Looking Ahead: Week 14 (2015-16)

Mike Schmidt


Why Mikael Granlund makes a good pickup and other players with a favourable schedule this week.

All fantasy owners need help in the short term AND the long term. The Looking Ahead feature identifies one player to plug into lineups in the short term, a second to invest in for the long term, a third to bench for the coming week and a fourth who will struggle to meet expectations for some time. Without further ado…


The Immediate Fix (Grab this guy and use him for the next several days)


Victor Rask, C, Carolina (Available in 71 percent of Yahoo leagues) – This 2011 second rounder plays the game with a level of maturity that is surprising to see from someone 22 years of age, and he’s managed to work his way into a very prominent role on the Hurricanes in just his second season in the league. Rask is currently on pace to reach the 50-point barrier, and while it’s sort of asking a lot for him to actually get there, he is firmly entrenched as a key member of his squad’s power play at this point. Is he a must-own guy? Probably not. But Rask is a solid short-term add for poolies in need of a center who can take advantage of his squad’s favorable upcoming schedule by putting up respectable numbers.


The Building Block (Buy now, sit back and enjoy the production)


Mikael Granlund, C, Minnesota (Available in 84 percent of Yahoo leagues) – Fantasy owners should always be on the lookout for when a talented young player earns a role that could lead to a jump in his fantasy-relevant numbers. Granlund, a gifted playmaker who has been on the cusp of widespread relevance in fantasy for the better part of two years now, has ascended to a prominent role in the Wild offense this season. He’s seeing almost a minute of time more on the man advantage this year than last, and he’s (still) seeing action on the same line as all-world winger Zach Parise. The numbers have been good and, at times, great. Sure, it’s frustrating that he doesn’t shoot the puck more. That being said, he has eight points in 13 games in December (all of which are assists) and has improved his statistical output with each passing month this season. Go get Granlund while the cost is still low. That could change once the calendar flips from 2015 to 2016.


The Odd Men Out (His short-term value is cause for concern)