Yahoo DFS Hockey: Saturday Picks

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Yahoo DFS Hockey: Saturday Picks
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The eight evening NHL games are included in the main contests at Yahoo, excluding the Kraken-Panthers bout. It's also a lopsided slate with the Oilers-Golden Knights tilt the only matchup projected to be close. The Kings, Avalanche, Stars, Penguins, Red Wings, Blues and Flames are all notable favorites, whereas the Senators, Canadiens, Penguins, Stars, Blue Jackets, Blues, Predators, Avalanche and Jets are all playing for the second consecutive night. 

All statistics from Natural Stat Trick and Hockey Reference.

GOALIE

Casey DeSmith, PIT vs. MON ($20): While there's nothing exciting about DeSmith's .856 save percentage and 4.72 GAA this season, he carries a position-minimum salary and lands in a soft matchup. The Canadiens rank 30th in goals per game and enter with a 1-9-1 road record. 

GOALIE TO AVOID

Robin Lehner, VGK vs. EDM ($29): In a deep goalie pool, it's probably wise to be wary of turning to Lehner in a tough matchup. The Oilers have scored the third-most goals per game and boast the league's best power-play percentage. Additionally, the Golden Knights have surrendered the second-most expected goals per 60 minutes in the league. 

CENTER

Roope Hintz, DAL at ARI ($19): This is a manageable salary for the surging scorer, especially considering the soft matchup. Hintz has racked up six goals, four assists, 24 shots, 36 attempts and 16 individual high-danger scoring chances through the past eight games, and the Coyotes have allowed the fourth-most goals per game and rank 31st in penalty-kill percentage for the campaign. 

CENTER TO AVOID

Andrew Copp, WPG at CGY ($17): With the Flames allowing the fewest goals per game this season, and Copp riding a five-game point drought with a minus-3 rating, this salary is a little puzzling. There are a handful of centers receiving top offensive minutes in this range, too.

WING

Adrian Kempe, LA vs. OTT ($16): Ottawa has lost three straight and allowed 17 goals since returning from their postponed games due to COVID-19 protocols, so this checks out as an excellent matchup for Kempe and the Kings. The sixth-year winger appears to be set for the best season of his career and has collected 11 points including seven goals through his past 13 contests while receiving top offensive minutes.

Zack Kassian, EDM at VGK ($10): You'll want to double-check Edmonton's projected lines, but Kassian recorded two assists last time out while skating with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl on the top line. Edmonton's two superstars have also combined for 4.5 goals per 60 minutes at five-on-five over the past three years, if you needed extra incentive to target Kassian at a minimum salary.

WINGS TO AVOID

Max Pacioretty, VGK vs. EDM ($34): Just one game removed from a lengthy absence due to a lower-body injury, a date with the Oilers probably isn't an ideal spot to devote so much cap space on Pacioretty. After all, he carries the fourth-highest salary in the contest.

Andrew Mangiapane, CGY vs. WPG ($20): Statistical correction is ahead for Mangiapane. He's scored 20 goals on 30.6 percent shooting through 25 games this season, including five tallies and a 38.5 mark through his past four outings. Additionally, because of his excellent form he could be a popular target against the reeling Jets. Winnipeg has lost five straight. 

DEFENSE

John Klingberg, DAL at ARI ($16): The power-play quarterback lands in a high-end matchup, and Klingberg is also in solid form. He's collected four assists through the past two games while being on the ice for 17 high-danger scoring chances. 

Matt Roy, LA vs. OTT ($14): While Roy's numbers don't jump off the page, he's settled in as the quarterback of the No. 1 power-play of late and offers a respectable fantasy floor through his shot volume and willingness to block shots. He's recorded 31 shots, 57 attempts and 13 blocks through the past 10 games. Plus, this salary stands out in a plus matchup against Ottawa.

DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID

Roman Josi, NSH at COL ($26): The Avalanche have scored the most goals in the league and are 6-2-1 on home ice, so this isn't a target-worthy matchup. Additionally, Josi has only reached double-digit fantasy points twice through his past nine games and has missed the scoresheet entirely in five of those contests. There's a case to be made that his fantasy outlook has the largest range of outcomes in the defense pool, though, so there's some contrarian potential.  

Jakob Chychrun, ARI vs. DAL ($19): There hasn't been enough of an adjustment to Chychrun's salary relative to his disappointing season. He's recorded just two goals, four assists and one double-digit fantasy point showing all year, and his minus-23 rating through 20 games is crippling in this scoring setting. It's also worth noting the Stars rank fourth in expected goals against per 60 minutes this year. 

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