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.
Note: Still using stats from 2019-20, and importantly – a lot of things can change at the drop of a hat (see Dallas), so be prepared to react to news quickly.
The Immediate Fix (Grab this guy and use him for the next several days)
Martin Necas, W, Carolina Hurricanes (Available in 92 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – After putting up 36 points (16G-20A) in 64 games for the 'Canes last season, Necas added 1G-3A in the eight bubble games – nothing that jumps off the page as a MUST-ADD asset, but with Necas it's worth looking a bit closer.
Necas is only 22 years old and was a strong scorer in the AHL in his rookie season, putting up 52 points in 64 regular season games and 13 points in 18 playoff games, and his rate stats last season were solid: he scored 0.87 goals/60 and 1.9 points/60 at 5v5, good for 103rd and 120th among forwards respectively. That was while skating only 11:50 per game at 5v5 as a third-liner, but Necas has a big promotion to start the season and gets to play alongside Andrei Svechnikov on the second line (as well as with Jordan Staal.) Given Carolina's cushy schedule over the next two weeks, Necas is a great fill-in for a Dallas Star or Florida Panther who should be parked.
The Building Block (Buy now, sit back and enjoy the production)
Kevin Hayes, C, Philadelphia Flyers (Available in 69 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – Hayes was a fine player in the black and orange last season, putting up 23G-18A in 69 games, but he hadn't hit the heights that were expected of him given his $7.1million contract. Expect that to change this season in a big way, as Hayes has moved from a third-line/second-power play unit role to a cushy spot on the top PP and is now centering the second line.
Hayes' primary linemates at 5v5 last season were Joel Farabee and one of