This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
A slim four-game slate Wednesday sees teams in the thick of the playoff hunt, as well as some far from it. Regardless, there are values to be found throughout.
Mike Smith, CGY vs. ANH ($29)
Smith's recent run of poor play is certainly a bit frightening and has likely driven his daily price down, but that just puts him in a perfect position to drive a lot of value Wednesday. The veteran keeper has been lights out against the Ducks this season, accumulating two wins, a .965 save percentage, and 1.35 GAA in three starts. The Ducks have also had trouble scoring on the road, averaging just 2.50 goals per away game.
Goalie to Avoid
Chad Johnson, BUF vs. ARI ($36)
With Robin Lehner (undisclosed) banged up and Buffalo eliminated from playoff contention, Johnson is bound to get some more looks in goal. That said, it's hard to trust him in this spot and at this high price considering the relative hot streak the Coyotes have been on and the fact that the Sabres are usually unable to provide goal support at home, as they score 2.30 goals per game in Buffalo.
Jack Eichel, BUF vs. ARI ($24)
Eichel has not found twine since returning from an ankle injury that cost him 15 games, but he's certainly hungry for one – the Massachusetts native fired five shots on goal in each of the last two contests. Wednesday seems about as good a time as any for the Boston University product to light the lamp again, as the Coyotes are allowing 1.19 goals per game to centers, the third highest mark in the league.
Center to Avoid
Brayden Schenn, STL vs. BOS ($21)
Schenn's recent offensive slump has seen him record just one goal, four assists, and a minus-1 rating over the past 12 games. Considering he has 32 shots on goal over that span as well, the 3.1 shooting percentage suggests that the shot just isn't falling for him right now, which is bad news when going up against a tough defensive Boston team that is allowing a league-low 0.73 goals per game to centers.
Artturi Lehkonen, MON @ PIT ($17)
The Canadiens season is effectively over at this point, but a benefit of that is that players like Lehkonen get to see an expanded role. The Finn has racked up four points, including two on the power play, while skating with Alex Galchenyuk (hand) in the last six games. Lehkonen's emergence with the man advantage makes Wednesday's clash with Pittsburgh, which has been poor on the penalty kill lately, all the more appealing.
Max Domi, ARI @ BUF ($16)
Anyone expecting a serious breakout year from Domi is probably sorely disappointed, but that doesn't mean he can't contribute to daily fantasy down the stretch. Over the last four contests, the Winnipeg native has posted two goals and three assists to go with a plus-5 rating. The Sabres have struggled to do much of anything on home ice this season, as their 11-21-5 record will attest, and they're allowing a league-high 2.38 points per game to left wings.
Wings to Avoid
Jaden Schwartz, STL vs. BOS ($24)
Schwartz, like Schenn, will be playing Wednesday's contest without Vladimir Tarasenko (upper body) skating on his line. That's never good news for the players that normally play around the Russian stud, but that's especially true when facing one of the league's top defensive squads. Schwartz has gone four straight games without a goal and has just two in the last 13. You should be asking for more at this price.
Bryan Rust, PIT vs. MON ($18)
Rust's inclusion in this price range continues to be a bit puzzling, as he doesn't garner the sort of scoring opportunities as others in this area. The 25-year-old did not record a point in five straight games prior to recording one in two straight games and he still does not skate with either power-play unit, making him quite unappealing in a matchup against a Montreal squad that does not kill off penalties efficiently.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, ARI @ BUF ($20)
Ekman-Larsson is making his way back to the great form we saw him in a few years ago, as he's now just two points shy of surpassing his total from last season. From what we can see, the Swedish d-man is making every effort recently too, as he has four goals in the last five contests. He'll have another excellent opportunity to get on the scoresheet Wednesday, facing a Buffalo team that allows 2.22 points per game to defensemen.
Hampus Lindholm, ANH @ CGY ($16)
Lindholm will provide you some degree of offensive efficiency from the blue line and his consistent presence on the man advantage will usually have him threatening in the offensive end and taking shots, but what gives him extra appeal Wednesday is his ability to block shots. The Flames have been in a shooting frenzy of late, taking an astounding 41.2 shots per game in March, which gives Lindholm a potentially nice floor to work with.
Defensemen to Avoid
Mark Giordano, CGY vs. ANH ($20)
While the Ducks defense has been very stout all season, probably their greatest strength has been in limiting opposing blueliners – they allow just 1.52 points per game to defensemen, the best mark in the league. That's bad news for for Giordano, who has managed just two points and a minus-6 rating over the last six contests. A Ducks' offense that has scored 11 goals in the last three games could make that last figure sink even further.
Justin Schultz, PIT vs. MON ($18)
Schultz has generally been playing second fiddle to Kris Letang in terms of scoring and, unfortunately, it seems to be for lack of trying – over the last 15 games, the British Columbia native has taken more than two shots in a game just twice, accumulating a total of 20 shots during that span. The Canadiens have had their struggles this season, but they've at least been tough against blueliners, allowing just 1.93 points to the position per game.