Looking Ahead: March 26 – April 7

Adam Daly-Frey

2021-03-26

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. 24th

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

Alex Iafallo, W, Los Angeles Kings (Available in 86 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – At only 14 percent owned on Yahoo!, Iafallo is having a solid season that's flying under the radar: eight goals and 13 assists through the first 31 games, which isn't incredible production but is deserving of an add when everything else is accounted for.

Iafallo is averaging over 20 minutes per game (20:02 to be exact) and plays both on the top line at 5v5 as well as the top power play unit for the Kings, and on a Kings team that is exceeding expectations offensively, Iafallo should continue to contribute for fantasy players. He is shooting at a slightly higher rate than last season (2.3 shots per game) and his shooting percentage isn't outrageous at 11.3 percent, but in 31 games Iafallo already has seven power play points compared to nine in 70 games last year; getting to play those minutes is crucial to his success, and there is no reason to think he'll lose that any time soon. Beyond all those reasons, the Kings also have a great upcoming schedule (see below), so there's no better time to grab him than now.

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

Filip Hronek, D, Detroit Red Wings (Available in 79 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – Although he definitely shouldn't be added in leagues that track plus-minus – Hronek was a whopping -38 last season in 65 games and is already at -12 in 33 games – Hronek does have a lot of value in deeper leagues where underperforming defensemen could be upgraded.

Playing over 23 minutes a night as the team's primary power play option (most of the time), Hronek is helpful especially in leagues that track peripherals – again, not including plus/minus – because of all that ice time; Hronek's combining for two combined hits + blocks per game and although he's not a big penalty guy, he also won't win the Selke. Hronek has put up one goal and 17 assists through 33 games so far and is shooting only 1.5 percent, a great sign for positive regression given he shot 7.2 and 6.8 percent the past two seasons.

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

Drake Batherson, W, Ottawa Senators (Owned in 39 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – After exploding for goals in six straight games (scoring seven goals and adding three assist