This article is part of our FanDuel NHL series.
Weirdly, there were no NHL games Friday. Fortunately, Saturday makes up for that. Though the five games starting before 7:00 PM ET aren't included in FanDuel's main daily fantasy contests, you still have nine games worth of players from which to choose. Here are my recommendations.
Semyon Varlamov, COL vs. CGY ($7,900): Varlamov is off to as good of a start as you could hope for, with three wins in three starts in addition to a 1.33 GAA and .955 save percentage. That's a small sample size, but he impressed with a .920 save percentage last year. The Flames, on the other hand, only scored 2.63 goals per game last season, which ranked 27th in the NHL.
Aleksander Barkov, FLA vs. VAN ($7,000): Barkov stayed healthy last season and had the breakout campaign we've been waiting for. He averaged more than 22 minutes per game – a lot for a forward – and notched 78 points, including 17 on the power play. The Canucks struggled with a 3.16 GAA last season, and Jacob Markstrom managed a .912 save percentage.
Brayden Schenn, STL at CHI ($6,300): Schenn was a power-play maven with the Flyers, and he carried that over to the Blues last year. He posted 19 points with the extra man, but was better at even strength than in the past as his 70 points will attest. Since Corey Crawford is on injured reserve, Cam Ward has been starting for the Blackhawks and hasn't looked good with a 4.41 GAA and .867 save percentage in four games.
Brock Boeser, VAN at FLA ($6,100): Boeser started 62.5 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone last season, the most of any Canuck who wasn't a Sedin. The Sedins are now gone, and Boeser leads the team by starting 63.6 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone. Roberto Luongo is hurt, which means James Reimer and his 2.99 GAA and .913 save percentage from last year is likely to start. Those numbers bode well for Vancouver's young sniper.
Jonathan Drouin, MON vs. PIT ($5,400): Drouin, like Boeser, received favorable starting position most of last season. He began 57.8 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, most of any Canadien remaining with the club. Last season, the Penguins had a 3.37 GAA on the road, and their top goalie Matt Murray is currently dealing with an injury.
Craig Smith, NAS vs. NYI ($5,200): Smith started 60.8 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone last season, third most on the Predators, and it paid off to the tune of 25 goals on 229 shots. He only has potted one goal so far, but the 17 shots he's put on net through four games is encouraging. Meanwhile, the Islanders allowed 35.6 shots on goal per contest last year, most in the NHL.
Keith Yandle, FLA vs. VAN ($5,400): In his two seasons with the Panthers, Yandle has averaged more than three minutes per game on the power play, and he's notched 18 power-play points in both of those campaigns. The Canucks ranked 21st in penalty-kill percentage, which bodes well for Yandle. Another thing that could work in his favor? The .883 save percentage Jacob Markstrom has posted to start the season.
Colton Parayko, STL at CHI ($4,600): Parayko tallied six goals and 35 points last season, and he also managed 212 shots on net. That means he had a 2.8 shooting percentage, which appears fairly easy to improve upon. The Blackhawks gave up 32.9 shots on net per game last year and, as already noted, Corey Crawford is out. That leaves Cam Ward minding the store, and he hasn't had a save percentage above .910 in any of his last seven seasons.