As my colleague Victoria Matiash pointed out late last week in a rundown on goaltenders, the position is as tough as ever to keep your thumb on during this perfect storm of a season. Why do I call it that? A combination of turnover at the position, COVID impacts on a shortened season and the new ESPN.com points system that can penalize a goaltender harshly if they have a bad outing.
I also want to take stock of the position through analyzing fantasy points per 60 (FPP60) and crease share to date, while looking forward and projecting those stats. But I’m also shortening the bench for a distilled look at the stats. Here’s a quick rundown on how some key fantasy goaltenders have performed since Feb. 16 (one month) and how it may shake out moving forward in the all-goalie edition of the rankings.
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Marc-Andre Fleury, G, Vegas Golden Knights (No. 29 overall, No. 3 goaltender): The golden boy in the crease so far this season, Fleury has a 76.1 percent overall crease share, accelerated to 91.1 percent since Feb. 16 with the absence of Robin Lehner. If he kept playing that much at his FPP60 during the last month (4.68), he’d easily be the most valuable goaltender. But, with Lehner on the ice to finalize a return and Fleury at the age of 36 in what will surely be an extended postseason for the Knights, I don’t see him playing more than 55 percent of the minutes in net going forward. That would take him from the top projected remaining points to No. 7 among goaltenders with reduced playing time. So he’s still a rock solid option going forward, just don’t bank on the heroic stats we’ve seen to date.
Thatcher Demko, G, Vancouver Canucks (No. 76 overall, No. 7 goaltender): I’m at least glad I’m not alone in giving up too early on Demko this season. He’s gone from under 50 percent rostership in ESPN leagues to 60 percent in the past week — and climbing. He should be. During the past month, only Fleury and Andre Vasilevskiy have more fantasy points. His crease share since Feb. 16 stands at a workhorse-level 77.1 percent. At that pace, he projects as the third-best fantasy goaltender going forward.
Tristan Jarry, G, Pittsburgh Penguins (No. 123 overall, No. 15 goaltender): His home-road splits are still ridiculous, but the overall product has overcome that disparity. He’s played 80.2 percent of the crease minutes since Feb. 16 and piled up the fourth-most fantasy points among goaltenders since then. It’s probably helped that the majority of those minutes have been at home, where he sports a 2.36 goals-against average (compared to 3.60 GAA on the road). While the stark contrast between his venue-based performances is worth being concerned about, he still has top-five goaltender upside in his projections based on the final product.
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Kaapo Kahkonen, G, Minnesota Wild (No. 117 overall, No. 12 goaltender): Still getting less ice time than the other top fantasy goaltenders, Kahkonen has managed to put up the fifth-most fantasy points in the crease since Feb. 16 despite only getting 60.2 percent of the Wild’s crease share. But the difference between production versus Cam Talbot has been huge in that time: Kahkonen has 5.37 FPP60 to Talbot’s 2.88. Assuming a 65 percent crease share going forward, Kahkonen’s recent pace pushes him to near the top of the pile for projected fantasy points among goaltenders. While he probably can’t maintain 5.37 FPP60, he could very well play more than 65 percent of the minutes — so the give and take for the final product should see him as a lock on fantasy rosters. He’s currently available in 29 percent of leagues.
Alex Nedeljkovic, G, Carolina Hurricanes (not ranked): What a nice problem to have. The Hurricanes have Petr Mrazek on the mend from thumb surgery, but in the meantime have watched Nedeljkovic absolutely shine. Waived earlier this season to get him to the taxi squad, the Hurricanes will have to decide what to do when Mrazek is back. Nedeljkovic has a larger crease share than James Reimer since Feb. 16 (50.2 percent for “Ned”) and has blown him out of the water for fantasy production (5.51 FPP60 to 3.70 FPP60). Of course, Reimer’s FPP60 is nothing to sneeze at, it just hasn’t equaled Nedeljkovic. Do the Canes make room to keep Ned on the roster once Mrazek is back? Does this mean a trade is coming? Does Mrazek get to take his sweet time coming back due to the situation? I don’t have a strict recommendation here, other than to be aware of how good Nedeljkovic has been of late.
