TOP 10 FANTASY HOCKEY GOALTENDERS
Goaltenders, defensemen, forwards, fantasy players and fans…hockey season is coming up quickly, and we are all excited for another great season!!
NHL preseason games start this coming Sunday, September 26th and the regular season kicks off on Wednesday, October 12th. This means that most fantasy leagues are getting geared up for their drafts for the upcoming season. With that in mind, I am going to share my lists of top fantasy players for each of the three main positions over the next couple of weeks.
Starting this week I will share my list of top ten fantasy hockey goaltenders. Next week, I will share my list of defensemen, followed by my list of forwards.
So, lets jump in, here is my list of top 10 fantasy goaltenders going into the 2016-17 NHL season!!
NUMBER 10 Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators
In 2016, Rinne played in 66 games with a record of 34-21 with 10 overtime losses and 4 shutouts. He posted a 2.48 GAA(Goals Against Average) and a .908 SV%(save percentage). Rinne is 33 years old going into this season which is a factor in why he is tenth on my list. He should play 60 plus games again this season and could possibly have a few more wins if the offense that took the Predators to the playoffs last year continues to score. The addition of P.K. Subban should help in that regard also. Just be aware that if Rinne is your fantasy goaltender, his GAA and SV% may not be as good as the top guys but they are serviceable. You are drafting Rinne for his consistent starting role and volume of wins that come with that more than his other stats.
NUMBER 9 Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
Lundqvist is also up there in age at 34 years old leading to my placing him at ninth on my list. With 64 games played last year, a record of 35-21, 7 OTL(overtime loss), and 4 shutouts he is still a workhorse goaltender. Lundqvist posted a 2.48 GAA and a .920 SV% last year as well. Those number keep him right in the mix with the top goalies in the league. Henrik had a tough series against the Penguins in the playoffs last year but expect him to continue to be a high end goalie and a good option as your fantasy starter. Lundqvist will still play in 60 or more games and in his 11 year NHL career, he has finished with less than 30 wins only one time. You can feel comfortable drafting Lundqvist as your goaltender on draft day.
NUMBER 8 Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins
Rask played in 62 games last year with a record of 31-22, 8 OTL, and 4 shutouts. His GAA was a bit high at 2.56 and his SV% was .915. Rask has had declining numbers over the last three years in GAA and SV% but has still provided 30 plus wins in each of those years. Tuukka is only 29 years old, leading me to rank him slightly above Rinne and Lundqvist. Like those guys, Rask should start 60 or more games and is likely to continue his trend of 30 plus wins. Rask will make a good starter for your fantasy team as a regular starter and pushing to get the Bruins back into the playoffs.
Number 7 Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils
Schneider is someone that could be higher on this list and may move up on this list during the season. Last year, Cory played in 58 games and ended with a 27-25 record with 6 OTL and 4 shutouts. His 2.15 GAA and .924 SV% ranked right up there with the top goalies in the league. What has held Schneider back from being ranked higher is the fact that he has yet to post a 30 win season. Part of that has been that he was splitting time in the past with goaltenders like Roberto Luongo and Martin Brodeur. The other main factor has been the Devils lack of scoring in front of him. They are hoping that with some of the young players they have and the addition of Taylor Hall in the offseason, that will change this year. Schneider should continue to post high quality GAA and SV% stats and look for his win totals to increase this season if the scoring increases in front of him. Do not be surprised if Schneider ends up higher than the seventh best fantasy goalie as the season goes on.
NUMBER 6 Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks
Crawford has played in 55 plus games in his past five full seasons and has had 30 plus wins in each of the last three years. Last season, Corey played in 58 games, posted a record of 35-18 with 5 OTL and 7 shutouts, and had GAA of 2.37 and .924 SV%. Crawford has been a picture of consistency as the starting goaltender for the Blackhawks. Combine his consistency in net with the fact that the Blackhawks have been regular playoff contenders in his time there and Crawford is easily one of the most sought after goalies in fantasy hockey. When you add guys like Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith in front of him, you can expect him to continue this consistency again this year. Corey Crawford is one of the great goaltenders to be the main backstop for your fantasy team.
