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.
The Immediate Fix (Grab this guy and use him for the next several days)
Jesse Puljujarvi, W, Edmonton Oilers (Available in 94 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – The concern with Puljujarvi has always been less about the player, and more about his usage; Edmonton’s young 4th-overall pick was finally moved up to a proper line alongside Leon Draisatl in the Oilers’ last game, and while JP sticking there is no sure thing, it does show that Todd McClellan trust Puljujarvi to produce offensively – the Oilers were losing badly when the switch was made. With Edmonton’s cushy schedule, he’s worth a grab in the short term that could pan out the rest of the way.
The Building Block (Buy now, sit back and enjoy the production)
Tomas Tatar, W, Montreal Canadiens (Available in 57% percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – Although he’s currently shooting 14% on 21 shots (three goals,) Tatar’s career shooting percentage is 13.1% and he’s never shot below double-digits. That bodes well for Tatar, as for the first time in his career, he gets to play top-line minutes and top-power play minutes; he’s currently playing 17:31 a game which is the most he’s ever averaged, and he’s creating at a great pace – he’s on pace to beat his career high of 56 points by a large margin, with 3-5-8 in only six games, which includes two PP points. That he’s still available in more than half of Yahoo! leagues is surprising, so snap him up before other fantasy owners realize he’s finally hitting his ceiling given this new opportunity in Montreal.
The Odd Man Out (His short-term value is cause for concern)
Aaron Ekblad, D, Florida (Owned in 89 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – In leagues that don’t track hits or blocks, Ekblad doesn’t have much value these days; he’s a notorious slow starter, is stuck on the second power play unit, and currently has all of zero points with only seven shots on goal. Florida’s only scored 12 times in four games, have only connected once on the power play, and as the Cats go so to goes Ekblad. With Florida’s light schedule and the aforementioned historical slow starts, Ekblad should get pushed to the back burner.
See also: Dougie Hamilton, relegated to the 3F/2D second power play of the Hurricanes
The Anchors (They’ll do nothing but disappoint even over the long haul)
Alex Pietrangelo, D, St. Louis Blues (Owned in 91 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – With only donuts to his name on the stats sheet and no more time on the