Thursday's NHL slate features no shortage of action, with 10 games on tap beginning at 7:00 PM Eastern time. While there are plenty of strong lineup building strategies on the table with such a sizable slate, certain players still stand out as options to target or avoid regardless of approach. Read on to see which those are.
Sergei Bobrovsky, CLS vs. FLA ($34): If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Bobrovsky's been rolling recently, with wins in each of his last six starts and eight of the past nine. Last season's Vezina Trophy winner isn't in contention for the award this time around, but he can still win his owners some prizes with a strong home performance against a Panthers team that's just 15-16-4 on the road.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Anton Forsberg, CHI vs. VAN ($27): Forsberg seems like a strong choice given his affordability and the favorable matchup, but it's tough to justify putting him into lineups regardless of opponent right now. He's finished with zero or fewer fantasy points three times in his past seven appearances and owns an unsightly .885 save percentage over that span.
[Join the free NHL Yahoo Cup. $10K in total prizes with weekly winners]
Connor McDavid, EDM at OTT ($32): He hasn't been talked about as much with Edmonton struggling this season, but McDavid could very well finish as the league's leading scorer for the second consecutive campaign. The 21-year-old center's 90 points are four off Nikita Kucherov's league-leading total, and McDavid's been gaining ground thanks to 12 multi-point performances in his past 24 games, including a pair of two-goal outings, a hat trick and a four-goal game. His scoring upside is astronomical against an Ottawa team that's surrendering the second-most goals per game (3.39).
CENTER TO AVOID
John Tavares, NYI vs. TB ($24): Tavares comes in hot with six points in his last three games, but he carries too much rating risk to justify usage against a Lightning team that leads the league at 3.53 goals per game. Over his past 13 games, Tavares has a minus-5 rating and has finished with fewer than 2.0 fantasy points six times.
Chris Kreider, NYR at PHI ($18): Kreider's been a beast since finding his stride after missing two months with a blood clot in his arm. He's got 11 points in his last 10 games, with seven of those points coming in the past three. With Philadelphia going through its umpteenth crisis in net, Kreider's primed to stay sizzling.
Anthony Mantha, DET vs. WAS ($13): As far as cheap lineup fillers go, $13 for Mantha is just about the best owners can hope for. Three of the $18 wingers in this slate average fewer fantasy points per game than Mantha's 5.7, and he leads the Red Wings with 23 goals. Washington's just 16-15-5 on the road, so matchup isn't an issue here, either.
[Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Hockey contest or league today]
WINGS TO AVOID
Mikkel Boedker, SJ vs. VGK ($18): Boedker's the only winger priced at $17 or more averaging fewer than 5.0 fantasy points, and he falls well short of that mark at just 4.6. Improvement is unlikely to come against a Vegas team that's outscoring opponents 3.36 to 2.71 on average in its inaugural season.
T.J. Oshie, WAS at DET ($19): Oshie's price has skyrocketed courtesy of four goals in his past four games, but that production should be taken with a grain of salt considering three of those goals came in two games against the Islanders, who are easily the worst defensive team in the league. Prior to breaking out, he had been mired in a 19-game goal drought, and Oshie still has a mere seven helpers in his past 25 games. Until his price stabilizes in a slightly lower range, Oshie's best left on the bench outside of matchups with the Islanders.
Ryan McDonagh, TB at NYI ($17): McDonagh took one game to get acclimated to his new club after returning from injury, but he's put his brilliant two-way play on display over four subsequent appearances, scoring two goals while adding seven shots, 13 blocks and a plus-4 rating in that stretch. After being victimized by horrid puck-luck and a weak supporting cast with the Rangers, he should have no problem consistently outplaying his current $17 valuation with Tampa Bay. This matchup against the league's worst defensive team (3.56 goals allowed per game) gives McDonagh a high ceiling to go with a floor that's always among the league's best.
Justin Faulk, CAR vs. ARI ($15): Not many defensemen in this price range boast offensive skills comparable to Faulk's, making him the perfect choice for owners chasing upside. His minus-30 rating has been an anchor for Faulk all season, but the risk in that category is mitigated by a favorable matchup against a Coyotes club that's averaging just 2.40 goals per game -- second-fewest in the league. Arizona also allows 3.18 goals per game, and Faulk has the skills to capitalize on those defensive deficiencies, as he's in the midst of a fifth consecutive campaign with at least 30 points.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Morgan Rielly, TOR at NSH ($19): Rielly just had a five-game point streak ended with an ugly, minus-2.3 fantasy point performance against the Lightning, and he's likely to struggle similarly against another elite opponent in Nashville. The offensively gifted blueliner's minus-8 rating suggests he has room for improvement in his own zone, and this matchup lowers both his offensive ceiling and rating floor considering Nashville scores the eighth-most goals per game (3.21) while allowing by far the fewest (2.39).
Alec Martinez, LA at COL ($16): Martinez's upside is almost entirely based on his power-play production, as 11 of his 21 points this season have come with the extra man. Ending a seven-game point drought over which he's averaged just 3.3 fantasy points per game won't be easy against an Avalanche team that ranks third-stingiest on the penalty kill at 84.1 percent.