Yahoo DFS Hockey: Saturday Picks

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Neil Parker
·5 min read
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The main contests at Yahoo consist of the four evening games in the NHL beginning at 7 p.m. EST. The Maple Leafs are the largest favorites on the docket after topping the Canucks 7-3 on Thursday, whereas the San Jose-Anaheim tilt is the only back-to-back game on the board. It's also worth noting that Pittsburgh is playing for the first time since Monday after its two games against New Jersey were postponed this week. Finally, the battle of Alberta between Edmonton and Calgary will likely prove to be the marquee matchup of the evening. 

GOALIE

Tristan Jarry, PIT at NYI ($26): There's no sugarcoating Jarry's awful start, and Casey DeSmith ($26) might even be between the pipes Saturday, so this lean is more about the Islanders' ho-hum offense. New York has scored just 1.86 goals and generated only 8.45 high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes this season, which rank third and eighth last in the league, respectively. Additionally, Pittsburgh is expected to receive blueline help with Kris Letang and Mike Matheson potentially returning Saturday. The cap hit fits for a No. 2 goalie selection too, regardless of who starts for the Pens.

GOALIE TO AVOID

Ryan Miller, ANH vs. SJ ($25): San Jose beat Anaheim 5-4 in a shootout win Friday, and John Gibson is a far more talented goalie than Miller. More concerning for the Ducks, though, is captain and top-line center Ryan Getzlaf's lower-body injury. The roster is inexperienced to begin with, so it could be a considerable lineup loss again Saturday. Plus, Anaheim allowed 14 high-danger scoring chances to San Jose on Friday, and it all adds up to a tough night for Miller. He's also allowed three goals in each of his two appearances this year. 

CENTER

Logan Couture, SJ at ANH ($20): This is more of a boom-or-bust nod, as Couture has collected five of his seven points this season over just two games. Honing in on high-ceiling options is important, and as noted, this could prove to be a favorable matchup for Couture and San Jose in the second leg of the back-to-back set against Anaheim. He recorded a goal, five shot attempts and two individual high-danger scoring chances in Game 1 on Friday, too. 

CENTER TO AVOID

Auston Matthews, TOR vs. VAN ($34): Fading Matthews is risky business, but puck luck has been on his side of late with seven goals on 25 shots (28.0 percent shooting) during his active six-game goal streak -- including two tallies against the Canucks on Thursday. Value at his salary will essentially require a multi-point showing, and it would be shocking if Vancouver didn't tidy up defensively after allowing seven goals to Toronto on Thursday. 

WING

Anders Lee, NYI vs. PIT ($18): With just a single goal through the past eight games, the Islanders' captain is a ripe candidate to score Saturday. Lee is locked into a top offensive role and has averaged 4:11 of power-play time per game this year, and the Penguins have surrendered the fourth-most goals per 60 minutes in the league. There's also a respectable floor here. Lee's tied for first on the Islanders with 43 shot attempts through nine games. 

Ilya Mikheyev, TOR vs. VAN ($11): Vancouver has surrendered the second-most goals per 60 minutes in the league this season, and outside of its three-game sweep of Ottawa, the Canucks have been outscored by 20 goals through their other 11 contests. Mikheyev enters without a goal through 11 games despite attempting 34 shots. The second-year Maple Leaf scored eight times through 39 games last season on 8.2 percent shooting, so there's positive regression ahead.

WINGS TO AVOID

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, EDM at CGY ($27): Considering Nugent-Hopkins' game-to-game inconsistency (six of his 10 points have come in just two games), this is a tough salary to justify, and the Flames have also surrendered the sixth fewest five-on-five goals per 60 minutes in the league. The only real appeal for RNH is as a contrarian play who flies under the radar because of the hefty investment.

Jesse Puljujarvi, EDM at CGY ($11): It was easy to highlight Puljujarvi's statistical correction in the goals column after failing to find the back of the net through the first 11 games of the season. He recorded 34 shot attempts and 17 individual high-danger scoring chances, after all. However, he scored twice Tuesday against Ottawa and now lands in the noted tougher matchup. His salary remains low, though.

DEFENSE

Morgan Rielly, TOR vs. VAN ($19): It's been a nice stretch of late for Rielly. He's collected eight assists, seven shots and six blocks through the past five games while averaging 22:54 of ice time (2:57 with the man advantage). He's locked into the quarterback role on the No. 1 power-play unit and recorded 15.9 fantasy points against Vancouver on Thursday. 

Juuso Valimaki, CGY vs. EDM ($12): The third-pairing defenseman shouldn't see many shifts against Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl on Saturday, which positions him to provide sneaky fantasy value. After all, the Oilers have a minus-21 goal differential through 12 games when McDavid and Draisaitl are both on the bench. Valimaki is also a promising young blueliner with three helpers, nine shots and 12 blocks through the past six games. 

DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID

Kris Letang, PIT at NYI ($20): The Islanders have surrendered the third fewest high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes this season, and Letang could be returning from a lower-body injury at less than 100 percent. Additionally, he's only recorded three assists through nine contests and could take some time to settle in after a week off from game action.

Evan Bouchard, EDM at CGY ($18): There's a lot to like about Bouchard's future, and dishing out a helper and firing four shots in his season debut shouldn't go unnoticed. However, he logged just 16:56 of ice time and isn't projected to receive power-play minutes Saturday. Additionally, as noted, the Flames have been stingy at five-on-five. 

OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
St. Louis
-150+1.5O 6
Anaheim
+125-1.5U 6