Players who are recently returning from injury make for prime targets on waiver wires as they work themselves back into their routines. Usually once they get a few games under their belt, they can get back to hitting their stride and producing at their best level. Two of these players are in that situation, while the other is benefitting from playing with strong linemates. Regardless, be sure the names below are not still floating around on your waiver wire this coming week.
Ryan Johansen – Nashville Predators – 28% Rostered
It’s not often you will find a top-line center to be available in just under 75% of fantasy leagues but here we are. Johansen is playing alongside the top-scoring forward on the team in Matt Duchene and noted sniper Filip Forsberg. The latter is riding a six-game point streak while Duchene is up to nine games. Playing beside two of the hottest players in the league is sure to provide a boost to Johansen’s offensive numbers.
Johansen is up to 16 goals and 45 points with 17 of those coming on the man advantage. His exposure to power-play one and role on the top line is top-notch and worthy of being a free-agent pickup in your league. The four games this week also help his case with the first two coming in a back-to-back scenario to kick off the week.
Anthony Mantha – Washington Capitals – 37% Rostered
Since returning from injury, Mantha is beginning to get his feet under him with five points in his last six games in the Capitals’ top-six forward group. He is being centered by one of the best passers in the game in Nicklas Backstrom, which is great news for a player with Mantha’s shooting ability.
The Capitals will need to rely on getting some help offensively if they want to continue to bank points heading down the final stretch of the season and Mantha is the perfect player to do that. He is not afraid to shoot the puck with 14 shots in his last three games. Any player who is taking that many shots will eventually be rewarded and be able to give your fantasy team some extra goal-scoring punch.
Jesse Puljujarvi – Edmonton Oilers – 28% Rostered
The Finn is two games removed from returning from injury and is back into the Oilers’ top-six forward group. He is coming off a two-assist game in the team’s latest victory and slotted on a line with Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman. The exposure Puljujarvi gets in Edmonton playing with either Connor McDavid or Draisaitl is worth considering him as a streamer this week.
The Oilers likely won’t be tinkering with their forward corps before the trade deadline so his place in the lineup is safe. Although Kailer Yamamoto took Puljujarvi’s spot on the top power-play unit since he’s been injured, it’s possible he make his way back there at some point. With four games on the Oilers’ schedule this week, there are a lot of opportunities for Puljujarvi to continue adding to his 30 points this season, which already surpassed his previous career-best of 25.