Ilya Sorokin, G, New York Islanders (No. 181 overall, No. 22 goaltender): Interestingly enough, Sorokin has outscored Semyon Varlamov since Feb. 16 despite only getting a 40.0 percent crease share. With deep playoff aspirations growing, we could see more of the youngster going forward. He’s definitely worth rostering, which is achievable with Sorokin available in 60 percent of ESPN leagues.
Mike Smith, G, Edmonton Oilers (No. 153 overall, No. 20 goaltender): Playing 76.3 percent of the Oilers crease share since Feb. 16, Smith has put up 3.49 FPP60 since then. That combination of pace would have him among the top 10 goaltenders for projected remaining points. But is a 76.3 percent crease share too much for the 38-year-old? Maybe in an 82-game campaign, but in a COVID-shortened season the Oilers only have 25 games left. As has been said before: Just be sure to have your hand on the ripcord to pull the chute at the first signs of struggle.
Sergei Bobrovsky, G, Florida Panthers (No. 91 overall, No. 9 goaltender): The return of the Bob. Since Feb. 16, Bobrovsky has played 60.2 percent of the Panthers minutes in the crease. But, distill it further, and he’s played 78.1 percent of the minutes since he Feb. 26. With a workhorse share that we know he can handle, Bobrovsky has the potential to be among the top five goaltenders for projected remaining points. His FPP60 since Feb. 16 is 3.92; it was 1.33 on Feb. 16. Corner turned.
Jonathan Bernier, G, Detroit Red Wings (No. 222 overall, No. 32 goaltender): I’ve almost ignored Bernier this season given the play of the Red Wings early on. But this exercise in looking at the last month has highlighted him as a potential option. A combination of a 77.2 percent crease share and respectable 2.74 FPP60 has Bernier 15th among goaltenders for fantasy points since Feb. 16. Obviously, that is well within the range to be the second goalie on your roster. His monster workload is very achievable going forward as the team will try to minimize how much they need to use Thomas Greiss (-5.67 FPP60, by the way). Bernier is available in 93 percent of ESPN leagues.
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Ilya Samsonov, G, Washington Capitals (No. 120 overall, No. 13 goaltender): Try to set aside the shutout by Vitek Vanecek on Monday, as I’m not convinced any one of use could have shutout the Sabres. Samsonov has been picking up more of the workload in the Capitals crease as time progresses. He’s handled three of the last five games, all of which could be described as the more difficult assignments (Samsonov faced the Flyers three times, while Vanecek got the Devils and Sabres). Samsonov’s FPP60 has been an elite 4.05 in his time since Feb. 16 (he returned to the team on Feb. 28), while Vanecek has posted 3.76 FPP60 since then. If these two split the crease 50-50 going forward, Samsonov would project 15th and Vanecek 16th among goaltenders. So, while it goes without saying that whichever goalie is starting more is the one you want, there is a world where both have fantasy value. As you can see from the rankings, I’m backing Samsonov.
New to rankings
Thatcher Demko (No. 76), Tristan Jarry (123), Ilya Sorokin (181), Antti Raanta (205), Vitek Vanecek (220), Jonathan Bernier (222), Yanni Gourde (231), Kasperi Kapanen (233), Matt Grzelcyk (244).
Jason Dickinson, Brock Nelson, Ryan Getzlaf, Calvin de Haan, Scott Mayfield, Nikita Zaitsev, Mattias Ekholm, James Reimer, Jack Campbell, Alex Nedeljkovic, Tyler Bertuzzi, Tyler Motte, Frank Vatrano, Kevin Labanc, Ryan Hartman, Alex Killorn.
