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Yahoo Daily Fantasy Hockey: Saturday's bargains and values

By Sasha Yodashkin

Saturday's 11-game evening slate shouldn't be short on drama with plenty of teams still jostling for playoff position down the stretch. This marks the final appearance for most of these guys, so it's important to make smart lineup choices so they can help you enjoy the sweet taste of victory one final time. Utilizing the value plays below should allow you to grab an important win in the final massive regular-season slate of the year.

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GOALIE

Thomas Greiss, NYI vs. BUF ($30) - Greiss is one of the night's most appealing options in goal in addition being one of the cheapest. He should be fully engaged as his Islanders look to stave off the Rangers for the third seed in the Metropolitan Division, while the visiting Sabres have nothing to play for and will be skating in the second leg of a back-to-back set. Greiss owns a fantastic 14-4-3 record at the Barclays Center, and all signs point to him improving on that mark without burning a hole through owners' wallets.

Goalie to Avoid:

Braden Holtby, WAS at STL ($41) - Holtby has borne the brunt of the first-place Capitals' lack of late-season motivation, averaging a mere 9.0 fantasy points per start while only winning one of his last four appearances. Even if Washington is fully focused for this one, don't expect an easy night for Holtby on the road against a Blues team that needs a positive result to have a shot at the first seed in the Western Conference. 

CENTER

Connor McDavid, EDM at VAN ($26) - McDavid had a goal and two assists against these same Canucks on Wednesday, so he's surely excited to see Vancouver's name on the schedule to close out the season. The rookie has been nothing short of phenomenal when healthy, as his 48 points in 44 games give him a scoring rate exceeded only by Patrick Kane when extrapolated to a full 82-game season. McDavid's healthy now, and his $26 price doesn't do the 19-year-old justice against an opponent he absolutely torched last time out. 

Center to Avoid:

Sean Monahan, CGY at MIN ($28) - Monahan's four assists and minus-2 rating in the last five games make for a solid-but-unspectacular stretch, but that level simply isn't good enough to warrant an astronomical $28 price tag. He's not a bad player, but all the other options in his price range are rounding out the campaign in more dominant form than the third-year forward.

WING

Jaromir Jagr, FLA vs. CAR ($21) - Jagr will (most likely) fall a little bit short of hitting the 30-goal milestone for the 16th time, but it's not for lack of trying. The ageless winger is making a late-season push with three goals and seven assists in his last eight games, and he'd surely like to add a couple more to enter the playoffs on a high note. He has 40 points in 38 home appearances this season, and should put on one final show for the BB&T Center crowd after a three-game road trip with a below-average Hurricanes team in town. 

Nino Niederreiter, MIn vs. CGY ($16) - Niederreiter is far from the only man to shine against Calgary's 30th-ranked defense this season, but that shouldn't diminish his three points in two previous meetings with the Flames. It's not just Niederreiter's scoring that makes this matchup notable, though, as his plus-3 rating against the Flames is his best mark against any team save for a surprising plus-6 in five meetings with the Blackhawks. He plays a valuable offensive role as a top-six forward and member of the top power play unit, and is primed to take advantage of this opportunity for an affordable price.

Wings to Avoid:

Jaden Schwartz, STL vs. WAS ($18) - Schwartz is mired in a miserable slump, averaging only 3.0 fantasy points per game in his last eight. He's no longer skating in a top-six role for the Blues, which makes breaking out even more difficult. 

Kyle Palmieri, NJ vs. TOR ($21) - Palmieri has been mired in a cold spell since scoring twice against the Penguins on Mar. 24, failing to find the back of the net in seven consecutive contests. Devils fans might overvalue Palmieri because of the offensive mediocrity around him, but it's important not to overpay for him in hopes he reaches 30 goals against the Leafs. There are more established options with more to play for on the board in the same price range.

DEFENSE

Ryan Suter, MIN vs. CGY ($18) - Suter leads the Wild with 21 power play points this season, and a date with the least effective penalty kill in the NHL offers a tremendous opportunity for the all-around blueliner to add to that total. With a career-high 186 shots and 142 blocked shots, he can also contribute consistently in other categories regardless of his scoring output. At just $18, Suter's high floor and standout matchup make him a can't-miss value play.

Brent Seabrook, CHI at CLS ($23) - Don't let one so-so showing against an excellent team discourage you from going back to Seabrook, especially in a much more convenient matchup with the Blue Jackets. The veteran usually thrives when Duncan Keith's not around, and his five points in three games prior to Thursday's loss indicate that he's primed to do so again.

Defensemen to Avoid:

Zach Bogosian, BUF at NYI ($25) - Bogosian saw his price skyrocket due to a recent hot streak during which he recorded four points in three games from Mar. 29 to Apr. 2, but the former Jets defenseman's 24 points and minus-11 rating in 63 games suggest he's unlikely to maintain that form. Don't overpay for a short productive stretch when years of evidence support Bogosian's abilities being far below those of a $25 player.

Kris Russell, DAL vs. NSH ($18) - The Stars will likely be careful with Russell after he just returned from a foot injury, so he may not play his regular load of minutes. Add in the fact that he's not much of an offensive threat and Russell should be avoided. 

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