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. All players discussed are selected based on their upcoming schedule. Stats in this article updated through October 26th
The Immediate Fix (Grab this guy and use him for the next several days)
Brendan Perlini, W, Arizona (Available in 99 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – Perlini’s healthy again after putting up 1A in 3GP before going on IR (upper body), and given his scoring prowess – Perlini put up 19pts in 17 AHL games and 21pts in 57 points as a rookie for Arizona last year – he’ll have an immediate chance to make an impact. With Arizona having a packed schedule and their poor start to the year, Perlini will get power play time (presumably replacing Anthony Duclair on the first unit) and top six minutes.
The Building Block (Buy now, sit back and enjoy the production)
Adrian Kempe, C, Los Angeles (Available in 84 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – With the injury to Jeff Carter, there was some uncertainty around who would fill that spot; the Kings originally slot Nick Shore in for little more than a game, but although he drives possession at a tremendous rate, Shore isn’t much of a point-scorer. Kempe jumped up to 2C against the Senators and assisted on the Kings’ first goal, scored a late tying goal, and scored the shootout winner. Working with Pierre Turgeon to change his release over the summer, Kempe has become a completely different player this season – he’s already put up more points (5-2-7) than he did in 25 games last year – and with Carter sidelined indefinitely, grab Kempe immediately and don’t let him go.
The Odd Man Out (His short-term value is cause for concern)
Mitch Marner, W, Toronto (Owned in 95 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – There’s no question that Mitch Marner has all the tools to be a very effective player in this league, but in his current role on the 4th line his value is next-to-completely shot. With Toronto continuing to pile up wins, there’s no reason for Mike Babcock to change his lines around, and Marner’s ice time is a huge cause for concern: since getting moved to the 4th line, Marner’s topped out at 15:36 in five games and has fired six shots on net. He did get two assists in a 4th-line mis-match against Los Angeles, and he’ll continue to get playing time on the second power play unit of the Leafs to try to put points on the board, but he should take a seat until he replaces one of Zach Hyman, Connor Brown, or