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1. Andrei Vasilevskiy, G, TB (G1)2. Auston Matthews, C, Tor (C1)3. Connor McDavid, C, Edm (C2)4. David Pastrnak, RW, Bos (RW1)5. Brad Marchand, LW, Bos (LW1)6. Victor Hedman, D, TB (D1)7. Alex Ovechkin, LW, Wsh (LW2)8. Steven Stamkos, C, TB (C3)9. Philipp Grubauer, G, Col (G2)10. Nathan MacKinnon, C, Col (C4)11. Patrice Bergeron, C, Bos (C5)12. Leon Draisaitl, LW, Edm (LW3)13. Mark Scheifele, C, Wpg (C6)14. Max Pacioretty, LW, Vgs (LW4)15. Patrick Kane, RW, Chi (RW2)16. Anze Kopitar, C, LA (C7)17. Aleksander Barkov, C, Fla (C8)18. Mitchell Marner, RW, Tor (RW3)19. Mikko Rantanen, RW, Col (RW4)20. Alex DeBrincat, LW, Chi (LW5)21. Charlie McAvoy, D, Bos (D2)22. Mark Stone, RW, Vgs (RW5)23. Joe Pavelski, RW, Dal (RW6)24. Sean Couturier, C, Phi (C9)25. Logan Couture, C, SJ (C10)26. Artemi Panarin, LW, NYR (LW6)27. Jeff Petry, D, Mon (D3)28. Drew Doughty, D, LA (D4)29. Marc-Andre Fleury, G, Vgs (G3)30. John Carlson, D, Wsh (D5)31. Alex Pietrangelo, D, Vgs (D6)32. 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Nick Ritchie, LW, Bos (LW24)125. Shea Weber, D, Mon (D30)126. Kevin Lankinen, G, Chi (G16)127. Brock Boeser, RW, Van (RW26)128. Robin Lehner, G, Vgs (G17)129. Taylor Hall, LW, Buf (LW25)130. Adrian Kempe, C, LA (C32)131. Ryan Pulock, D, NYI (D31)132. William Nylander, RW, Tor (RW27)133. Neal Pionk, D, Wpg (D32)134. Ryan McDonagh, D, TB (D33)135. Petr Mrazek, G, Car (G18)136. Brendan Gallagher, RW, Mon (RW28)137. Samuel Girard, D, Col (D34)138. Jonas Brodin, D, Min (D35)139. Quinn Hughes, D, Van (D36)140. Jack Hughes, C, NJ (C33)141. Nick Suzuki, C, Mon (C34)142. Mats Zuccarello, RW, Min (RW29)143. Kyle Palmieri, RW, NJ (RW30)144. Tuukka Rask, G, Bos (G19)145. Jake Muzzin, D, Tor (D37)146. Cam Atkinson, RW, Cls (RW31)147. Kevin Hayes, C, Phi (C35)148. Keith Yandle, D, Fla (D38)149. Max Comtois, LW, Ana (LW26)150. Adam Larsson, D, Edm (D39)151. William Karlsson, C, Vgs (C36)152. Kevin Fiala, C, Min (C37)153. Mike Smith, G, Edm (G20)154. Dominik Kubalik, LW, Chi (LW27)155. Boone Jenner, C, Cls (C38)156. Nazem Kadri, C, Col (C39)157. Teuvo Teravainen, RW, Car (RW32)158. Anton Khudobin, G, Dal (G21)159. Joel Eriksson Ek, C, Min (C40)160. Ryan Strome, C, NYR (C41)161. Denis Gurianov, LW, Dal (LW28)162. Evgeny Kuznetsov, C, Wsh (C42)163. P.K. Subban, D, NJ (D40)164. Christian Dvorak, LW, Ari (LW29)165. Nino Niederreiter, RW, Car (RW33)166. Erik Karlsson, D, SJ (D41)167. Chandler Stephenson, C, Vgs (C43)168. Bo Horvat, C, Van (C44)169. Pavel Buchnevich, RW, NYR (RW34)170. Josh Morrissey, D, Wpg (D42)171. Sean Monahan, C, Cgy (C45)172. Jakub Voracek, RW, Phi (RW35)173. Mike Hoffman, LW, StL (LW30)174. Carter Verhaeghe, C, Fla (C46)175. Justin Faulk, D, StL (D43)176. Rasmus Andersson, D, Cgy (D44)177. Martin Necas, C, Car (C47)178. