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Yahoo DFS Hockey: Saturday Picks

Sasha Yodashkin

Sasha Yodashkin writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

Saturday's 2:00 PM Eastern NHL slate features 30 teams in action. There's no shortage of options, but the players below stand out from the pack as the day's top value plays.

GOALIE

Semyon Varlamov, COL at NJ ($28): Varlamov was brilliant in Thursday's season-opening 4-2 upset of the Rangers, as the majority of his 37 saves came on Grade-A chances. While Colorado's defense remains leaky, a Devils team that ranked 28th with 2.20 goals per game last year lacks the offensive capabilities to capitalize on the Avalanche's mistakes. The 2013-14 Vezina finalist has proven capable of maintaining a high level of play over an extended period before, so expect him to excel in this favorable matchup.

GOALIE TO AVOID

Carey Price, MON at WAS ($36): Price is expected to be in the crease Saturday, but that doesn't mean he should be in fantasy lineups. While he was able to beat Buffalo 3-2 in a shootout Thursday, this talented Capitals lineup is a completely different monster coming off a 5-4 shootout win over the Eastern Conference finalist Senators.

CENTER

Nick Schmaltz, CHI vs. CLS ($15): Schmaltz found out first-hand how nice it is skating on a line with Patrick Kane, racking up two goals and an assist in the season opener against Pittsburgh. Repeating that effort will be tough against the defensively-proficient Blue Jackets, but it's possible Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky will be sitting out the second night of a back-to-back. Schmaltz's role makes him worth a $15 investment regardless of opponent, though.

CENTER TO AVOID

Ryan O'Reilly, BUF at NYI ($19): O'Reilly contributed minus-1.3 fantasy points in the opener against Montreal, so its best to leave him on the bench until he's able to get things going. Losing the first-line center gig to Jack Eichel could prove costly for O'Reilly, as Kyle Okposo and Benoit Pouliot represent a clear downgrade in linemate ability from Evander Kane and Jason Pominville.

WING

Max Domi, ARI vs. VGK ($16): At just 22 years of age, Domi's still growing his game. He scored with the extra man in Thursday's opener, matching last season's 59-game total of one power-play goal. Domi's averaged right around 0.5 even strength points per game in his career, so picking up his production on the power play could help the 2013 12th overall pick go from good to great. Facing a team whose starting goalie posted a 3.02 GAA and .909 save percentage last season doesn't hurt, either.

Ryan Hartman, CHI vs. CLS ($16): Hartman's in the same boat as his linemate Schmaltz, coming off a five-point season debut. That effort came against a tired Pittsburgh team playing on a second consecutive night, and he'll be in the same exact situation against the Blue Jackets.

WINGS TO AVOID

Alex DeBrincat, CHI vs. CLS ($17): A pair of DeBrincat's teammates have already been suggested, making the rookie obsolete given his higher price and lesser role. He's skating on the third line with Artem Anisimov and Patrick Sharp, which isn't a bad situation, but is far from the best Chicago's star-studded lineup has to offer.

Justin Williams, CAR vs. MIN ($20): It's tough to see Williams providing $20 worth of value consistently considering the offseason downgrade in team he experienced in going from Washington to Carolina. In addition to likely age-related decline at 36 years old, expect Williams' plus-29 rating from the last two seasons to be replaced with one closer to the minus-15 mark he posted over five years in his first stint with the 'Canes.

DEFENSE

Oscar Klefbom, EDM at VAN ($18): After establishing himself as the best offensive threat on Edmonton's blue line with 38 points last season, the 24-year-old Klefbom is primed for an even stronger campaign this year. He got off to a tremendous two-way start with a plus-3 rating and nine shots in the opener, and has a great opportunity to build on that effort against a subpar Canucks team.

Mark Giordano, CGY vs. WPG ($19): Giordano gives himself a high floor with large totals in shots and blocks, but his offensive ability is often overlooked. With 58 goals and 180 points in 288 games over the past four seasons, Giordano has often carried lineups to victory with outstanding performances. Don't be surprised to see such an effort here against a Jets team that allowed seven goals in its first game.

DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID

Jan Rutta, CHI vs. CLS ($31): One more Blackhawk sneaks into this article, as Rutta's price is so outrageous that he couldn't go unmentioned. The 27-year-old rookie doesn't play a major role and recorded just one assist in Chicago's 10-goal season-opening performance, so there's no reason he should cost more than every other defenseman except Brent Burns.

Ivan Provorov, PHI at ANH ($19): Provorov hasn't shown much in the way of offensive ability with no points and three shots through two games. His shot-blocking provides some value, but Provorov just doesn't have the upside you should be looking for in this price range.

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.