A slim three-game slate Wednesday will test your ability to find the best values. Here are some suggestions...
Anton Forsberg, CHI vs. OTT ($31)
Itís been difficult to trust Forsberg and his Chicago teammates for most of the season, but thereís hope for them when they play on home ice. At the United Center this season, the Swedish goalie has posted a .923 save percentage, while the team as theyíve dropped five goals or more there in six separate games. Further, the Senators have been terrible on the road this season, averaging 2.18 goals per away game.
Goalie to Avoid
Ben Bishop, DAL @ ANH ($36)
Bishop is the second-most expensive goalie on the limited slate, so his general inconsistency and poor play on the road makes that price exorbitant. The Colorado native has allowed four goals or more in three of his last seven starts, with the last one coming on just five shots total. He also sports a .891 save percentage in road contests this season. Heíll be difficult to trust going against a Ducks team that just won three tough games in a row.
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Erik Haula, VGK vs. CGY ($17)
Haula has cut out a nice role for himself in the explosive Vegas offense, but especially on the power play where he has accumulated a third of his points, even going on an insane run of six power-play points in as many games a couple weeks ago. Thatís good news when going up against the 19th-ranked penalty-killing unit. Itís also a nice touch that the Finnish pivot has taken 19 shots on goal in his last six contests.
Center to Avoid
Ryan Getzlaf, ANH vs. DAL ($23)
As the third priciest center option on the board Wednesday, Getzlaf should probably be putting up more consistent scoring totals than he is right now -- over his last 12 contests, the Ducksí captain has five points, including one goal, while shooting at just a 2.9 percent clip over that span. Really, the sample serves as a microcosm for Getzlafís season, as he has just seven goals on the whole campaign. At this price, you should be asking for more.
Alex DeBrincat, CHI vs. OTT ($18)
The Blackhawksí power play has been weak this season but youíd never know it watching DeBrincat play. The rookie has recorded two-thirds of his points in the last eight games with the man advantage while also firing 23 shots on goal overall during that time period. His 2:16 of average power play ice time is healthy, so heíll be worth rolling out against an Ottawa squad that ranks 29th in the league with 74.1 percent penalty killing.
Matthew Tkachuk, CGY @ VGK ($18)
Tkachuk has been very hot lately and is reaping the rewards of his use in more offensive situations -- the second-year player has five goals and seven points in the last seven contests, but perhaps more impressively, heís accumulated four of those points while averaging an astounding 5:17 on the power play. The Golden Knights are killing just 73.9 percent of their penalties in February, so now may be the time to strike for Tkachuk.
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Wings to Avoid
Jamie Benn, DAL @ ANH ($28)
At this price point, youíd expect a player with a lot more potential to score, but considering Bennís recent negative play and tough matchup, itís less likely that youíll get that Wednesday. The Starsí captain has just one goal, six points, and 18 shots on goal over the last ten games, with seven of those shots coming against the Rangers on Feb. 5. A better defensive team like Anaheim wonít make the offense come any easier.
Rickard Rakell, ANH vs. DAL ($22)
Rakell is currently riding a six-game goal drought that has seen him record just three assists and 13 shots on goal. The 24-year-old is seeing less power-play time as a result of the Ducks drawing fewer penalties and the Stars have actually been solid defensively, averaging 2.50 goals allowed per game in February, so this is a recipe for Rakellís drought to continue.
Nate Schmidt, VGK vs. CGY ($16)
Schmidtís defensive contributions throughout the season are well documented, as his plus-16 rating will surely attest, but itís his offensive contributions that are really starting to shine through now. The Minnesota native has already established new career highs in goals and assists, and itís at least in part due to a recent surge that saw him record eight points in the last nine games. Let him give Flamesí backup David Rittich a run for his money.
Cody Ceci, OTT @ CHI ($12)
Obviously, he isnít a sure bet to give you elite scoring, but if you need a filler at a basement cheap price, you can do a lot worse than Ceci here. Primarily, this is because of the potent combination of the 24-year-old being an elite shot blocker (ranked 12th in the league with 122 blocks) and the Blackhawks having itchy trigger fingers, as they fire off 34.7 shots on goal per game, giving Ceci a nice floor.
Defensemen to Avoid
Dougie Hamilton, CGY @ VGK ($19)
Hamilton continues to be a great offensive asset, but his penchant for getting burned on defense has become a big problem -- over the last six games, the Toronto native shows a minus-6 rating and has posted no blocked shots in half of those contests. If he canít find a way to get on the scoresheet, this excellent Vegas offense will make him pay, and that could lead to a nightmarish fantasy scenario.
Greg Pateryn, DAL @ ANH ($18)
Itís a bit bizarre to see Pateryn listed as the fifth-highest priced defenseman on the board, as he simply does not bring the offensive capabilities of someone youíd normally see at this price point. The University of Michigan product scored his only goal of the season back on Dec. 3 and outside of that has just eight assists on the campaign. At this price and even lower, there are numerous options that will give you a better value.