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Waiver Wired

Wired: Mike Smith returns

by Corey Abbott
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

This week's suggestions offer a mixed bag of injury replacements, returning players and under-utilized skaters for your fantasy teams.

 

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Mike Smith (ARI) - G - Owned in 37% of Yahoo leagues

 

The ownership of Smith went up by 2% after Saturday's shutout, but he's still available in most leagues. He returned to action after missing 40 games from a core muscle injury that required surgery to repair. Smith turned aside all 44 shots he faced for his second shutout of the season. The 33-year-old netminder will likely see the majority of the starts for the Coyotes for the rest of 2015-16 and he isn't a stranger to playing very well this late into the year.

 

Zack Smith (OTT) - C - Owned in 15% of Yahoo leagues

 

I recommended the Ottawa center turned winger last week when he produced 14 points over a 16-game span. Smith has continued to churn out points since then with another four goals and one assist in four outings. He has scored a goal in five straight games and is riding an eight-game scoring streak. Smith has been red hot alongside Mark Stone, who has also been on a scoring tear since February. His Cy Young-like numbers of 21 goals and nine assists make scare off some people, but he's definitely worth the add, especially when you factor in that he has been racking up shots as well as hits and can chip in some penalty minutes.

 

Antoine Vermette (ARI) - C, LW - Owned in 8% of Yahoo leagues

 

Vermette has registered three multi-point performances in the last five contests. He has generated four goals and five assists during that span. Vermette has seen playing time with a variety of linemates during his recent hot streak, but he appears to have some on-ice chemistry with trade deadline acquisition Alex Tanguay, who has three goals and six points in five games with the Coyotes since being obtained from Colorado. Tanguay is owned in just 7% of Yahoo leagues.

 

Reilly Smith (FLA) - LW, RW - Owned in 24% of Yahoo leagues

 

Smith hasn't been snatched up like some of his Florida teammates, but he is still having a great season and should be owned more leagues. He co-leads the team with 23 goals and he has amassed 142 shots in 68 games. This is shaping up to be his breakout month of the year, as Smith already has four markers and three helpers in six matches. Smith is seeing plenty of ice time on Florida's dangerous second line with Vincent Trocheck and Jussi Jokinen.

 

Cam Atkinson (CBJ) - RW - Owned in 38% of Yahoo leagues

 

The puck is finally bouncing Atkinson's way and fantasy owners should take advantage of that. The 26-year-old winger has always piled up shots, but he has a 10.7 shooting percentage for his career. This season, Atkinson has a 12.5 shooting percentage and new career highs with 24 goals and 44 points in 67 games. He has potted five goals and added one assist in the last five contests. Atkinson should finish the season on a high note.

 

Rickard Rakell (ANA) - C - Owned in 16% of Yahoo leagues

 

Rakell has accounted for five goals and five assists in the past 13 games. The 22-year-old forward hasn't gone more than two outings without picking up a point since Dec. 17-Dec. 21. He has been a consistent offensive threat alongside Corey Perry. Rakell is also getting some time on Anaheim's top power-play unit. He is worth rostering for the rest of the season.

 

Sam Reinhart (BUF) - C - Owned in 7% of Yahoo leagues

 

After a brief move to center, Reinhart is back on the wing alongside Jack Eichel and Evander Kane on Buffalo's top line. The switch has worked, as the rookie forward has produced one goal and five assists in the past seven games. Reinhart has 19 goals and 34 points in 67 games this campaign. He is worthy of a flyer in standard leagues and should be owned in keeper formats.

 

Keith Kinkaid (NJD) - G - Owned in 17% of Yahoo leagues

 

Kinkaid has filled in admirably with Cory Schneider out with a Grade 1 MCL sprain. The Devils top goalie is scheduled to be re-evaluated in another week, so that means more playing time is coming for Kinkaid. He has posted wins over San Jose and Los Angeles in his last two starts, while stopping 52 of the 53 shots he has faced.

 

Nick Bonino (PIT) - C - Owned in 4% of Yahoo leagues

 

Bonino is projected to fill in for Evgeni Malkin, who is sidelined for six-to-eight weeks with an upper-body injury, on Pittsburgh's second line. Playing between Phil Kessel and Carl Hagelin would give him a boost, which makes him worth watching at the very least. Bonino could be replaced by Matt Cullen on that line if it isn't working out. Cullen is owned in just 1% of Yahoo leagues. It's a situation worth monitoring and you could audition whoever gets used on your fantasy squad.

 

Kris Russell (DAL) - D - Owned in 13% of Yahoo leagues

 

Russell has been seeing time on the Stars' top power-play unit with John Klingberg sidelined due to a lower-body injury. He has registered four assists in the last four games, including two on the man advantage. Russell has been averaging a team-leading 24:45 of ice time per game since he was acquired from Calgary.

Corey Abbott

Corey Abbott is an Editor for Hockey on Rotoworld. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @CoreAbbott.