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 21st
The Immediate Fix (Grab this guy and use him for the next several days)
Erik Haula, C, Vegas Golden Knights (Available in 52 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – The Ex-Wild two-way third-liner is having a career year with 28G-24A on 160 shots, mainly thanks to playing alongside James Neal and David Perron and seeing a huge bump in minutes – Haula’s gone from a 13:49 average in Minnesota up to 17:22 this year. Haula’s picked up eight points in his last ten games (5G-3A) with half of those coming on the power play, and he picks up about one peripheral stat per game (hit or block) in addition to taking faceoffs.
The Building Block (Buy now, sit back and enjoy the production)
Kyle Connor, LW, Winnipeg Jets (Available in 79 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – Connor is tied in goals with Steven Stamkos (100% owned), Vladimir Tarasenko (99%), Jamie Benn (100%) and his teammate Nikolaj Ehlers (91%). The fact that he’s only TWENTY-SEVEN PERCENT owned in Yahoo leagues this lead in the year is astounding, even taking into account Connor’s 16:52 average TOI. With 46 total points on the year, Connor is the worst of that list, but he skates beside Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler at even-strength, takes 2.4SOG/game, and projects out for a full-season of 56pts. For a 21-year old who was dominant in the NCAA, Connor should be picked up both for the stretch run and for keeper leagues.
The Odd Man Out (His short-term value is cause for concern)
Mike Smith, G, Calgary Flames (Owned in 82 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – With the Flames having a tough schedule (as noted below), Smith would be in tough to play in the death throes of the season. Non-h2h owners should also be wary of rolling out Smith though, as he’s lost four straight (getting pulled twice) and six of his last ten. In those games since returning from injury, Smith has let in 2 or less only three times – which does include one shutout – and all seven where he let in 3 or more didn&rsqu