Yahoo DFS Hockey: Saturday Picks
Yahoo DFS Hockey: Saturday Picks

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.

Saturday's all-day NHL slate starting at 1:00 PM Eastern time is a busy one, with 12 games on tap. The players below stand out from the crowd as guys to target or avoid.

GOALIE

Casey DeSmith, PIT vs. BUF ($20): DeSmith will be worth a look in this favorable matchup if he gets the nod for the second leg of Pittsburgh's Friday-Saturday home-and-home set against Buffalo. If Tristan Jarry ($28) starts both contests with Matt Murray (lower body) sidelined, then he also deserves serious consideration. The high-octane Penguins offense should put either netminder in tremendous position to rack up a home victory against a Sabres team that enters this back-to-back scoring a league-low 2.20 goals per game while allowing 3.36, which is fourth most in the league.

GOALIE TO AVOID

Frederik Andersen, TOR at VAN ($37): With so many cheap and enticing goaltending options taking the ice in this slate, it doesn't make much sense to pick Andersen at $37 in this tricky road matchup. While he's emerged victorious in each of his past three starts, the Danish netminder's allowed four goals in two of those contests. Toronto's offense might not be able to bail him out this time against a Canucks team that's scored five goals in three of its past six games.

[Join the free NHL Yahoo Cup. $10K in total prizes with weekly winners]

CENTER

Nico Hischier, NJ at ARI ($18): The first overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft has been living up to his lofty draft status of late, with goals in consecutive games and eight points in his past nine. Hischier's tied for second on the team with 18 points despite ranking just 11th in average ice time at 16:15. That ice time should start to climb following the Adam Henrique trade to Anaheim, and there's no better opportunity to raise one's point total than in a matchup with a Coyotes club that's allowing a league-high 3.57 goals per game.

CENTER TO AVOID

Nicklas Backstrom, WAS vs. CLS ($23): Backstrom's now gone 19 games without a goal and has only eight assists in that stretch. Don't expect him to break out of this slump against a Blue Jackets club that's allowing the third fewest goals per game at 2.36.

WING

Jujhar Khaira, EDM at CGY ($12): Khaira's shown a deft scoring touch lately, with two goals and four assists in seven games since rejoining the lineup Nov. 12. His skill level has also earned the 23-year-old power forward some time on the power play, making Khaira an enticing low-risk, high-reward option against a Flames penalty kill that ranks 30th at 75.0 percent.

Brendan Gallagher, MON vs. DET ($17): Gallagher produced two goals and an assist Thursday in Detroit, so another strong performance should be expected in this home rematch. For the season, the feisty winger's average of 7.2 fantasy points per game is tops among healthy Montreal skaters, easily making him the team's best value at $17.

[Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Hockey contest or league today]

WINGS TO AVOID

Nikita Kucherov, TB vs. SJ ($35): Opponents have started to figure out how to slow down Kucherov, limiting him to three helpers without a goal in the past six games. A Sharks team that's allowing a league-low 2.17 goals per game and killing penalties at a second ranked 88.3 percent clip should be able to limit Kucherov's production once again.

Kyle Okposo, BUF at PIT ($17): Pittsburgh's goaltender situation may not be ideal, but Okposo's not the man to take advantage. His minus-12 rating heading into this back-to-back set against Pittsburgh has led to Okposo's meager average of 3.5 fantasy points per game, which is easily lowest among players priced at $15 or higher. That rating could well drop even further against a talented Penguins offense.

DEFENSE

Mark Giordano, CGY vs. EDM ($17): Giordano provides a great base for a $17 defenseman thanks to his gaudy totals in shots and blocks, but a slow scoring start that's seen the four-time 40-point scorer post just three goals and five assists in 25 games has kept his price down. That lack of scoring should be remedied by a favorable matchup against an Edmonton team that's allowing 3.31 goals per game and will be without starting goalie Cam Talbot (upper body).

Justin Faulk, CAR vs. FLA ($17): Faulk's another defenseman likely to pick up the pace offensively. After three consecutive campaigns with at least 37 points, the 25-year-old blueliner has only seven points in 23 games. Five of those have come with the extra man and Faulk continues to skate on both the top defensive pairing and No.1 power-play unit, so his scoring upside is high against a Panthers team that's allowing 3.42 goals per game and killing penalties at 75.3 percent, both of which rank among the three most generous rates in the league.

DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID

Shayne Gostisbehere, PHI vs. BOS ($21): Gostisbehere's value comes predominantly from power-play success, as he has 11 points with the extra man but just eight points otherwise and a minus-1 rating. Boston's penalty kill is operating at a seventh ranked 83.1 percent, so power-play success will be hard to come by here for Gostisbehere.

Roman Josi, NSH vs. ANH ($25): In order to live up to his lofty $25 valuation, Josi's going to have to produce offensively. Half of his 16 points have come on the power play, but Anaheim's 82.3 percent penalty kill won't make it easy for him to raise those totals, especially since the Ducks will be emphasizing strong defensive play given their injury troubles up front.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Sasha Yodashkin plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Youngsash, DraftKings: Yashdogg,Yahoo: Sasha, Fanball: Yashdogg.
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only NHL Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire NHL fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sasha Yodashkin
Sasha has been contributing NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB and Tennis content to RotoWire since 2015, with an emphasis on DFS. He is a huge New York sports fan who has been playing fantasy sports since middle school.
Redoing the First Round of the 2015 NHL Draft
Redoing the First Round of the 2015 NHL Draft
Cap Compliance: Edmonton Oilers
Cap Compliance: Edmonton Oilers
Cap Compliance: Dallas Stars
Cap Compliance: Dallas Stars
Cap Compliance: Calgary Flames
Cap Compliance: Calgary Flames
Cap Compliance: Detroit Red Wings
Cap Compliance: Detroit Red Wings
Cap Compliance: Colorado Avalanche
Cap Compliance: Colorado Avalanche