Looking Ahead: Kerfoot Moves To Top Line

Adam Daly-Frey


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.

Most stats updated through Wednesday, February 27

The Immediate Fix (Grab this guy and use him for the next several days)

Alex Kerfoot, W, Colorado Avalanche (Available in 95 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – With the Avs’ great schedule over the next two weeks, Alex Kerfoot is in a great position to contribute as a fill-in, and should be available in most leagues as he’s only 5% owned.

Kerfoot has been the beneficiary of Colorado splitting up “the Big 3”, as Kerfoot has slid into Gabriel Landeskog’s spot on the top line alongside Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen. In his past four games (since the switch), Kerfoot has put up 1G-3A with five shots on net, and has played two full minutes above his season average in those games. While it’s a small sample, Colorado grabbing points in all of those games bodes well for keeping the lines as they are, which means Kerfoot should hold value over the next few games. Beyond the top-line duties, he also slots into the second power-play unit.

The Building Block (Buy now, sit back and enjoy the production)

Ryan Donato, W, Minnesota Wild (Available in 83 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – His ownership has already jumped 12% this week on the back of his six points (1G/5A in four games since getting traded to the Wild, but he’s still not owned nearly as much as he should be.

Donato’s playing top power-play minutes with Minnesota although only third line minutes at even strength, but he’s averaging 15:19 since the move, and he’s firing the puck a ton: 23 shot attempts already (5.75/game) with 11 getting to the net (2.75). While Donato’s true shooting talent probably isn’t the 20.1% he hit last year in his rookie campaign with Boston, it’s probably closer to the 12-15% he shot in college and the AHL than the 8.1% he’s hit in his 38 combined games this season.

He’s a prospect with a ton of pedigree given a great opportunity in Minnesota, and is a must-add in keeper leagues, and he should contribute greatly in one-year leagues (especially salary cap ones).

The Odd Man Out (His short-term value is cause for concern)

Anze Kopitar, C, Los Angeles Kings (Owned in 85 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – Shooting 13.6% on the year – a full 1% higher than his career average – hasn’t been enough to make Kopitar relev