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Yahoo DFS Hockey: Saturday Picks

Sasha Yodashkin

Sasha Yodashkin writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

Saturday's NHL slate features three games beginning at 3:00 PM Eastern time. We've already seen all of these opponents clash with each other four times, but savvy fantasy owners should still be able to sniff out the top value plays. The recommendations below highlight which players to target and which ones to avoid.

GOALIE

Braden Holtby, WAS vs. CLS ($35): Holtby has turned this series on its head with road wins in the past two games, and it wouldn't be surprising to see his first home start of the series coincide with the first home win between these two teams. The 2016 Vezina Trophy winner was excellent at Capital One Arena during the regular season, posting a 22-7-2 record, 2.41 GAA and .921 save percentage.

GOALIE TO AVOID

Frederik Andersen, TOR at BOS ($25): Andersen did manage to earn a home win in this series, but he looked completely overmatched in Boston with eight goals allowed on 45 shots in less than four periods of work. Given the Bruins' 30-8-5 home record including playoffs this season, Andersen's a long shot to keep his season alive here.

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CENTER

Riley Nash, BOS vs. TOR ($13): Nash failed to take advantage of the opportunity, but he filled in for Patrice Bergeron (upper body) on the top line in Game 4. That spot between elite wingers Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak represents an ideal fantasy situation, especially for a player that costs just $13. Even if Bergeron ends up getting back in there, Nash's career-high 15 goals and 41 points in 76 regular-season games suggest he could easily still provide strong value at his price.

CENTER TO AVOID

Ryan Donato, BOS vs. TOR ($17): Donato failed to crack the lineup even with Bergeron out for Game 4, and he's been limited to just 9:24 of ice time in this series. Even if coach Bruce Cassidy calls his number for this contest, Donato's role won't be large enough to justify a $17 investment.

WING

Nikita Kucherov, TB vs. NJ ($33): Many would consider Kucherov lucky to have avoided a suspension for a high check that injured Sami Vatanen in Game 4, but since he has, owners need to make sure to get the talented Russian in their lineups. New Jersey's had no answer for Kucherov in this series, as evidenced by his four goals and nine points through four games. Kucherov's path to production would get even easier if Vatanen's unable to suit up.

Tom Wilson, WAS vs. CLS ($16): Wilson hasn't looked out of place at all on the top line over the past two games, potting a goal in each while also adding a helper and 13 shots between the contests. Those who can afford his linemate Alex Ovechkin at $35 should obviously spring for the Russian superstar, but Wilson's not a bad consolation prize at less than half the price.

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WINGS TO AVOID

Cam Atkinson, CLS at WAS ($25): Atkinson's cracked double-digit fantasy points just once in this series and only scored 20 points in 30 regular-season road games. If you're looking for a Blue Jackets winger in this price range, it makes more sense to pay up for $28 alternative Artemi Panarin, who had a streak of eight consecutive double-digit fantasy point performances ended in Game 4 and recorded 46 points in 40 road appearances during the season.

Ondrej Palat, TB vs. NJ ($18): Palat created plenty of buzz with a three-point effort in Game 1, but he's recorded only one assist in three games since and has totalled just five shots on goal in this series while averaging a mere 15:14 of ice time per game. Given how explosive the rest of Tampa Bay's offense has looked, the value just isn't there at $18 relative to Palat's teammates.

DEFENSE

Torey Krug, BOS vs. TOR ($22): Krug only totalled one point during the two games in Toronto, but he was an absolute monster at home in Games 1 and 2, registering five assists in a pair of convincing victories. Boston's biggest offensive threat from the blue line is primed to once again carve up this Atlantic Division rival as the Bruins look to close things out in Game 5. Toronto's Andersen has basically handed the series away with a 4.13 GAA and an .880 save percentage up to this point.

Will Butcher, NJ at TB ($16): This could be the final game of Butcher's fine rookie campaign, so don't miss out on one last chance to lock in the offensively minded blueliner. After a 44-point regular season that featured 23 power-play points, he's racked up three more points with the extra man in this series. Tampa Bay's weakness is a penalty kill that finished the season fourth-worst at 76.1 percent, and Butcher's primed to keep exploiting that weakness for at least one more game.

DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID

Jake Gardiner, TOR at BOS ($16): Gardiner's been a complete non-factor in this series, totalling zero points and 7.1 fantasy points through four games. Given what we've seen from these teams so far, that ineffectiveness is likely to persist in Game 5.

Matt Niskanen, WAS vs. CLS ($15): Niskanen's solid, but solid doesn't win fantasy contests. Plenty of defensemen in this price range carry more appeal than a guy who has just two assists in his past 10 games and is averaging only 4.1 fantasy points per game during that stretch.

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.