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

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.

Saturday's two-game NHL slate begins at 7:15 Eastern time and features pivotal Game 5s in the Blue Jackets-Bruins and Sharks-Avalanche series. There's been very little separating these teams with both series tied at 2-2, but certain players still stand out as options to target or avoid at their respective valuations.

GOALIE

Tuukka Rask, BOS vs. CLS ($28): Through 11 games this postseason, Rask has a sparkling 2.11 GAA and .933 save percentage, and he's stopped 129 of 137 shots for a .942 save mark over this series' first four games. Of the four starting netminders in this slate, Rask has the highest floor if nothing else.

GOALIE TO AVOID

Philipp Grubauer, COL at SJ ($33): While it's tempting to look Grubauer's way after his Game 4 shutout, the German netminder's 10 goals against over the first three games suggest he's likely due for regression on the road in Game 5. With two netminders in this slate coming in at least $5 cheaper than Grubauer, deploying him doesn't make much financial sense, either.

CENTER

Nathan MacKinnon, COL at SJ ($34): MacKinnon has looked unstoppable this postseason, to the point that Sharks coach Peter DeBoer has said that holding MacKinnon to just one goal per game would be a win for San Jose. The superstar center got that one goal in Game 4, giving him six goals and 13 points in his last eight games. MacKinnon has been held without a point only once in his last 16 games dating back to the regular season, so he's as close to a sure thing as you can find this time of year.

CENTER TO AVOID

Tomas Hertl, SJ vs. COL ($25): Hertl's been unable to get going in this series, racking up just two helpers without a goal while posting a minus-1 rating through four games. You're better off saving $2 and grabbing fellow Sharks center Logan Couture, who leads all skaters with nine goals this postseason. 

WINGS

Matt Nieto, COL at SJ ($14): Deep playoff runs require strong performances from a team's stars and timely secondary scoring from the other guys. While the likes of MacKinnon have provided the former for the Avalanche, Nieto has been a key contributor in the latter category with four goals, three assists and a plus-6 rating in nine games. With an active three-game point streak heading into this one, Nieto's primed to contribute strong bang for the buck at $14.

Artemi Panarin, CLS at BOS ($24): Panarin had a nine-game point streak dating back to the regular season snapped in Game 3, but he rebounded with a goal in Game 4, giving him five goals and five helpers through eight games this postseason. Only Mikko Rantanen has more points than Panarin among the remaining wingers in this postseason, yet the Russian stud remains priced well below the elite tier at $24.

WINGS TO AVOID

Gabriel Landeskog, COL at SJ ($24): Like San Jose's Hertl, Landeskog has been held scoreless in this series save for a two-point outburst in Game 2. Colorado's captain also has a minus-3 rating in this series, so it makes sense to pay the extra $1 for his more productive teammate Rantanen.

Cam Atkinson, CLS at BOS ($21): Atkinson scored 41 goals this season, but he's lit the lamp only twice in his last 12 games and is yet to pot a goal in this series. With Rask locked in, Atkinson is going to have a hard time reversing his recent fortunes.

DEFENSEMEN

Torey Krug, BOS vs. CLS ($21): Krug has demonstrated less game-to-game consistency than owners would like this postseason, but his overall stats – seven points and 28 shots in 11 games – look pretty good. His up-and-down production can also turn into an asset for those who are able to properly time Krug's deployment. Among his 21 shots in the past six games, 19 have come in three of those contests, with just two occurring over the other three games.

Brent Burns, SJ vs. COL ($29): Burns went scoreless over the two games in Colorado, but he had seven points over this series' first two games in San Jose. With the Sharks shifting back to home ice for Game 5, look for the offensively gifted blueliner to find more favorable matchups thanks to last change, leading to production more reminiscent of Games 1 and 2 than Games 3 and 4.

DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID

Erik Karlsson, SJ vs. COL ($25): Colorado seems to have found a formula for containing Karlsson, who has just one assist in this series. While he was terrific at home in the first round, Karlsson has come nowhere near living up to his $25 valuation in these conference semifinals.

Zach Werenski, CLS at BOS ($18): Werenski has been a non-factor in this series, as he's still looking for his first point. Most of the puck-moving blueliner's fantasy value comes from offense, so Werenski isn't an advisable choice while he's mired in a funk.
 

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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