All season long, NHL.com will rank the top 25 goalies for standard Yahoo leagues (wins, goals-against average, save percentage, shutouts). Players with long-term injuries have been removed from this list.
These rankings are based on expectations for the rest of the season. Value is quantified by projected starts, peripheral category coverage, time-share situations, team defenses, past performance and overall upside in standard leagues. It is important to note that our rankings reflect sheer fantasy value, not necessarily the most talented goalies in order.
The Buffalo Sabres have one of the most underrated goalie tandems in the League this season. With each component available in many Yahoo leagues, fantasy owners still have a chance to capitalize.
The combination of Robin Lehner (58 percent owned) and Anders Nilsson (9 percent) has Buffalo ranked near the top in save percentage (.919, T-4th) and in the middle of the pack in goals allowed per game (2.70, 16th). The Sabres have won four of their past five games, including three straight in overtime.
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Lehner has started Buffalo's past two games, making at least 35 saves in each. He's 12-12-5 with a 2.57 GAA and .920 SV%, and has had a SV% of .920 or better in 15 of his 31 games. Nilsson had 32 saves in a 3-2 overtime win against the Detroit Red Wings on Jan. 20, his most recent start. His 2.52 GAA and .925 SV% are similar to Lehner's numbers, and he's 8-6-4 with a .927 SV% or better in nine of his 18 games.
Plenty of fantasy owners need a short-term goalie solution these days, but owning the Buffalo tandem could provide a long-term boost as well. Lehner has the workload and SV% to deserve ownership in at least 75 percent of Yahoo leagues, and Nilsson's efficiency has him ranked 23rd among healthy goalies in Yahoo's performance-based rankings.
Most importantly, the Sabres are back in the Stanley Cup Playoff conversation, meaning a strong second half from Lehner and/or Nilsson could be the answer to your fantasy goalie dilemma.
Video: BUF@NSH: Lehner keeps Preds off the scoreboard early
Ottawa Senators goalie Mike Condon (52 percent owned) may have allowed seven goals on 29 shots faced in a 7-6 overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday, but that is more of an outlier than a trend. Condon is 4-0-1 in his past five starts and 6-1-1 in his past eight. That includes shutouts against top-tier teams in the Washington Capitals on Tuesday and Blue Jackets on Jan. 19. Condon has made 14 straight starts for the Senators, who are still without Craig Anderson (personal leave), and is on the cusp of the top 75 overall in Yahoo leagues (76th). If/when Anderson returns, Condon has played well enough to deserve half the starts. For now though, Condon has kept the Senators in postseason position. Andrew Hammond hasn't played since sustaining an injury on Dec. 18, and Chris Driedger's lone appearance was Oct. 28.
Video: Condon earns Tuesday's Pepsi Zero Sugar Shutout
The St. Louis Blues goalie situation has been a nightmare for fantasy owners of late. Pheonix Copley started Jan. 21, allowing five goals on 29 shots faced in a 5-3 loss to the Winnipeg Jets. He has since been sent to Chicago of the American Hockey League. Jake Allen (85 percent owned) had been given time off to "reset," but was benched in favor of Carter Hutton (17 percent owned), who made 34 saves in a 3-0 shutout against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday. Hutton's performance has earned him another start Thursday against the Minnesota Wild, much to the chagrin of Allen's fantasy owners. Allen has been pulled in each of his past three starts, and is clearly trending in the wrong direction. He should return to action soon and carries some buy-low appeal, but this has been a huge disappointment for a player taken 11th among goalies (42.9 overall) on average in Yahoo drafts.
- Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers had allowed 20 goals in a four-game span from Jan. 7-17 before turning it around this week. He allowed two goals on 26 shots faced in a loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday, but had won his prior three starts with a combined four goals allowed. With Antti Raanta (lower body) still sidelined, Lundqvist is the main man again in New York and beginning to erase any earlier doubt in the minds of his fantasy owners.
- Ondrej Pavelec (24 percent owned) has started four straight games for the Winnipeg Jets since being recalled from Manitoba of the American Hockey League on Jan. 17. He has allowed at least three goals in each game (3.32 GAA, .894 SV%), but is at least 2-2-0. Connor Hellebuyck (42 percent owned; 2.82 GAA, .907 SV%, three SO) and Michael Hutchinson (3 percent owned; 3.23 GAA, .894 SV%, one SO) have struggled all season long and are barely worth owning in fantasy after this development.
- Frederik Andersen made 22 saves for the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 4-0 shutout win against the Red Wings on Wednesday. This came two days after he made 26 saves in a 4-0 win against the Calgary Flames on Monday. Andersen is quietly 21-10-8 with a .921 SV% and has the Maple Leafs battling for a playoff spot. So much for the idea that Andersen's save percentage would dip with a heavier workload; he has improved on his .919 SV% from last season with the Anaheim Ducks.
Video: TOR@DET: Andersen stuffs Vanek's deflection in front
TOP 25 FANTASY GOALIES
These rankings were last updated Jan. 26
1. Devan Dubnyk, MIN (SAME)
2. Braden Holtby, WSH (SAME)
3. Carey Price, MTL, (SAME)
4. Sergei Bobrovsky, CBJ (SAME)
5. Martin Jones, SJS (SAME)
6. Matt Murray, PIT (SAME)
7. Pekka Rinne, NSH (+1)
8. Corey Crawford, CHI (-1)
9. Tuukka Rask, BOS (SAME)
10. Cam Talbot, EDM (+1)
11. John Gibson, ANA (-1)
12. Henrik Lundqvist, NYR (+2)
13. Frederik Andersen, TOR (+3)
14. Roberto Luongo, FLA (-2)
15. Ben Bishop, TBL (-2)
16. Thomas Greiss, NYI (+8)
17. Peter Budaj, LAK (+2)
18. Mike Condon, OTT (NEW)
19. Steve Mason, PHI (+1)
20. Jake Allen, STL (-5)
21. Cory Schneider, NJD (-3)
22. Ryan Miller, VAN (+1)
23. Robin Lehner, BUF (NEW)
24. Cam Ward, CAR (-7)
25. Carter Hutton, STL (SAME)
Dropped out: Marc-Andre Fleury (PIT), Chad Johnson (CGY)
Key injuries: Jonathan Quick (LAK), Jimmy Howard (DET), Antti Raanta (NYR), Semyon Varlamov (COL)
READ: Last week's Top 25 goalie rankings