Saturday Night DFS: Kessel, Giroux look to stay hot

Can Phil Kessel build on his best game yet with the Arizona Coyotes? (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Can Phil Kessel build on his best game yet with the Arizona Coyotes? (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

There’s no day for some Yahoo daily fantasy hockey quite like Saturday.

A busy night around the National Hockey League brings us a nine-game slate for DFS.

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Here are some recommendations for your lineup tonight.

The Value Guys

These players are the ones that are not the most or least expensive on the board, but solid options for your lineup.

C Claude Giroux, PHI vs. DAL ($23)

Giroux is off to a pretty quiet start to the 2019-20 campaign, but he is coming off what has been his most productive outing so far, registering a pair of assists in a 6-3 loss to the Edmonton Oilers. With the Flyers returning to Philadelphia after a three-game Western Canada road trip, I could see this matchup against Dallas being a good spot for the centre, especially considering this will be the Stars’ second game in as many nights.

W Phil Kessel, ARI vs. OTT ($21)

Phil the Thrill hasn’t exploded with the Coyotes, but much like Giroux, the goal-scoring winger just played his best game of the season, picking up two goals in a 5-2 win over the Nashville Predators. Although the Ottawa Senators have played somewhat well defensively over the past three games, going up against the Sens’ defense at home still is a plus-spot for Kessel.

D Oliver Ekman-Larsson, ARI vs. OTT ($18)

Ditto to Kessel, the start of the year hasn’t been overwhelming for OEL, but there are some signs that should have fantasy owners encouraged about the blueliner. For starters, the usage for Ekman-Larsson has been through the roof over the past three games, as he’s played 25 minutes or more in each contest. Part of the reason why the Yotes’ top offensive players have been off to slow starts is due to the fact that they’ve received the third-fewest power-play opportunities in the NHL thus far. The Senators, though, come to town with the fourth-most penalty minutes per game.

G David Rittich, CGY at LA ($32)

This week, there really doesn’t seem to be a middle tier at the goalie position. The prices drop from $30 down to $26, meaning most people are likely going to have to spend up at the position given the unattractiveness of the lower-end options. Big Save Dave, as I prefer to call him, has been up and down like a diving board, but he’s been more good than bad recently, giving up just two goals in his last pair of outings. The matchup against the Kings is as ideal as it gets considering the club hasn’t notched a goal in its last two games.

Offenses to Stack

When a team’s having a good night offensively, you want to have as many pieces as possible. Stacking offenses can be a rewarding strategy.

Philadelphia Flyers

C Claude Giroux ($23) + C Sean Couturier ($21) + W Jakub Voracek ($17)

You won’t have to break the bank in order to afford this stack, but it could be one that plays out nicely against the struggling Stars. Pairing Giroux with his most talented linemate at even strength (Couturier) and his playing mate on the power play (Voracek) seems to be a good way to build a lineup around the Flyers.

Arizona Coyotes

C Derek Stepan ($17) + Phil Kessel ($21) + Oliver Ekman-Larsson ($18)

Another fairly inexpensive stack is the Coyotes. Arizona’s power play has looked good (29.4% success rate) given the few opportunities it has received, and matching up against an Ottawa team that has not stayed out of the box seems like a recipe for success. Inserting the club’s three most prominent players on the man advantage into your lineup seems like a solid strategy.

Expensive, but Worth it

Sometimes you can’t help but fork over a decent amount of your budget to get elite fantasy production.

W David Pastrnak, BOS at TOR ($30)

David Pastrnak has been unstoppable this week, potting six goals and an assist in the two games he’s played. Essentially all of Boston’s offense has come as a result of the team’s well-documented top line. Going up against a middling defensive team in Toronto that will be without its best defensive centre, John Tavares, the Bruins will likely look for their first line to handle the scoring. David Krejci’s absence makes the second line a less appealing option, thus making it likely head coach Bruce Cassidy will turn to his reliable trio of Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand to get the job done.

Chasing the Cheap Win

It may be silly, but when selecting a goalie, the first question running through your mind should be: What is his team’s chance to win?

G Martin Jones, SJ vs. BUF

There’s not really a glaringly obvious cheap win candidate this week, but I don’t mind rolling out Martin Jones at home against the Buffalo Sabres. The Sharks seem to have found their stride since dropping the first four games of the season, as they have won three straight contests since. Some of that success can be credited to Jones, who has compiled back-to-back 30-plus save outings while only allowing three goals. Given that this is Buffalo’s third consecutive game on the west coast, the setup doesn’t seem all that bad for Jones. Fantasy angle aside, this should be one of the better games to watch on Saturday.

Cash Savers

Spent some major cash on some potential game-changers? These inexpensive players can help fill out the rest of your lineup.

C Kevin Hayes ($15)

C Charlie Coyle ($12)

W Jake DeBrusk ($15)

W Kevin Labanc ($14)

W Calle Jarnkrok ($12)

W Dominik Simon ($11)

D Shayne Gostisbehere ($15)

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