This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
It’s a nice Saturday for sports. You can watch the big Penn State-Ohio State college football game at 12 p.m. EDT (maybe on mute for, um, announcer reasons) and then enjoy 13 NHL games on the docket starting at 7 p.m. or later. At some point during the day, be sure to get your DFS lineups in for hockey purposes. Here are some players to target, and to avoid, for your DFS contests!
Juuse Saros, NAS vs. SJ ($36): Saros could use a break, as he’s faced a series of robust offenses through his first five starts, with a tough day at the office against the Oilers hurting his overall numbers. The Finn has a career .919 save percentage, so I’m not sweating it. Also, I’m not sweating the Sharks, who were poor offensively last year and are poised to be worse this season. They’ve averaged 2.78 goals per contest since the beginning of last year.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Connor Hellebuyck, WPG at EDM ($36): Hellebuyck should turn it around at some point this season, and probably soon. Guys with career .916 save percentages still in their primes don’t allow four goals or more every time they take the ice. Even so, he might allow four goals or more Saturday. The Oilers have goaltending questions of their own, but they also are first in the NHL in goals per game since the start of last season, and feature an unparalleled duo in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.
John Tavares, TOR at TAM ($26): The Maple Leafs have gotten little from their complementary players in the early going, but when you have two of the 10 best centers in the NHL, you can make it work. Tavares may be 1B to Auston Matthews, but he had 80 points last year and has seven already this season, with 16 shots on net through four games for good measure. The Lightning will once again hope to get something, anything, out of Jonas Johansson, but don’t bet on that. He has a career .887 save percentage.
CENTER TO AVOID
Sean Couturier, PHI at DAL ($18): I’m glad Couturier is back from injury, and I’m glad he got to return to action with an easy handful of games that have helped him notch four points already. Things stop being so easy come Saturday, though. Now, he’s on the road facing the Stars, and also Jake Oettinger. Oettinger has gotten better with every season, and he’s started this year with a .943 save percentage.
Mats Zuccarello, MIN vs. CLM ($20): Let it never be said that Zuccarello isn’t willing to lend a helping hand. He has six assists already through four games, and given that he’s potted over 20 goals in back-to-back seasons, those will surely come as well. This could be the day for it. The Blue Jackets are on the road for the second leg of a back-to-back, and Elvis Merzlikins came into this season with a career .906 save percentage.
Brandon Hagel, TAM vs. TOR ($19): Hagel took on a significant role for the Lightning last year, as he averaged 18:39 per game in ice time. He repaid the trust, notching 30 goals. This year, even more is being asked of Hagel, and he is responding once more. The 25-year-old has four goals and two assists through five games. Ilya Samsonov has started slowly with a 3.67 GAA and .861 save percentage through three starts. That serves as a reminder that, prior to last season, he had a career .902 save percentage.
WINGS TO AVOID
Adrian Kempe, LOS vs. BOS ($22): Kempe scored 41 goals last season, and while 16.4 percent shooting is replicable, it’s also fairly high and the highest of Kempe’s career. He has three points this season, but only one goal. Scoring on the Bruins is immensely difficult. Since the start of last season they have a 2.09 GAA, and they also have the reigning Vezina winner in Linus Ullmark.
Johnny Gaudreau, CLM at MIN ($19): The Blue Jackets are a mess right now, and first-time head coach Pascal Vincent is juggling his lines around just trying to find something that works. On top of that, the Blue Jackets are on the second leg of a back-to-back. Filip Gustavsson, meanwhile, has a career .920 save percentage.
Shea Theodore, VGK at CHI ($22): After easing into the season, Theodore has five points and 12 shots on net over his last three games. Granted, that coincides with Alex Pietrangelo being out, but Pietrangelo could very well miss Saturday’s game as well. Plus, Chicago has allowed at least 32 shots on net in every game this season, and likely starter Arvid Soderblom has a career .896 save percentage.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, FLA vs. VAN ($13): Ekman-Larsson has seen a massive role with the Panthers thanks to injuries to Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour. He’s averaged 25:31 a night, and 5:31 on the power play. The Swede also has a point in each of his last two games. Ekman-Larsson will be facing his former team in the Canucks, who have the league’s worst penalty kill since the start of last season.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Brent Burns, CAR at COL ($22): Even though he is now 38, Burns still shoots a lot. He has 12 shots through five contests. However, good luck getting anything past Alexandar Georgiev. He had a .918 save percentage in his first season with the Avalanche, and this year he has a .965 save percentage through four starts.
Seth Jones, CHI vs. VGK ($19): Jones has picked up a few assists through five games, but he also has only five shots on net. This year, Vegas’ goaltending duo has made things difficult on opponents. Playoff hero Adin Hill is likely to start this one, and he has an 1.31 GAA and .951 save percentage.
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. Chris Morgan plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: cmorgan3, DraftKings: cmorgan3.