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Fantasy Buzz: Gostisbehere could play for Flyers

Defenseman has missed three games with upper-body injury

by James Harding / NHL Fantasy Correspondent

All season long, NHL.com's fantasy hockey staff will have you covered with daily lineup news, production trends and injury notes from around the League. We will identify how these developments affect fantasy owners in year-long (Yahoo) and daily (DraftKings) formats.

 

5 p.m.
Marchessault continues hot stretch for Vegas

Forward Jonathan Marchessault continued his solid play for the Vegas Golden Knights since returning from injury with a multipoint game against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday (one goal, two assists). Marchessault (30 percent owned in Yahoo leagues, LW/C) is dual-eligible and has points in four of six games since his return, with three multipoint games and more than 27 shots on goal in that span. 

Over the past two weeks, he has been a top-100 fantasy player in Yahoo standard scoring leagues. Because of his production, fantasy owners need to consider Marchessault if he is available. He is skating on the first line with William Karlsson and Reilly Smith and is on their first power-play unit as well.

Video: VGK@OTT: Marchessault rips in rebound for PPG

 

DraftKings picks for Saturday

Projected Starting Goalies

 

CENTER

Spend up for: Mika Zibanejad, NYR ($7,200) -- The New York Rangers have had a rough start to the season but one player who has been consistent has been first-line center Mika Zibanejad. He leads the Rangers with eight goals and 14 points through 14 games, and enters Saturday with a five-game scoring streak and points in six of his past eight games. He has three goals, five assists, two power-play points and 15 shots on goal during thestreak and will face the Florida Panthers, who are allowing 4.2 goals against per game. 

Value pick: Christian Dvorak, ARI ($3,600) -- Dvorak has seen an uptick in his production for the Arizona Coyotes and comes into a favorable matchup against the Carolina Hurricanes with points in five of his past six games. Dvorak is centering the Coyotes second line with Max Domi and Christian Fischer. He had a goal, an assist and three shots on goal in a 5-4 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday.

 

WING

Spend up for: Jamie Benn, DAL ($7,100) -- Despite not having a point in two of his past three games, Benn is a great player to pay up for at the wing position. He has 14 points and 39 shots on goal in 13 games and has an appealing matchup against the Sabres who are missing Rasmus Ristolainen on defense and are starting Robin Lehner in goal. Lehner is making his fifth start in the past six games and has allowed at least three goals against in four of his prior five starts. He has a 4.04 goals-against average on the road this season.

Value pick: Josh Anderson, CBJ ($4,100) -- Anderson has a tough matchup against the Tampa Bay Lightning, but is a first-line player who is producing. He's skating with Nick Foligno and Artemi Panarin and has been fantastic in that spot, coming off a multi-goal game in his past game against the Florida Panthers. Anderson has points in five of his past six games, and has eight points and 30 shots on goal in his past 10 games.

 

DEFENSEMEN

Spend up for: Kris Letang, PIT ($6,000) -- Letang comes into the game against the Vancouver Canucks with a four-game point streak, and points in six of his past eight games. Letang has five points, all assists, on his current point streak and has power-play points in three of the four games. He has been getting great category coverage as well with eight blocked shots and eight shots on goal in his past four games. Letang is averaging 4.0 fantasy points per game in 15 games on DraftKings this season. 

Value pick: Tyler Myers, BUF ($3,400) -- Myers is a great buy against the Montreal Canadiens for any DFS player who is looking to not spend big on their defense. He enters Saturday with a three-game point streak in which he's had three of his four points this season. Myers has a power-play goal, two assists, three blocked shots and five shots on goal during the his streak and is playing just under 20 minutes of ice time per game this season.

 

GOALIE

Spend up for: Jonathan Quick, LAK ($8,300) -- Quick has arguably been the best all-around fantasy goaltender in the NHL through the first month of the season. He enters the Los Angeles Kings game on Saturday with an average of 6.7 DraftKings points per contest, the second-highest in the goaltender player pool. On the season he is 8-2-1, with his eight wins tied for second in the NHL, and ranks in the top-six among qualifying goalies in save percentage and goals against average. Quick will face the Nashville Predators, who are playing the second game of a back-to-back.

Value pick: Matt Murray, PIT ($7,700) -- Murray bounced back after taking back-to-back losses against the Minnesota Wild and Winnipeg Jets with a solid game Wednesday against the Edmonton Oilers. He made 35 saves in the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 win. Murray will face the Vancouver Canucks, who are averaging 2.6 goals scored per game this season.

 

2:30 p.m.
Gostisbehere likely back for Flyers

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere looks like he'll go good to go Saturday against the Colorado Avalanche. Gostisbehere has missed past three games because of an upper-body injury he sustained against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Oct. 28. Despite the absence, he's still tied with Alex Pietrangelo for the most points by a defenseman (13; one goal, 12 assists).

Gostisbehere said he'll be a game-time decision. Coach Dave Hakstol said he'll have seven defensemen take warmups and will dress six.

Gostisbehere has been huge for the Flyers so far; he's second on the team in assists and is averaging 21:08 of ice time. He leads the Flyers with eight power-play points, which ties him for third in the NHL in that category. Gostisbehere is averaging 3.9 fantasy points per game on DraftKings this season and is a solid $5,600 play with a great matchup.

