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 Wednesday, January 31
The Immediate Fix (Grab this guy and use him for the next several days)
Oskar Lindblom, W, Philadelphia Flyers (Available in 99 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – The Flyers’ schedule isn’t as ideal as some other teams, but they still play six times during this period (Feb 1-13) and Lindblom offers a lot of upside as an available fill-in.
Lindblom spends his 5v5 time playing the wing opposite Jakub Voracek, with Sean Couturier as his centre, and that’s proven fruitful over his past five games: three goals (including a PPG) and two assists, with 12 SOG. His season ice time average has been a paltry 11:58/game, but Lindblom has seen a big increase in ice time recently, playing 16 or more in four of his past five games and is solidified on the second power play unit.
Don’t expect any five-point performances, but Lindblom is a great replacement for Boone Jenner/Tyler Bertuzzi owners, and a solid speculative bench stash.
The Building Block (Buy now, sit back and enjoy the production)
Oscar Klefbom, D, Edmonton Oilers (Available in 69 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – After getting injured and going on IR, Klefbom was dropped in far too many leagues (as shown by his current ownership of just 31% on Yahoo). Although his season hasn’t been rosy, Klefbom is still taking three shots per game (as a defenseman!) and was seeing 25 minutes per night prior to the injury.
Klefbom should be expected to pick his PP1 spot back up from Darnell Nurse, which will be a boon for Klefbom’s fantasy production, as six of his 15 points this season have come with the man advantage. He should jump right back into his top-pair role when he comes off IR, and should be expected to see his regular 25 minutes/game within the first few games he’s back.
Klefbom is only shooting 3.2% this season, which is 0.9% below his career average and a large drop from his 6.0% in 82 games in 16-17, and is an excellent pickup for essentially free. He’s a must-add in leagues that track shots on goal, and he’s also solid if your league tracks peripherals such as blocks and hits.
The Odd Man Out (His short-term value is cause for concern)
Keith Kinkaid, G, New Jersey