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Thread: Fantasy impact of an increase in "goalie controversies"

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    Default Fantasy impact of an increase in "goalie controversies"

    Fantasy impact of an increase in teams using more goalies this season
    By: Scott Maran

    With an above average amount of NHL teams carrying two legitimate starting goalies this season, I started to think of what value these goalies would have to fantasy teams. This season, quite a few NHL teams have employed a strategy like this. The St. Louis Blue, Anaheim Ducks, Dallas Stars, and even more teams currently have two goalies that could be considered starters. For instance, Michael Hutchinson and Ondrej Pavelec have been switching who starts every game so far this season. Should fantasy hockey team owners avoid these goalies and their uncertain situation? What kind of impact do the goalie controversies have on fantasy hockey in general?

    First, we have to consider how many games these types of goalies will play. Obviously, if you compared a starting goalie with no competition to a goalie that is splitting time with another goalie, the goalie with competition is more likely to play fewer games. For instance, Carey Price played 21 more games than Ryan Miller last year and was able to win 15 more games. When given the choice to choose, taking the goalie that doesn’t have as much competition for starting games will get you more games played and likely more wins. This idea also applies even if you drafted two goalies who were competing for starts on the same team. For example, which pair of goalies would have provided more total played games for a fantasy team last year, Brian Elliot and Jake Allen from the St. Louis Blues or Semyon Varlamov and Jaroslav Halak? Last year Brian Elliot and Jake Allen started a combined 77 games while Semyon Varlamov and Jaroslav Halak started a combined 116 games. So even though both pairs of goalies in the example would have taken up two roster spots on a fantasy team, the Elliot and Allen combination would have given a fantasy team 29 less games than the Halak and Varlamov pair.

    In addition, a pair of starting goalies on the same team does not provide more value than two starters on different teams; even if you could get one of the goalies on the same team later in the draft. Lets say there are two fantasy hockey teams, Team A and Team B. Last year, both teams drafted their players according to Yahoo’s average draft position rankings and Team A drafted Jonathan Quick with his 22nd overall pick. Team B drafted next and took Joe Pavelski. Later on in the draft, Team B took Brian Elliot with his 99th overall pick and Team A drafted Gustav Nyquist with his 100th overall pick. From those two selections, Team B would have received 16 more points but 10 less wins. However, what would have happened if Team B drafted a goalie that started more games like Frederick Andersen or drafted Jake Allen, the other goalie for the St. Louis Blues? If Team B drafted Andersen, he would have had scored only 1 less win and if he drafted Jake Allen, he would have scored 14 less wins than Team B. Team B would have been better off drafting Andersen last year instead of drafting one of the two St. Louis goalies. This same concept applies to fantasy teams that draft both goalies from a potential goalie controversy. Let’s go back to Team A and Team B from last year. What if Team B drafted Joe Pavelski, Brian Elliot, and Jake Allen while Team A drafted Quick, Ondrej Pavelec, and Gustav Nyquist? Team B would still have had 16 more points but Team A would have had 10 more wins.

    So now that we’ve established that an NHL team having two starting goalies under contract decreases those goalies fantasy value, what kind of an impact do more of these pairings have on fantasy hockey? While there aren’t many true goalie controversies this year, there are numerous situations where there are two or even three goalies competing for starts on the same that could be considered goalie controversies. The Ducks, Flames, Hurricanes, Stars, Red Wings, Sharks, Blues, Leafs, and Jets can all make a case for carrying two above average goaltenders. All these teams are likely to spread out games between the two goalies and let them compete between themselves. While this sounds like a good thing, increased competition could lead to better save percentages, this creates more goalies that will get significant playing time. Take the Flames for example. In the beginning of the year, the Flames had Jonas Hiller, Karri Ramo, and Joni Ortio all on their roster. This led to a problem for fantasy hockey players; if a fantasty hockey player wanted to get most of the Flames games, he would need to draft all three goalies to guarantee himself starts. What if the fantasy player drafter Jonas Hiller and Joni Ortio and Karri Ramo started most of the Flame’s games? The only sure way of getting Calgary’s games would be to draft all three goalies and this takes up more roster spots. So, with more teams giving more goalies more starts, that decreases the amount of goalies that are going to be guaranteed to start 60+ games and make the goalies that are guaranteed to get a significant amount of starts more valuable. As these goalies go up in value, that could make trading for and drafting a top goalie much harder.

    What does this mean for fantasy teams in a few years? I think it means that owners of goalies who are guaranteed a significant amount of starts in keeper leagues should look to trade them this season. If star goalie values are going up because of an increase of more goalies getting more starts this season, what could happen if most of these “goalie controversies” are solved in the next two years? Let’s say the Ducks trade Andersen and go with Gibson as their number one goalie, the Hurricanes let Cam Ward walk and Lack becomes the starter, the Flames resign Hiller and trade Ortio and Ramo, the Red Wings buy out Howard, and Allen takes over the starting job, all in one or two years. This would mean that there would be more available starting goalies, lowering the value of starting goalies.

    Now, the increase in value of starting goalies isn’t by so much that I’m suggesting you should sell your starting goalies no matter what. It may even depend on your league settings and roster limits. What I’m suggesting is that there’s a greater chance there’s another owner in your league that needs a starting goalie this season then there was last year and will be next year. If another owner is willing to pay a higher price for a goalie that is guaranteed a lot of starts this year, maybe you should send out some offers for your good goalies and see what they’re worth. The answer might surprise you.
    Geek of the Week columnist for DobberHockey and writer for BlueshirtBanter. Twitter- @realallinhockey

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Fantasy impact of an increase in "goalie controversies"

    Hey Scott, can you send me an email please? I'm at [email protected]


    Thanks!
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    Default Re: Fantasy impact of an increase in "goalie controversies"

    Geek of the Week columnist for DobberHockey and writer for BlueshirtBanter. Twitter- @realallinhockey

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    Default Re: Fantasy impact of an increase in "goalie controversies"

    Quote Originally Posted by rangerfan2430 View Post
    It's the second one.


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    Default Re: Fantasy impact of an increase in "goalie controversies"

    Quote Originally Posted by Axeman33 View Post
    It's the second one.
    Thanks. I thought it was the second one but I wanted to make sure
    Geek of the Week columnist for DobberHockey and writer for BlueshirtBanter. Twitter- @realallinhockey

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