All but four NHL teams will be in action Saturday, but the vast amount of early action leaves just seven games eligible for the evening slate. Thatís still more than enough selection to satisfy many of the strategies used in crafting winning daily lineups. Rangers and Penguins players will both be popular against the lowly Avalanche and Coyotes, respectively, but they arenít the only ones making up the nightís top value plays.[Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Hockey contest now]
Henrik Lundqvist, NYR vs. COL ($32): With seven of the eight goalies priced below him facing top-10 offenses, Lundqvist stands out as an extraordinary value against an Avalanche team that has a mustered a league-low 2.04 goals per game. The Swedish star would be a strong play at $32 even against a tough opponent given that he has won four straight and seven of his past nine.
Goalie to Avoid
Frederik Andersen, TOR vs. BUF ($34): Three of Andersenís past five starts have yielded 3.0 or fewer fantasy points, so it will be tough to trust him despite the plus matchup with a Sabres offense that ranks 24th in the league. Given the superior resumes and matchups of the two goaltenders priced directly below him (Matt Murray and Henrik Lundqvist), itís tough to justify picking the struggling Andersen over either.
Kevin Hayes, NYR vs. COL ($15):
Hayes is still priced with the post-injury discount despite registering four assists in two games since returning from a lower-body ailment. His 13 goals, 39 points and plus-22 rating in 49 appearances show the third-year forward has easily outplayed his $15 valuation and is primed to continue doing so while centering J.T. Miller
and Michael Grabner
on an offensive-minded line. Hayes represents the best deal on a Rangers squad that shouldnít have a problem piling up points against an overmatched Avalanche team that has surrendered a league-high 3.35 goals per game.
Center to Avoid
Lars Eller, WAS vs. ANH ($17):
Eller has turned things on offensively of late, but heís still playing in a third-line role with no power-play time. That lack of offensive opportunities is going to catch up with him soon, and this matchup against a Ducks team that has allowed just 2.48 goals per game doesnít help Ellerís case.
Jonathan Drouin, TB at WPG ($19):
Drouin has skated north of 17 minutes in 10 of the past 11 games, and he will continue to be looked at as a primary source of offense from the second line and top power-play unit for the injury-riddled Lightning. The 21-year-old forwardís minus-5 rating is tolerable given his perceived shortcomings in the defensive zone, while the offensive upside brought by his combination of role and skill is monstrous against a Jets team playing the second night of a back-to-back. Winnipeg is one of just four teams allowing over three goals per game, and Drouin is well-positioned to exploit that lack of defense without burning a hole through your wallet.
Kenny Agostino, STL at MON ($16):
Canadiens goaltender Carey Price
has allowed 11 goals on 70 shots for an .843 save percentage over his past three starts despite facing the leagueís two worst offenses in that span, and Agostino is well-positioned to keep those struggles going. The 24-year-old was leading the AHL in scoring before getting called up, and he has fared quite well in three NHL appearances with a goal, an assist and 12 shots.
Wings to Avoid
Brian Gionta, BUF at TOR ($16):
Buffaloís diminutive captain is skating on the third line and has just four power-play points. His 0.5 point per game rate is respectable for a 38-year-old, but thereís little else thatís appealing in Giontaís portfolio given that he also owns a minus-3 rating and has taken fewer than two shots on goal per game. Even if you think Andersenís struggles in net will continue, this isnít the guy to try to take advantage.
Jaden Schwartz, STL at MON($17):
Since Dec. 22, Schwartz has just one goal in 21 games and is averaging 4.2 fantasy points per game. Thereís little to no justification to using him Saturday, as there are multiple more productive Blues wingers available for a lower price.
Trevor Daley, PIT at ARI ($16):
Daley is the perfect choice for those who want to take advantage of Pittsburghís terrific matchup without ponying up the money for Kris Letang
($26) or Justin Schultz
($24). He ranks second on the team to Letang in ice time, and has shown decent offensive upside with 18 points in 48 games. Maximizing exposure against weak opponents like the Coyotes is often a winning strategy, and using Daley is the most cost-effective way to do so.
Morgan Rielly, TOR vs. BUF ($13):
Riellyís offensive ability has flown under the radar all season. Heís just four points behind Jake Gardiner
for the team lead among defensemen despite playing six fewer games and posting a terribly unlucky 2.0 percent shooting rate. Plus, Reilly leads all Toronto blueliners with 100 shots despite that missed time. His offensive upside separates Reilly from the pack, so itís no surprise that his 5.3 fantasy points per game are tied with Montrealís Nathan Beaulieu
for most among defensemen cheaper than $15.
Defensemen to Avoid
Cam Fowler, ANH at WAS ($19):
Fowler is having a tremendous all-around campaign that has justified his position as the most expensive member of Anaheimís blueline. Against Washington, though, that high price means Fowler owners just have more to lose. The Capitals have been steamrolling opponents of late and have scored the third-most goals per game while allowing the fewest.
Michael Stone, ARI vs. PIT ($18):
Itís unclear how Stone got to be priced at $18 given his nine points and minus-6 rating through 40 appearances. He offers no real upside, and using him against the Stanley Cup champs is just asking for trouble.
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.