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 November 8th         

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

Tanner Pearson, W, Los Angeles (Available in 93 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – In 15 games, Pearson has put up 2G-7A-9Pts but more importantly, 41 shots on goal. He’s only shooting 4.9% right now, while his career average is 12.1% playing with essentially the same linemates – Carter out for Kempe is a downgrade, but not as much of one with Carter being the typical triggerman. Playing alongside Toffoli for as long as he has, both at 5v5 and on the Kings’ second power play, the two have great chemistry. As they play with Kempe more, expect that to build and for Pearson’s value to shoot.


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

JT Compher, C, Colorado Avalanche (Available in 99 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – This is one of those deep B-side cuts from an album no one’s ever heard of, but here’s the thing about Compher: he managed 1G-3A in 8GP with 18SOG and an average ice time of 15:10 before getting hurt. With the departure of Matt Duchene, coach Jared Bednar has already announced that when Compher’s back from injury – which should be this week in Sweden – that Compher will take Duchene’s spot as the 2C. Although playing with Nail Yakupov and Sven Andrighetto isn’t the most appealing from an offensive perspective, they are improvements on his past linemates (Landeskog/Jost), and Compher steps into a few extra minutes of ice time and guaranteed power play work. Compher has the pedigree of a scorer, putting up 30pts in 41 games in his rookie AHL season, as well as 63pts in 38 games for the University of Michigan as a junior.


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

Derek Stepan, C, Arizona (Owned in 31 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – Although the Coyotes have a relatively packed schedule through this stretch (6 games), Stepan has been incredibly disappointing in his first line role for the Desert Dogs. He’s sitting at 2G-5A-7Pts – with only 3PPA – and a paltry 49 shots in 17 games. There are certain things that would point towards keeping him on the roster, like his current career low shooting % and 20 minutes of ice time a night, but his 5v5 shooting is right where last year’s number was (5.71% vs. 5.81%). The main problem is the way he’s used on the power play in Arizona, playing off the high right circle when most of the action comes from Ekman-Larsson on the left point. That cuts Stepan off from easy access to free points on a pretty potent ‘Yotes PP.


The Anchors (They’ll do nothing but disappoint even over the long haul)

The Sedins, C/W, Vancouver (Owned in 10/25 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – This is a 2-for-1 special for those still clinging to hope out of a redemption season from the Swedish twins. While the Sedins have been creating a ton of offense at 5v5 – they’re on-ice for 40+ SOG/60 – they lack the ice time they both used to get both at even strength and on the power play. They have matching TOI per game (because they’re twins) at a meagre 13:54, just 8:42/game at 5v5; there’s no player in the league – Martin Frk excepted – who will be able to consistently produce with that small amount of ice time. They’ve combined for 4G-9A-13Pts, and a COMBINED 42 shots on goal through 15 games. They should both be 1% owned if that, and if you’re in a league where they’re owned, laugh at that owner.


Love ‘Em (These squads are sure to pay dividends in the coming days)

Edmonton – The Oilers have been struggling to score all season – they’ve only topped three goals twice, and have been below three goals in 10 games. With their soft upcoming schedule and loads of games (seven!), this is a great time to turn the ship around: games against Vegas, the struggling Capitals, Dallas and Detroit are the real highlights in this stretch.

Winnipeg – Winnipeg’s success this year isn’t a surprise to fantasy players who know how good their top-6 scoring is, and with Connor Hellebuyck finally taking the reins they’ve been electric. Unlike the Oilers, they’ve had no trouble scoring: they’ve put up four or more goals in half their games and are yet to be shut out. They get to face Vegas, Arizona (twice!!) and New Jersey as their schedule highlights.

Los Angeles – Although Jeff Carter’s injury should have hurt the Kings, this team hasn’t slowed down, slotting Adrian Kempe into the 2C slot and just rolling. They’re yet to put up less than two goals in a game and have topped 35 shots on goal in seven of 15 games. This upcoming stretch sees them at home for five of six, and although the competition isn’t as appealing as Winnipeg or Edmonton have, they still see the Panthers’ horrific PK, Vegas, and the still banged-up Bruins.


Leave ‘Em (These squads will leave fantasy owners sorely disappointed in the short term)

A quick apology from last week: I totally missed the fact that Colorado/Ottawa’s “home and home” was taking place in Stockholm. Didn’t change their lack of games, but apologies just in case.

Tampa Bay – As the season progresses, there will be stretches that suck for fans of hockey. Tampa Bay only getting four games in this upcoming stretch is one of those times, as they’ve been probably the most fun team in hockey with their top two lines dominating scoresheets. Tampa Bay owners should still roll out their Lightning thanks to how strong they are offensively, but the lack of games will hurt.

Vegas – The Knights have been so, so much better than anyone on this planet expected – except my friend Kyt who’s holding a $200 VGK 200:1 Stanley Cup ticket – but with a weak slate upcoming (five games) that includes only two games at home, they can be pushed aside for now. Since starting 8-1-0 in their first nine (only two on the road), they’ve gone 1-5 in their last six which were all road games. They’re still scoring well, but against the Kings and Ducks they could struggle.

