Invest in Jackets, Leafs for Daily Fantasy Saturday (plus NBA picks)
There are 10 games in the National Hockey League Saturday, Jan. 25, with seven games after 7pm ET. The Boston-Philadelphia (1:00pm ET) is nationally televised on NHL Network, and the Anaheim-Los Angeles (9:30pm ET) game is nationally televised on NBC Sports Network. The Washington-Montreal (7:00pm ET) and Toronto-Winnipeg (7:00pm ET) games are nationally televised on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada.
For Daily Fantasy purposes, we'll focus on the evening games starting at 7pm ET.
(DraftKings.com salaries in parentheses) (*** Scroll down for NBA Daily Fantasy selections ***)
SO YOU WANT A BIG TICKET ITEM?
Phil Kessel, RW, Toronto ($8500 at WPG): Kessel was blanked last time out in Dallas, and he had an abysmal minus-4 rating with negative Fantasy points. That was a stark contrast to his prior seven games, when he had at least 4.2 Fantasy points in each outing. Despite that ugly stat line Thursday, Kessel has six goals with 14 points over his past eight games, and he has squeezed off 27 shots on goal (SOG) during the stretch.
James Neal, RW, Pittsburgh ($10000 at DAL): It seems so long ago now, but Neal actually played his first three seasons in the NHL with the Dallas Stars. Neal has posted six goals with 14 points and a plus-7 rating over his past 10 games, and he is averaging 4.2 SOG per game during the span.
If you spend big up top, you're going to need some fillers to bring down your average per player salary. Check out these steals from the bargain bin:
Darcy Kuemper, G, Minnesota ($6300 at SJ): I keep expecting the bottom to fall out on Kuemper, but he keeps producing strong results against some very good teams. He turned aside 33 of the 34 shots he faced against Chicago Thursday, winning for the fifth time in seven outings. It's hard to believe Kuemper won't start in San Jose Saturday.
James van Riemsdyk, LW, Toronto ($6700 at WPG): Van Riemsdyk should be a tremendous value at a shallow position Saturday. He has give goals with nine points over his past 10 games, but had a disastrous scoreless outing with a minus-3 and just one SOG Thursday in Dallas. Rarely has he had any stinkers lately, and he has three power-play markers over the past nine with 41 SOG during the span. He'll be back to his freewheeling ways Saturday, and expect him to return to the scoresheet in some fashion.
Troy Brouwer, RW, Washington ($3900 at MON): Brouwer saw time on the team's top scoring line Friday with RW Alex Ovechkin ($10900) (groin) sidelined for a second straight game. It's hard to believe if Ovie could not play Friday, that he would bounce back for a road game Saturday. That means Brouwer should have some solid value as a top-six forward at a very nice price.
Jack Johnson, D, Columbus ($3900 vs BUF): Johnson has been on a tear lately, and with a favorable matchup on tap, he is worth every penny. Johnson has a goal with six assists, 17 SOG and a plus-6 rating over the past six games.
James Wisniewski, D, Columbus ($4400 vs BUF): The Blue Jackets are heavy favorites to win against the Sabres Saturday, and a big reason for their recent run of success is Wisniewski. He carries a six-game points streak into play, and he has two goals and 11 points with a plus-2 rating over his past 10 games.
OTHER NEWS AND NOTES
St. Louis Blues W Alexander Steen (lower-body injury) is back on the shelf, and he is unlikely to play Saturday at N.Y. Islanders in an early-afternoon game. ... In other early-game action, the Carolina Hurricanes turn to G Anton Khudobin for his 11th start in 25 games. He'll face the Ottawa Senators, a team that is 1-10 in their past 11 trips to Raleigh. ... The Toronto Maple Leafs will turn back to G James Reimer ($8700) for Saturday's game in Winnipeg. Both he and G Jonathan Bernier ($8900) were peppered for a combined seven goals last time out in Dallas Thursday.
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