Friday's five-game NHL slate begins at 7:00 PM Eastern time. Read on to see which players to target and which to avoid from the 10 teams in action.
Malcolm Subban, VGK at CHI ($29): Subban's been superb when called upon, posting a 10-2-0 record, 2.25 GAA and .922 save percentage. Meanwhile, the once-fearsome Chicago offense ranks a mere 12th in goals per game and the Blackhawks have to choose between Anton Forsberg's 3.33 GAA and 32-year-old rookie Jeff Glass in net with Corey Crawford (undisclosed) sidelined.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Jaroslav Halak, NYI at PIT ($26): If you're looking for a cheap goalie option, almost any other choice would be superior to Halak. The struggling veteran's 3.19 GAA and .904 save percentage are unlikely to get any better against a talented Penguins team that's 12-6-1 at home and chasing the Islanders for a Wild Card spot.
William Karlsson, VGK at CHI ($19): Chicago's aforementioned shortcomings in net should allow Karlsson's breakout campaign to continue full steam ahead here. The 24-year-old center had never reached double-digit goals or topped 25 points in a season before, but he's already lit the lamp 20 times and has a solid argument for being the NHL's best Karlsson. With five of those goals coming in the past five games, no Vegas skater is better positioned to exploit this matchup.
CENTER TO AVOID
Jack Eichel, BUF at WPG ($22): Eichel's been strong lately, but he still sports a minus-9 rating that's at serious risk of dropping against a far superior Jets team. Meanwhile, Winnipeg netminder Connor Hellebuyck has been nothing short of phenomenal at home with a 14-1-1 record, 2.19 GAA and .927 save percentage, so getting on the scoresheet against him will be a tall order.
Kyle Connor WPG vs. BUF ($17): Connor finds himself in one of the league's most scoring-friendly roles, as he's skating on the top power-play unit and first line alongside Patrik Laine ($25) and Blake Wheeler ($29). The whole line is likely to flourish against a Buffalo team that's allowing the fourth-most goals per game (3.28), but Connor's the only member of the trio that can be acquired without burning a massive hole in your wallet. Considering the 2015 first-rounder has three goals and six points in his past five games, this could be one of the last opportunities to grab Connor before his price shoots up.
Carl Hagelin, PIT at NYI ($10): Hagelin's having a forgettable campaign, but there's only so long a player can struggle while skating on a line with Phil Kessel and Evgeni Malkin. The speedy winger won't have a better breakout opportunity than this game against an Islanders team that's allowing a league-high 3.58 goals per game. With a pair of 17-goal seasons under his belt, Hagelin has the skills and situation to provide tremendous bang for the buck at the minimum price.
WINGS TO AVOID
Gustav Nyquist, DET vs. FLA ($17): Nyquist hasn't done much to earn his $17 price tag, with
just 20 points and a minus-4 rating for an average of 5.5 fantasy points per game that tops only Kyle Okposo's 4.4 among wingers priced at $17 or more. Even against a Florida team that's battling the injury bug in net, it's tough to see Nyquist living up to his valuation.
Evander Kane, BUF at WPG ($22): Any extra motivation Kane will have facing his former franchise will likely be overshadowed by Hellebuyck's incredible play on home ice. Like Eichel, Kane has a minus-9 rating primed for exploitation by a Jets attack that's scoring 3.29 goals per game.
Mike Green, DET vs. FLA ($14): Green has more points and a better rating than Nyquist and also makes meaningful contributions in the blocked shots category from the blue line, yet can be had for $3 less. Florida's 3.18 goals allowed per game are seventh-most in the NHL, so Detroit's ice-time leader at 22:39 per contest makes for a low-risk, high-reward choice here given his willingness to chip in offensively.
Kris Letang, PIT at NYI ($25): Letang has only five multi-point efforts this season, but his most recent one came in his only meeting with the Islanders back on Dec. 7. Not only does New York allow the most goals in the league, but the Islanders are second-worst on the penalty kill at 74.6 percent. Letang's scored 14 of his 25 points on the power play and has the most offensive upside of any blueliner in this slate given the matchup.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Erik Karlsson, OTT vs. SJ ($29): Few predicted that Karlsson and Brent Burns would have just nine goals and a minus-37 combined rating heading into this matchup. Karlsson's the younger of the two offensively-gifted blueliners, but he's having the far worse campaign with only three goals and a minus-22 rating. Expect his struggles to continue against a Sharks team that's allowing the fifth-fewest goals per game at 2.49.
Justin Braun, SJ at OTT ($17): Braun continues to stand out as an overpriced player regardless of opponent. The 30-year-old defenseman simply doesn't bring much to the table offensively, as his career rate of .25 points per game would net him just 20 over a full season. He's never topped 23 in a single campaign, so expect a massive decline in pace from the assist-fueled 16 points in 37 games from Braun so far.