Saturday's all-day NHL slate beginning at 1:00 PM Eastern time is a busy one, with 11 games on tap. There's no shortage of options for selection, but savvy owners should be able to pinpoint the best value plays in this slate. Below are some players to target, as well as those to avoid.
Jonathan Quick, LA at BUF ($25): There's no team a struggling goalie would rather see on the schedule than Buffalo, as the Sabres are scoring a league-low 2.40 goals per game while allowing 3.28. Quick has just two wins in his last 12 appearances, but the defensive corps in front of him received a boost with the recent acquisition of Dion Phaneuf from Ottawa. Additionally, the star netminder still sports a 2.53 GAA and .920 save percentage, which are both top-17 marks in the league. At just $25, Quick's a low-risk, high-reward pick against this opposition.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Roberto Luongo, FLA at CGY ($34): Luongo's expected to make his first start since Dec. 4, but that doesn't mean owners should be in a rush to get him back into lineups. The 38-year-old veteran had a 2.61 GAA prior to going down, and any rust from the long layoff could lead to disastrous results against a Flames offense that's come up short of three goals only once in the past eight games.
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Brayden Point, TB vs. NJ ($20): Point's home/road splits make him a viable daily candidate against almost any opponent at Amalie Arena. While he has just seven goals, 21 points and a plus-3 rating in 32 away games, Point's produced an eye-popping 13 goals, 28 points and plus-17 rating in just 26 home appearances. Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid has allowed at least three goals in seven of his last 10 starts, so he's unlikely to keep Point off the scoresheet.
CENTER TO AVOID
Sam Reinhart, BUF vs. LA ($18): Reinhart's average of 4.6 fantasy points per game is second lowest among healthy centers priced above $15, beating out only a $17 Frans Nielsen (4.4). Considering his reliance on the extra man (13 of 29 points on the power play) and minus-13 rating, Reinhart comes with plenty of risk and little upside in this matchup against a Kings club that allows the second-fewest goals (2.51) while ranking fifth on the penalty kill (83.2 percent).
Craig Smith, NSH vs. DET ($17): Smith's putting together a well-rounded campaign with 16 goals and 16 assists, but he's especially dangerous against poor penalty killing units, as his seven power-play goals are second to expensive teammate Filip Forsberg's 10 among Predators. Detroit allows the ninth-most goals per game (3.02) and has been even more exploitable on the penalty kill with the league's sixth-lowest mark (77.5 percent), so Smith's a sneaky-strong play at his middling price.
Pavel Buchnevich, NYR at OTT ($16): Buchnevich is slated to return from a concussion that's kept him out since Feb. 1, and should immediately resume his role on the second line and No. 2 power-play unit for a Rangers team that's missed the skilled Russian's scoring touch. The injury has brought his price down a bit, but Buchnevich was on fire prior to going down with six points in the previous six games. Look for him to pick up where he left off against a Senators team that's surrendering the second-most goals per game (3.41).
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WINGS TO AVOID
Phil Kessel, PIT vs. TOR ($30): Kessel's struggled against this tier of opponent recently, as he's been held below 7.0 fantasy points in nine of the last 12 games. Toronto's set up to exploit Kessel's minus-4 rating while limiting the power-play production that's accounted for half of his 66 points, as the Maple Leafs ranks fifth offensively (3.27 goals per game) and fourth on the penalty kill (83.2 percent).
Max Pacioretty, MON at VGK ($19): Pacioretty's been nearly useless for daily owners recently, averaging fewer than 3.0 fantasy points per game over the past eight. Don't expect him to get back on track against a Vegas club that's outscoring opponents 3.40 to 2.68 in the average game this season despite missing starting goalie Marc-Andre Fleury for a long stretch earlier this season.
Oscar Klefbom, EDM vs. ARI ($17): Klefbom's made his presence felt on the offensive end recently, racking up helpers in four of the last six games. He's also totaled 32 shots and 21 blocks over the past nine games, displaying a well-rounded fantasy portfolio. Klefbom's biggest weakness is a minus-12 rating, but that weakness should be minimized while his strengths are emphasized in this favorable matchup with a Coyotes club that's been outscored 3.31 to 2.43 on average this season.
Torey Krug, BOS at VAN ($19): No defenseman priced the same as or below Krug averages more fantasy points per game than his 6.9, and the diminutive blueliner's offensive production coupled with Boston's dominance around him suggest he should remain the cream of the crop in the sub-$20 range against a beat-up Vancouver team that's allowing 3.19 goals per game – sixth most in the NHL. When you factor in Krug's three goals, seven points and plus-6 rating in the past six games, he likely won't be available this cheap for much longer, so grab him while you still can.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Cam Fowler, ANH at MIN ($18): Fowler has a minus-5 rating this season and has blocked more than one shot only once in the past six games, so the majority of his value is tied to producing offensively. Doing so will be extremely difficult against Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk in Minnesota, as Dubnyk sports a fantastic 15-3-4 record, 2.19 GAA and .930 save percentage on home ice.
Travis Dermott, TOR at PIT ($18): Dermott's skating just 16:41 per game, which is low for a defenseman. He's shown some solid offensive instincts, but Dermott's total of five shots in the last five games suggest he still has a ways to go before he can be counted upon for consistent production on that end. His defensive skills will be put to the test here, however, as the rating risk is massive against a clicking Penguins team that's scored 40 goals in the past nine games.