This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
Although we will be watching hockey at 11 a.m. EDT due to the Lightning-Blue Jackets five-overtime matchup, the Hurricanes vs. Bruins game isn't featured in the Yahoo slate. Nevertheless, we have four Game 1s to look forward to, and the DFS realm will be kicked off by the Islanders facing the Capitals at 3 p.m. EDT.
Semyon Varlamov, NYI vs. WAS ($28): Varlamov was superb in the qualifying-round victory over Florida, and the Islanders' lockdown defense always benefits him. He's positioned well for a superb Game 1 performance, too, after the Capitals failed to score more than two goals in a game during the round robin.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Jacob Markstrom, VAN vs. STL ($29): The Blues struggled mightily in the round robin, but they're a battle-tested bunch that can turn it up on a moment's notice. While Markstrom showed MVP-level performances in the qualifying round, he flared up with inconsistency in Game 4 by allowing four goals on 29 shots. Be careful even at the cheap salary.
Nazem Kadri, COL vs. ARI ($20): Kadri didn't get many minutes in the two postseason games he played last year, but he's locked into the second-line role with the Avalanche. He's been a playmaker in that setting, registering a goal, three helpers and 14 shots on net. While the Coyotes are tight on the blue line, they've showcased a porous penalty kill (73.3 percent), and Kadri has notched three of his points with the man advantage.
CENTER TO AVOID
Sean Couturier, PHI vs. MON ($24): Couturier had an impressive regular season, but he hasn't been game-changing with just five shots on net over three contests. That isn't what you're seeking with your first-line center, especially going against a red-hot Carey Price.
David Perron, STL vs. VAN ($21): Perron was going to flirt with the 30-goal mark before the pause, and he picked up immediately in the postseason with two tucks through three games. His chemistry with last year's Conn Smythe Trophy winner, Ryan O'Reilly, should work to his benefit even further.
Ilya Kovalchuk, WAS vs. NYI ($14): Kovalchuk has looked comfortable with the Capitals, and he's accrued five points – two with the man advantage – over 10 games with his new club. His glory days are long gone, but Kovy logs consistent power-play minutes, and that'll come in handy against the Islanders' uninspiring penalty kill.
WINGS TO AVOID
Vladimir Tarasenko, STL vs. VAN ($24): Tarasenko is a playoff phenom, but he's only played two hockey games since undergoing shoulder surgery in October. He wasn't shy about shooting with five shots in those two contests, but he didn't record a hit and was just easing back into play. It may take a game or two of real hockey for the sniper to revv up the engine, and it'll be tough to fork up that salary until he does.
Carl Soderberg, ARI vs. COL ($18): Soderberg worked in a third-line, checking role in the qualifying round win over Nashville, and now they're going against one of the league's most underrated defense-goaltending combinations. The low minutes (16:11 TOI) makes him quite risky.
Shea Weber, MON vs. PHI ($21): Weber will log major minutes until he hangs up his skates, and that provides a solid floor when coupled with his shot volume and willingness to block shots. That's invaluable at this salary, although it'll be tough to crack a red-hot Carter Hart.
Quinn Hughes, VAN vs. STL ($20): Regardless of how Vancouver's season ends, Hughes' dominance carrying over into the postseason signals a bright future for the troubled organization. He's racked up six points – four on the power play – over the last three games, and he'll get a crack at the Blues' 18th-ranked, regular-season penalty kill (79.3 percent).
DEFENSE TO AVOID
Ivan Provorov, PHI vs. MON ($17): Provorov failed to get a shot on net or even block a shot over the last two round-robin games despite working on the top pairing. The youngster has plenty of upside, but it's a shaky play against Price and the Habs even with their penalty-kill struggles.
Devon Toews, NYI vs. WAS ($16): It looks like there's some sneaky value with the young blueliner, but three of his four postseason points have come with the man advantage. When you take that into account, he becomes increasingly risky since Washington is perfect on the penalty kill in August.