Friday's NHL slate features eight games beginning at 7:00 PM Eastern time. Read on to see which players are primed to produce the best value here and which ones should be avoided at all costs.
Jonathan Quick, LA at FLA ($22): Quick is in the midst of an awful stretch, but he's too good to pass up at a measly $22 valuation. His 2.51 GAA and .919 save percentage on the season are befitting of a far more expensive player, and he has little to fear from a Panthers team that's below average offensively (2.82 goals per game). Offensive support is also unlikely to be scarce considering Florida's allowing 3.16 goals per game.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Ben Bishop, DAL vs. PIT ($33): Whether it's Bishop or Kari Lehtonen ($31) that gets the nod for Dallas in this second leg of a back-to-back, this goaltending situation should be avoided either way. The red-hot Pittsburgh offense has scored at least five goals in four of the team's past five games, so there's little reason to take this risk given the bevy of affordable alternatives in this slate.
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Dylan Larkin, DET at NYI ($14): Larkin's 6.1 fantasy points per game lead all Detroit centers, yet he's priced below two other members of that group. His remarkable affordability coupled with an ideal matchup against the league's worst defensive team makes this the perfect time to roll out Larkin. The 21-year-old center's on pace for a new career best with 39 points through 52 games while New York's hemorrhaging goals at a league-high rate of 3.63 per game and will be playing for the second time in as many nights.
CENTER TO AVOID
Brayden Schenn, STL at WPG ($24): Schenn's averaging just 3.1 fantasy points per game in his past four, and turning things around will be extraordinarily difficult against Jets netminder Connor Hellebuyck in Winnipeg. There may not be a tougher goalie-venue combo to face across the league, as Hellebuyck's 19-1-2 with a 2.05 GAA and .931 save percentage on home ice. It also doesn't help that the Blues will be playing the second leg of a back-to-back while the Jets are in the midst of a 10-game home stand that's off to a 3-0-1 start.
Rickard Rakell, ANH vs. EDM ($21): Rakell's been by far the most productive member of the Anaheim power play, as he easily leads the team in both goals (six) and points (13) with the extra man. For this reason, he's easily the best value on the team in a favorable matchup against the league-worst Edmonton penalty kill, which is operating at just 71.5 percent. Rakell would be underpriced at $21 even against a tough opponent, as his average of 7.9 fantasy points per game is better than that of any winger priced below him and even trumps the production of wingers priced as high as $27.
Elias Lindholm, CAR vs. VAN ($12): Lindholm continues to provide excellent value relative to his teammates. He's tied for second on the team with 15 goals and is four points shy of third with 29, yet eight Hurricanes skaters -- including four wingers -- are priced above the 2013 fifth overall pick. Plenty of Carolina's players should earn consideration against a Canucks team that allows the sixth-most goals per game (3.17), but Lindholm deserves to be selected before all the rest.
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WINGS TO AVOID
Phil Kessel, PIT at DAL ($29): Kessel's six-game point streak will have owners reaching for him, but the bang for the buck simply isn't there in this matchup. The speedy sniper's relied on the power play for much of his success, with more than half of his points this season coming with the extra man. A top-10 Stars penalty kill that's operating at 82.2 percent will make converting in such situations difficult, though.
Johnny Gaudreau, CGY at NYR ($28): Gaudreau seems like a logical choice against the slumping Rangers, but All-Star netminder Henrik Lundqvist won't make life easy for Calgary's most expensive skater. The veteran Swede has a .915 save percentage at Madison Square Garden compared to a .920 road mark, but the team in front of him has done a much better job of limiting opposing chances at home, which is why he's a solid 15-7-2 with a 2.65 GAA at home. Given his low floor here, it's tough to justify paying $28 for Gaudreau.
Mike Green, DET at NYI ($11): Green's another low-risk, high-reward Red Wing set up to pay off for opportunistic owners. His 26 points are fourth among Detroit's skaters, and the veteran blueliner also leads the club with 13 power-play points. Poor penalty killing has been a major factor behind the Islanders' league-worst defense, as the team ranks second from the bottom at 74.2 percent in that category.
John Carlson, WAS vs. CLS ($25): Most people think of Columbus as a stingy defensive team given Sergei Bobrovsky's accolades in net and coach John Tortorella's emphasis on blocking shots, but the Blue Jackets have been vulnerable when down a man, as their penalty kill ranks fifth-worst in the league at just 75.2 percent. Carlson's 19 power-play points have him just one behind Alex Ovechkin for the team lead, making this a prime time to pay up for the skilled blueliner. Additionally, Carlson creates significant value by throwing rubber on net, having logged 32 shots on goal in his past seven appearances (4.6 per game).
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Stephen Johns, DAL vs. PIT ($18): Johns is overpriced given his role and opponent. He's the most expensive blueliner averaging fewer than 5.0 fantasy points per game and has skated 14:31 or fewer twice in his past five appearances. The rating downside that comes with playing Pittsburgh's blistering offense further lowers Johns' already mediocre outlook.
Keith Yandle, FLA vs. LA ($19): Yandle's value comes primarily from his passing ability on the blue line, as he accrues an underwhelming number of blocked shots and doesn't move the needle much in the rating department. The offensive contributions he relies on will be tough to come by here, however, as the Kings allow the second-fewest goals per game (2.42).