I promised last week to post a list of the best NHL goalies for the 2015-1016 fantasy hockey season. In this article, I’ll analyze the preseason rankings compared against the statistics so far this season.

In many ways, the starting goaltenders in the National Hockey League are a lot more stable than the skaters. There are less moving pieces. The goalie is often the lynch pin of the organization. Unless injury or catastrophic play happens, the goalies are less likely to change in a month’s time (or over the summer).

Fantasy Hockey Goalies on DraftKings and FanDuel

That being said, there have been some shakeups and surprises in the first month and a half of the 2015 hockey season. When we get into the data part of this guide, I’ll discuss the deviations from the norm and show how you can use it for you daily fantasy hockey contests on DraftKings and FanDuel.

For those who don’t care about DFS, this stats analysis should help with fantasy hockey free agency and trades evaluation. Many fantays NHL team owners are going to offer a mix of goaltender and skaters to get your prized goalie. It’s usually a mistake to trade top-level goalies in fantasy hockey, but I want you to have the stats to decide for yourself.

Again, I’ll use the fantasy hockey rankings posted on the Internet by Fantasy Pros. This represents a typical list of goaltenders for the 2015-2016 fantasy hockey season. Later, I’ll show what the results are in the first 40 days of the 2015 NHL season.

Preseason Projections for Goalies on Fantasy Pros

1. Carey Price – Montreal Canadiens
2. Henrik Lundqvist – New York Rangers
3. Braden Holtby – Washington Capitals
4. Pekka Rinne – Nashville Predators
5. Ben Bishop – Tampa Bay Lightning
6. Jonathan Quick – Los Angeles Kings
7. Marc-Andre Fleury – Pittsburgh Penguins
8. Devan Dubnyk – Minnesota Wild
9. Tuukka Rask – Boston Bruins
10. Sergei Bobrovsky – Columbus Blue Jackets
11. Corey Crawford – Chicago Blackhawks
12. Cory Schneider – New Jersey Devils
13. Roberto Luongo – Florida Panthers
14. Semyon Varlamov – Colorado Avalanche
15. Jaroslav Halak – New York Islanders
16. Frederik Andersen – Anaheim Ducks
17. Steve Mason – Philadelphia Flyers
18. Jake Allen – St. Louis Blues
19. Ryan Miller – Vancouver Canucks
20. Jonas Hiller – Calgary Flames
21. Brian Elliott – St. Louis Blues
22. Cam Talbot – Edmonton Oilers
23. Craig Anderson – Ottawa Senators
24. Martin Jones – San Jose Sharks
25. Jimmy Howard – Detroit Red Wings
26. Antti Niemi – Dallas Stars
27. Ondrej Pavelec – Winnipeg Jets
28. Kari Lehtonen – Dallas Stars
29. Petr Mrazek – Detroit Red Wings
30. Andrew Hammond – Ottawa Senators
31. Eddie Lack – Carolina Hurricanes.
32. Mike Smith – Arizona Coyotes
33. Jonathan Bernier – Toronto Maple Leafs
34. Robin Lehner – Buffalo Sabres
35. John Gibson – Free Agent
36. Cam Ward – Carolina Hurricanes
37. Alex Stalock – San Jose Sharks
38. Scott Darling – Chicago Blackhawks
39. Antti Raanta – New York Rangers

NHL Stats Abbreviation Key

GP – Games Played
W – Wins
L – Losses
OTL – Overtime Losses
GAA: Goals Against Average
GA: Goals Against
SA: Shots Against
SV: Saves
SVPCT: Save Percentage
SO: Shutouts

