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Fantasy Spin: Patience with Steen can pay off

Elite Blues forward to return Tuesday; 82 percent owned

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / Fantasy Insider

Steen scores from tough angle

STL@ARI: Steen scores top-shelf during breakaway

2/20/16: Alexander Steen races down the ice and knocks in a top-shelf goal from a very wide angle to give the Blues a 2-1 lead

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It's very telling when a player is among the fantasy elite despite missing more than a month of the season.

Alexander Steen, who has not played since Feb. 20 because of an upper-body injury, will return Tuesday for the St. Louis Blues against the Colorado Avalanche (8:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN). He practiced Monday on the Blues' third line with David Backes and Patrik Berglund and also in power-play situations.

He is one of seven forwards with at least 30 assists, 19 power-play points, 160 shots on goal and 42 penalty minutes this season (Jamie Benn, Patrice Bergeron, Claude Giroux, Evgeni Malkin, Kyle Okposo and Ryan Johansen). Steen, who plays 20:30 per game and averages the most shifts per game among all forwards (29.4), was ranked among the top 40 in Yahoo's performance-based rankings prior to the injury and is 90th after a 15-game absence.

Most fantasy owners with an injured reserve spot probably held onto Steen, but some may have been unable because of their league size and structure. With many leagues locking transactions for those who have been eliminated, there's a slim chance you could find Steen (C/LW, 82 percent owned in Yahoo) on your waiver wire.

Whether you snag him with a pickup or activate him after exercising patience for more than a month, the timing could not be better when standard league fantasy championship rounds begin this week. The Blues, who have already clinched a berth in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs, have six games remaining in the regular season. Four of them will be played at Scottrade Center, where Steen has 27 points in 32 games this season.

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