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Fantasy top 30 goalies: Sabres' Ullmark gets chance

by David Satriano

Every Thursday during the season, fantasy hockey staff writer David Satriano provides in-depth goalie analysis. From updated weekly top 30 rankings to trending players and more, Satriano is your go-to guy for fantasy goalie advice all season long.

The Buffalo Sabres traded for goalie Robin Lehner hoping that he would be a stabilizing force for them. Unfortunately, Lehner sustained an ankle injury in the opening game of the season and likely won't return until December.

Backup Chad Johnson has not performed well (3-6-0, 3.16 goals-against average, .881 save percentage) and has allowed three or more goals in each of his past three starts, which is why rookie Linus Ullmark is getting his chance.

Ullmark has started the past two games and three of the past five, and gets the call Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning. After allowing four goals on 28 shots in a 4-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Oct. 24, he's been impressive, winning each of his past two games and stopping 56 of 58 shots. He should see majority of the starts for the Sabres while Lehner is out and is owned in six percent of Yahoo leagues.

"He's calm, cool and collected in net," Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said after a 2-1 win against the New York Islanders on Sunday when Ullmark made 29 saves. "We liked a lot of what we saw from him in training camp. We really wanted to see him play some games. The three games he played in Rochester [of the American Hockey League], he was the best player on the ice. We were hoping he'd be able to get here and get in net for us, and he's gotten two good wins for us."

The Sabres are much improved from last season and also have more offense, meaning Ullmark should be able to pick up wins. Right now, he is widely available if you're in need of goalie help.


Jake Allen, St. Louis Blues

Jake Allen
Goalie - STL
RECORD: 5-3-0
GAA: 1.93 | SVP: .935
The Blues are off to a 9-3-1 start and Allen is a big reason why. He has recently received most of the work and performed well. Allen has appeared in each of the past five games, picked up four wins in that span, and was 3-0-0 with a 0.98 GAA, .963 SV percentage and a shutout last week when he was named the NHL's second star of the week. He relieved Brian Elliott on Wednesday and backstopped the Blues' comeback road win against the Chicago Blackhawks with 27 saves on 28 shots faced.

Allen (73 percent owned) is 5-3-0 with a 1.93 GAA and .935 SV%, and has allowed six goals in his past five games after giving up three goals in each of his first three starts. Elliott (4-0-1, 2.81 GAA, .888 SV%), meanwhile, gave up four goals on 15 shots faced against Chicago and has allowed at least two goals in each of his past five games. The Blues are riding Allen right now, especially after Elliott sustained an injury Wednesday.

The Blues continue their four-game road trip when they play two more high-scoring teams in the Nashville Predators and New York Rangers. If Elliott misses any time because of injury, expect Allen to shoulder the entire workload.


Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators

Prior to a bounce-back performance Tuesday when Anderson made 36 saves in a 2-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens, he had lost three of four while allowing three or more goals in each start. Anderson also had a save percentage of .895 or worse in each of them. For the season, he's 5-3-1 with a 2.83 GAA and .913 SV percentage, and has allowed three or more goals in six of nine starts.

Anderson is owned in 70 percent of leagues, with Andrew Hammond owned in 39 percent. Hammond has made two starts this season but looked sharp in his last one, making 29 saves in a 3-1 win against the Detroit Red Wings. Hammond is the better choice. He likely will see more playing time and has one regulation loss in 27 career games (21-1-3).


Mike Condon, Montreal Canadiens

Mike Condon
Goalie - MTL
RECORD: 4-0-1
GAA: 1.60 | SVP: .941
With Carey Price sidelined because of a lower-body injury that will keep him out at least a week, Condon has made his starts count. He lost for the first time this season Tuesday, making 25 saves in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Senators, and is 4-0-1 with a 1.60 goals-against average and a .941 save percentage.

Condon, a 25-year-old rookie, is owned in 50 percent of leagues and will probably start against the Islanders on Thursday and Boston Bruins on Saturday, with each game at home.

Price has been nothing short of spectacular again, winning his first seven starts of the season and having a 7-2-0 record with a 2.01 GAA, .936 SV% and two shutouts, and there is clearly no goalie controversy in Montreal. The question is, how long will Price be out and when he does return, will the Canadiens curb his workload and save him for the Stanley Cup Playoffs? The answers to those questions are important in considering if Condon is worth a pickup


Andrei Vasilevskiy made his season debut for the Tampa Bay Lightning after missing time because of blood clots. He made 32 saves in a 4-3 win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Nov 1.

Backup goalie Jhonas Enroth earned his first shutout with the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday, making 24 saves in a 3-0 win against the Blues. Though Enroth may only play 10 games behind workhorse Jonathan Quick, he is 2-0-0 and has allowed one goal on 65 shots.


These rankings indicate fantasy expectations for this season alone. Value is quantified by projected starts, peripheral category coverage, timeshare situations, team defenses, past performance and overall upside in standard Yahoo categories, which include wins, goals-against average (GAA), save percentage (SV%) and shutouts. It is important to note that our rankings reflect sheer fantasy value, not necessarily the most talented goalies in order.

1 Carey Price, MTL (DTD) 16 Antti Niemi, DAL (-1)
2 Henrik Lundqvist, NYR (SAME) 17 Tuukka Rask, BOS (+1)
3 Pekka Rinne, NSH (+1) 18 Jimmy Howard, DET (-2)
4 Jonathan Quick, LAK (+4) 19 Frederik Andersen, ANA (SAME)
5 Marc-Andre Fleury, PIT (+6) 20 Jake Allen, STL (+7)
6 Braden Holtby, WSH (-3) 21 Michael Hutchinson, WPG (-1)
7 Devan Dubnyk, MIN (-1) 22 Semyon Varlamov, COL (SAME)
8 Corey Crawford, CHI (+1) 23 Kari Lehtonen, DAL (+1)
9 Roberto Luongo, FLA (-4) 24 Craig Anderson, OTT (-1)
10 Ben Bishop, TBL (-3) 25 Ondrej Pavelec, WPG (SAME)
11 Jaroslav Halak, NYI (+1) 26 Sergei Bobrovsky, CBJ (+2)
12 Martin Jones, SJS (-2) 27 Cam Talbot, EDM (-1)
13 Brian Elliott, STL (DTD) 28 Steve Mason, PHI (NEW)
14 Ryan Miller, VAN (SAME) 29 Petr Mrazek, DET (SAME)
15 Cory Schneider, NJD (+2) 30 Linus Ullmark, BUF (NEW)

Dropped out: Mike Smith, Cam Ward

Key injuries: Price (DTD), Elliott (DTD), Jonas Hiller, Robin Lehner


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