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Yahoo DFS Hockey: Saturday Picks

Sasha Yodashkin

Sasha Yodashkin writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

Saturday's evening NHL slate consists of six games, all of which hold potential playoff implications with so many teams either jostling for position or trying to claw their way in. There should be no shortage of scoring with six bottom-10 defenses in action, but a few players stand out as the night's top values.

GOALIE

Frederik Andersen, TOR at DET ($35):
Andersen's combination of matchup and momentum makes him well worth his $35 price. He has held 11 of his past 12 opponents to two or fewer goals for a Maple Leafs team fighting for their playoff lives, and should be able to maintain that impressive form against a Red Wings team that's averaging just 2.39 goals per game. While opposing netminder Jimmy Howard has played well this season, his 9-9-1 record despite a 2.02 GAA shows just how inept Detroit has been offensively.

Goalie to Avoid

Steve Mason, PHI vs. NJ ($38):
Paying up for matchup is often worth it, but $38 for Mason is an overpay no matter how you slice it. His four-game winning streak doesn't make up for a disappointing 2.71 GAA and .907 save percentage overall, and New Jersey's offense has averaged a respectable 2.78 goals per contest over the team's past nine games heading into the weekend. That stretch included a 6-2 win over Mason and the Flyers, demonstrating his low floor.

CENTER

Brayden Point, TB vs. MTL ($16):
While Steven Stamkos (knee) is approaching a return from his lengthy absence, Point will continue to serve as the center for both the first line and top power-play unit until then. Point has registered four goals and nine points in that role over his last nine games while topping 20 minutes of ice time in all but one. His heavy usage makes the rookie well worth his affordable $16 price even if star goalie Carey Price suits up for Montreal.

Center to Avoid

Tyler Seguin, DAL at CAR ($26):
The slumping Seguin has chipped in just two goals and one assist over the past 10 games while skating on a separate line from Jamie Benn. That poor form makes it tough to justify investing $26 against a Hurricanes team that's 9-0-4 in its past 13 games, especially with other expensive centers heating up down the stretch.

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WINGS

Joakim Nordstrom, CAR vs. DAL ($12):
Nordstrom is by far the least expensive member of Carolina's top-six forwards at the minim price, but he has proven more than capable of holding his own in such a role with 14.0 fantasy points in two games since being moved up. The Swedish forward will likely top 15 minutes of ice time again after doing so in each of the last two contests, and that should be more than enough time to make a mark against the 27th-ranked Stars defense. Those looking to spend big elsewhere would be wise to take advantage of this low-risk, high-reward option.

Kyle Palmieri, NJ at PHI ($17): Palmieri doesn't earn much attention due to his team's poor play, but consecutive seasons of 25-plus goals and 50-plus points show that the former Ducks winger is more than capable of making a fantasy impact on any given night. His chances of getting on the scoresheet are even better than usual against a Flyers team that has allowed 2.87 goals per game. Philadelphia's 22nd-ranked penalty kill has denied just 79.5 percent of opportunities, which is music to Palmieri's ears as he searches for his 20th power-play goal since joining the Devils in last season.

Wings to Avoid

Jakub Voracek, PHI vs. NJ ($20):
Voracek's offensive slump has begun to cost him playing time, as the Czech winger has slipped below 16 minutes in two of the past three games. Even against the sliding Devils, Voracek's average of 4.4 fantasy points per game over his past 14 doesn't inspire confidence that a $20 investment will pay off.

Patrick Maroon, EDM vs. ANH ($19): Maroon has benefitted lately from skating on a line with two of the hottest forwards on the planet in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Along with that success has come an increase in price, and living up to his $19 valuation will be difficult regardless of linemates against a Ducks team that has held opponents to the third-fewest goals per game and will be fully engaged defensively with first place in the Pacific Division on the line.

DEFENSEMEN

Noah Hanifin, CAR vs. DAL ($13):
Hanifin has demonstrated the offensive prowess that made him the fifth overall pick in the 2015 draft with seven points in his past 11 games, yet he remains priced at just $1 above the minimum. The 20-year-old defenseman should have no trouble outplaying that value once more against a Stars team that has surrendered 3.14 goals per game. Hanifin's plus-7 rating over Carolina's current streak of 13 consecutive games with at least a point also suggests owners don't have much to fear from that category despite his season-long minus-15 mark.

Cody Ceci, OTT at WPG ($17): Ceci stepped up offensively with Erik Karlsson (undisclosed) sitting for the first time in 325 games Thursday, finishing with an assist and a team-high three shots in a team-leading 26:46 of ice time. His chances of extending his point streak to three games against a Jets team that has surrendered 3.15 goals per game would get a boost if Karlsson sits again, but Ceci's well-rounded game makes him a solid option regardless of the Swede's status. The fourth-year blueliner topped 26 minutes of ice time in two of Karlsson's last three healthy games, managing nine shots and 11 blocks en route to 8.0 fantasy points per contest.

Defensemen to Avoid

John Klingberg, DAL at CAR ($17):
Sixteen of Klingberg's 45 points have come on the power play, but Carolina's second-ranked penalty kill will make life tough for the offensive-minded blueliner in that department after killing off 85.3 percent of opportunities to date. Add in his rating risk given the Hurricanes' recent form and Dallas' defensive ineptitude, and Klingberg just isn't worth the risk given the low likelihood of a payoff.

Kris Russell, EDM vs. ANH ($17): Don't let Russell's four points in the past five games fool you. He has only seven points in 58 other games this season, and has topped 20 only twice in 10 NHL campaigns. Russell lacks the scoring upside to justify his $17 price, especially in what projects to be an evenly-played contest.
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.