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: With COVID news coming out of the blue, this article could be stale by Friday evening. It's important as always to pay attention to twitter and the site (especially the Ramblings) to keep abreast of all fantasy-relevant changes. The schedule portion of this article will continue as always, but be prepared to react quickly if games get postponed. All stats updated through Wednesday, Mar. 3rd
The Immediate Fix (Grab this guy and use him for the next several days)
Cam Fowler, D, Anaheim Ducks (Available in 95 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – Fowler's been an ignored piece for most of the season, which is due to a combination of being on Anaheim, and having Kevin Shattenkirk take Fowler's spot on the "top" power play; so far this season, Fowler's been the much better fantasy option, with 2G-10A in 23 games so far on 5.4 percent shooting compared to Shattenkirk's 0G-6A line with the same number of shots on goal for each (37).
Playing over 22 minutes per game and with no Hampus Lindholm in the lineup for the foreseeable future (placed on injured reserve), Fowler's a great short-term add for teams light on defensemen or teams that lost a star like Cale Makar to injury. Fowler's made even more enticing by the fact that Anaheim has a great schedule this month (see below), and should be available given his low ownership.
The Building Block (Buy now, sit back and enjoy the production)
Pavel Zacha, C, New Jersey Devils (Available in 69 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – The sixth-overall pick just six years ago has yet to really perform close to expectations – he hit his career-high in points last year with just 32 in 65 – but through the first 18 games of the season, Zacha's performed tremendously well with 6G-8A and is playing as a top-line center. With Nico Hischier starting the year on injured reserve and since returning to injured reserve, Zacha's competition for top center is only Jack Hughes and a 35-year old Travis Zajac, which means minutes should be free for Zacha.
That increase in role has also led to an increase in ice time, as Zacha's current ice time of 16:51 per game is a 40-second increase over last season and a full minute and a half over his career average. It's important to note that Zacha's currently shooting an unsustainable 18.2 percent which will plummet, but Zacha's a double-digit career shooter (10.1 percent) and his current point pace combined with the opportunity in front of him make him a long-term buy. This is a speculative add and would only be recommended in dee