Video: FLA@PHI: Gostisbehere, Simmonds combine for nice goal

 

Ristolainen out for Sabres vs. Stars

The Buffalo Sabres will be without their best defenseman, Rasmus Ristolainen, when they visit the Dallas Stars. Ristolainen sustained an upper-body injury in Buffalo's 5-4 win at the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday; he didn't take part in the morning skate at American Airlines Center and is listed as day to day. Ristolainen is coming off one of his best games of the season; he had an assist, one blocked shot and five shots on goal against the Coyotes.

Ristolainen has five points this season, but three have come in the Sabres' past seven games and his absence leaves a hole in Buffalo's defense. Expect Marco Scandella ($3,600 on DraftKings) to see the bulk of the power-play time. Jake McCabe ($3,300) could move up to the top pair and take Ristolainen's spot on the second power-play unit.

 

Vlasic won't play Saturday for Sharks

The San Jose Sharks will be without top-pair defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic against the visiting Anaheim Ducks. Vlasic (41 percent owned in Yahoo) is day to day with a head injury. He's off to a solid start with four points and two power-play points in his first 12 games.

Vlasic had a solid game against the Nashville Predators on Wednesday, when he scored his first goal of the season, a power-play goal; he also had two blocked shots and three shots on goal. Vlasic has been a real asset for fantasy owners, especially in DFS, garnering great category coverage with 18 shots on goal and 21 blocked shots. He will be replaced by Dylan DeMelo ($3,100 on DraftKings), who has one point in two games this season.

 

11:15 a.m.
Nugent-Hopkins continues point streak, Caggiula has big game against Devils

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Drake Caggiula had big games for the Edmonton Oilers against the New Jersey Devils in a 6-3 win at Rogers Place on Friday.

Nugent-Hopkins (owned in 21 percent of Yahoo Leagues) had a goal and an assist, extending his point streak to four games (four goals, two assists). It was his second multipoint game during the streak. Nugent-Hopkins has nine points (six goals, three assists) in 12 games this season and is centering the Oilers' second line.

Caggiula missed a couple of weeks in October with an injury and hadn't had a point in his first six games. He was skating on the third line with Ryan Strome and Jussi Jokinen but saw time on the first power-play unit. His goal came on the power play, and he had an assist on Strome's goal later in the first period. Caggiula (1 percent owned in Yahoo) will be a great sleeper, especially in DFS, as long as he hangs on the first power play. He should be a player for fantasy owners to watch going forward and could be a candidate to bump up in the lineup should he begin to produce more offense.

 

Low-ownership players thriving for Devils

Despite the loss to the Oilers, there were a few low-ownership players who contributed for the Devils, with Nico Hischier, Jesper Bratt and Brian Gibbons all picking up points to continue their great starts.

Though he was the first player taken in the 2017 NHL Draft, there was no guarantee that Hischier would be drafted in a lot of standard leagues, and that seems to be the case early in the season. Hischier is only 41 percent owned in Yahoo leagues through the first month of the season. He had an assist against the Oilers, ending a four-game point drought, and has eight points in 12 games. The rookie center is skating on the first line with Taylor Hall and Drew Stafford and should be on every fantasy owner's radar.

Bratt continues to take advantage of his opportunity to skate in a top-six role with Kyle Palmieri on injured reserve. The rookie wing, who is dual-eligible LW/RW in Yahoo leagues, in owned in only 36 percent of fantasy leagues now. Bratt scored his fifth goal of the season and has five points, three power-play points and 10 shots on goal in four games since Palmieri's injury.

Gibbons is also taking advantage of an opportunity to play top-six minutes; he leads New Jersey with six goals. He scored his sixth against the Oilers, giving him three goals in his past four games. He is also dual-eligible on Yahoo with as C/LW and is only seven percent owned in Yahoo leagues. Gibbons is skating on the second line with Bratt and Adam Henrique but he should be viewed as a short-term option until Palmieri returns from injury.

 

DraftKings players to target for Vegas and Ottawa

With one afternoon game (Vegas at Ottawa, 2 p.m. ET; TVA Sports 2, TSN5, ATTSN-RM, NHL.TV) before 12 games at night, here are a few targets on DraftKings to look at:

Forward: Tom Pyatt ($3,800) -- Pyatt has been a solid fantasy contributor for the Senators as of late, producing seven points in his past 10 games. He is now skating on the first line with Derick Brassard and Mark Stone. Pyatt has two goals, two assists and 11 shots on goal in his last five games.

Defense: Brad Hunt ($3,400) -- Hunt is a great value option for DFS owners who don't want to spend big on defense. Hunt has played seven games for Vegas this season but has seven points, all assists, with five coming on the power play. He has seven blocked shots and has 10 shots on goal, giving him solid category coverage for scoring on DraftKings.

Goaltending: Craig Anderson ($7,900) -- Anderson will get the start against the Golden Knights after a superb performance against the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday, when he made 24 saves in a 3-1 win. Anderson has won three of his past four starts. He has not had great peripheral stats this season but has a 5-2-0 record and is facing a Vegas team that has lost the first three games of a six-game trip.

 

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