Every Wednesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey expert Matt Cubeta will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy centers in our weekly segment: "Center Stage." From updated center rankings to guys you should keep a close eye on and much more, Cubeta will be your fantasy center expert all season long.
You'll notice several players getting a big bump up in this week's rankings, and that's because we've seen several injuries in the last couple of weeks.
Sidney Crosby has now been joined by other elite center-eligible fantasy players, like Washington's Nicklas Backstrom, who could be nearing a return, but for now he remains listed on IR. Productive fantasy players like Patrick Sharp and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will still be sidelined for the next three or four weeks, while Jeff Carter found himself back on IR for the second time in his short Columbus career. Some under-the-radar fantasy centers are also currently on the sidelines: Mikko Koivu, Jordan Staal, Alexander Steen and Mike Ribeiro.
What should fantasy owners do about all these injuries?
First things first: You can't panic. You're likely not the only one in your league dealing with injuries and it's almost inevitable that we all have to see one of our valuable fantasy players on the sidelines at some point during the season. You have to be sure to stay on top of your team as a manager and hunt the waiver wires for a solid pick up in the meantime. Here are a few suggestions -- these players are all available in over 80 percent of Yahoo! Leagues: