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October 11, 2013 | 7:36pm ET

Saturday pickings
By Tab Bamford,

As the 2013-14 NHL season gets into full swing, it's time for fantasy hockey players to start micromanaging their rosters.

This year, The Fourth Period is working with the folks at They're offering a free $500 NHL contest for Saturday games only this season that's remarkably easy to join.

This free contest will be salary-cap style drafting where everyone tries to assemble the best team out of the available players. You will have a $100,000 budget to build a team of 2 LW’s, 2 RW’s, 2 Center’s, 2 Defensive players, 1 Goalie, and a FLEX. Each NHL player has been allocated a price based on their expected fantasy performance. You can adjust your roster up until the contest starts on Saturday, October 12th at 2:00pm ET at which time your rosters will lock and the Live Scoreboard will be available.

With that in mind, here are a few players to consider from each matchup this weekend:

Boston at Columbus: Marian Gaborik -- two years ago when he was in the Eastern Conference, Gaborik scored four goals in four games against the Bruins. He has five points in three games to start this season, so bank on Gaborik today.

Edmonton at Toronto: James van Riemsdyk -- with three goals in five games, JvR is off to a solid start and is filling the stat sheet in key fantasy categories; he already has one game-winning goal and two points on the power play. He could have a big night at home against the Oilers.

Philadelphia at Detroit: Henrik Zetterberg -- with the injuries up front for the Flyers, Detroit’s magicians (Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk) could be in line for a big game. Zetterberg has only three points in four games to begin the season, but could have a multi-point effort tonight.

Pittsburgh at Tampa: Matt Carle -- you need defensemen on your DraftStreet roster, and tonight’s matchup sets up well for Carle. He has three assists in four games to start the year, and the game in Florida could be a high scoring affair.

Colorado at Washington: PA Parenteau – after leading the Avs last year, Parenteau is off to a strong start this year with three goals in four games. There are a number of right wings that have started the season well, but Parenteau could be a strong sleeper against the Caps tonight.

Rangers at St. Louis: Alex Pietrangelo -- the Blues scored a big win over the Blackhawks already this season, and their defense has been key to their strong start. Pietrangelo is not only playing well in front of his own net, but he also has five assists in only three games. With no Rick Nash for New York, Pietrangelo could look to impact the offense more for the Blues.

Islanders at Nashville: John Tavares -- he lost a tooth and a hockey game in Chicago last night, and the Isles will look to bounce back in a big away against the young Preds. Look for a better game from Matt Moulson, who was in the room for the birth of his son on Friday morning before flying to Chicago. More from Moulson could open the door for a big night from Tavares.

Dallas at Minnesota: Tyler Seguin -- simply a case of riding the hot hand here. Seguin had two goals and two assists in a 4-1 win over Winnipeg on Friday night, and now gets a Minnesota defense that’s allowing over 31 shots and 2.50 goals per game to open the season.

Buffalo at Chicago: Duncan Keith -- it’s hard to buy a big-minute defenseman on the second night of back-to-backs, but Keith had two assists against the Islanders last night and the Sabres have issues. There could be two or three Blackhawks in your lineup tonight, but Keith is a smart bet on the blue line.

Montreal at Vancouver: Carey Price -- the Habs are out-scoring opponents by a full goal per game to start the year, and they’re travelling to a Vancouver squad that will be without the suspended Alexander Edler. Look for a big night from the Montreal offense, and a nice game from Price.

Ottawa at San Jose: Tomas Hertl -- because why not? He’s the talk of the league and will face a Senators squad that is allowing 36.3 shots per game (second-worst in the league behind Buffalo). Just don’t ask Joe Thornton for goal celebration suggestions…

CLICK HERE to sign up for free and join the $500 Freeroll on!

 Tab Bamford is a Columnist for The Fourth Period Magazine. Be sure to follow him on Twitter.



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