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Yahoo Daily Fantasy Hockey: Wednesday-Thursday picks

By Neil Parker

Game 6 between San Jose and St. Louis and the Game 7 showdown between Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay make up the Yahoo contests for Wednesday. 

Look for the home teams to punch their tickets to the Stanley Cup Finals, leading to your picks, values and fades for the Wednesday-Thursday contests.

GOALIE

Matt Murray, PIT at TB ($34): With a 5-1 record and a .927 save percentage at home in the playoffs, and the Penguins grabbing the momentum in Game 6, look for Murray to continue his strong play in goal and help Pittsburgh advance.

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Player to avoid:

Andrei Vasilevskiy, TB vs. PIT ($31): After allowing three goals or more in each of his five starts during the series, Vasilevskiy is a risky fantasy investment. His save percentage is also down to an underwhelming .912 through the five outings.

CENTER

Robby Fabbri, STL at SJ ($15): There has been some hit and miss from game to game for Fabbri, but he has 15 points through his past 17 playoff games, including a tally in consecutive outings. The cap hit is low enough to create wiggle room to spend up elsewhere.

Player to avoid:

David Backes, STL at SJ ($20): It has been an underwhelming Western Conference Finals for Backes. He sits with a goal, an assist, 11 shots on net and a minus-3 rating through five games. He hasn't produced to his cap hit in the series, and San Jose is a daunting matchup on home ice.

WING

Tomas Hertl, SJ vs. STL ($19): As a cheaper source of exposure to the No. 1 line for San Jose, Hertl has been a solid fantasy contributor relative to his cap hit. He has rolled off five goals and four helpers with a plus-8 rating and 44 shots on goal through 17 postseason games while averaging 17:47 minutes of ice time per night. There are some peaks and valleys in his offensive output, but he has also registered a positive fantasy point total in each game.

Chris Kunitz, PIT at TB ($18): With four goals and three helpers through his past eight games, including a four-game point streak, Kunitz is rolling and outproducing his salary. He also has 27 shots on net during the span and a plus-3 rating during the point streak. He remains a solid value.

Player to avoid:

Vladimir Tarasenko, STL at SJ ($24): It's been a disastrous series for Tarasenko. He hasn't registered a point and has been saddled with a minus-5 rating through the past four games. Through the latest two outings, he has registered just a single shot on net in each. A breakout showing could be in the works, but he's too pricey to go out on that limb.

DEFENSE

Marc-Edouard Vlasic, SJ vs. STL ($20): A multi-category contributor, Vlasic can return fantasy points in a number of ways. Through his last 14 playoff games, Vlasic has 10 points, a plus-9 rating, 29 shots and 44 blocked shots. This is a reasonable cap hit, too.

Justin Schultz, PIT vs. TB ($14): After posting at least 5.0 fantasy points in each of his past four games, Schultz's salary is climbing slightly. He remains a viable option given his offensively tilted minutes and role with the No. 2 power play unit. During that four-game stretch, Schultz has two assists, a plus-3 rating, 10 shots and four blocked shots.

Slater Koekkoek, TB at PIT ($12): If you require a minimum-price option, the rookie rearguard played roughly half his minutes in the third period chasing the lead during Game 6. He registered an assist and a high-danger scoring chance in the period, and he has been able to generate offense through his plus wheels. Koekkoek is an upside source of cap relief.

Player to avoid:

Brent Burns, SJ vs. STL ($33): To begin with, it is difficult to accommodate this contest-high salary among skaters, but Burns has also registered just a single assist through his past three games. The upside is there, and this is no slight on the elite fantasy contributor, but fitting him under the cap is next to impossible unless you're surrounding him with bottom-six forwards.

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