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 March 7th
The Immediate Fix (Grab this guy and use him for the next several days)
Mike Reilly, D, Montreal Canadiens (Available in 100 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – Since getting moved to the deadline from Minnesota where he was a 7th defenseman, the ex-Golden Gopher – who put up 0.76PPG in college – has been revelation on the Habs’ back end. In those four games with Montreal, Reilly’s put up 4pts (all assists) and averaged 1SOG/game, while seeing 1st unit power play time and 21+ minutes in three of the four games while paired with Jeff Petry. He’s a great depth addition that will gets lots of action on a dead Canadiens team.
The Building Block (Buy now, sit back and enjoy the production)
Kari Lehtonen, G, Dallas Stars (Available in 75 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – Get the “Let It In” jokes out of your system now, because after seeing what the ex-Thrasher has accomplished this year, those jokes will disappear. Lehtonen this year has been excellent as a backup to Ben Bishop, posting a 0.919SV% and 2.30GAA in 18 starts (24 total appearances), picking up 11W and a shutout. With Ben Bishop ailing yet again – coach Ken Hitchcock said “Obviously when you have a knee injury you’re not talking days” – Lehtonen can steal some extra starts for a playoff team down the stretch and has the potential to steal the starting job with how often Bishop gets hurt or falters.
Just missing the mark: Evgenii Dadonov (56% owned), Rick Nash (55% owned)
The Odd Man Out (His short-term value is cause for concern)