Saturday Night Special: Daily Fantasy Picks December 16

by Chris Wassel on December 16, 2017

Penguins players are worth loading up on for Saturday's action because of a match against Arizona.

Top Budget Plays


Victor Rask $3400 – The center is a decent play at the least. However, playing against the Columbus Blue Jackets may set up very good as the center will draw depth Columbus match-ups which are below Corsi relative. He is going to get decent opportunities. Columbus will still be heavily favored, but Rask again makes a contrarian punt play. Most forget he has been better of late while hitting or exceeding value in four of his last five outings.


Jakub Vrana $3500 – Keep in mind that Vrana is taking full advantage of the increased opportunities due to his above-average shot. He has two goals in the last two games which brought him up to ten on the season. The forward is on pace for 25+ goals. Washington has a good match-up against an Anaheim team that gives up ample opportunities and allows the seventh most points to wingers. Vrana gets top six ice time and now is on the second power play unit. His price along with Chiasson is rather good value.


Markus Nutivaara $3000 –There may be better plays like David Savard even, but Nutivaara could be a nice punt play for a very low price. His floor may be low (shots and blocked shots combined). Risk always exists with value plays, but Columbus has potential even on the man advantage despite their woeful early season performance (around 10% on the road). It is a night where taking advantage of match-ups is vital.


Craig Anderson $7500 – This is a dangerous GPP play, but this is an Ottawa team that allows lots of shots on net (more than 32 per 60 overall). The Senators have been a sieve defensively and Anderson has been subpar all year. Something has been off. However, the last two starts have been better for the Ottawa goalie and he has outdoor game experience. The expectation is to see a few more shots on goal from each side. There may be some sloppiness. It is risky but could be a decent value play on Saturday.                           

Since we saved some money on the budget plays let’s look at the few of the pricey options that are worth paying up for today.

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Evgeni Malkin $7300 – People will run to this as it will be a chalky play that still has to be used in quite a few lineups. The center has a solid matchup against an Arizona team that can get outmatched easily at times. Even against Tampa Bay, Arizona just did not quite have that look where they could stay with the Lightning. This could be much the same thing. Malkin has struggled a bit of late but he is still a point-a-game player or more. Malkin has a very high projection on Saturday – higher than Sidney Crosby even.


Phil Kessel $7300 – Arizona gives up among the most daily fantasy points to forwards, period. The winger is averaging over a point a game and has 15 goals on the season. More importantly, the second line of Pittsburgh is more lethal right now than the first who will likely get Arizona’s top defensive pairing. Either way, Kessel and Malkin have some power-play correlation. Some may go double center on Saturday, but the center-wing mini stack saves a few hundred dollars and does have higher upside.                       


Erik Karlsson $6200 – Again this could be heavily owned, but Karlsson has moderate to high point potential on Saturday. Montreal allows lots of chances and Karlsson is due to break out soon. That sounds cliché, but the defenseman has had opportunities at a high level. The 1.4% shooting percentage is a good bit below career levels. No one likes to use PDO but admittedly Karlsson has been unlucky. Montreal offers a good enough match-up to at least hit a good floor. After that, anything is a bonus.


Sergei Bobrovsky $8200 – There may be better choices, but this has potential to work well. Carolina is one of those teams that can generate lots of shots yet often does not score a ton. They are also on the back end of a back-to-back, which should lead to a better chance of a win. Bobrovsky has had some rough outings of late, including allowing four goals to New Jersey and the New York Islanders. This may be a night for him to get back on track. Carolina averages over 32 shots per 60 on the road. Even at his high price, Bobrovsky could exceed value.

Chris Wassel has been playing DFS for the past several years and has played Fantasy Hockey for three decades. You can follow him on Twitter @ChrisWasselDFS. We are targeting the 11-game main slate to give readers more of a range on what to go on. Finally, please note that Saturday’s slate has several options. Thanks for reading and enjoy the slate daily fantasy hockey fans!