AVOID
Jake Muzzin, LA at PHI ($19) – He’s a solid top-four defenseman but also not particularly known for his offensive production, and Muzzin has just one assist and a minus-4 rating to show for his past five games. The Flyers are tough because their top line is virtually unstoppable, and their defense is young but also very mobile. There are plenty of defensemen with more upside available at this price.
Tyson Barrie, COL vs. PIT ($17) – Barrie hasn’t scored a goal since Oct. 13, and even though something isn’t quite right with the Pens this season, the Avs will have to play their best to have a chance of winning. With Erik Johnson suspended, the Avs will likely lean on Barrie even more, which is not good for two reasons: Barrie will likely be tasked with shutting down the opposition’s top lines, which isn’t his forte, and it shifts his focus away from creating offense, which is his forte.