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, March 31.
The Immediate Fix (Grab this guy and use him for the next several days)
Jeff Carter, W, Los Angeles Kings (Available in 90 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – After recommending Alex Iafallo last week, it's Iafallo's teammate's turn to get recommended – although if Iafallo is available, he should be the pickup over Carter – as the Kings' schedule is just too juicy to pass up, and Carter has a lot of plug-n-play value over the next two weeks.
On the season, Carter's line of 6G-10A isn't much to look at, but Carter remains a volume shooter who's just having an off-year in terms of shooting percentage; Carter's sitting at 99 shots in 34 games (2.9 per game) but is connecting on just 6.1 percent of those, a huge drop from his career average of 11.1 percent and the lowest he's ever been in his career. Carter's no longer a top-line winger at this point in his career, which is actually a plus for his potential scoring, as he'll avoid the tough matchups that come with playing alongside Anze Kopitar. Although he's only picked up a goal and assist in his past five games, he's also thrown 15 pucks on net and in peripheral leagues that has value.
The Building Block (Buy now, sit back and enjoy the production)
Calvin Petersen, G, Los Angeles Kings (Available in 75 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) – Consistently the better goalie on the Kings since entering the league – he's put up seasons of .924, .922 and currently .925 save percentages while his net-mate Jonathan Quick put up .888, .904 and .894 – Petersen's a strong add for the rest of the season and a huge piece in keeper leagues if he's available.
After playing only 11 games and eight games the past two seasons, Petersen's up to 19 games played this year (18 starts) and although he only has seven wins, Petersen is finally outpacing Quick in starts. From a fancy-stats perspective, Petersen sits tenth in the league in Goals Saved Above Average per 60 (min. 500 minutes at 5v5), and is tied for ninth in the league in 5v5 save percentage at 0.932; Petersen has also been dynamite on the penalty kill, sitting third in the league in GSAA per 60.
In leagues that only care about wins, Petersen sees a dip in value given he's still in a 60/40 timeshare in net, but any league that tracks extra goalie categories like save percentage and shutouts gives Petersen extra value.