Vancouver – While the Canucks do have six games during this stretch, which is typically more than a Leave ‘Em team would get, they mostly come against very strong defensive teams (except a game against Pittsburgh). They finish a California swing during this period, seeing both the Sharks and Kings, see St. Louis at home, and then face Philadelphia and Pittsburgh in a road back-to-back situation.

November 10th to November 16th

Best Bets

WPG 4.495 – Away VGK ARI – Home ARI PHI

FLA 3.995 – Away BUF NJD SJS- Home DAL

EDM 3.9725 – Away NYR WSH – Home VGK STL

DAL 3.9475 – Away CAR FLA TBL- Home NYI

WSH 3.9375 – Away NSH COL- Home PIT EDM

Steer Clear

TBL 1.9525 – Away ANH – Home DAL

DET 1.995 – Home CBJ CGY

ANH 2.1 – Home TBL BOS

CGY 2.1425 – Away DET – Home STL

NSH 2.5925 – Away MIN- Home PIT WSH

November 11th to November 17th

Best Bets

EDM 3.9725 – Away NYR WSH – Home VGK STL

WPG 3.355 – Away ARI – Home ARI PHI

LAK 3.3075 – Home SJS VAN BOS

MTL 3.2025 – Home BUF CBJ ARI

MIN 3.1975 – Away PHI – Home PHI NSH

Steer Clear

TBL 1.9525 – Away ANH – Home DAL

VGK 2.0425 – Away EDM VAN

NYI 2.0525 – Away STL – Home CAR

TOR 2.0525 – Away BOS – Home NJD

ANH 2.1 – Home TBL BOS

November 12th to November 18th

Best Bets

LAK 4.3575 – Home SJS VAN BOS FLA

EDM 4.02 – Away WSH DAL- Home VGK STL

DAL 3.895 – Away CAR FLA TBL – Home EDM

WSH 3.885 – Away NSH COL – Home EDM MIN

WPG 3.4125 – Home ARI PHI NJD

Steer Clear

NYR 1.7575 – Away CHI CBJ

CBJ 1.8525 – Away MTL – Home NYR

TOR 1.9575 – Away MTL- Home NJD

VGK 2.0425 – Away EDM VAN

NYI 2.0525 – Away TBL- Home CAR

November 13th to November 19th

Best Bets

LAK 4.5 – Away VGK- Home VAN BOS FLA

CAR 4.095 – Away NYI BUF – Home DAL NYI

DAL 3.895 – Away CAR FLA TBL – Home EDM

FLA 3.71 – Away SJS LAK ANH- Home DAL

DET 3.465 – Home CGY BUF COL

Steer Clear

TOR 1.9575 – Away MTL – Home NJD

CBJ 1.8525 – Away MTL – Home NYR

ANH 2.1 – Home BOS FLA

NJD 1.9475 – Away TOR WPG

SJS 2.1 – Home FLA BOS

November 14th to November 20th

Best Bets

LAK 4.5 – Away VGK – Home VAN BOS FLA

MIN 4.015 – Away WSH – Home PHI NSH NJD

WSH 3.99 – Away NSH COL – Home MIN CGY

WPG 4.315 – Away NSH- Home ARI PHI NJD

NSH 3.9575 – Away MIN – Home WSH COL WPG

Steer Clear

STL 2.0425 – Away EDM VAN

TBL 2.1 – Away – Home DAL NYI

BOS 2.66 – Away ANH LAK SJS

NJD 2.755 – Away TOR WPG MIN

NYR 2.755 – Away CHI CBJ – Home OTT

November 15th to November 21st

Best Bets

DET 3.465 – Home CGY BUF COL

PHI 3.36 – Away WPG – Home CGY VAN

VAN 3.355 – Away PHI- Home VGK STL

LAK 3.24 – Away VGK – Home BOS FLA

WPG 3.16 – Away NSH – Home PHI NJD

Steer Clear

PIT 1.9525 – Away OTT – Home CHI

CBJ 2.0425 – Away BUF – Home NYR

VGK 2.085 – Away VAN – Home LAK

TBL 2.1 – Home DAL NYI

BOS 2.66 – Away ANH LAK SJS

November 16th to November 22nd

Best Bets

LAK 4.3425 – Away VGK – Home BOS FLA WPG

PHI 4.31 – Away WPG NYI- Home CGY VAN

VAN 4.21 – Away PHI PIT- Home VGK STL

NYI 4.205 – Away TBL CAR – Home CAR PHI

SJS 4.1425 – Away ARI- Home FLA BOS ANH

Steer Clear

CGY 2.6125 – Away PHI WSH CBJ

BOS 2.755 – Away LAK SJS NJD

NYR 2.8025 – Away CBJ CAR- Home OTT

VGK 2.9875 – Away VAN ANH- Home LAK

STL 3.04 – Away EDM VAN – Home EDM