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

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.

Saturday's robust all-day NHL slate begins at 1:00 PM Eastern time and features 12 games. Read on to see which players separate themselves from the pack as the top options to target in this slate and which ones are best avoided at their respective valuations.

GOALIE

Matt Murray, PIT vs. STL ($31): The Blues' offense has gone dormant without star forward Vladimir Tarasenko (upper body). St. Louis has just three goals in three games since the Russian sniper went down, including a shutout loss at the hands of the lowly Senators. Meanwhile, Murray has been rolling with a 7-1-2 record over his past 10 starts. Expect both Murray's recent success and St. Louis' recent struggles to continue here in Pittsburgh.

GOALIE TO AVOID

Curtis McElhinney, CAR vs. BUF ($38): While Carolina will be favored in this one, $38 is much too steep a price to pay for McElhinney. The Hurricanes will have some tired legs in the second half of a back-to-back, and McElhinney hasn't exactly earned the benefit of the doubt with his recent play, surrendering 12 goals over his past two starts. 

CENTER

Nazem Kadri, TOR at OTT ($17): Kadri's a nice consolation prize if you can't afford one of Toronto's top two centers or want to stack at the position against a Senators team that's allowing 3.66 goals per game – second-most in the league. He makes up for his third-line deployment at even strength by skating on the top power-play unit, and Kadri's played well recently, with four assists and 10 shots over his last four games.

CENTER TO AVOID

Evgeny Kuznetsov, WAS at TB ($24): Kuznetsov's regressed a bit from last season's 27-goal, 83-point campaign, playing below a point-per-game pace with 62 through 65, including just 18 goals. There's no shame in that level of production, but it also doesn't warrant a look at $24 against a league-best Lightning team that's outscoring opponents 3.82 to 2.62 on average this season.

WINGS

Mike Hoffman, FLA at LA ($19): With 32 goals, 63 points and a minus-19 rating, Hoffman's a high-risk, high-reward option. His defensive deficiencies are likely to be minimized against the 30th-ranked Kings offense (2.33 goals per game), while Hoffman's power-play prowess (15 goals, 32 points) should be on full display against the league's third-most generous penalty kill (75.7 percent). You may not find a more ideal time to deploy Hoffman for the rest of the season. 

Blake Wheeler, WPG vs. CGY ($29): Wheeler's been on a tear over his past 11 games, getting held off the scoresheet only once while totaling eight goals and 10 assists. Look for the talented forward to keep rolling against a Flames team that's playing its second game in as many nights. Calgary has also dropped each of its last two road games and its last three on the road against Western Conference competition, while Wheeler excels on home ice, with 109 points and a plus-31 rating at Bell MTS place since the start of last season compared to 68 points and a minus-13 mark on the road.

WINGS TO AVOID

Leon Draisaitl, EDM at ARI ($31): A major portion of Draisaitl's production this season (16 of 42 goals and 28 of 89 points) has come on the power play. That aspect of his game is likely to be neutralized by a second-ranked Arizona penalty kill that owns an 85.1 percent success rate, so this isn't the time to pay up for the Robin to Connor McDavid's Batman.

Chris Kreider, NYR at MIN ($19): Kreider's mired in a nine-game goal drought, and he doesn't seem especially close to breaking out. He has just two assists over this span and has failed to put more than one puck on net in five of these last nine games. You can do better at $19.

DEFENSEMEN

Oliver Ekman-Larsson, ARI vs. EDM ($18): After lighting the lamp in each of his last two games, Ekman-Larsson's just two points short of reaching 40 for the fifth time in six seasons (he had 39 in the other). Power-play success has been the driving force behind his offensive production over this stretch, with OEL averaging 8.2 goals and 20.0 points with the extra man over the last six campaigns, including this one. He gets a great opportunity to pad his stats with the man advantage against a 75.1 percent Edmonton penalty kill that ranks as the second-most vulnerable in the league.

Shea Weber, MON vs. CHI ($22): You'll be hard-pressed to find a blueliner more reliable than Weber at his price, as his average of 7.9 fantasy points leads all healthy defensemen cheaper than $24. Just looking at his past five games shows the all-around prowess that makes Weber so effective: two goals, three assists, 22 shots and 10 blocks. The veteran stud should continue to outperform his price against a Blackhawks team that's giving up a league-high 3.70 goals per game.

DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID

Nick Leddy, NYI at DET ($18): The Islanders have a favorable matchup in Detroit, but don't expect Leddy to take advantage. His average of 4.0 fantasy points is the lowest mark among defensemen that cost at least $18, with only Kevin Shattenkirk (4.8) also coming in below 5.0. Leddy hasn't been significantly better recently, coming up short of his 4.0 average in 14 of the past 21 games, including seven games with negative fantasy points.

Vince Dunn, STL at PIT ($18): Dunn was slumping even before Tarasenko went down, as the young defenseman has just three points and a minus-7 rating in his past 12 games. Don't expect Dunn to get back on track with a depleted forward corps in front of him against a locked-in Murray.
 

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.
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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.
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