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 Devils (Owned in 34 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – As Mackenzie Blackwood has returned from the AHL and Cory Schneider is finishing up a conditioning stint in the AHL, Keith Kinkaid’s days of seeing the ice in Newark are numbered.

While goaltending hasn’t been the major issue in New Jersey this year – Kinkaid has a .900 SV% but a brutal 3.10 GAA – there isn’t much help defensively, and Kinkaid has been a major step down to Blackwood (0.924 SV%) so far.

The reason Kinkaid is a “short-term” concern is on the slight possibility that he gets traded for; Kinkaid is an upcoming UFA with a great salary cap hit (1.25MM on the year, only 443k remaining) and is a more appealing stopgap to playoff-contending teams than what else is on the market. Given Kinkaid’s been at least as good as league average in the past (career .909 with 50% of his starts being Quality Starts), he’s worth keeping on the bench in case he gets moved to a better team.

The Anchors (They’ll do nothing but disappoint even over the long haul)

Miro Heiskanen, D, Dallas Stars (Owned in 33 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – This is important to note off the hop: do *not* drop Heiskanen if you’re in a keeper league. He’s 19 years old, he’s put up 20 points in 50 games, he’s an All-Star and will be a top-3 Calder Trophy finisher, and he’s playing 23 minutes per game.

All that being said though, Heiskanen has lost essentially all of his upside that made him such a crucial pickup earlier in the season. In his last 20 games he’s picked up only four goals and one assist, and two of those goals came in the same game. With John Klingberg healthy, Heiskanen has seen much less time with the Seguin/Radulov/Benn combo, and Dallas has been a one-line team for essentially the entire season. As the Stars sit 29th in goals for and don’t have any secondary scoring coming any time soon, Heiskanen can safely be moved or dropped altogether in one-year leagues.

Love ‘Em (These squads are sure to pay dividends in the coming days)

Washington – Although they’ll be missing Alex Ovechkin for one game thanks to suspension, the Capitals are in a great spot through the first two weeks of February: between the 1st  and 13th the Caps play seven times, with six of the seven coming at home and only the last game coming on a back-to-back. Columbus is their opponent in that last game, and their home games come against Calgary, Boston, Vancouver, Colorado, Florida and Los Angeles.

Nashville – The Preds’ games in this period are very intriguing fantasy-wise, but they’re also strange – of their seven games in this stretch, they’ll play Dallas twice (both at home) as well as two games against St. Louis (road/home split.) Their other opponents are Florida (road), Arizona and Detroit (home), so they should be in position to pop some goals against lesser competition.

Florida – Six of the Panthers’ seven games come at home, but the Panthers don’t jump off the page as much as the Caps and Preds do thanks to some tougher competition. Florida will play Nashville, Vegas, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Washington and Tampa Bay, which isn’t the easiest schedule. At the same time, Florida’s healthy and have scored 13 times in three games since Vincent Trocheck came back from injury, so roll out any Panthers you have.

Leave ‘Em (These squads will leave fantasy owners sorely disappointed in the short term)

Columbus – The Blue Jackets are a team with “only one centre” according to John Tortorella after Boone Jenner was lost for the next few weeks, and their schedule doesn’t seem to offer much help either as they only play five times between the 1st and 13th. Between injury (Jenner), poor play (Wennberg, Foligno, Anderson, etc.) and possibly getting moved (Panarin), there’s not much to like coming out of Columbus these days. Avoid at all costs.

Dallas – Another weird bit of scheduling sees the Stars play Nashville and Arizona twice each over the next two weeks, as well as games against Minnesota and Florida. Their only home games will be against Minnesota and one of the Arizona games, and the first game against Nashville is the second half of a back-to-back. Given the Stars have averaged a paltry 1.9 goals for in their past ten games, it’s not a stretch to call them a struggling team.

Montreal – The Habs get to stay in Montreal for a good stretch coming out of their bye week, with five straight home games between February 1 and 13 – their last game comes on the 9th and they have a second, mini-bye week as they don’t play again until the 14th in Nashville. Their competition is relatively easy, but there’s also a matinee back-to-back which is never good for players’ rhythms. Their opponents are the Devils, Oilers, Ducks, Jets and Maple Leafs.

