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 updated through Thursday, December 27th
The Immediate Fix (Grab this guy and use him for the next several days)
Brandon Pirri, W, Vegas Golden Knights (Available in 98 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – The perennial Cy Young winner – when he’s in the NHL, at least – is back in the league and taking Max Pacioretty’s place on Vegas’ second line alongside Paul Stastny and Alex Tuch/Reilly Smith, and is an excellent stopgap pickup you can expect strong production from while he’s in the lineup. In his three games since coming up to the Knights, Pirri’s put up 3G-1A while firing nine shots on goal and averaging 15:03 with second-unit power play time; his scoring is no mirage either, as Pirri has put up 17G-24A in just 28 games in the AHL, and has performed well when put in the right spots previously in his career.
The Building Block (Buy now, sit back and enjoy the production)
Andrei Svechnikov, W, Carolina Hurricanes (Available in 61 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – The rookie that’s making a push for Elias Pettersson (or Brady Tkachuk)’s Calder Trophy has finally pushed his way up from the third line and has put up three points (2G-1A) in his last five games. His average ice time per game is starting to climb up from the 14:58/game overall, as Svech has bested that number in all but one of his last ten games. He continues to play on the first power play unit as he has for most of the year, but seeing ice alongside Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen can only help his fantasy production and he should be closer to 80% owned.
The Odd Man Out (His short-term value is cause for concern)
Ivan Provorov, D, Philadelphia Flyers (Owned in 54 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – Although the Flyers have a great upcoming schedule – see below – Provorov has been a major disappointment in his third season. He’s playing 24:42 a night on average but has only put up 3G-8A, and has zero power play points playing on the second unit of the Flyers. As Dobber has pointed out numerous times, there has to be an underlying reason – possible injury, perhaps? – for his poor start, but either wa