With the trade deadline behind us, we are truly in the final stretch before the playoffs. Every significant injury is potentially season ending at this point, so you will likely find yourself dropping players more and more as the season draws to its conclusion. Picking up the right replacements can provide that final edge that pushes you over the top in a tight race.
With that in mind, here are the latest players we feel are worthy of your consideration:
Mikael Granlund (MIN) - C - Owned in 13% of Yahoo leagues
Granlund, much like the Minnesota Wild as a team, was underwhelming over the first half of the 2014-15 campaign. However, the Wild have been nearly unbeatable lately and while Granlund isn't the biggest reason for their transformation, he certainly has contributed to their rise. He has three goals and 11 assists in 19 games since the All-Star break and has an incredible plus-14 rating over that span. As long as the Wild stay at the top of their game, Granlund is worthy of a roster spot in standard leagues.
Michael Del Zotto (PHI) - D - Owned in 32% of Yahoo leagues
Del Zotto only recorded two points from Nov. 15 through Jan. 15, so naturally that's weighed heavily on his overall numbers this season. He's been one of the best offensive defensemen in the league since that stretch though with seven goals and 16 points in his last 21 games. Philadelphia's chances of making the playoffs are slim to nil, but Del Zotto is set to become a restricted free agent this summer, so he still has that to play for if nothing else. If he's not already owned in your league, you should give serious consideration to picking him up.
Karri Ramo (CAL) - G - Owned in 24% of Yahoo leagues
Ramo started in five straight games from Feb. 24 to March 5 and only allowed eight goals over that span. While Jonas Hiller did a fine job in Friday's contest, the Flames aren't likely to wait too long before giving Ramo another shot given his recent play. With a 2.43 GAA and .917 save percentage in 25 contests, he has put up comparable numbers to Hiller in 2014-15, albeit in significantly fewer starts.
David Desharnais (MON) - C - Owned in 22% of Yahoo leagues
Desharnais got off to a decent, but unremarkable start this season. He's been dominant since the start of February though with four goals and 17 points in 18 games. Given that he's consistently playing alongside Canadiens leading scorer Max Pacioretty and getting a healthy amount of power-play ice time, there's reason to believe that Desharnais can stay strong for the rest of the 2014-15 campaign. The fact that he plays for one of the best teams in the league means he's also an asset in the plus/minus department as he's currently sitting at plus-22.
Justin Abdelkader (DET) - LW/RW - Owned in 27% of Yahoo leagues
Abdelkader's offense contributions have come in short bursts this season, but they've been too few and far between to make him worth owning in most standard leagues. Still, he's worth taking a chance on right now. He's playing alongside Henrik Zetterberg and Erik Cole and while this is far from the first time he's been paired up with Detroit's top skilled forwards, the presence of Cole is interesting as he has extra motivation after being shipped out of Dallas on March 1. The trio certainly meshed well on Friday with Zetterberg and Cole assisting on Abdelkader's two goals.
Mike Hoffman (OTT) - C/LW - Owned in 40% of Yahoo leagues
For a rookie, Hoffman has been pretty consistent for most of the 2014-15 campaign. He recorded a respectable eight points in each of November, December, and January while playing in 12 to 14 contests per month over that span. Hoffman has really taken off lately though with eight goals and 18 points in his last 18 games. His surge is part of the reason Ottawa has fought its way into the outskirts of the playoff race. He also has a team-high plus-24 rating, which is nearly double the next best Senators player. Look for him to finish the season on a high note as tries to make up ground in the battle for the Calder Trophy.
Mika Zibanejad (OTT) - C/RW - Owned in 17% of Yahoo leagues
And if Hoffman is already taken in your league, then Zibanejad is a good alternative. Zibanejad is his linemate and thus has reaped the rewards of Hoffman's surge. Although Zibanejad hasn't been quite as good, with four goals and 10 points in his last 11 contests, he certainly hasn't been a burden to fantasy owners. If you're in a league that counts hits, then Zibanejad will also help you in that regard as he's been credited with 121 hits in 61 contests.
Jonathan Huberdeau (FLA) - C/LW - Owned in 40% of Yahoo leagues
After a disappointing sophomore campaign, Huberdeau has bounced back somewhat in 2014-15 with 11 goals and 39 points in 63 games. Those still aren't great numbers, but with the Panthers trying to claw into the playoffs, Huberdeau has stepped up lately with two goals and six points in his last four contests. With him hot and the Panthers desperate, he's not a bad guy to take a chance on. Feel free to wait before grabbing him though as Florida is off until Thursday anyways. Starting with Thursday's contest against Winnipeg though, the Panthers will participate in four games over six days.