This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
The NHL returns from its All-Star break with two games that appear on the surface to be lopsided affairs. This presents its own set of challenges, so here's some advice on how to navigate it.
Carter Hart, PHI vs. WPG ($26)
This is a particularly tricky slate from a goalie perspective because there are only four options within lopsided matchups. You need to make a calculated risk here so you're not hamstrung by your budget later and Hart is the better risk. The Flyers were hot going into the All-Star break, winning four of their last five with a combined 19 goals scored over that span. Additionally, Hart has posted a solid .923 save percentage at home.
Goalie to Avoid
Laurent Brossoit, WPG @ PHI ($38)
Don't get me wrong, Brossoit has put on an absolute spectacle in limited action this season, but something about this matchup just screams "trap game" – whether it's the fact that it's a road game, that it's coming off a break, or that the goalie has very much been outplaying his career numbers, something just doesn't feel right. Add in the top-billing price, and Brossoit is one you'll want to pass on Monday.
Sean Couturier, PHI vs. WPG ($20)
Couturier caught fire before the All-Star break, netting four goals for 10 points to go with 19 shots on goal in the last six games. Two of those points came on the power play where the Arizona native has been the focus this season, averaging a career-high 3:27 of ice time with the man advantage. Look for Couturier to try and keep his point streak alive in a potential surprise on home ice.
Center to Avoid
Nico Hischier, NJ @ PIT ($21)
Hischier maintained a decent stream of scoring from the end of November through mid-January, but it has been drying up lately, as the center has no points with just five shots on goal and a minus-1 rating in his last three. With 18 minutes of average ice time, the 2017 first overall draft pick doesn't get the level of opportunity as players in this price range usually receive, so your money can be better spent on more sure bets.
Jake Guentzel, PIT vs. NJ ($23)
Guentzel has been on an absolute tear since the calendar turned to 2019, as he shows eight goals and 13 points in nine games. Even more encouraging is the fact that he averaged over three shots on goal per game over that period, showing that signature willingness to attack the net. This Penguins first line of Guentzel, Bryan Rust and, of course, Sidney Crosby should make short work of this New Jersey defense.
Miles Wood, NJ @ PIT ($15)
As mentioned, the limited two-game slate means that you're going to have to make some sacrifices for your budget, and Wood represents a very intriguing way to do that. Before missing three contests to a lower-body injury, the American winger posted seven points, including two on the power play, in eight games, while averaging over two shots on goal per game over that span. If he can get one by Matt Murray on Monday, he will provide tremendous value.
Wingers to Avoid
Patrik Laine, WPG @ PHI ($25)
Laine has shown himself to be a notably streaky player over the course of his young career – he can go off for 14 points in seven games like he did earlier this season, or he can find himself mired in slumps like the one he's in now, where he's recorded two points in seven games. The Finn is not a fun player to rely on when he's not hot, so stay away from him until he starts to perk up.
Kyle Palmieri, NJ @ PIT ($21)
Palmieri's extremely hot start to the season made him a high-price priority early on, but his production has very much gone downhill since then and he has two points and a minus-6 rating in his last eight contests. It's more difficult for the American winger to be the focal point of this offense than it is for the still-injured Taylor Hall (lower body), and this matchup with a deadly Penguins offense could hurt Palmieri's plus-minus even more.
Josh Morrissey, WPG @ PHI ($18)
In a slate where you're probably going to have to take some risks, it's nice to have a player with a solid floor to make sure you get some points on the board. Morrissey fits the bill here – he has not posted a negative fantasy point outing since Dec. 29 and shows five real-world points in the 10 games since then. The Calgary native gets decent minutes on the power play and isn't afraid to shoot.
Andy Greene, NJ @ PIT ($17)
A highly offensive Pittsburgh squad, which averages 32.7 shots per game, could let an elite shot blocker like Greene have a field day. The 36-year-old is tied for the league lead in bruises this season with 133 and his offensive stats, while not staggering, are not terrible. With a likely high shot count and score coming in Monday's battle, Green also provides a nice floor with potential for more.
Defensemen to Avoid
Shayne Gostisbehere, PHI vs. WPG ($19)
Gostisbehere has not found the back of the net in the 11 games since Dec. 29, and over that time he's accumulated only four goals and 20 shots on goal. For all of the promise that the Ghost Bear showed last year, he hasn't been able to deliver for the most part this season, and Monday's matchup with a talented Winnipeg team could challenge him on both ends of the ice.
Jamie Oleksiak, PIT vs. NJ ($18)
It's because there aren't many good options Monday, but it doesn't make the fact that Oleksiak is listed as the fifth-highest priced defenseman any less shocking. The Canadian defenseman has stayed off the scoresheet in 11 straight contests and has actually been a healthy scratch in 10 of the last 14. The reasons for not picking Oleksiak should be obvious but his price warrants his inclusion here.