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Thread: Zero Goalie Strategy

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    Default Zero Goalie Strategy

    New to fantasy hockey. Played NFL fantasy for many seasons.

    I'm in a H2H points only league. Goalies gets 5 points for a win, -1 for a GA, and 3 points for a shutout.

    Not entirely sure but it appears I have to carry two goalies with a max of four. I'm unsure if I drop one of my two goalies if I can add a F or D.

    In my current matchup, I've lost a combined 7 points with Andersen and Varlamov losing their respective last starts and giving up a combined 7 GA.

    Does anyone use a "zero goalie strategy" and what's been your experience with it?

    Obviously, it appears you don't want to start your goalie(s) vs. teams you think they're going to lose to, or give up a lot of goals against.

    Hoping to read someone's experience with using no goalies because it's very frustrating seeing -7 subtracted from my totals. Shutouts aren't very likely and even wins worth 5 points have to subtract the GA leaving most wins with a value of 2-3 points. If I can use that empty G spot on a skater, I'd much rather do that, but not sure I can. Even if I can't, I don't see a whole lot of upside starting a goalie with the possibility you're taking on negative points.

    Thanks for any replies or thoughts. Completely addicted to fantasy hockey. I spend entirely too much time thinking about it. Fantasy hockey is a time machine... I get into researching waiver additions and it's literally hours later before it feels like a few seconds have gone by.

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    Default Re: Zero Goalie Strategy

    I think it could be worthwhile for sure. Go back to last season's stats and try to figure out how many points each goalie had in total to see if over the season they make up for the minuses.
    Usually when there's a minus for a goal against, there's a plus for a save. I think your setup is a little flawed without it
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Zero Goalie Strategy

    Very interesting. I took all the goalies from last year, dropped them into excel and saw some interesting things.

    1) There are 30 goalies at or above 0. So playing a zero goalie strategy likely doesn't make sense. Assuming there are 10 teams each with 3 goalies, then most of the goalies will contribute positively to a team's season total.
    2) Starters on weak teams are at the bottom of the list with large negative point totals. They should be dropped ASAP. These are the bottom 20 keepers:

    Jacob Markstrom
    Alex Stalock
    Anders Nilsson
    Calvin Pickard
    Anthony Stolarz
    Linus Ullmark
    James Reimer
    Roberto Luongo
    Mike McKenna
    Semyon Varlamov
    Corey Crawford
    Cam Ward
    Chad Johnson
    Cory Schneider
    Jimmy Howard
    Keith Kinkaid
    Cam Talbot
    Jonathan Bernier
    Carter Hutton
    Jonathan Quick
    Henrik Lundqvist
    Craig Anderson

    3) Backups on good defensive teams hold a lot more value than starters on bad defensive teams. These are the top 20 goalies from last year. After Brossoit all the points are below 19 and drop very quickly to low single digits:

    Andrei Vasilevskiy
    Jordan Binnington
    Ben Bishop
    Sergei Bobrovsky
    Robin Lehner
    Marc-Andre Fleury
    Thomas Greiss
    Tuukka Rask
    Jaroslav Halak
    Pekka Rinne
    Petr Mrazek
    Louis Domingue
    David Rittich
    Matt Murray
    Carey Price
    Darcy Kuemper
    Frederik Andersen
    Curtis McElhinney
    Juuse Saros
    Laurent Brossoit
    Martin Jones
    Mike Smith
    Philipp Grubauer

    4) The top goalie only nets 85 points. Not knowing the rest of the league scoring, I have to assume that is no where close to the top of the points range. No goalie should be taken in the 1st round or probably in the first few rounds. Even then it should only be Vasilevsky. The rest should fall to the bottom of the draft and taken as fillers.
    5) The vast majority of the goalies produce much less than 85 points. Specifically only 7 goalies scored more than 40 points which means they are no better than a run of the mill offensive-defenseman or a very low end forward.
    6) The average of the top 30 goalies is only 28.23. There are 93 goalies in the sample so this is taking only the top scoring and leaving the worst out.
    7) The average of all the goalies is -3.86.
    8) There are as many goalies who score < -40 as there are who score > 40 so you can really hurt your team by having the wrong goalie.
    In a 10 league where we start 3C, 3LW, 3RW, 4D and 2 G daily. It is a H2H league - we keep 3 players (1 G max), are allowed a max of 2 keeps for each player and track G, A, +/-, PIMs, PPG, PPA, Shots, W, GAA, SV% and Saves. The number in brackets is the number of keeps I have left:

    C - Larkin, Couturier, Trocheck, W. Karlsson, Kopitar,
    LW - OV, Panarin (1), Schenn (C), Benn (C)
    RW - Kucherov (0), Radulov, Nikolaj Ehlers (LW)
    D - E. Karlsson, Klefborn, Trouba, Nurse

    G - Vasilevskiy (0), Hart, Reimer, Greiss

    IR - Empty

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    Default Re: Zero Goalie Strategy

    This is just a case of a commissioner creating a league with a bad system of scoring for goalies.
    Yes - ride zero goalies.

