This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
The first Friday of 2019 features a medium-sized NHL slate, with seven games on the docket after 7:00 PM Eastern time. Read on to see which players stand out as options to target and which ones should be avoided at their respective valuations.
Pekka Rinne, NSH at DET ($32): You might not get a better buy-low opportunity on Rinne. The team in front of him is getting healthier, as evidenced by the six goals of support Rinne received Tuesday after getting only seven goals of support over the previous five contests. Don't be surprised to see the Finnish netminder's price rise by the time he's done with this Red Wings team that comes in having posted a 1-7-3 record over its past 11 games.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Connor Hellebuyck, WPG at PIT ($31): Normally Hellebuyck at $31 would be a nice buy-low opportunity as well, but the Penguins' offense is too hot to be trifled with right now, especially in Pittsburgh. The Sidney Crosby-led squad has won seven consecutive games, outscoring opponents 24-7 over the past five.
Nathan MacKinnon, COL vs. NYR ($34): MacKinnon's average of 13.2 fantasy points per game leads all skaters, and this is the right time to pay up for the Hart Trophy frontrunner. His line with Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen will almost certainly produce multiple points against a Rangers team that's starting backup Alexandar Georgiev (3.22 GAA, .898 save percentage) in net.
CENTER TO AVOID
Ryan Getzlaf, ANH vs. VGK ($21): Getzlaf has run into major problems at both ends of the ice of late. He's finished with a negative rating in each of his past six contests (minus-8 in all) to go with just a single assist and no goals over that stretch. Things are unlikely to get any easier against a Golden Knights team that's allowing just 2.65 goals per game – third-fewest in the league.
Kyle Palmieri, NJ at ARI ($20): Palmieri's been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise disappointing season for the Devils, leading the team with 20 goals and a plus-5 rating while sitting just two points shy of reigning Hart Trophy winner Taylor Hall's 37. Eight of those goals have come in Palmieri's past 13 games, and he should stay hot against a Coyotes club that has just one regulation win in its last 14 games.
Josh Anderson, CLS at CAR ($16): Anderson has displayed an enticing combination of safety and scoring upside with 14 goals and a plus-18 rating this season. With Carolina playing the second leg of a back-to-back, this is a good time to turn to the affordable winger.
WINGS TO AVOID
Anthony Mantha, DET vs. NSH ($21): Mantha rarely produces enough to justify a $21 valuation, much less coming off a month-long layoff. Expected to make his first appearance since Dec. 2 after being sidelined by a hand injury, Mantha will have a hard time shaking the rust off against a Nashville club that's allowing a league-low 2.51 goals per game.
Tom Wilson, WAS at DAL ($20): Wilson's averaging 17:52 of ice time, but his usage his been trending down for a while now. He's come up short of that average in each of his past 10 appearances, exceeding even 16 minutes just once in that span. Living up to a $20 valuation in such limited ice time will be difficult against a Stars team that's allowing the fifth-fewest goals per game (2.68).
Nate Schmidt, VGK at ANH ($18): Schmidt's average of 7.0 fantasy points per game is tops among all defensemen that cost less than $21, and he's not overly reliant on any particular category for his value. It's hard to go wrong with him at $18, especially in a game the Golden Knights are likely to win against a Ducks team that's getting outscored 2.88 to 2.41 on average this season.
P.K. Subban, NSH at DET ($22): Subban's another Nashville player on the upswing. He needed to shake off the rust with minus-3.7 fantasy points over his first two games back from injury, but has totaled 12.8 points in two subsequent games despite failing to mark the scoresheet. With the rest of his game back, Subban's ready to return to elite form once he regains his scoring touch. He'll have a terrific opportunity to find that touch in this favorable matchup.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Jamie Oleksiak, PIT vs. WPG ($18): The reasoning for avoiding Oleksiak is similar to that for Mantha. The blueliner's been sidelined since Dec. 19 by a concussion and had been underperforming his $18 valuation anyway with a season average of just 3.8 points.
Kevin Shattenkirk, NYR at COL ($18): Shattenkirk has helpers in consecutive games, but he's still averaging just 4.6 fantasy points this season – lowest among all blueliners that cost at least $18 besides Oleksiak. Improvement's unlikely to come against a dangerous Colorado team that's likely to further diminish Shattenkirk's minus-3 rating.