Welcome back to Looking Ahead, the weekly column where we gander at the next 10-ish days of NHL play to see how often each team is playing, who they're playing, and which fantasy options can help out. It is also important to know which players to avoid, so we'll be looking at some of those as well.
The Immediate Fix (Grab this guy and use him for the next several days)
Evan Bouchard, D, Edmonton Oilers (Available in 41% of ESPN leagues, 81% Fantrax, 44% Yahoo) – Earlier this season Evan Bouchard saw time on Edmonton's top defensive pairing and ran their top power play unit and for the time being, this looks to be where he'll be slotted again.
I really think that Bouchard is Edmonton's best defender, and his offense isn't too shabby either following a two-goal game this past Saturday, along with 15 shots on goal in his past five games played. What really interests us here though is that in the Oilers last game Bouchard finally (praise be) was brought back onto Edmonton's top pair along with Darnell Nurse and is quarterbacking Edmonton's top power play unit. Unless your name is Tyson Barrie, this is very good news.
Edmonton's offense hasn't exactly been firing on full cylinders with 25 goals for in their past ten games at 5v5 and 4 goals for on the man advantage, putting them at 25th and 31st in those two categories, but for Bouchard this is an excellent chance to help contribute. Regardless of their record, Bouchard is going to see significant time with Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins which only adds to his fantasy and DFS value. While Barrie is day-to-day, Bouchard makes for a fantastic short-term addition to your fantasy lineup.
The Building Block (Buy now, sit back and enjoy the production)
Brock Nelson, C, New York Islanders (Available in 68% of ESPN leagues, 52% Fantrax, 16% Yahoo) – Yes, fantasy hockey is largely about having the best players on your team and finding value in spots that others in your league may overlook. However, I also think that it's not talked about enough how you can use the schedule in your advantage, and that's just what we have here with Nelson.
By the time you're reading this the Isles will have played 36 games this season, which puts them dead last in games played thus far. They've battled COVID issues along with having a very light schedule to start the season, now though their schedule will begin to tilt the opposite way. What makes Nelson so enticing is that he plays around 18 minutes a game slat