A position that is often overlooked in fantasy hockey is goaltending; often because we are too focused on the offensive side of the puck (even offensive defensemen have the upper hand in fantasy hockey). A good goalie tandem can make or break your fantasy season. In a league that scores by categories, goalies are usually good for 4-5 categories, something that can easily sway a weekly outcome. In a points based league, goalies play an even more prominent role; saves, wins, and the occasional shutout can make a goaltender just as valuable as your best forward. The year I won my fun league I have with a few friends, my goalies accounted for nearly a third of my total fantasy points on the season. Goalies can steal match ups. With that, here is the Union and Blue Fantasy Fix: Goalie Edition
How Many Goalies
How many goalies you should carry on your roster is a question that often comes up. Standard leagues usually have you starting only two goalies, but I usually carry three on my roster. This is even more important in a points based league, as you can rotate your goalies in order to get the maximum amount of points. However, some leagues do have a limit on the number of starts for each fantasy position. In the FanSided fantasy league, we are limited to 7 starts for goalies, so even though I am carrying three on my roster, I must be mindful that I do not max out the position early in the week.
Timeshares / Who to Start
A team with a goalie controversy, or one that simply likes riding the hot hand, can be frustrating when it comes to fantasy. What if you used a draft pick to get Jonathan Bernier, only to see James Reimer steal some of his thunder? Another tandem that proved frustrating in previous seasons was Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliot. In these cases, it is sometimes better to borrow some strategy from fantasy football and have both on your roster, especially in situations like Bernier and Reimer, where both goalies are performing well.
But how do you know who to start? You will quickly find that the updates on ESPN and Yahoo are not always accurate, or informative as to who is starting on a particular night. Fortunately, there is a website that gets rid of all of the guesswork, Left Wing Lock’s Starting Goalies Tool. This tool will first show you who is probable to start, and once this information is confirmed, it will provide a link to a tweet or release. The tool also provides some basic stats, as well as a meter that shows if the goalie is a strong or weak start. Left Wing Lock is definitely one for the bookmarks!
Now that we have gone over the basics of fantasy hockey goaltenders, let’s take a look at how some of the goalies have done so far this season. I will split them up into hot and cold.