Yahoo DFS Hockey: Saturday Picks

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Neil Parker
·4 min read
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There are 12 games in the NHL on Saturday, but only the 10 evening bouts beginning at 7 p.m. EST are included in the main contests at Yahoo. The Lightning, Penguins and Maple Leafs are the largest favorites on the docket, and the highest over/under totals are in the Capitals-Flyers, Blackhawks-Panthers, Jets-Maple Leafs, and Oilers-Canucks matchups.

GOALIE

Carey Price, MON at CGY ($28): The Canadiens have surrendered the fewest five-on-five goals per 60 minutes in the league and sport the second-best CorsiFor percentage, and Price has turned the corner with a .963 save percentage during his active four-game winning streak. Calgary also attempts the 10th-most five-on-five shots per 60 minutes, so Price should have plenty of opportunities to pad his saves total.

GOALIE TO AVOID

Andrei Vasilevskiy, TB vs. NSH ($43): This salary is prohibitive enough to pass over Vasilevskiy. He's allowed three goals in consecutive games, too. Even with the Lightning the largest favorite on the docket and likely to cruise past Nashville, it will be difficult to build a competitive lineup around Valisevskiy's salary. Plus, it's a deep goalie pool with multiple solid options to pivot to. 

CENTER

Eric Staal, BUF at PIT ($10): Projected to center the No. 1 line with Taylor Hall and Sam Reinhart on his flanks, Staal is a worthwhile flier at a contest-minimum salary. The veteran has recorded an assist in consecutive games, and the Penguins are a middling defensive team with 3.04 goals against per game. 

CENTER TO AVOID

Auston Matthews, TOR vs. WPG ($35): The goal-scoring leader is still nursing his wrist/hand injury and has passed up prime shooting opportunities multiple times over the past two games. Additionally, he's been stationed in front of the net with the man advantage rather than at one of the faceoff dots in prime firing position. Obviously, with consecutive multi-point showings, Matthews is still finding ways to make an impact, but in this salary range, lining up a completely healthy center should be preferred.

WING

Jonathan Huberdeau, FLA vs. CHI ($24): Not only is Huberdeau sporting a five-game point streak consisting of two tallies and six helpers, the 27-year-old winger ranks second in the league in points per 60 minutes among regular NHLers. There's nothing scary about the matchup, either. Chicago has surrendered the eighth-most high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes at five-on-five and has a 24th-ranked 73.9 percent penalty kill.

Daniel Sprong, WAS at PHI ($11): A proven scorer in the lower levels, Sprong is receiving top-six minutes alongside Evgeny Kuznetsov and Jakub Vrana with Tom Wilson suspended. Sprong has found the scoresheet in consecutive games, and the Flyers have allowed the fourth-most goals per 60 minutes at five-on-five in the league. 

WINGS TO AVOID

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, EDM at VAN ($27): The Oilers have shifted Nugent-Hopkins to center on the second line, which means he's only projected to skate with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl on the man advantage. It's a huge blow to his upside, and Vancouver is respectable when short-handed with a 13th-ranked 80.4 percent penalty kill. Additionally, Nugent-Hopkins has only one goal and three assists without a multi-point showing through his past nine outings.

Matthew Tkachuk, CGY vs. MON ($24): As noted, the Canadiens are an excellent five-on-five team, so opportunities could be limited for Tkachuk at even strength, He's also found the scoresheet in just six of the past 15 games, and his 2.4 points per 60 minutes ranks 85th among NHL regulars. In a deep player pool, there are better options in his salary range.

DEFENSE

Ryan Pulock, NYI at NJ ($17): The Devils have the worst penalty-kill percentage in the league, and Pulock has been quarterbacking the No. 1 power-play unit. He has a heavy shot and collected two assists and 15.7 fantasy points against New Jersey on Thursday. Pulock also offers a respectable fantasy floor through his shot volume and willingness to block shots.

Mario Ferraro, SJ at ANH ($10): Another minimum-salary option, Ferraro is averaging 22:37 of ice time per game and plays special teams, so there's a decent fantasy floor with his role, shot volume and blocks. Additionally, with Anaheim scoring just 2.09 goals per 60 minutes at five-on-five, Ferraro's plus-minus risk is lessened. 

DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID

Morgan Rielly, TOR vs. WPG ($23): The veteran defenseman has been fantastic through the past two games against the Jets, but even with six points and a plus-8 rating over his latest nine outings, Rielly has only reached double-digit fantasy points twice. In a deep player pool, there are softer matchups to target.

Kevin Shattenkirk, ANH vs. SJ ($18): There's nothing scary about a date with the Sharks, as San Jose has allowed the second-most five-on-five goals per 60 minutes in the league. Still, Shattenkirk's 1.07 points per 60 minutes ranks 62nd among regular defensemen, so this salary is probably a little steep.