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 February 16th
The Immediate Fix (Grab this guy and use him for the next several days)
Oliver Bjorkstrand, LW, Columbus Blue Jackets (Available in 94 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – It’s a shame that Nick Foligno got injured, because the line of Bjorkstrand-Foligno-Alex Wennberg had been clicking on all cylinders, really showing off what the blossoming Bjorkstrand can do. After scoring 118 points in 59 games in his last year in junior, Bjorkstrand hadn’t shown much of his scoring prowess until recently: the Dane has 2G-4A in his last 10, and 34SOG in those games. His ice time is climbing into the 17:00 range – up from 13:00 earlier in the year – and although Columbus is struggling to score, Bjorkstrand is a great depth down the stretch with the Jackets’ schedule.
The Building Block (Buy now, sit back and enjoy the production)
Derrick Brassard, C, Ottawa (Available in 72 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – This is a speculative addition for the rest of the year (assuming Brassard gets moved at the deadline as expected), but even staying in Ottawa, Brassard has been performing incredibly well recently and should be added in all formats. On a line with Mark Stone, the two are combining for 20 high-danger chances per 60 minutes at 5v5 which is an insane rate (almost tops in the league), and he should continue that with any half-decent possession winger beside him. Leading into the deadline, Brassard has put up 6G-4A and fired 35SOG while skating heavy minutes on the PP and at even strength. His best landing spot for value is staying with Stone in Ottawa, but if he ends up in Winnipeg, Nashville, or St. Louis, he maintains a high ceiling.
The Odd Man Out (His short-term value is cause for concern)
T.J. Brodie, D, Calgary Flames (Owned in 40 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – Playing Russian Roulette with Calgary Flames defensemen is always a dangerous proposition, but with the re-emergence of Dougie Hamilton as the offensive threat he was always supposed to be, Brodie’s value is taking a significant hit. At times, Brodie’s been on the top power play unit, which is where most of his 10 PPP have come from, but that spot is now Hamilton’s for the foreseeable future. Brodie still eats minutes, but lat