NHL DFS Picks: Yahoo Plays and Lineup Strategy for Saturday, December 31

NHL DFS Picks: Yahoo Plays and Lineup Strategy for Saturday, December 31

We've arrived to the final day of 2022. However, we're in the thick of the NHL season. Saturday is a busy day of NHL action, sure, but there are a lot of afternoon games. For the main slate of contests, there are only five NHL games included. Here are the players to target, and to avoid, for your DFS lineups.

GOALIE

Jake Oettinger, DAL vs. SAN ($34): Oettinger has built upon last season's standout postseason performance with a 2.38 GAA and .920 save percentage this season. That includes allowing two goals or fewer in seven of his last eight starts. San Jose has averaged 3.03 goals and 29.5 shots on net per game, both of which are decidedly below average.

GOALIE TO AVOID

Jacob Markstrom, CGY vs. VAN ($26): Markstrom's numbers have been better recently, but 'better' still only means a 2.48 GAA and .906 save percentage. The drop in GAA is clearly more about the defense in front of him and not the Swede's play. Vancouver may have a bad defense, but it has a good offense, having averaged 3.43 goals per game, top eight in the NHL.

CENTER

Pierre-Luc Dubois, WPG at EDM ($25): Dubois has been shooting less, but not producing any less. He has 17 goals and 22 assists through 36 games. Fourteen of his points have come with the extra man, and the Oilers have a bottom-eight penalty kill. Not only that, but Edmonton is on the second leg of a back-to-back.

CENTER TO AVOID

Logan Couture, SAN at DAL ($17): Couture is still picking up assists, but only one of his 14 goals has come in his last 12 games. Additionally, his last four points have all come on the power play. Dallas has the fourth-ranked penalty kill, so success with the extra man could be hard to find for Couture.

WING

Jonathan Huberdeau, CGY vs. VAN ($20): It took Huberdeau a bit of time to get accustomed to his new team, but in December he has 13 points in 15 games. On the year, he also has 10 power-play points. This is key, given that the Canucks have the worst penalty kill in the NHL, which is where they finished last season.

David Perron, DET vs. OTT ($17): Perron has six points in his last five games, giving him 27 points in his first season with Detroit. He's also put 94 shots on net in 34 games. Both Detroit and Ottawa are middling in GAA, but Ottawa has also allowed 32.7 shots on goal per contest.

WINGS TO AVOID

Mikko Rantanen, COL vs. TOR ($34): Rantanen has had to be a one-man show for much of this season, and to his credit he has been up to it. However, it still makes his job decidedly tougher, and with his hefty salary, he pretty much has to produce at his typical level to provide value. Well, the Maple Leafs have a 2.56 GAA and have only allowed 28.4 shots on net per contest. They don't make it easy on anybody, including a player of Rantanen's caliber.

Zach Hyman, EDM vs. WPG ($27): Hyman seems primed to improve on the career-best totals he posted last season, his first with the Oilers. Having said that, Edmonton is the only team on a back-to-back Saturday. Additionally, Connor Hellebuyck has a 2.37 GAA and .926 save percentage.

DEFENSE

Rasmus Andersson, CGY vs. VAN ($19): Back to attacking the Canucks' woeful penalty kill. Andersson has averaged 3:19 per game on the power play and has 11 points with the extra man. If that wasn't enough, the Swede has six points in his last six games.

Thomas Chabot, OTT at DET ($19): Chabot has thrown himself into the action with gusto since returning from injury. In that time, he has 13 points and 42 shots on net in 16 games. The Wings have a 3.32 GAA, which again is middling, but Ville Husso missed their last game with an illness, so if he isn't available, the goaltending situation gets starker.

DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID

Miro Heiskanen, DAL vs. SAN ($21): Heiskanen is having a breakthrough season, and he owes much of it to success with the extra man. He has 14 power-play points, which is already a career high, in 34 games. The trouble, the Sharks have the league's best penalty kill. It is the one place San Jose truly excels.

Darnell Nurse, EDM vs. WPG ($21): Nurse plays the most minutes of any Edmonton defenseman, but he rarely plays on the power play, so they aren't easy minutes. That means being on the second leg of a back-to-back is primed to hinder him more, even before factoring in Hellebuyck's presence in the crease for the Jets.