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)
Ryan Spooner, C, New York Rangers (Available in 92 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – Going with a hot hand, Ryan Spooner has already had a huge impact since getting traded to New York as a second-line winger, putting up five assists (one on the PP), five blocked shots, and three SOG in only two games. Spooner does lose some power play time going from the point on a potent Bruins first unit to the second unit of the Rangers, but at even strength in a small sample the Kevin Hayes/Spooner duo have put up a great scoring chance and high-danger scoring chance rate.
The Building Block (Buy now, sit back and enjoy the production)
Brady Skjei, D, New York Rangers (Available in 85 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – With Ryan McDonagh getting injured and subsequently traded to Tampa Bay, there’s a lot of ice time available to the Rangers’ leftovers in John Gilmour, Tony DeAngelo, Neal Pionk, and the one I’m highlighting, Brady Skjei. In his past five games, Skjei has captained the top power-play for the Rags while seeing over 23 minutes per game on average, and has picked up two assists with six shots on goal. In leagues that track peripherals, all that extra ice time has been a boon to Skjei’s value, as he’s picked up an 18 combined hits and blocks.
The Odd Man Out (His short-term value is cause for concern)