NHL DFS Hockey: Yahoo Plays and Lineup Strategy for Saturday, March 18

NHL DFS Hockey: Yahoo Plays and Lineup Strategy for Saturday, March 18

The NHL schedule is packed, but also bifurcated Saturday. There are 13 games total, but only seven starting at 7 p.m. EDT or later. This is where the focus is on the DFS front, and so that is where my recommendations are focused as well. Here are the players to target, and to avoid, for your lineups.


Ilya Sorokin, NYI at SAN ($38): I was worried about who would get the start for the Lightning on Saturday with a game against the Devils looming Sunday, so I have turned to Sorokin instead. The Russian goalie has been even better than his countryman Andrei Vasilevskiy has anyway. Sorokin has a 2.40 GAA and .923 save percentage, and the Sharks have averaged 2.87 goals per game. Oh, and they don't have Timo Meier any longer either.


Igor Shesterkin, NYR vs. PIT ($27): Both of these teams have averaged 3.26 goals per game, just above average. However, the Penguins have managed 34.0 shots on net per contest to the Rangers' 31.9. Pittsburgh is also as healthy as it has been all season, making this an even tougher task for Shesterkin, who has taken a step back from his Vezina-winning campaign.


Brock Nelson, NYI at SAN ($21): With two goals on six shots on net in his last outing, Nelson has back-to-back campaigns with 30 goals. He's also put 199 shots on target, which is a career high already. The Sharks allow a middling 31.6 shots on net per game but have a 3.75 GAA all the same, because their goaltending has been poor. Nelson could easily add to his goal total as he tries to top the 37 he scored last year.


Nazem Kadri, CGY vs. DAL ($17): Kadri has seen his goal scoring fall off a cliff. While he has eight assists in his last 13 games, he has zero goals in that time. While Jake Oettinger has also not been playing his best hockey, he still has a 2.41 GAA and .919 save percentage on the year.


Adrian Kempe, LOS vs. VAN ($21): Kempe is a finisher, not a playmaker. He's never had more than 21 assists in a season, but he has over 30 goals for the second time in his career. The Swede also has 15 power-play points in 69 games, and now he gets to face the league's worst penalty kill in Vancouver.

Brandon Hagel, TAM vs. MON ($19): The Lightning have readjusted their lineup – again – and Hagel is back skating with Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov on the top line. He also has seven points in his last six games. He recently had a three-point game against the Devils, and now he gets a visit from a Canadiens team with a 3.70 GAA that has allowed 34.0 shots on net per contest.


Tyler Toffoli, CGY vs. DAL ($21): Toffoli has made the Flames happy they brought him in, to be sure, but this matchup is tricky. The Stars rank sixth in GAA for a reason, or actually a couple reasons. One is Oettinger. However, Dallas also has a top-five penalty kill. Meanwhile, Toffoli has tallied 21 of his 60 points with the extra man.

Bryan Rust, PIT at NYR ($15): Rust has been out of sync recently and has only one point, an assist, in his last seven games. On top of that, he's only put 11 shots on net in those seven contests. Over his last seven outings, Shesterkin has a .916 save percentage. That isn't Vezina caliber, but it is better than he had been playing.


Jakob Chychrun, OTT vs. TOR ($19): Since joining the Senators, Chychrun has four points and 22 shots on net through eight games. Notably though, over the last five games he's averaged 3:20 per contest on the power play. The Maple Leafs are the one team Saturday night on the second leg of a back-to-back. Matt Murray will get the nod against his former team, and he has allowed exactly four goals in all three of his starts since returning from injury.

Drew Doughty, LOS vs. VAN ($17): Score one for puck luck! Doughty has been snake bit all season, but he has a goal in each of his last two games. He's still only shooting 4.1 percent on the year though, below his career 6.0 percent mark. More notable for this matchup, Doughty has 23 power-play points. As I mentioned, the Canucks have the league's worst penalty kill.


Erik Karlsson, SAN vs. NYI ($27): With a lot of options for your lineup Saturday, I'm not trying to fit Karlsson's salary into my roster with this matchup. Sorokin has a 2.40 GAA and .923 save percentage, and the Islanders also have the 10th-ranked penalty kill. Karlsson has slowed down with the man advantage as it is, recording only two power-play points in his last 15 games.

Mike Matheson, MON at TAM ($18): Matheson is a better shooter than a lot of defensemen, but his 8.2 percent shooting in 35 games this year is above his career 6.3 percent number. If Vasilevskiy is in net for the Lightning, it will be hard for the Habs defenseman to stay so hot. At home, Vasilevskiy has a 2.61 GAA and .916 save percentage this season.