This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
It's a mid-December Monday, and we have four NHL games on the slate. With some shopping days left before Christmas, pick up some extra cash for gifts with DFS success. Here are my players to target, to avoid, for your lineups.
Devon Levi, BUF vs. ARI ($22): Perhaps Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen will be over his illness and in net for the Sabres, but Levi has made the last two starts for the squad, and it feels like he's earned another. The young goalie has made 60 saves on 63 shots in those contests. Arizona has averaged 3.23 goals per game, but a meager 27.4 shots on net per game, which is down with the likes of Chicago. The Coyotes have been lucky, so the matchup is not as concerning as it may seem at first blush.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Ilya Sorokin, NYI vs. TOR ($31): Sorokin has been less consistent than usual, but maybe he's just tired from being so busy. The Islanders have allowed a whopping 35.8 shots on goal per contest. Toronto has averaged 3.33 goals per game, and with an average of 32.0 shots on net per contest, I believe in that more than what Arizona has done. Oh, also because Toronto has Auston Matthews, who is quite good.
Matt Duchene, DAL vs. DET ($19): After a stretch of four games in a row with a goal early in November, Duchene doesn't have a goal in his last 11 outings. However, he has seven assists in that time, so he's still been contributing. Ville Husso is in line to start for the Red Wings on Monday, and my general policy is that if you allow six goals to the Sharks in your last start, I'm betting against you the next time you take the ice.
CENTER TO AVOID
Elias Lindholm, CGY at COL ($22): Lindholm has been doing what he can with the tools at his disposal, but he can only do so much. He's been held without a point in six of his last seven games, and he only has three points all season on the power play. Colorado has held opponents to 29.4 shots on net per game, and also has a top-10 penalty kill, making things tricky for the opposition, and easier on Alexandar Georgiev, whose .913 save percentage over his last 11 outings has yielded a 2.45 GAA.
William Nylander, TOR at NYI ($32): Nylander is built for this matchup. He leads the Maple Leafs with a whopping 106 shots on net through 24 games, and he also has 12 points with the extra man. I mentioned the Islanders have given up 35.8 shots on target per contest, but they also have a bottom-five penalty kill.
Matias Maccelli, ARI at BUF ($17): Perhaps Levi is not in net for the Sabres, or perhaps he can't keep up his recent run of form. Hedging on that front, Maccelli is a player who has been productive on the second line for the Coyotes, but also been unlucky. He has 19 points in 26 games, but only a 7.8 shooting percentage. At his salary, I think he's worth rostering in hopes his puck luck does some stabilizing.
WINGS TO AVOID
Lucas Raymond, DET at DAL ($20): Raymond may be without his center Dylan Larkin on Monday, as Larkin left Detroit's last game after Mathieu Joseph punched him in the back of the head and kicked off a chain of events that led to Larkin's injury. That would change the landscape of the Red Wings' lineup, especially with J.T. Compher also banged up. I know Jake Oettinger hasn't been his usual self recently, but he has a career .914 save percentage, so I think he will be fine.
John-Jason Peterka, BUF vs. ARI ($18): Peterka has taken a step forward this year, with 20 points in 28 games, even with a limited role on the power play. You know who else has made strides this season, though? Connor Ingram, who has a .920 save percentage and 2.52 GAA for the Coyotes. Save slotting Peterka into your roster for another time.
Miro Heiskanen, DAL vs. DET ($19): Heiskanen has four assists over his last six games. While the goals haven't been there this year, his 1.9 shooting percentage should certainly improve in time. Husso, his fellow Finn, could help, as he has an .886 save percentage on the campaign.
Devon Toews, COL vs. CGY ($19): Toews hasn't always delivered on his usual role as the secondary option on the Colorado blue line behind Cale Makar, but in fits and starts he's tallied 15 points in 27 games. That includes an assist in each of his last two contests. The Flames already had issues in net before Jacob Markstrom's was injured, but now their options are the unproven Dustin Wolf who has a .900 save percentage in four appearances this season, or Dan Vladar who is, well, just straight-up a bad goalie (career .895 save percentage).
DEFENSE TO AVOID
Noah Hanifin, CGY at COL ($19): While the forward group for the Flames has struggled, the team has gotten production from a couple of blue liners, including Hanifin. That being said, his 10.4 shooting percentage is bound to regress, and with eight assists in 27 games, those goals have played a big role on Hanifin's contributions. Georgiev has a 2.45 GAA over his last 11 outings thanks in part to the defense in front of him, and that defense should make it tricky for Hanifin.
Shayne Gostisbehere, DET at DAL ($14): Gostisbehere has tallied 19 points in his first season with the Wings, and unsurprisingly the power play has keyed his production. The defenseman has notched 10 of his points with the extra man. Even with Oettinger's issues recently, though, the Stars still have a top-five penalty kill on the season, so I'd be wary of this matchup.