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, D, Ari (D45)179. Dylan Larkin, C, Det (C48)180. Shayne Gostisbehere, D, Phi (D46)181. Ilya Sorokin, G, NYI (G22)182. Miro Heiskanen, D, Dal (D47)183. Conor Garland, RW, Ari (RW36)184. Drake Batherson, C, Ott (C49)185. Torey Krug, D, StL (D48)186. Carey Price, G, Mon (G23)187. Rasmus Dahlin, D, Buf (D49)188. Elvis Merzlikins, G, Cls (G24)189. Oliver Bjorkstrand, RW, Cls (RW37)190. Claude Giroux, LW, Phi (LW31)191. Zach Werenski, D, Cls (D50)192. Jonathan Marchessault, LW, Vgs (LW32)193. John Gibson, G, Ana (G25)194. Jordan Eberle, RW, NYI (RW38)195. Brandon Tanev, LW, Pit (LW33)196. Jakub Vrana, C, Wsh (C50)197. Clayton Keller, C, Ari (C51)198. Brian Elliott, G, Phi (G26)199. Ty Smith, D, NJ (D51)200. Phil Kessel, RW, Ari (RW39)201. Mikael Granlund, LW, Nsh (LW34)202. Jared Spurgeon, D, Min (D52)203. Joonas Korpisalo, G, Cls (G27)204. Scott Laughton, LW, PHI (LW35)205. Antti Raanta, G, Ari (G28)206. Jordan Greenway, LW, Min (LW36)207. Jack Roslovic, C, Cls (C52)208. Eeli Tolvanen, LW, Nsh (LW37)209. Andre Burakovsky, LW, Col (LW38)210. Zach Hyman, LW, Tor (LW39)211. Colton Parayko, D, StL (D53)212. Jordan Kyrou, C, StL (C53)213. Tomas Tatar, LW, Mon (LW40)214. Adam Boqvist, D, Chi (D54)215. Nick Schmaltz, C, Ari (C54)216. Carter Hart, G, Phi (G29)217. Ryan Graves, D, Col (D55)218. Alex Iafallo, LW, LA (LW41)219. Rickard Rakell, C, Ana (C55)220. Vitek Vanecek, G, Wsh (G30)221. Cam Talbot, G, Min (G31)222. Jonathan Bernier, G, Det (G32)223. Erik Gustafsson, D, Phi (D56)224. Jeff Carter, C, LA (C56)225. Duncan Keith, D, Chi (D57)226. Chris Driedger, G, Fla (G33)227. Jake Allen, G, Mon (G34)228. Tyler Myers, D, Van (D58)229. Justin Schultz, D, Wsh (D59)230. Miles Wood, LW, NJ (LW42)231. Yanni Gourde, LW, TB (LW43)232. Jaccob Slavin, D, Car (D60)233. Kasperi Kapanen, RW, Pit (RW40)234. Andrew Copp, C, Wpg (C57)235. Andrew Mangiapane, LW, Cgy (LW44)236. Connor Murphy, D, Chi (D61)237. Nick Foligno, LW, Cls (LW45)238. Darcy Kuemper, G, Ari (G35)239. Esa Lindell, D, Dal (D62)240. Calvin Petersen, G, LA (G36)241. Anthony Mantha, RW, Det (RW41)242. Josh Norris, C, Ott (C58)243. Pavel Zacha, C, NJ (C59)244. Matt Grzelcyk, D, Bos (D63)245. David Savard, D, Cls (D64)246. Nico Hischier, C, NJ (C60)247. Alexis Lafreniere, LW, NYR (LW46)248. Brett Pesce, D, Car (D65)249. Nick Leddy, D, NYI (D66)250. Oliver Wahlstrom, RW, NYI (RW42)
Published: 2021-03-19 19:01:52
Tags: #Fantasy #hockey #rankings #Week #update