<
>

Waiver Watch: Look to Bobby Ryan, Jimmy Howard to boost your lineup

After missing time with a finger injury, Bobby Ryan is returning the Senators' lineup, and could be worth a spot in your fantasy team's lineup as well. Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images

Every week, we'll mine the waiver wire for lesser-owned assets to help your squad, whether you favor dynasty or the redraft format -- and we'll also toss in some tips for DFS players out there. Categorized by position, the players are ranked in descending order by ownership percentage in ESPN.com leagues.

We'll also include some former go-to fantasy assets who may be overvalued -- in the short- or long-term -- for one reason or another.


Forwards

Bobby Ryan, RW, Ottawa Senators

Ownership percentage: 29.9

The polarizing winger returns to the Senators' lineup after sitting out nearly a month with a finger injury. Fantasy owners with a spot to fill on their roster might give Ryan some thought, wagering on the former 30-goal scorer wanting to wrap up an otherwise disappointing 2016-17 on the upswing as the team heads towards a playoff berth (and potential division title). He's slated to skate on a line with Derick Brassard and Alex Burrows.

Anthony Mantha, RW, Detroit Red Wings

Ownership percentage: 23.7

Banished to the press box for not performing to par, Mantha is due back in the Red Wings' top six Wednesday. That two-game "vacation" translates into six full days during which to stew for the young power forward. As such, we anticipate an overwhelmingly inspired showing from him, rendering Mantha our unofficial DFS play of the week.

Jake Guentzel, LW, Pittsburgh Penguins

Ownership percentage: 16.9

A Waiver Watch regular since his late-November debut, Guentzel has three goals and three assists in his most recent five games on Sidney Crosby's wing. Beyond this run-up to the 2016-17 postseason, the 22-year-old rookie deserves additional attention as a dynasty-league asset with a sparkling future.

Andre Burakovsky, LW/RW, Washington Capitals

Ownership percentage: 11.1

Just a heads up that Burakovsky (hand injury) isn't far off returning to action. With that, a reminder that the highly touted 22-year-old amassed six goals and eight assists in 14 games on a line with Lars Eller and Brett Connolly before falling hurt.

Drew Stafford, RW, Boston Bruins

Ownership percentage: 5.6

A serviceable fantasy commodity in deeper seasonal leagues as long as he remains on a scoring line with David Krejci and David Pastrnak ... and not a minute longer. The 31-year-old winger has two goals, two assists and 18 shots in five game since joining the Bruins earlier this month.

Brayden Point, C/LW, Tampa Bay Lightning

Ownership percentage: 3.5

As long as Tyler Johnson remains out with a lower-body injury, his top-line replacement produces magnified value, particularly as in DFS. Case in point: Centering Ondrej Palat and Nikita Kucherov, the 21-year-old rookie scored twice in Monday's 3-2 win over the Rangers. Just keep in mind that Johnson could return anytime this week.

Jannik Hansen, RW, San Jose Sharks

Ownership percentage: 2.7

Don't be dissuaded by the lone assist registered in three games with the Sharks -- to any observer, Hansen already hints at significant fantasy promise on a scoring line with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski.

Jordan Weal, C/LW, Philadelphia Flyers

Ownership percentage: 1.1

Paying homage to the dinner/show nightclubs of Grandma's day -- while simultaneously apologizing for the brazen pun -- perhaps you should indeed try the Weal. Skating on a top line with Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds, Weal has a couple of goals and an assist in four games. He's also been a formidable force in the AHL all season long, good for more than a point per game, so this isn't coming out of nowhere.


Defensemen

Jaccob Slavin, Carolina Hurricanes

Ownership percentage: 18.7

One hat trick does not a fantasy star make -- especially when the young blueliner in question has all of five total goals on the season. However, Slavin is generally hot at present -- six assists in eight games merits its own serving of respect -- and should feature prominently in this week's DFS conversation following Monday's three goals against the Islanders, and not only because the Hurricanes face the Isles again Tuesday.


Goaltenders

Antti Raanta, New York Rangers

Ownership percentage: 45.3

If, by some stroke of good fortune, Raanta remains available in your redraft leagues, scoop him up ASAP. The Rangers' backup has been mostly great -- including a .921 save percentage and 2.29 goals-against average -- in place of Henrik Lundqvist this season. And now Lundqvist is out for two to three weeks with a lower-body injury.

Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings

Ownership percentage: 23.4

He's back. Shelved since Dec. 20 with a knee injury, Howard re-established himself as the Red Wings' go-to 'tender in denying all but two shots in Friday's win over the Blackhawks. Rocking a .934 save percentage and 1.96 goals-against average though 16 starts, the 32-year-old should finish the season strong if he can stay healthy.

Mike Condon, Ottawa Senators

Ownership percentage: 16.3

Condon to the rescue once more (or so the Senators should hope). Tapped to fill in for No. 1 Craig Anderson -- who suffered a lower-body injury over the weekend -- the Senators' backup could see a fair bit of work in the coming days. Above average in shouldering the lion's share through the better part of December and January, the 26-year-old is most recently coming off a strong 39-save win over the Coyotes (Mar. 9). As of Tuesday afternoon, there's no timetable for Anderson's return.

Scott Darling, Chicago Blackhawks

Ownership percentage: 15.0

Recovering ahead of schedule from a recent hand injury, Darling is already re-entrenched as Chicago's active No. 2. Don't disregard the Blackhawks' backup as a present-day fantasy asset -- there's talk coach Joel Quenneville is leaning toward a tandem approach in the waning games of the regular season, sparing Corey Crawford injury/exhaustion ahead of the postseason. That Darling has posted numbers superior to Crawford this season -- .913 save percentage, 2.31 goals-against average -- does little to discourage that proposed strategy.


Lowered expectations

Matt Duchene, C/RW, Colorado Avalanche

Ownership percentage: 74.6

We're ready to write off this campaign for the skilled speedster, even if he isn't. Duchene is without a point since Feb. 19, and has carried a minus-11 rating during that span. Bring on 2017-18 (and likely, a change in scenery).

Mark Streit, D, Pittsburgh Penguins

Ownership percentage: 45.9

Annnnnd the Penguins are down yet another D-man. Streit is the latest to hit the infirmary, nursing a suspected leg injury. With Kris Letang, Trevor Daley, and Olli Maatta all still sidelined, that leaves Ian Cole as a candidate to take over anchoring duties on Pittsburgh's secondary power-play unit. So far, there is no proposed timetable for Streit's comeback.

Patrick Sharp, LW, Dallas Stars

Ownership percentage: 34.5

Sharp is just a bit of arithmetic away from packing in 2016-17 for good. As discussed in the latest edition of Fantasy 30, the veteran winger will bow out for season-ending surgery once his Stars are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. We're not far off that mark; with 14 games to go, Dallas remains 13 points out of the West's final wild-card spot.