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    Default Re: Zero Goalie Strategy

    great analysis above by anthonybeaty's on goalie scoring.

    My quick and dirty math says "if a goalie averages 2.5 GA per game (-5 per 2 games) and wins 50% of his games (+5 per 2 games) he scores 0 points for Ws and only scores his SOs." A 2.50 and .500 winning percentage is fairly typical so yeah your scoring sucks as Pengwin pointed out.

    Depending on your league size and bench size you should be able to replace your 2 goalies with 2 forwards that play 65-70 games (extra players will be benched on some Saturdays) and the point output of those players should be somewhere in the 40-60 point range and so should outscore your 2 current goalies.

    IF you decide to go the zero goalie route I would attempt to trade your goalies before finalizing anything. Andersen has great name value, and should win a high number of games so another team may give you some quality for him. Similar idea with Varlamov although not as high in name value.

    What are your roster size bench size and do you have daily roster changes?
    12 team H-2-H 1 year league, daily roster changes, 3 goalie start minimum/week
    2xC, 2xRW, 2xLW, 4xD, 3xUtil, 2xG, 5 Bench
    G, A, P, PIM, PPP, SHP, GWG, SOG, Hits, W, SV%, GAA, SVs
    C: L. Draisaitl (LW), S. Aho (LW), A. Athanasiou (LW) , E. Staal
    LW: E. Kane, V. Arvidsson, K. Labanc (RW), D. Brown (RW)
    RW: B. Wheeler, T. Wilson, C. Atkinson, T. Konecky (LW) B. Jenner (C,LW,RW)
    D: K. Letang, M. Giordano, D. Nurse, J. Petry
    G: J. Gibson, P. Mrazek, J. Howard

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    Default Re: Zero Goalie Strategy

    Most leagues won't even allow a zero goalie strategy, either through explicitly mandating a minimum number of starts, or active roster spots. It an also be an effective ban of one where there are enough categories that you will lose if you run zero goalies, that it won't work.

    If you are required to have 2 active goalie spots, then you do what you can with that information, which is to deal average skater + great goalie for great skater and crap goalie. Then you drop those 2 goalies to get the backups behind workhorses, so they will play very little (McElhinney would be the best option for this, i think)

    I think the key is to figure out what your league roster rules, and do what's best. Then in the offseason, get them to fix the goalie scoring.
    10 team Head-to-head true dynasty. Roster 33, draft 2, cut down before season. Start 1 G, 1-2 backup G's, 6 D, 12 F arranged in 4 lines of 3. Only categories that matter are Goals, Assists, Save% with a shutout bonus. Having NHL teammates helps.

    G: Bobrovsky
    Backup G: F Andersen
    D: Ekblad, Yandle, M Reilly, Carlson, Klingberg, Letang
    F1: Couturier, Giroux, Voracek
    F2: Schiefele, Wheeler, Guentzel
    F3: Benn, Seguin, Pavelski
    F4: Stamkos, Tavares, MacKinnon


    Bench:
    Injured: Point
    G: Holtby
    D: Gardiner, Gustafsson, Makar, Morrissey
    F: Bailey, Bertuzzi, Cirelli, Johnsson, Labanc, JT Miller, Necas
    Reserve: Datsyuk

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    Default Re: Zero Goalie Strategy

    Anthony... Thank you! Tremendous work. Extremely informative. As a newbie I watched some of the top goalies go off the board early. Vasilevskiy went 36th overall. Took Varlamov in middle rounds (assumed NYI would be low GA team and Varlamov an upgrade) and Andersen very late because I'm a Leafs fan and expect a lot of wins out of him.

    I wasn't sure of the point settings when I found myself drafting with less than 2 minutes to prepare. I thought it was like NFL.com where you could peruse leagues and join one you thought made the most sense to you. On ESPN, I went to try and check out leagues and found myself joined and drafting inside of 2 minutes. A real 2-minute warning. Zero prep time. I like to map out some kind of plan but this was just flying by seat of my pants. I've added and dropped several players already, 13, to be exact. I'm already at 5 of my max 7 moves for this week.

    The league has 22 roster spots.

