Winnipeg Jets v Toronto Maple Leafs

The NHL trade deadline is still less than three weeks from now, but when it comes to your fantasy league, your deadline may be approaching very soon.

In most Yahoo leagues, the last possible date to trade a player was set for March 21st. That was until they made a late change to their deadline late last week, adding March 28th, April 4th and April 11th under the league settings in the commish tools. These added dates are important, as many of the head-to-head league playoffs begin in week 23, which runs from April 8th – April 14th. Many owners like the idea of setting a deadline on or after the same day as the real NHL deadline, giving managers the opportunity to assess the value of players dealt to another team. If the Flames decide to deal Jarome Iginla to the Bruins for example, his trade value in your pool probably goes up quite a bit.

This is always an exciting time in fantasy. Trying to figure out if it’s worth risking future picks to go for the championship is definitely a tough decision these days. Finding a player or two to put you over the top without giving up too much is also something that takes some creativity on your part, and more importantly, some good luck. All you can ask for when acquiring players this time of year is that they stay healthy, and keep producing.

Here are five players to target on the trade market before your deadline this season.

Kings forward Jeff Carter:

Stats: 17 goals, 2 assists, 5 power play points, 76 shots

Carter may not have the assists you were looking for, but his 17 goals are something that can help you down the stretch. After scoring just 21 goals in 55 games last season for the Blue Jackets and Kings, Carter has once again found the net in 2013, scoring on 22.4% of his shots.

(Players to trade for Carter include Loui Eriksson, Jarome Iginla, Marian Gaborik)

Devils forward Patrik Elias:

Stats: 9 goals, 18 assists, 11 power play points, 68 shots

Elias is putting together a fine season, and no one’s really talking about it. For some reason, he went in the 6th round of my points league this year after a 78 point campaign last year. Elias has four goals this month and should be a nice addition to your lineup if you can get him.

(Players to trade for Elias include Brayden Schenn, Damien Brunner, Sam Gagner)

San Jose Sharks v Dallas Stars

Sharks forward Logan Couture:

Stats: 12 goals, 9 assists, 8 power play points, 79 shots

Couture has already had a tale of two seasons. He started the season hot, recording 5 goals and 5 assists in January before cooling off with a three goal month of February. With four goals in his last six games, it seems as if he’s back. Might be a good time to try and get him while his value is still not very high.

(Players to trade for Couture include Jordan Eberle, Scott Hartnell, Zach Parise)

Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul

Stats: 2 goals, 0 assists, 13 shots

After missing 25 games with a broken forearm, Lupul made a nice return to the lineup against the Jets, rewarding owners that activated him with a two goal night. Playing along side Nazem Kadri for the foreseeable future is a great incentive for owners looking for goals.

(Players to trade for Lupul include Scott Hartnell,  Teemu Selanne, Niklas Backstrom)

Wild forward Devin Setoguchi:

Stats: 9 goals, 8 assists, 3 power play points, 55 shots

Setoguchi is coming off his first three point night in more than a year, and has average a point per game of his last 11 for the Wild.

(Players to trade for Setoguchi include Ryan Callahan, Jason Pominville, Alex Tanguay)

Winnipeg Jets v Ottawa Senators

Other players to watch: Sharks’ Joe Pavelski, Islanders’ Brad Boyes, Blue Jackets’ Sergei Bobrovsky, Senators’ Craig Anderson, Coyotes’ Keith Yandle, Kings’ Jake Muzzin, Lightning Victor Hedman.

Top 5 pickups in Yahoo!

1. Joffrey Lupul (TOR)

2. Jake Allen (STL)

3. Devin Setoguchi (MIN)

4. Brent Burns (SJ)

5. Jake Muzzin (LA)

Top 5 drops in Yahoo!

1. Brayden Schenn (PHI)

2. Damien Brunner (DET)

3. Dan Ellis (CAR)

4. T.J. Oshie (STL)

5. Ben Scrivens (TOR)

Greatest Change in percentage owned on ESPN:

1. Jake Muzzin (LA) 68.9%

2. Brian Gionta (MTL) 44.2%

3. Joffrey Lupul (TOR) 37.4%

4. Brad Boyes (NYI) 35.3%

5. Chris Phillips (OTT) 35.1%

If you any fantasy questions this season, let me know in the comment section, and good luck this week.