Hola friends! Today we are going to look at a few goalies for the upcoming fantasy season. We are going to try and shy away from those top options and look for a few hidden gems, or even some bounce-back performances.
A goalie needs to be able to play the majority of the season, and more importantly, they need to be able to get wins. Looking for goalies on a great team is the best way to achieve goalie gold – just look at Cam Talbot last year.
So here it is, today’s Fantasy Hockey Run Down: Goalie edition.
Andrei Vasilevskiy, TB
There is new head honcho in Tampa! Now that Ben Bishop is gone (more on that later), and hopefully a healthier group of players in front of him, Andrei Vasilevskiy is poised to be a breakout candidate in net this 2018 season. He is looking to build off the stellar ending to the 2017 campaign where he finished with a 2.27 GAA and a .930 SV% over the final 18 games – he won 12 of those starts. I believe that Andrei is going to be a stud this year, especially if the lighting – mostly Stamkos – stays healthy.
Ben Bishop, DAL
Finally! Dallas has a goaltender who can stop a puck! ESPN projects Bishop to finish with 31 wins, a .915 SV% and a 2.42 GGA in 2018, which doesn’t seem like too bad of a season. There is always room for improvement, but Bishop should be a great fantasy asset this year. The Stars score a shit ton of goals and now that they’ve added Alexander Radulov, should continue to score at a torrid pace, giving Ben an abundance of chances to win games. Bishop has shown flashes of fantasy brilliance in the past, and will look for a bounce back year with a great team. I’m hoping for big things this year from the Bishop.
Mike Smith, CGY
Smith is joining forces with a young team that is looking to capitalize off of a winning campaign. The Flames biggest problem last year was inconsistent goal-tending, and with a veteran like Smith between the pipes, Calgary can look to take that next step forward. ESPN has Mike Smith winning 26 games to go along with a .914 SV% and 2.56 GAA. I am hoping that with one of the best defences in the league in front of him, Mr. Smith should be able to take his game one step further, and hopefully bring the flames back to the playoffs for a second consecutive year.
Antti Raanta, ARZ
This is kind of stretch, but Raanta could be the most likely candidate for a breakout season. The only downside would be that for this to actually happen, the young crop of Yotes talent would actually need to make positive strides. They would need to score goals, and put Raanta into the position to win games. Much, much easier said than done. Yet, if the Leafs can make these strides with Anderson, who says that Raanta can’t be next? In 30 games last year, Raanta won 16 of them – posting a .922 SV% and a 2.26 GAA. Now that he will be looking to make around 60 starts, Mr. Raanta is in a good position to help the Coyotes crawl out of the basement.
Frederik Andersen, TOR
Anderson was fantastic for a youthful Maple Leafs team in 2017, just barely getting them into the postseason, while putting up pretty decent number (33 wins, .918 SV%, and a 2.67 GAA). Freddy is going to need to be much better this year though, now that the young leafs forwards are looking to make an even bigger splash this year. ESPN projects 34.9 wins, a .916 SV% and a 2.41 GAA for the upcoming 2018 season – which puts Anderson in the upper tier of fantasy goalies. He is going to play almost every night, and that type of opportunity always has fantasy upside.
There are many other goaltenders that we could have looked at – Robin Lehner, Scott Darling, Marc-Andre Fleury – but these were the core guys I believe will make a big step in this year’s fantasy leader board. Most of it will depend on the players in front of them, but if these teams step up, don’t be astonished to see a few of these guys in the top 10 goalies at the end of the season.