FanDuel NHL: Saturday Targets

FanDuel NHL: Saturday Targets

This article is part of our FanDuel NHL series.

Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving, and the NHL helped out those who wanted to just chill on the couch and digest all that turkey Friday with 13 games. There are nine today, so I'll be looking at the full state with the earliest contest starting at 6 p.m. ET. Even if you are get locked into watching Ohio State versus Michigan earlier, you'll still have the time to get a lineup in.

SLATE PREVIEW

With so many games Friday, needless to say today is packed with teams that are on back-to-backs. This includes four teams on the road both days: Montreal, Ottawa, Seattle, and Winnipeg. The Senators and Kraken carry two of the NHL's highest GAAs, so you know those matchups are enticing. The Panthers played in Washington yesterday so their advantage is muted a bit, but the Kings have had a couple of rest days heading into hosting the Senators.

GOALIES

Casey DeSmith, PIT vs. MON ($8,200): DeSmith's .856 save percentage is truly woeful, but he's only made three starts this season. That's not a reliable sample size, and has career mark before this year is .916. DeSmith will almost assuredly play better, and this is an opportunity for him to do so. The Canadiens are 29th in goals per game and will also be on the road to finish off consecutive outings.

Alex Nedeljkovic, DET vs. BUF ($8,000): People who were skeptical about Nedeljkovic's .932 save percentage last season being a fluke were probably feeling justified after "Ned" allowed seven goals in Detroit's opener. Since then, he's posted a .926 over 12 games. Facing the Sabres when they're on the road for the second night of a back-to-back is surely easier than facing a full-strength Lightning team. And Buffalo ranks in the bottom-10 in average shots on net.

Jacob Markstrom, CGY vs. WPG ($7,900): This is a bet on how well Markstrom has played this year and the fact the Jets will be away for their second matchup in as many nights. Winnipeg has been decent offensively hovering right around the middle of the league in goals per contest, but on the road for a back-to-back isn't easy. It's also been nearly impossible to score on Markstrom this season, as he's produced a 1.73 GAA and .940 save percentage.

VALUE PLAYS

Sam Bennett, FLA vs. SEA ($6,100): Not having Aleksander Barkov is decidedly bad news for the Panthers. However, it's given Bennett a chance to rise to the challenge of being a first-line center. Since returning from a four-game absence, he's recorded five points and 30 shots across eight games. Florida will likely be seeing a familiar face in Chris Driedger, who's managed a .791 save percentage during his brief Kraken career.

Tyler Bertuzzi, DET vs. BUF ($5,000): Bertuzzi has racked up 18 points, though his four-goal performance in the season opener is boosting that total. Hey, those goals count, even if odds are he'll never score four on four shots again during his career. It's not like Bertuzzi is a slouch, considering he posted 47 and 48 points the previous two campaigns. "Bert" will likely be facing Buffalo's third-string goalie Aaron Dell, who enters with a 4.57 GAA and .862 save percentage.

Ivan Barbashev, STL vs. CLM ($4,000): Line shuffling has recently moved Barbashev up to St. Louis' top line alongside Ryan O'Reilly and David Perron. If he stays there, it bodes well for the winger, who's already accumulated 11 points. It also helps that Columbus is on the second night of a back-to-back and played Elvis Merzlikins in net yesterday. That probably means the Blues will face Joonas Korpisalo with his 3.63 GAA and .894 save percentage.

LINE STACKS TO CONSIDER

Kings vs. Senators: Anze Kopitar ($7,800), Viktor Arvidsson ($5,500), Adrian Kempe ($4,600)

There is no situation better than the one the Kings have today. They are rested, while the Senators are on the road for the second leg of a back-to-back. Ottawa comes in with the league's highest GAA and sits in the bottom-10 in both shots on net allowed and penalty-kill percentage. It doesn't get much easier than this, and the Kings' top line could reap the benefits.

Kopitar produced 50 points last season - including 23 on the power play - and already has 18 points with seven while up a man. Arvidsson missed time due to COVID-19 protocol, but still directed 17 shots on goal since returning while tallying two points in his first appearance back in the lineup. Kempe has recorded 12 points and has managed double-digit PPPs in each of the last two campaigns.

Flames vs. Jets: Elias Lindholm ($7,600), Johnny Gaudreau ($7,500), Matthew Tkachuk ($7,000)

The Jets may not seem like an obvious matchup on the surface, as they're in the top-8 in GAA. However, they're also bottom-5 on the penalty kill. Winnipeg is also on the road for the second straight night. I'm skeptical Eric Comrie can keep posting a .920 save percentage considering his career mark is .873 and that happened in nine outings spread over five seasons. Clearly, no NHL team has ever wanted to give him an extended chance. All three of the forwards mentioned play on Calgary's top power-play unit, which is why I am going with this line.

Lindholm's riding a six-game point streak to give him 22 overall, including eight with the extra man. Gaudreau has his own a five-game point streak and has been attacking with gusto with 28 shots on goal during the scoring stretch. Tkachuk boasts a symmetrical nine goals and nine assists, and that includes eight PPPs.

DEFENSE

Kris Letang, PIT vs. MON ($6,000): Letang has been banged up, experienced bad puck luck, and hasn't gotten it going on the power play. In spite of all that, he's still at 11 points across 16 games. He even managed 15 PPPs last season, so his production should pick up. The Canadiens rank bottom-5 in both GAA and penalty-kill percentage, so this matchup could be just what Letang needs.

Justin Faulk, STL vs. CLM ($4,300): Faulk has started 64.9 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, third most on the Blues. That's helped him to eight points and 54 shots on goal, but he's still active on the defensive end with 26 blocked shots. As I mentioned earlier, Joonas Korpisalo and his .894 save percentage will likely be in net for Columbus.

Matt Roy, LOS vs. OTT ($3,500): Even though Roy has only notched four points, I'm willing to take a shot on him as he's recorded 50 shots on goal and is averaging 2:08 on the power play. And since Drew Doughty got hurt, Roy's seen his man-advantage minutes increase. He may not be a scorer, but this is the kind of matchup that produces points.

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.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Morgan
Chris Morgan is a writer of sports, pop culture, and humor articles, a book author, a podcaster, and a fan of all Detroit sports teams.
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