Yahoo Plays and Strategy for Saturday, October 29
It’s Halloween weekend, but don’t be afraid of setting your DFS lineups. Saturday night there are nine games on the docket starting at 7 p.m. EDT or later. Here are some players to target, and to avoid, for your DFS squads. Let’s get to it!
Jordan Binnington, STL vs. MON ($38: Binnington is giving people flashbacks to his rookie campaign. Through four starts he has an 1.74 GAA and .936 save percentage. The Canadiens are 29th in goals per game since the start of last season, and the roster is looking a little worse this year as they work in a lot of young, inexperienced players.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Jacob Markstrom, CGY vs. EDM ($32): What does the Battle of Alberta feature? How about two of the 10 best offenses in the NHL? Since the start of last season, these two teams are sixth and seven in goals scored, and the Oilers are powered by Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. While Markstrom has a 2.49 GAA, he also has a .907 save percentage through five outings.
John Tavares, TOR at LOS ($26): Tavares is a point-per-game player who just happens to be the second-best center on his own team thanks to the presence of Auston Matthews. It doesn’t keep the former Islander in check at all, and he has nine points through eight games this season. Last season, stout defense allowed Jonathan Quick to post a 2.59 GAA in spite of a .910 save percentage. Well this year his save percentage is down to .878, and his GAA has ballooned to 3.81.
CENTER TO AVOID
Sebastian Aho, CAR at PHI ($26) Aho is a reliable player, but with his level of reliability comes a high salary. You have a lot of options Saturday night, and you can find better ways to allot your cash. Why? Well, the Hurricanes are on the road for the second leg of a back-to-back. Not only that, but Carter Hart is enjoying a comeback season under John Tortorella. Through five starts he has a 2.00 GAA and .947 save percentage.
Jeff Skinner, BUF vs. CHI ($17): Skinner just potted his first goal of the season, but more will arrive. His 5.9 percent shooting will surely rise, even if Skinner is a guy who tends to have a relatively low mark in that category. Chicago allows a lot of shots, as Alex Stalock has faced over 30 pucks in all four of his starts. This season he has a .913 save percentage, but also a 3.00 GAA.
Jared McCann, SEA vs. PIT ($17): The most prolific goal scorer in Kraken history (hey, technically it’s true) will face his former team Saturday. McCann is on a four-game point streak and the Kraken are catching the Penguins on the road for the second leg of a back-to-back. Casey DeSmith is one of the best backup goalies out there, but it’s not easy being the guy who has to regularly see action finishing off back-to-backs, and over the last two seasons he has a 2.85 GAA.
WINGS TO AVOID
Mikko Rantanen, COL at NYI ($33): Both of these teams are on the second leg of a back-to-back, but the Avalanche are the ones who are far from home. Additionally, Semyon Varlamov has a .918 save percentage since joining the Islanders and is, like DeSmith, in the running for the Best Backup Goalie Award, if there were such a thing. Rantanen puts up big numbers, but he is also quite power-play dependent. The Islanders, meanwhile, have the third-ranked penalty kill since the start of last year.
Cole Caufield, MON at STL ($19): Caufield’s goal scoring is the future of the Habs, but his 17.9 percent shooting is the highest of his brief career and seems unsustainable. Five goals in eight games is impressive, but what is also impressive is Binnington’s play thus far. As I noted, he has an 1.74 GAA and .936 save percentage.
Rasmus Andersson, CGY vs. EDM ($17): The Swedish defenseman has no interest in playing second fiddle to the newly acquired MacKenzie Weegar. Andersson has seven points, including four with the extra man. Desperate for stability in net, the Oilers have turned to Jack Campbell. He’s paid back their faith with a 3.88 GAA and .888 save percentage.
Filip Hronek, DET vs. MIN ($14): With Moritz Seider off to a slow start, Hronek has picked up the slack. He has five assists, including three on the power play where he mans the point on the first unit. Marc-Andre Fleury‘s last two starts have gone well, but since the start of last season he has a .906 save percentage.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Drew Doughty, LOS vs. TOR ($17): Doughty has averaged 4:03 per game on the power play, and he has notched three of his four points on that front. However, since the start of last season the Maple Leafs have the ninth-ranked penalty kill. Yes, the goaltending is different this year, but Ilya Samsonov has a 2.01 GAA and .932 save percentage.
Jaccob Slavin, CAR at PHI ($17): Following up a 42-point campaign, Slavin has two points through six games this season. With Brent Burns around, Slavin has gone back to not playing on the power play much at all, as he’s yet to play even 30 seconds with the extra man in a given game. The Hurricanes are on the road for the second leg of a back-to-back, and even though the Flyers were bad on the penalty kill last year, that’s no longer a factor for Slavin.