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Yahoo DFS Hockey: Saturday Picks

Sasha Yodashkin

Sasha Yodashkin writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

Saturday's 12-game NHL slate begins at 12:30 PM Eastern time. There's plenty of selection available, but savvy owners can still find value if they know where to look.

GOALIE

Cam Talbot, EDM at PHI ($29): This is s tremendous buy-low opportunity on Talbot, who seems to be rounding into form after stopping his last 30 shots faced in Thursday's 2-1 win over Chicago. With a career 2.34 GAA and .922 save percentage and one of the league's most talented lineups in front of him, Talbot should be able to handle a Flyers team that's been shut out twice in its first eight games. His price will likely be back in the mid-$30s soon, so grab last year's 42-game winner at this price while you still can.

GOALIE TO AVOID

Braden Holtby, WAS vs. FLA ($37): The Panthers have been tremendous offensively heading into their weekend back-to-back set, generating 3.3 goals on a whopping 40.3 shots per game. Holtby's capable of handling this dangerous unit, but the slight downtick in his expected value due to this tough matchup is enough to make the netminder a poor value at $37 in a slate with no shortage of alternatives.

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CENTER

Clayton Keller, ARI vs. CHI ($18): Rating downside is part and parcel of picking Coyotes players, and Keller's minus-6 mark shows that he's not exempt from that reality in this matchup with the Blackhawks. His tremendous scoring ability makes Keller worth a look nonetheless, as he comes in with a pair of home two-goal efforts under his belt and five goals in seven games overall. Chicago's won only two of its past six games, so there's more opportunity here than initially meets the eye.

CENTER TO AVOID

Brock Nelson, NYI vs. SJ ($18): Nelson's fluky hot start has driven his price up, but don't expect his scoring success to last. The career 12.4 percent shooter has a rate more than double that with four goals on 16 shots this season, and Nelson's average ice time of 13:41 per game suggests he's unlikely to start generating opportunities at a higher rate.

WING

Kevin Labanc, SJ at NYI ($13): Labanc continues to be underpriced relative to his role. Skating on the first line with Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton has resulted in plenty of offensive opportunities for the Brooklyn native, who's capitalized on those chances with three goals and two assists. Expect another strong performance from the affordable forward in this homecoming.

Chris Stewart, MIN at CGY ($15): Stewart has opened the season on a five-game point streak, piling up five goals and two assists in that stretch. It's no coincidence that his ice time rose to over 16 minutes per contest in the last three games after sitting under 11 minutes in the first two, as his early contributions have not gone unnoticed by coach Bruce Boudreau. The former 28-goal scorer looks to be at the start of a renaissance campaign, so don't be surprised to see his price continue to climb in the near future.

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WINGS TO AVOID

Chris Kreider, NYR vs. NSH ($20): Kreider's mirrored his team's slow start with one of his own, failing to score a goal while dishing out only three helpers in eight games. Turning things around won't be easy against stellar goaltender Pekka Rinne, who has allowed just four goals in his past four starts.

Cam Atkinson, CLS vs. LA ($24): Atkinson will have a hard time living up to his hefty price against a Kings team that's surrendering a league-low 1.67 goals per game. If you insist on being contrarian and using a highly-priced Blue Jackets winger in this one, it makes sense to pay an extra $1 for Artemi Panarin, who has eight points and a plus-5 rating to Atkinson's three points and plus-3.

DEFENSE

Alex Pietrangelo, STL at VGK ($24): Pietrangelo excelled after being handed a greater offensive burden following Kevin Shattenkirk's departure at last season's trade deadline, and has carried that momentum into the new campaign with two goals and 10 points in eight games. Only three of those points have come with the extra man, but the first-unit point man will have an opportunity to add to that total against a Golden Knights team's killing off penalties at a 78.9 percent clip thus far. With an average ice time of 26:34 per game, over four shots on goal per contest and a plus-4 rating, Pietrangelo is also capable of providing value without getting on the scoresheet.

Brad Hunt, VGK vs. STL ($14): Hunt had to wait for his opportunity in Vegas' deep defense corps, but he's excelled since being inserted into the lineup for the team's last two games. In 18:59 of ice time per contest, he's managed a power-play assist, four shots, three blocks and a plus-2 rating. That helper gave Hunt seven points in 14 games since the start of last season, so he's got more offensive potential than your typical $14 blueliner.

DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID

Robert Hagg, PHI vs. EDM ($15): Hagg and offense don't belong in the same sentence, as he has just one assist without a goal on a measly nine shots in seven games. His nine blocks are also nothing to write home about, and Hagg's plus-5 rating is in danger of taking a serious hit against the explosive Edmonton offense.

Brett Pesce, CAR at DAL ($17): Pesce's another defenseman that lacks the scoring upside necessary to receive DFS consideration at his price. He's yet to score a point this season or more than 20 in a single campaign, and will draw the unenviable assignment of attempting to contain Dallas' highly skilled top line as a member of Carolina's top defensive pairing.

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.