February 1 to February 7

Best Bets

WSH 4.41 – – Home CGY BOS VAN COL

PIT 4.315 – Away TOR FLA- Home OTT CAR

MIN 4.2475 – Away DAL BUF – Home CHI EDM

NSH 4.205 – Away FLA – Home DAL ARI DAL

TOR 4.19 – Away DET – Home PIT ANH OTT

Steer Clear

STL 2.6125 – Away CBJ FLA TBL- Home

NYR 2.8875 – Away – Home TBL LAK BOS

SJS 2.9025 – Away WPG CGY- Home ARI

COL 2.955 – Away WSH- Home VAN CBJ

CBJ 2.9975 – Away COL ARI- Home STL

February 2 to February 8

Best Bets

NYR 4.1475 – – Home TBL LAK BOS CAR

MTL 4.1475 – Home NJD EDM ANH WPG

EDM 4.005 – Away PHI MTL MIN – Home CHI

CAR 3.995 – Away PIT BUF NYR- Home CGY

LAK 3.99 – Away NYI NYR NJD PHI – Home

Steer Clear

DET 2.095 – Away OTT – Home VGK

CGY 2.19 – Away CAR – Home SJS

BUF 2.205 – Away – Home MIN CAR

STL 2.6125 – Away CBJ FLA TBL – Home

DAL 2.76 – Away NSH NSH – Home ARI

February 3 to February 9

Best Bets

WSH 4.41 – – Home BOS VAN COL FLA

EDM 4.105 – Away MTL MIN – Home CHI SJS

MTL 4.095 – Away – Home EDM ANH WPG TOR

CAR 3.995 – Away PIT BUF NYR – Home CGY

ANH 3.99 – Away TOR MTL OTT PHI- Home

Steer Clear

DET 2.095 – Away BUF- Home VGK

CHI 2.1575 – Away EDM – Home VAN

COL 2.745 – Away WSH NYI- Home CBJ

STL 2.75 – Away FLA TBL – Home NSH

SJS 2.8025 – Away WPG CGY EDM- Home

February 4 to February 10

Best Bets

BUF 4.41 – – Home MIN CAR DET WPG

NYR 4.2525 – Home LAK BOS CAR TOR

TOR 4.2425 – Away MTL NYR- Home ANH OTT

NJD 4.2 – Away – Home LAK NYI MIN CAR

WPG 4.185 – Away MTL OTT BUF- Home SJS

Steer Clear

VGK 2.84 – Away TBL DET – Home CBJ

CGY 2.1425 – Away VAN – Home SJS

DAL 2.855 – Away NSH ARI – Home ARI

SJS 2.8025 – Away WPG CGY EDM – Home

CBJ 2.8975 – Away COL ARI VGK – Home

February 5 to February 11

Best Bets

BUF 4.41 – – Home MIN CAR DET WPG

NJD 4.2 – Away – Home LAK NYI MIN CAR

WPG 4.185 – Away MTL OTT BUF – Home SJS

WSH 4.2525 – Home VAN COL FLA LAK

NSH 4.1525 – Away STL – Home ARI DAL STL

Steer Clear

DAL 1.805 – Away NSH ARI – Home

CGY 2.1425 – Away VAN – Home SJS

PHI 2.835 – Away – Home LAK ANH PIT

VGK 2.84 – Away TBL DET – Home CBJ

ARI 2.85 – Away NSH – Home CBJ DAL

February 6 to February 12

Best Bets

BUF 4.5675 – – Home CAR DET WPG NYI

NSH 4.31 – Away STL – Home DAL STL DET

WPG 4.29 – Away MTL OTT BUF – Home NYR

NYR 4.2625 – Away WPG- Home BOS CAR TOR

NJD 4.2575 – Away STL- Home NYI MIN CAR

Steer Clear

EDM 1.905 – Away MIN – Home SJS

ANH 1.995 – Away OTT PHI – Home

MTL 2.0475 – Away – Home WPG TOR

DAL 2.755 – Away NSH ARI FLA- Home

LAK 2.755 – Away PHI BOS WSH – Home

February 7 to February 13

Best Bets

BUF 4.5675 – – Home CAR DET WPG NYI

NSH 4.31 – Away STL – Home DAL STL DET

WPG 4.29 – Away MTL OTT BUF – Home NYR

NJD 4.2575 – Away STL – Home NYI MIN CAR

CAR 4.1325 – Away BUF NYR NJD OTT – Home

Steer Clear

MTL 2.0475 – Away – Home WPG TOR

DAL 2.755 – Away NSH ARI FLA – Home

LAK 2.755 – Away PHI BOS WSH – Home

EDM 2.76 – Away MIN PIT- Home SJS

CBJ 2.845 – Away ARI VGK – Home WSH