Saturday night is not lacking for NHL action. There are nine games on the slate starting at 7 p.m. EST or later. Let's keep the weekend going strong. Here are my players to target, and to avoid, for your DFS lineups.
Darcy Kuemper, WAS vs. CLM ($26): Kuemper is back, and while he hasn't been particularly good, this is a nice matchup to skate into. The Blue Jackets have only averaged 2.71 goals per game and also have a 3.53 GAA. Kuemper should be able to pick up a home win in his return to action.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Jake Oettinger, DAL vs. COL ($36): Oettinger has been his usual reliable self in goal, though he has allowed three goals in each of his last two starts. However, the Avalanche have also been what was expected, which is a top-10 offense. Colorado has averaged 3.67 goals and 34.1 shots on net per game. While Oettinger has played well, the Stars have given up 32.1 shots on goal per contest, making "Otter" really work for his success this year.
Vincent Trocheck, NYR at NJD ($19): Filip Chytil has missed four games, and in that time Trocheck has been the Rangers' second-line center between Artemi Panarin and Alexis Lafreniere. Not coincidentally, he has a four-game point streak wherein he's totaled seven points. It's nice to be skating with better linemates. Oh, and it is nice to face one of the worst defensive teams in the NHL. The Devils have a 3.73 GAA, which ranks 30th.
CENTER TO AVOID
Brayden Schenn, STL at LOS ($19): Schenn's slow start to the season has dissipated, but four of his 10 points, and three of his five goals, came in one game. I'm dubious that Schenn can do anything approaching that in this matchup. Cam Talbot has a .927 save percentage, and the Kings have only allowed 27.7 shots on net per contest.
Nick Schmaltz, ARI at WPG ($17): Schmaltz has 13 points in 16 games. While he doesn't have a point in his last three outings, he's put three shots on net in each of his last two contests, so he's stayed active. The Jets are the only team on the second leg of a back-to-back, and expected starter Laurent Brossoit has a career .907 save percentage.
Ilya Mikheyev, VAN vs. SEA ($15): Mikheyev has nine points in 13 games, and he's also put 31 shots on net. While he isn't part of Vancouver's elite top power-play unit, he does skate on the first line next to Elias Pettersson. The Kraken have a 3.50 GAA, with two goalies that have sub-.900 save percentages.
WINGS TO AVOID
Cole Caufield, MON at BOS ($23): At this point, you likely know the drill. The Bruins have a 2.00 GAA. They also have the first-ranked penalty kill. This bodes poorly for Caufield, especially since eight of his 15 points have come with the extra man.
Bryan Rust, PIT at CAR ($21): Rust has flipped his luck around from last year, but his 18.0 percent shooting will likely regress. While Carolina's goaltending has been iffy, it has allowed a league-low 25.9 shots on net per game. The team's GAA should drop. Also, the Hurricanes have a mediocre penalty kill, unusual for them but Rust doesn't have a power-play point.
John Carlson, WAS vs. CLM ($21): Carlson started the season hot, and then after a cold spell he has an assist and two shots on net in each of his last two games. The Blue Jackets, as I noted, have a 3.53 GAA. They have also allowed 33.5 shots on net per contest.
Drew Doughty, LOS vs. STL ($18): Nobody does the workhorse thing like Doughty. Deep into his Hall of Fame career, he's averaged 26:15 per game in ice time, including 4:19 on the power play. He's tallied seven points and put 30 shots on net through 15 contests. The Blues have given up 32.5 shots on net per game, and Jordan Binnington isn't likely to keep playing this well. He had a .901 save percentage over his prior three seasons.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Dougie Hamilton, NJD vs. NYR ($23): Hamilton has produced as per usual, but his salary is also high as a result. The Rangers have a 2.14 GAA, second lowest in the NHL, and have only given up 27.4 shots on net per game. With so many options, I don't want to go with Hamilton in what is arguably the second-toughest matchup Saturday.
Noah Dobson, NYI at CGY ($23): Dobson has five goals, but his 11.6 percent shooting is a bit high. The defenseman has shown a propensity to put pucks on net, but the Flames have only allowed 28.9 shots on goal per game. Calgary also has a top-eight penalty kill, and half of Dobson's points have come with the extra man.