This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
Saturday is always a great day for hockey fans, and this week is no exception. There are 11 NHL games on the schedule, but two of them are in the afternoon, and I will not be including them for the purposes of looking at the DFS contest lineup. That'll give you some more time to get your rosters in. Here are some players to target, and to avoid, for your daily fantasy hockey adventures.
Carter Hart, PHI vs. DAL ($37): Hart has a .904 save percentage, which isn't good, but he also has a 2.45 GAA, which is. He's only appeared in four games, so the sample is still quite small. As a rookie he was able to post a .917 save percentage. Just as important, the Stars rank last in goals per game to start this season, and they are on the road for the second game of a back-to-back.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Jaroslav Halak, BOS at TOR ($32): Halak is off to an unsustainably hot start to the season with a .951 save percentage. However, just two seasons ago he had a .908 save percentage. On the road against Toronto is a tough matchup to handle, too. The Leafs have scored 3.88 goals per game while notching 34.6 shots on net per contest.
Sean Monahan, CGY at LOS ($27): Monahan is off to a solid start by his standards, as he has six points through eight games. That's with 8.6 percent shooting, though, which is well below his career average. The Kings have a 4.43 GAA, and also the 29th-ranked penalty kill. Four of Monahan's points have come with the extra man.
CENTER TO AVOID
Aleksander Barkov, FLA at NAS ($28): Barkov has been racking up the assists, but Saturday he will be on the road for the second game of a back-to-back. The Predators have struggled in net so far, but that's a case where I expect things to totally turn around. Pekka Rinne hasn't had a save percentage worse than .918 in any of his last three seasons. His .908 save percentage is bound to improve.
Phil Kessel, ARI vs. OTT ($21): Kessel is finally on the board for the Coyotes. He picked up his first two goals of the season in his last outing, fittingly both on the power play. The Senators ranked last in GAA last year, and they have a 3.50 GAA this year while giving up 36.5 shots on net per contest.
Calle Jarnkrok, NAS vs. FLA ($12): Jarnkrok has been moved onto Nashville's top line with Ryan Johansen and Viktor Arvidsson. He's held his own so far, as he has five points in seven games. Also, he's put nine shots on net over his last three contests. The Panthers are on the road for the second night of a back-to-back, and they will likely be starting Samuel Montembeault. Yes, his numbers are impressive this year, but he hasn't played even two full games. Last season, he had an. 894 save percentage.
WINGS TO AVOID
Mikko Rantanen, COL at TAM ($27): Rantanen has emerged as one of the most prolific wings in the NHL while skating alongside Nathan MacKinnon. At the moment, though, MacKinnon is a bit banged up, and also the Avalanche are on the road for the second game of a back-to-back. Andrei Vasilevskiy has a .921 save percentage for the Lightning, and last year he had a .925 save percentage as he won the Vezina.
Cam Atkinson, CLM vs. NYI ($21): Atkinson scored 41 goals last year, but the team had a very different lineup. With less talent around him, Atkinson has three points, two of them goals, through seven games. The Islanders had the lowest GAA in the NHL last year, and has a 2.57 GAA this year. On top of that, the Blue Jackets are playing their second game in as many nights.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, ARI vs. OTT ($18): Ekman-Larsson has 14 goals in each of his last two seasons, and he's had at least 15 power-play points in each of his last six campaigns. The Swede has been under the radar in Arizona, but he's a true offensive weapon from the blue line. That should certainly be the case against a Senators team coming off a year where they had a 3.67 GAA.
Devon Toews, NYI at CLM ($16): Who's leading the Islanders defense in scoring? Why of course it's… Devon Toews? So far, he's notched five points in only seven games. Can he keep that up? Not at this pace, but catching the Blue Jackets on the second leg of a back-to-back certainly bodes well. Columbus may have saved Joonas Korpisalo for this one, but he still only has a .903 save percentage.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Kris Letang, PIT vs. VGK ($25): Playing back-to-back games at home is easier than doing it on the road, but it still isn't easy. When you are dealing with a player as expensive as Letang, every little cause for skepticism matters. Plus, former Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury has a 2.46 GAA and .926 save percentage.
Drew Doughty, LOS vs. CGY ($18): Doughty is doing everything he can for the Kings, but he can't keep up this 18.8 percent shooting forever. That's especially true against the Flames, as David Rittich has a 2.55 GAA and .919 save percentage. Also, the Flames have the eighth-ranked penalty kill, and Doughty has averaged 3:27 per game with the extra man.