NHL.com's fantasy hockey staff of Matt Cubeta, Pete Jensen, Sergei Feldman, Justin Goldman, Brian Metzer and Chris Foster has you covered all season long with essential fantasy hockey knowledge, rankings and advice to get you ready for your fantasy leagues.
The ABC's of Fantasy Hockey: League formats and strategies
When it comes to ranking goaltenders, there's no way to escape the guessing game. The season is way too long, and too many obstacles keep a goalie from maintaining his value for more than a few weeks.
Then there are the 10-to-12 AHL goalies that earn unexpected opportunities due to frustrating and untimely injuries, all of which swiftly change the entire landscape of your fantasy team and league.
If things weren't already tough enough, in today's NHL, very few goalies bring a high assurance level in terms of durability, consistency, and truly elite talent. In fact, only a handful can be found on "strong" teams this year, so to secure one in the first two rounds is to solidify your team as a force in the league.
HOW WE RANKED OUR GOALIES
In order to help you better prepare for your fantasy draft, we've tweaked and enhanced our annual Top-30 Goaltender rankings. We started by adding projected workloads next to each goalie (games played), plus the odds (or our confidence level) that each starting goalie reaches their projected workload.
We feel like this will not only give you a better overall picture of the fantasy goalie landscape, but help you understand where solid sleepers can be found. Backups with an asterisk (*) next to their name could play in more than 25 games and are potentially worth owning as a third goalie.
We've also added a list of 10 AHL goaltenders that could earn a few starts and wins this season. Keep that list handy if you need to dig really deep for a future stud or hidden gem.
One final note: spots #31-33 stem from the individual cases of Brian Elliott, Roberto Luongo (obviously expecting a trade), and Braden Holtby. These goalies carry legit Top-30 value, but we wanted our rankings to include at least one goalie from each team. Depending on how they play compared to their counterparts, their roles and workloads, and therefore their fantasy value, could be reversed.
RANKINGS: Top-175 | Center | Left Wing | Right Wing | Defensemen
AHL goaltenders worth keeping an eye on:
1. Jacob Markstrom, Florida Panthers
2. Kevin Poulin, New York Islanders
3. Christopher Nihlstorp, Dallas Stars
4. Robin Lehner, Ottawa Senators
5. Eddie Lack, Vancouver Canucks
6. Alex Stalock, San Jose Sharks
7. Matt Hackett, Minnesota Wild
8. Leland Irving, Calgary Flames
9. Riku Helenius, Tampa Bay Lightning
10. Jeff Zatkoff, Pittsburgh Penguins
Follow Justin Goldman on Twitter: @TheGoalieGuild; Join in the conversation: @NHLFantasy