NUMBER 5 Martin Jones, San Jose Sharks
Matin Jones is a newer name on the list. In his first season as a regular starter in the NHL, Jones took the Sharks to the Stanley Cup finals. Jones played 65 games in the regular season last year putting up a great record of 37-23, 4 OTL, and had 6 shutouts. He also posted a 2.27 GAA and .918 SV%. If you add in the playoffs, he went 14-10-4 with 2.16 GAA and .923 SV% in that run. When looking at these numbers, Jones could be as high as the top three on a list like this but I have him at 5 because I want to see him do this more than just the one season. If you are looking for a starting goalie, Martin Jones is worth taking. He may not have quite as great numbers this year as he had last year but Jones will make a very good quality starting goaltender for your fantasy team.
NUMBER 4 Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens
I will tell you that Price probably should be higher, but he is coming off a season where he played in only 12 games due to injury. I want to make sure Price is healthy and going to stay healthy if I am going to invest a high pick on him for my fantasy team. In the 12 games he did play last year, Price went 10-2 with 2 shutouts, a 2.06 GAA and a .934 SV%. With numbers like that, you can argue that Price should be the number one guy on any list. Price has been playing in the World Cup of Hockey and has looked good so far and all claims are that he is at 100% healthy and ready to go for this year. If Price is on the board, do not be afraid to take the former MVP, but I may look at making sure to get another high end goalie if possible just in case his knee does not hold up for him to play without having to take fairly regular days off to rest it. I have Carey at number 4 but if he is healthy and can stay that way while returning to his 2014-15 season form, he could be the number 1 or 2 on the list.
Number 3 is Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop. Last year, Bishop played 60 games with a record of 35-21, 4 OTL, 6 shutouts, 2.06 GAA, and .926 SV%. In the last three years he had 37, 41, and 35 wins putting him at the top of anyone’s list of top fantasy goaltenders. Bishop has been a great goalie in Tampa, the big question with him though is how much longer will he be there. Bishop is in the final year of his contract with the Lightning and with number like he has been putting up, he will command big dollars to play next season. If Tampa is not going to pay Ben a big contract for next year and beyond, it would be expected that the Lightning look to trade him somewhere by the trade deadline this year to try to get something for him rather than just letting him walk away for nothing. Whether Bishop is in Tampa the entire season or if he ends up somewhere else, Ben is still a top goaltender and worth having on any fantasy team.
NUMBER 2 Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings
His consistency as a goaltender is amazing. Quick played in 68 games last season and put up 40 wins. The 40 wins went with 23 losses and 5 OTL and 5 shutouts, a 2.22 GAA and a .918 SV%. I mentioned that Quick is consistent, his .918 SV% has been the exact same the last two seasons and his GAA was 2.24 in 2014-15 compared to his 2.22 in 2015-16 last year. Quick also has a pretty consistently performing team in front of him and they should remain that way this season as well. Expect Quick to once again put up very similar numbers while playing in 60 plus games again. Quick is the number 2 goaltender on my list because one thing I love to see in fantasy players, in any sport, is consistency. Quick is the definition of that at the hockey goalie position and will gladly take him on any of my teams.
THAT BRINGS US TO NUMBER 1 !!!
The top fantasy hockey goalie on my list is…. the Washington Capitals Braden Holtby!
Holtby is the stud of goaltenders. If he is available in your league, grab him as quick as you can. Holtby played in 66 games last season and at 26 years old, tied a record of the great Martin Brodeur at 48 wins. Overall, Holtby had 48 wins, 9 losses, 7 OTL, and 3 shutouts. He also had a 2.20 GAA and a .922 SV%. Holtby has now won 40 plus games in back to back seasons and is looking to do it for a third. As a team, the Capitals are looking to prove that last year’s performance was not a fluke and are looking to have the best regular season record a second year in a row. With practically the same team as last year, I see no reason why Holtby will not have just as good a season again this year and the entire team looks to be playing with a Stanley Cup or bust mentality. Braden Holtby is the top of fantasy goaltenders going into this season so if he is available when it’s your turn to pick, don’t think about it, just act like your league has a 10 second pick clock and click on Holtby as fast as you can.
THANK YOU FOR READING
TOP 10 FANTASY HOCKEY GOALTENDERS
Let me know if you agree or disagree or if I left someone off that should be there!!
Next week, I will have my top 10 defensemen so check back then.
Also, don’t forget to listen to the Fantasy Jester Show on Saturday night 9/24 at 8pm Eastern
to hear what the Jester thinks of my list.
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