I am very much of a similar mind with Howard... Detroit hasn't been looking the same this year... but I think that is a combination of a huge loss in leadership on the blueline and a veteran'ish team trying to adapt to a condensed schedule, plus rust for Howard.
I would say that the high risk - high return would be Hiller or Varlymov, b/c if they actually have that career year, you'll look like a genius! So far Hiller has been looking decent... but I don't know if he can sustain... minus a couple under performing stars... ANA has been better than DET. Varlymov has an unknown factor that goes with COL... they could be stellar but would need to prove themselves significantly more than ANA.
However, I'm liking Crawford in CHI. His play has been better than Howard so far. He has a better offence in front of him and I think he'll have better stats overall than Howard this year (better D in front IMO).
If I recall (I may be wrong), but I remember reading that with the reduced schedule, most games will be divisional and within their respective conferences, meaning that if you are emphasizing starts and wins (over GAA, SAV, Sav %), you'd want someone who won't play harder opponents too often... that being said, I would say that the comparison is Howard vs Crawford, Varlymov vs the Canadian teams, and Hiller vs teams who have some stellar G (Quick, Lehtonen, Niemi and Smith - when back)
Therefore, in a 1 yr, I would take Crawford over Howard to play better as a team against his division (and against teams like DET, CLB, NSH... and the toughest being STL now), Varlymov as a potential X factor in the NW Div and Hiller against some tough competition.
5 Teams, Start 4 C, 4 RW, 4 LW, 6 D, 2 Util, 2 G, 5 Bench, 1 IR
1 Year Yahoo, Roto, G/A/+-/PIMS/PPP/SHP/SHA/GWG/SOG/SH%/FW/HIT/BLK,
C - Malkin (RW), Spezza, H. Sedin, Lecavalier, Bergeron
LW - Datsyuk (C), Hall, Conacher (C), Perron, Eriksson (RW)
RW - Tarasenko, Hodgson (C), Heatley (LW), Grabner, Callahan
D - Weber, Seabrook, Salo, E. Karlsson, Seabrook, Diaz, Markov, Campbell
G - Crawford, Anderson, Rinne, Lehtonen