Geek of the Week: Players to Help You Down the Final Stretch

Scott Royce


Hey everyone, I'm back after a week sabbatical, sorry for the lack of content last Sunday! This week we are back at it and looking for some quality adds to your team that could help you down the stretch for the last few weeks of the season, and potentially playoffs depending on your league. There are a couple players coming back from lengthy injuries that may have gone unnoticed, so let's see what's out there this week!

Anthony Mantha

The Washington winger has been sidelined since early November after a nasty shoulder injury. Mantha came over to Washington at the trade deadline last season and had some moderate success with the Caps. I was high on Mantha going into this season but he had a slow start and then was sidelined almost four months. But finally, he is back and he fits nicely into the second line with Nicklas Backstrom and TJ Oshie. Conversely, this won't be great news for Tom Wilson owners as he sees his role reduced a bit. 

Mantha is normally a pretty high-volume shooter and can rack up a decent number of points for you. He isn't big on the peripherals like hitting and blocking, and currently he resides on the team's second power-play unit, which to me seems like a misstep by Washington. The Caps power play is ranked in the lower third of the league this season and I feel like Mantha could give them some fresh looks on the top unit to help give their special teams a shot in the arm. But for now, Mantha resides on the second unit and that will limit his power-play points.

I still think he could be a solid add down the stretch if you are hurting for scoring. He is a dual-eligible winger and can be had in most formats. On Yahoo he is 29% rostered, while over on Fantrax he is 59% rostered, and finally ESPN he is only owned in 10% of leagues. 

Jakub Vrana

Ironically, the next name this week is the player who came back the other way in the trade with Anthony Mantha last season. Vrana was part of the package that came back for Mantha at the deadline last season. Red Wings fans had high hopes for Vrana. The irony continues, as just like Mantha, Vrana missed significant time thanks to a terrible shoulder injury that required surgery. He made his season debut earlier this week and in three games he has three goals.

Vrana is still just 26 years of age and inked a three-year contract extension with the Red Wings in the offseason. He should be a big part of Detroit's future plans going forward, but for now he has slotted into the second line with Joe Veleno and Sam Gagner. His deployment is much like Mantha's in Washington (this is awfully weird). He is on the second line and second power-play unit. Three games is an awfully small sample size, but he's actually been racking up some solid hits numbers this week