This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
The first Sunday of the New Year brings a seven-game slate with just two divisional games on the docket. Here are some players to help guide your fantasy lineups before the first puck drops between the Hurricanes and Senators at 1:00 P.M. ET:
Matt Murray, PIT vs. CHI ($31): Murray wasn't right to begin the season, and then he suffered a lower-body injury that held him out for 13 games. After shaking off that issue, he caught fire by winning seven straight starts and yielding just nine goals during that span. Murray has proved he can ride hot streaks in the postseason, so don't expect a sluggish Blackhawks' offense to stop him now.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Jimmy Howard, DET vs. WAS ($29): The veteran netminder just notched his first win in six starts, in where he's marked an unimpressive .897 save percentage and 3.12 GAA. Stepping up to the Caps won't make things easier since Howard has a flaky penalty kill in front of him, which will make it tough to slow down Alex Ovechkin and the crew.
Colin White, OTT vs. CAR ($12): White is a special talent that's finally coming to fruition. He's already managed 10 goals – including five with the man advantage – and 15 assists. He's now centering the second line flanked by Brady Tkachuk and Mark Stone, who've combined for 30 goals this season – while also manning the top power play. White rings up at an immense bargain with his new position on the depth chart.
CENTER TO AVOID
Ryan Getzlaf, ANA vs. EDM ($21): The Ducks are mired in a seven-game skid and their captain isn't immune. Getzlaf has posted a negative plus-minus rating in seven straight games and has just one assist over that stretch. He doesn't shoot or block enough shots to cover up those blemishes, so the price tag is troubling until the production turns around.
Alex Tuch, VGK vs. NJD ($20): The 22-year-old is making major strides after his first full NHL season, and he rides a five-game point streak of two goals and four assists headed into this game, along with a plus-8 rating over those contests. The Devils own a strong penalty kill, but Tuch doesn't lean on power-play production enough to be inhibited by that fact. He's poised for another strong outing against inconsistent backstop Keith Kinkaid, who's thrust back into the crease with MacKenzie Blackwood (lower body) on the shelf.
Tyler Bertuzzi, DET vs. WAS ($10): The Caps have let up 13 goals in the last three games, while Bertuzzi has landed a spot as a net-front presence on the top line with Dylan Larkin. That leads to a favorable storm for Big Bert's nephew, who's notched six points in the last 11 outings and comes in at the cheapest rate for daily formats.
WINGS TO AVOID
T.J. Oshie, WAS at DET ($22): Oshie is in a major slump with just one goal in the last 10 outings, and he finished seven of those games with no more than one shot on goal. He's historically light on production against Detroit with just nine goals in 35 career games, so Oshie will struggle to crack the trend on the road.
Patrik Laine, WPG vs. DAL ($28): Goal scorers suffer dry spells. It's part of their nature. This is Laine's worst stretch of the year, having lit the lamp just once in the last seven games while posting a minus-9. Stars' goalie Ben Bishop is having another stellar season and his recent output confirms that notion. Laine's power-play specialty won't provide solace either against a suffocating Stars' penalty kill.
Kris Letang, PIT vs. CHI ($25): It's a skimp slate for blueliners, so coughing up the dough for an expensive asset is reasonable since Letang racked up three goals and nine helpers – with seven on the power play – over the last 10 games. He adds a plus-10 rating over that span while shooting enough to make some noise against Cam Ward and the Blackhawks.
Andy Greene, NJD at VGK ($16): Greene doesn't traditionally rack up points but he blocks enough shots and is strong defensively to gain some traction. With light pickings on the blue line, going with a hot hand like Greene and his four points/plus-5 rating in the last five games is a wise decision.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Kevin Shattenkirk, NYR at ARI ($18): Shattenkirk's in his second season repping the blue and red and things haven't gone as planned, scoring just one goal and nine points in 32 games. He's seen his ice time slip into third-pairing territory, and his power-play minutes will be negligible against the Coyotes' top-ranked penalty kill.
Josh Morrissey, WPG vs. DAL ($17): Morrissey's slump started before losing defensive partner Dustin Byfuglien (ankle). It hasn't gotten better since, and he now has recorded just one assist in the last six games. He's also shied away from firing the puck over that time, capping his offensive potential against a robust Stars' defense.