This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
There are seven games in the NHL on Friday with the Avalanche, Capitals and Golden Knights all notable favorites. It's also worth noting that all six Central Division teams are playing their second game in consecutive nights, so there will be a lot of backup goalies hitting the ice. Additionally, the two games projected to be the closest are the Rangers-Islanders and Wild-Blues tilts. Here are a number of picks and pans for the DFS contests at Yahoo.
All statistics from Natural Stat Trick and Hockey Reference.
Vitek Vanecek, WAS at BUF ($35): Both teams are playing their second game in consecutive nights, so the back-to-back spot for Washington isn't concerning for Vanecek. It's a plus-matchup with Buffalo scoring the – fewest goals per game, and the rookie has stopped 60 of 62 shots through his past two starts.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Martin Jones, SJ vs. LA ($35): After posting an elite .942 save percentage and 1.86 GAA during his 7-1-1 stretch, Jones allowed four goals to the Ducks last time out. There's obvious rebound potential, but San Jose has also surrendered the fourth most goals and sixth most high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes, and Jones' .904 and 3.07 ratios for the campaign highlight how low his fantasy floor is.
Jack Hughes, NJD vs. PIT ($13): The sophomore ended a 10-game goal drought and racked up three points against Buffalo on Thursday, and Pittsburgh backup Casey DeSmith ($36) has surrendered 10 goals on 41 shots through his past two appearances. Additionally, Hughes still probably has some positive regression ahead considering he's attempted 56 shots with 13 of the high-danger variety during the noted 11-game stretch.
CENTER TO AVOID
Ryan Strome, NYR at NYI ($23): This is all about the Islanders checking out as a tough matchup, as Strome has been piling up points with eight goals and 22 assists through his past 25 games. However, the Islanders allow the second fewest goals per game and fewest high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes at five-on-five. Islanders' starter Semyon Varlamov ($31) has been incredibly consistent this season with a .922 save percentage and 2.18 GAA over 27 appearances, too.
Kirill Kaprizov, MIN at STL ($21): With the Blues sporting a 3-8-4 record while allowing 3.33 goals per game, this is a good spot for Kaprizov. The rookie has produced at a point-per-game pace through his own past 15 games with 10 tallies. While his 19.2 shooting percentage is high during the stretch, it's probably not facing significant decline because he's attempted 80 shots, including 17 individual high-danger scoring chances.
Jakub Vrana, WAS at BUF ($13): An example of opportunity being as important as talent in our fantasy games, Vrana has been a consistent source of secondary offense for the Capitals over the past four seasons but has averaged fewer than 15 minutes of ice time per game every year. Recently, Vrana was a healthy scratch for consecutive games. He's been back in the lineup the past two games, his salary is low, and the matchup is favorable with Buffalo allowing the third most goals per game in the league. There aren't many wingers in his salary range with 59 goals and 122 points over the past three years.
WINGS TO AVOID
Bryan Rust, PIT at NJ ($24): Since scoring a hat trick March 27, Rust has failed to find the scoresheet in each of his past five games while registering just six shots (18 attempts). There's nothing scary about a date with the Devils, but it would be easier to justify Rust's steep salary if his underlying numbers were more promising of statistical correction. It'll probably take a multi-point showing to meet value.
David Perron, STL vs. MIN ($22): The veteran winger has missed the scoresheet in seven of the past 12 games, and lands in a tough matchup Friday. The Wild have surrendered fifth fewest high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes at five-on-five, eighth most goals per game and the third best penalty-kill percentage in the league.
Kris Letang, PIT at NJ ($23): The Devils have the worst penalty-kill percentage in the league, and Letang has racked up 10 points through the past seven games, including four power-play assists. The veteran also adds sneaky value in the peripheral statistics with 91 shots, 49 blocks and a plus-14 rating for the campaign,
Mario Ferraro, SJ vs. LA ($11): Near minimum salary, Ferraro is a speculative flier because of his top-four role with the Sharks. He's averaged 22:40 of ice time per game this season and collected a respectable 13 points, 47 shots and 61 blocks. He can be a plus-minus reliability, although the threat is mitigated with Los Angeles scoring the ninth fewest goals per 60 minutes at five-on-five.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Adam Fox, NYR at NYI ($26): As noted, the Islanders are a daunting matchup, and there's definitely some negative statistical regression ahead for Fox. After all, he's racked up 22 points – including 11 with the man advantage – through the past 12 games. Without doubt the 22-year-old defenseman should be considered a high-end option at the position, but it remains a tough matchup with the Islanders sporting a 17-1-2 record at home.
Jakob Chychrun, ARI at VGK ($20): With three consecutive multi-point showings, Chychrun's up to a rock-solid 1.88 points per 60 minutes and probably eyeing some negative offensive regression. He lands in a daunting matchup Friday, too. The Golden Knights have surrendered the fewest goals per game in the league and boast a second-ranked 85.2 penalty-kill percentage.