    Starters: 9 Forwards (doesn't matter position), 5 D, and 1 UTILITY (F or D)

    Bench: 5 spots (F or D)

    Goalie: 2 starting spots...can carry up to 4


    Forwards:

    McDavid, Barkov, Marner, Stone, Petterson, Hughes, Gusev, Hintz, Olofsson, Anders Lee, The Cat, Ehlers, Strome, Kadri, Mikheyev, Neal

    Defensemen:

    Dumba, Barrie, Weber, Shattenkirk (likely dropping since just moved to 3rd pairing and on PP2)

    Goalies: Andersen and Varlamov (dropping for sure)

    I just need to figure out if I can *not* start who I have at goalie. Not sure how ESPN works. I tried adding James Neal in wee hours of AM but was getting an error message because I had both goalies benched. I put them back to starters and I was able to add Neal. Not sure what will happen if I try dropping a goalie without adding another. I would carry zero if I could but doubt the bench will let me show two more skaters, but I am going to try.

    May try to package Neal and Andersen for a player I think I can pull from another team. Not sure if it's good with the scheduling (which I'm having an adjustment period with) to have players on same team. Diversification seems wiser as long as it's not at the expense of lesser players.

    Really appreciate the responses. I'm incredibly addicted to this stuff. I'm out with the family and thinking about whether I should add Hronek or Alex Nylander and if so who I should drop. Believing I should go short on Dmen in favor of higher scoring forwards. Can't wait to see how this all goes. Was top point guy for Week 1 by 3 but not sure my early success is sustainable with my less than full understanding of it all yet.

    EDIT: I was able to drop a goalie and add a skater. Didn't want to wait on trying to trade Varlamov. I just wanted him off my roster and had an open D spot, as I was only carrying 4 and added Hronek, so I have a full roster going Thursday night, minus the goalies, of course. My forwards are already overflowing with Ehlers and Strome having to stay on my bench in favor of other players. I have one netminder left, and I am able to slide him to the bench as needed. I'm not playing Andersen vs. Tampa, even though the Lightning aren't firing on all cylinders. Point is back and I can't see Freddy getting "W" out of this one.

    Before I decided to drop Varlamov, I looked at the other 9 teams in my league. Most of them carry 3 and even 4 goalies. I'm definitely playing it differently than they are. Perhaps, I'll add Halak at some point. Love the forum and am thankful for the replies and well researched and thought out posts.

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    Default Re: Zero Goalie Strategy

    The fact that you got Andersen late I find very, very weird. He's a top tier goalie in pretty much all formats. What's also strange is that it sounds like they are hoarding goalies carrying 3 or 4.

    Given your format, I'd try to avoid going 3D and 0G. It will give other teams a sizeable roster spots advantage that may be problematic to overcome. Think of it as not starting a kicker or a defense and still trying to win in (non-IDP) fantasy football.
    10 team Head-to-head true dynasty. Roster 33, draft 2, cut down before season. Start 1 G, 1-2 backup G's, 6 D, 12 F arranged in 4 lines of 3. Only categories that matter are Goals, Assists, Save% with a shutout bonus. Having NHL teammates helps.

    G: Bobrovsky
    Backup G: F Andersen
    D: Ekblad, Yandle, M Reilly, Carlson, Klingberg, Letang
    F1: Couturier, Giroux, Voracek
    F2: Schiefele, Wheeler, Guentzel
    F3: Benn, Seguin, Pavelski
    F4: Stamkos, Tavares, MacKinnon


    Bench:
    Injured: Point
    G: Holtby
    D: Gardiner, Gustafsson, Makar, Morrissey
    F: Bailey, Bertuzzi, Cirelli, Johnsson, Labanc, JT Miller, Necas
    Reserve: Datsyuk

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    Default Re: Zero Goalie Strategy

    Two points.
    One, I'm assuming your bench has a max size, so you may not be able to go completely without goalies.
    Two, search up the "same night tool" (stickied in the one-year section here), and figure out how your depth players can maximize your games played off the bench.
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    Default Re: Zero Goalie Strategy

    Quote Originally Posted by stevegamer View Post
    The fact that you got Andersen late I find very, very weird. He's a top tier goalie in pretty much all formats. What's also strange is that it sounds like they are hoarding goalies carrying 3 or 4.

    Given your format, I'd try to avoid going 3D and 0G. It will give other teams a sizeable roster spots advantage that may be problematic to overcome. Think of it as not starting a kicker or a defense and still trying to win in (non-IDP) fantasy football.
    Andersen was taken 134th overall. At that point, several goalies were gone off the board. When a GA costs a -1, I can see why Andersen was still on the board. Leafs D a big question mark as they try to out skate and out skill other teams leaving Freddy on an island.

