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 December 15thth
The Immediate Fix (Grab this guy and use him for the next several days)
Michael Raffl, LW, Philadelphia (Available in 98 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – Since moving to the left wing alongside Valterri Filppula and Jakub Voracek, Raffl has produced at a point-per-game pace in his six games (since December 1st). In that time, he’s put up 3G-3A-6pts and is a plus-7, with 10SOG. His value is predicated on keeping his spot on this line, but he can safely be used as a warm body for a couple weeks that can produce in the short-term.
The Building Block (Buy now, sit back and enjoy the production)
Pierre-Luc Dubois, C, Columbus (Available in 83 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – Here’s a surprise: the rookie Jackets centre is only 17% owned in Yahoo! leagues, despite putting up 3G-6A-10Pts in his last ten games, playing prime first-line minutes beside Artemi Panarin and Josh Anderson. On a team that constantly gets lines mixed and matched at John Tortorella’s discretion, Dubois has stuck with those wingers, and has been the key cog on one of the most dominant lines in terms of shots and chances for. He picks up the odd block (just under 0.5/game) and just under two hits/game, and has seen over 19 minutes four times in his last ten games.
The Odd Man Out (His short-term value is cause for concern)
Matt Duchene, C, Ottawa (Owned in 43 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – Duchene has collected 16 points in 16 games since getting traded to Nashville – actually no, sorry, that’s Kyle Turris. Duchene has put up only 2G-3A in the 16 games since moving to Ottawa, although he is seeing three minutes more per game than when he was in Colorado. Duchene is shooting only 5.3% which is a far cry from the double digit shooting he had for every season since entering the league, so that should regress eventually, but he can either get dropped in shallow leagues or pushed to the bench until the New Year.
The Anchors (They’ll do nothing but disappoint even over the long haul)
T.J. Brodie, D, Calgary (Owned in 51 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – Steve Laidlaw touched on Brodie’s value in last night&rs