This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
Ten evening games comprise Saturday's main contests at Yahoo. It's also an extremely balanced slate with the Canadiens, Devils, Blues and Islanders the only notable favorites on the docket. The Sabres, Maple Leafs and Kings are also all playing the second leg of a back-to-back set, and all three of those teams are on the road. Here's a quick-hit look at a number of fades and recommendations to consider.
All statistics from Natural Stat Trick and Hockey Reference.
Scott Wedgewood, NJ vs. BUF ($20): Those looking for cap relief in net can take a flier on Wedgewood. He carries a minimum salary at the position, and as noted, faces the Sabres playing the second leg of a back-to-back set. Buffalo was held to a single goal against Boston on Friday, and the New Jersey defense corps received a significant offseason upgrade with the additions of Dougie Hamilton and Ryan Graves. Just note, Wedgewood sports an underwhelming .901 save percentage and 3.10 GAA through 41 career games.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Darcy Kuemper, COL at TB ($32): With 11 goals allowed on 100 shots through his first three starts of the campaign, Kuemper is a little risky in a road start against the reigning Stanley Cup Champions. Tampa Bay's offense has statistical correction coming, too. The Bolts have just 1.29 goals per 60 minutes and are shooting at a 4.2 percent clip at five-on-five.
Mathew Barzal, NYI at ARI ($17): While it's early, Arizona ranks 31st in goals against per 60 minutes at five-on-five, but it wouldn't surprise if the Coyotes remained among the league's worst defensive teams for the duration of the season. Barzal enters with a respectable two goals, 15 shots and 26 attempts though four outings, and his salary doesn't align with his upside or role as New York's top offensive center in all situations.
CENTER TO AVOID
Auston Matthews, TOR at PIT ($34): In a deep player pool, it's hard to justify spending up for Matthews based on his start to the season. He's playing the second leg of a back-to-back set with travel as a factor to boot, and while the superstar has registered an impressive 11 shots and 20 attempts through just two games, only three of those registered as high-danger scoring chances. Admittedly, this fade call needs the disclaimer that Matthews also boasts contest-winning upside.
Brendan Gallagher, MON vs. DET ($12): This is Gallagher's 10th season with Montreal, and the 29-year-old veteran paces the club in shot attempts (24) and ranks second in individual high-danger scoring chances (eight). However, he hasn't found the scoresheet through the first five games of the campaign. Statistical correction is ahead, and Montreal should be a desperate club looking to avoid an 0-6 start after reaching the Stanley Cup Finals last spring. Expect Gallagher to show up Saturday.
Wayne Simmonds, TOR at PIT ($10): A minimum-salary consideration, Simmonds ranks second on the Maple Leafs in individual high-danger scoring chances and has recorded four shots in consecutive games. He's a candidate to climb the depth chart and receive more playing time moving forward. Pittsburgh has probably punched above its weight class to start the season considering how many regulars are out with injuries, too.
WINGS TO AVOID
Jonathan Huberdeau, FLA at PHI ($28): It's been a solid start for the 28-year-old winger with three assists through four games, but Huberdeau's lack of consistent secondary statistics hinder his upside in daily contests. He's only reached double-digit fantasy points once this season and has just five shots, 11 attempts and a single individual high-danger scoring chance.
Jake Guentzel, PIT vs. TOR ($26): The Penguins are without both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, and Guentzel recorded an underwhelming 1.8 goals per 60 minutes at five-on-five over the past three years when playing without Crosby or Malkin. Add that Toronto starter Jack Campbell boasts an elite .923 save percentage and 2.14 GAA through 32 starts as a Maple Leaf, and Guentzel is tough to roster at his salary.
Tony DeAngelo, CAR at CLS ($16): Carolina is utilizing DeAngelo in a purely offensive role with 72.7 percent of his five-on-five shifts beginning in the opposition's zone and an average of 3:48 of power-play time through three games. He's rewarded the team with three assists and seven shots, and DeAngelo's salary still doesn't match his upside.
Quinn Hughes, VAN at SEA ($14): Consider this salary an algorithm error and pounce. It could be argued Hughes has a low floor in this scoring system because of his plus-minus risk, but the 22-year-old blueliner ranks fourth in points among defensemen dating back to the 2019-20 campaign and is logging career-high minutes: 26:16 overall and 4:31 with the man advantage.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Victor Hedman, TB vs. COL ($24): Deployed against the opposition's best players more often than not, Hedman has a tough on-ice matchup ahead against Colorado's No. 1 line. Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog have driven possession with a 58.3 Corsi For percentage over the past three years, after all.
Jaccob Slavin, CAR at CLS ($19): The 27-year-old defenseman's salary is probably too steep in a deep player pool. He's not projected to receive significant power-play time and hasn't registered a shot on goal in consecutive games. Additionally, after recording a rock-solid 194 blocks through 120 games over the past two seasons, Slavin has a single tick in the column through three contests this year.