Each week during the regular season, NHL.com has you covered with an overview of the fantasy goaltender landscape. With production trends, injury news and top 25 rankings based on performance and upside in standard Yahoo leagues, fantasy owners should use this information as a basis for roster decision-making.
MORE FANTASY RANKINGS: Top 100 forwards | Top 50 defensemen
Connor Hellebuyck, WPG (68 percent owned): In eight games for the Winnipeg Jets, Hellebuyck is 6-0-1 and is second in goals-against average (1.91) and third in save percentage (.940) among goalies with at least eight games. In seven of his eight games, he's allowed two or fewer goals. He's clearly taken the starting job from Steve Mason, who's 0-3-1 with a 4.84 GAA and .872 SV% in four games. Hellebuyck, who has started four of the past five games, has wins against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Minnesota Wild (twice), and Edmonton Oilers this season, all Stanley Cup Playoff teams from last season. He's worth owning in all fantasy formats.
Mike Smith, CGY: Smith is 6-5-0 in 11 games for the Calgary Flames, but his peripherals are what make him stand out. He has a 2.31 GAA, .931 SV% and one shutout, and is coming off a 30-save performance in a 2-1 win against the Washington Capitals on Sunday. The Flames play their next five games at home, starting against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday (9 p.m. ET; SNW, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV), which should boost Smith's home splits; he's 2-4-0 with a 2.78 GAA and .905 SV% in four home games, and 4-1-0 with a 1.77 GAA and .953 SV% in five road games. The Flames are 30th in the NHL in goals per game (2.25), something familiar to Smith from his time the Arizona Coyotes. But the when the Flames finally figure out their offensive issues, Smith should benefit with more wins.
Video: WSH@CGY: Smith shuts down Ovechkin's late bid
Jacob Markstrom, VAN (31 percent owned): The Vancouver Canucks may not seem like the most appealing option for goalies, but Markstrom and Anders Nilsson have each put up solid numbers. Markstrom has a 2.25 GAA and .916 SV% in nine games, and has allowed two goals or fewer in his past four starts, including 24 saves on 25 shots in a 2-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday. The Canucks are 25th in the NHL at 2.58 goals per game, but are third in goals-allowed per game at 2.33. Nilsson (29 percent owned) is 3-1-0 with a 1.88 GAA and .943 SV% in four games. He's been seeing an uptick in fantasy ownership as well. It may be best to handcuff this emerging tandem, but Markstrom is the better long-term option if you need to choose one.
Semyon Varlamov, COL (59 percent owned): The hope was that the hip surgeries Varlamov had last season would help his mobility and get him back to the level he was at with the Colorado Avalanche in 2013-14, when he was second in the Vezina Trophy race. Although he won his first three starts this season, it's been a struggle ever since. In his past four games, Varlamov is 1-3-0 and has allowed 16 goals. That includes allowing seven goals allowed on 21 shots faced in a 7-0 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday. Backup Jonathan Bernier (5 percent owned) has started two of the past four games and could steal more time from Varlamov.
Frederik Andersen, TOR: It's been a tough season for the Toronto Maple Leafs goalie, who is 7-5-0 with a 3.25 GAA and .901 SV% in 12 games. The numbers were worse prior to him making 28 saves in a 3-1 win against the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday. He's allowed at least four goals five times this season and six goals twice. The bottom line is, he'll get wins since the Maple Leafs are second in the NHL in scoring at 3.85 goals per game, but their defense has been less than mediocre, leading to his high GAA and low SV%. Andersen won't lose his starting job, but it may be wise for fantasy owners to shop him around once the Maple Leafs put together another winning streak.
Video: TOR@SJS: Heed takes the lead with power-play goal
Scott Darling, CAR (68 percent owned): Darling was acquired by the Carolina Hurricanes in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks and installed as the No. 1 goalie, a role that had been held by Cam Ward since he helped the Hurricanes win the Stanley Cup in 2006. Darling has been inconsistent with three wins in eight games (3-3-2), a 2.70 GAA and .897 SV%. He followed a stretch of allowing five goals in three games from Oct. 10-19 by allowing 13 goals in his next four games, including at least three in three straight. Ward (6 percent owned) has a .941 SV% in two games, so monitor the veteran as a potential fantasy streaming option.
TOP 25 GOALIE RANKINGS
Standard Yahoo categories include wins, goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts for goaltenders. ... Value has been quantified based on factors including but not limited to past production, team goaltender situations, anticipated start volume, projected goal support (or lack thereof), injury history, age, sleeper, bounce-back or breakout potential, potential regression, contract status and overall upside for this season. NEW - INJ. indicates a player who has returned from injury and rejoined the rankings. Players with day-to-day injury concerns (DTD) are noted.
1. Sergei Bobrovsky, CBJ (SAME)
2. Jonathan Quick, LAK (SAME)
3. Corey Crawford, CHI (+1)
4. Andrei Vasilevskiy, TBL (+1)
5. Jake Allen, STL (+1)
6. Braden Holtby, WSH (-3)
7. Pekka Rinne, NSH (+2)
8. Matt Murray, PIT (-1)
9. Martin Jones, SJS (+3)
10. Carey Price, MTL (DTD)
11. John Gibson, ANA (SAME)
12. Tuukka Rask, BOS (NEW - INJ.)
13. Cam Talbot, EDM (-3)
14. Mike Smith, CGY (+2)
15. Devan Dubnyk, MIN (-2)
16. Ben Bishop, DAL (-1)
17. Frederik Andersen, TOR (-3)
18. Connor Hellebuyck, WPG (+1)
19. Henrik Lundqvist, NYR (-1)
20. Jaroslav Halak, NYI (+2)
21. Cory Schneider, NJD (NEW - INJ.)
22. Craig Anderson, OTT (+1)
23. Jimmy Howard, DET (-2)
24. Semyon Varlamov, COL (-4)
25. Jacob Markstrom, VAN (NEW)
Dropped out: Michal Neuvirth (PHI), Brian Elliott (PHI)
Key injuries: Marc-Andre Fleury (VGK); Roberto Luongo (FLA); Antti Raanta (ARI); Malcolm Subban (VGK); Oscar Dansk (VGK - dropped out)
READ: Last week's Top 25 goalie rankings