    I filled up my D so I have the max 5 starters available IE: tonight I have the max 5 guys in my lineup, but nobody on bench. I can always pick up people if the ratio gets too out of whack. I'll keep Andersen unless I can trade him. I saw -7 go off the board in the first couple days of my current matchup. That isn't going to be made up by the time the week is over. A net negative for my week is not something I want to see happen.

    It's funny you brought up NFL fantasy. I often play without a K or D to hoard players on my bench. At NFL.com you can add a K or D that is available on Sunday or Monday Night Football....I only add one IF I'm trailing or close enough to actually win with a D or K.

    The way I see the goalie position in my league is like gambling. I have to correctly figure out when Andersen is likely to win vs. lose and only play him on nights I think he's going to win. Tonight, is not that night with Tampa in town.

    May add back another goalie when down late in week when I think that particular goalie can win. I'd rather have the extra skater throughout the week going 3-4 games ...much better chance of positive points and zero risk of negative.


    ---Thank you for Same Night Tool info. I will take a look at that. My bench will allow me to carry an extra spot when a G is dropped. I wasn't sure of that until last night when I dropped Varlamov and I was allowed to fit Hronek as a 6th on my bench. So, it will allow that which is an advantage I hope to exploit.

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    Default Re: Zero Goalie Strategy

    I think Freddy Andersen at that pick was a steal and the Leafs Defence is much improved with the likes of Reilly and the additions of Barrie and Muzzin and also Cody Ceci back there as well. Martin Marincin and Rasmus Sandin add huge depth to the Defence as well.

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    Default Re: Zero Goalie Strategy

    I would be hesitant to do a zero goalie strategy because even with that bad scoring you will most likely have too many skaters to start many days and having empty goalie slots on those days is not good.
    ESPN 10-Team H2H Points

    C(2) LW(2) RW(2) D(4) UTL(3) G(2) B(10) IR(3)

    G(4) A(2) +/-(1) PIM(.25) SOG(.25) SHG(2) SHA(1) GWG(3) HAT(8) HIT(.25) BLK(.25) DEF(1) PPP(1)

    W(5) L(-2) SA(.1) GA(-1) SV(.2) SO(5) OTL(2)


    C: Crosby(k), Matthews, Draisaitl(k), Monahan, Kopitar
    LW: Panarin, Laine, T. Johnson, Hertl, Kreider, Gusev
    RW: Guentzel, Kessel, Eberle, Buchnevich, Kase
    D: Hedman, Krug, Hamilton, Ristolainen, Gostisbehere, Shattenkirk
    G: Bishop, Raanta, Lehner, Blackwood
    IR:

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    Default Re: Zero Goalie Strategy

    Quote Originally Posted by redprince View Post
    I would be hesitant to do a zero goalie strategy because even with that bad scoring you will most likely have too many skaters to start many days and having empty goalie slots on those days is not good.
    I'm going to try running one goalie with just keeping Andersen and seeing how that works.

    The strategy is to not lose points which goalies often do. Lose a game and give up 5 while doing it is a net loss of 5 points. That's substantial. Skaters can't score negative numbers. Anthony did a magnificent job of elucidating the risk and reward. The reward with carrying goalies in this league isn't high but the risk is. Of course, Carter Hart pitches his first career shutout and gets 8 points, but those will be few and far between. I'd need a shutout from Andersen to have a net gain of 1 point for this week. I'd rather roll out an extra skater 3-4 times believing the results will be better with that strategy.

    Goals are worth 3 and apples 2. An extra point for PP goals and apples. Finding a guy who plays on PP unit who can score 4 for a goal and 3 for an assist seems a more sound strategy but we'll see especially with the schedule concerns you noted.

    EDIT: I was at work and remiss in not addressing your point, Smurf06... I agree with you that the Leafs D is much better and should get even better when Dermott comes off LTIR here soon. Curious what happens to Ceci. Unsure he'll last the season unless they send Sandin back down to save a year of his ELC. Can't wait to see what Dubas decides on that. I just thought during draft time without knowing any of the variables involved Freddy would be looked at as a risky goalie with Toronto's defensive perception. Plus, this was a league of Bruins fans. How did that happen to me? Bruins have beaten him in big games so they probably don't think much of him. Probably why he lasted to 134. I took Varlamov way before that pick because goalies were flying off the board and I wasn't sure why and panicked to get one. Had I known how it all worked, my draft would've been a lot different. Now, I'm a waiver wire scrounger trying to shore things up and I love it.

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