1 – Mike Condon, G – MTL – GP: 7 – W: 6 – L: 0 – OTL: 1 – GAA: 1.57 – GA: 11 – Shots Against: 184 – Saves: 173 – SVPCT: .940 – SO: 0
2 – Jake Allen, G – STL – GP: 9 – W: 6 – L: 3 – OTL: 0 – GAA: 1.71 – GA: 15 – Shots: 275 – Saves: 260 – SVPCT: .945 – SO: 2
3 – Henrik Lundqvist, G – NYR – GP: 11 – W: 7 – L: 2 – OTL: 2 – GAA: 1.80 – GA: 20 – Shots: 361 – Saves: 341 – SVPCT: .945 – SO: 0
4 – Michal Neuvirth, G – PHI – GP: 8 – W: 3 – L: 2 – OTL: 1 – GAA: 1.81 – GA: 13 – Shots: 237 – Saves: 224 – SVPCT: .945 – SO: 3
5 – Reto Berra, G – COL – GP: 5 – W: 1 – L: 3 – OTL: 0 – GAA: 1.85 – GA: 8 – Shots: 141 – Saves: 133 – SVPCT: .943 – SO: 1
6 – Jaroslav Halak, G – NYI – GP: 8 – W: 4 – L: 3 – OTL: 1 – GAA: 1.87 – GA: 15 – Shots: 207 – Saves: 192 – SVPCT: .928 – SO: 2
7 – Marc-Andre Fleury, G – PIT – GP: 12 – W: 7 – L: 5 – OTL: 0 – GAA: 1.93 – GA: 23 – Shots: 342 – Saves: 319 – SVPCT: .933 – SO: 2
8 – Anders Lindback, G – ARI – GP: 5 – W: 2 – L: 2 – OTL: 0 – GAA: 1.99 – GA: 8 – Shots: 111 – Saves: 103 – SVPCT: .928 – SO: 0
9 – Carey Price, G – MTL – GP: 9 – W: 7 – L: 2 – OTL: 0 – GAA: 2.01 – GA: 18 – Shots: 283 – Saves: 265 – SVPCT: .936 – SO: 2
10 – Martin Jones, G – SJ – GP: 11 – W: 6 – L: 5 – OTL: 0 – GAA: 2.06 – GA: 22 – Shots: 289 – Saves: 267 – SVPCT: .924 – SO: 2
11 – Jimmy Howard, G – DET – GP: 7 – W: 3 – L: 3 – OTL: 1 – GAA: 2.07 – GA: 14 – Shots: 205 – Saves: 191 – SVPCT: .932 – SO: 1
12 – Braden Holtby, G – WSH – GP: 11 – W: 8 – L: 3 – OTL: 0 – GAA: 2.10 – GA: 23 – Shots: 274 – Saves: 251 – SVPCT: .916 – SO: 0
13 – Cory Schneider, G – NJ – GP: 11 – W: 7 – L: 3 – OTL: 1 – GAA: 2.15 – GA: 24 – Shots: 310 – Saves: 286 – SVPCT: .923 – SO: 0
14 – Pekka Rinne, G – NSH – GP: 11 – W: 7 – L: 2 – OTL: 2 – GAA: 2.16 – GA: 24 – Shots: 297 – Saves: 273 – SVPCT: .919 – SO: 1
15 – Frederik Andersen, G – ANA – GP: 12 – W: 3 – L: 5 – OTL: 3 – GAA: 2.19 – GA: 26 – Shots: 367 – Saves: 341 – SVPCT: .929 – SO: 0
16 – Ben Bishop, G – TB – GP: 13 – W: 5 – L: 7 – OTL: 1 – GAA: 2.24 – GA: 29 – Shots: 362 – Saves: 333 – SVPCT: .920 – SO: 0
17 – Jonathan Quick, G – LA – GP: 12 – W: 7 – L: 5 – OTL: 0 – GAA: 2.24 – GA: 27 – Shots: 325 – Saves: 298 – SVPCT: .917 – SO: 1
18 – Roberto Luongo, G – FLA – GP: 10 – W: 3 – L: 5 – OTL: 2 – GAA: 2.30 – GA: 23 – Shots: 332 – Saves: 309 – SVPCT: .931 – SO: 0
19 – Ryan Miller, G – VAN – GP: 14 – W: 5 – L: 4 – OTL: 5 – GAA: 2.32 – GA: 33 – Shots: 387 – Saves: 354 – SVPCT: .915 – SO: 1
20 – Petr Mrazek, G – DET – GP: 8 – W: 4 – L: 3 – OTL: 0 – GAA: 2.36 – GA: 17 – Shots: 238 – Saves: 221 – SVPCT: .929 – SO: 0
21 – Kari Lehtonen, G – DAL – GP: 7 – W: 6 – L: 1 – OTL: 0 – GAA: 2.37 – GA: 15 – Shots: 190 – Saves: 175 – SVPCT: .921 – SO: 0
22 – Corey Crawford, G – CHI – GP: 12 – W: 7 – L: 4 – OTL: 1 – GAA: 2.38 – GA: 27 – Shots: 337 – Saves: 310 – SVPCT: .920 – SO: 2
23 – Michael Hutchinson, G – WPG – GP: 6 – W: 4 – L: 1 – OTL: 1 – GAA: 2.38 – GA: 13 – Shots: 178 – Saves: 165 – SVPCT: .927 – SO: 0
24 – Cam Ward, G – CAR – GP: 11 – W: 5 – L: 5 – OTL: 0 – GAA: 2.40 – GA: 25 – Shots: 269 – Saves: 244 – SVPCT: .907 – SO: 1
25 – Devan Dubnyk, G – MIN – GP: 12 – W: 8 – L: 3 – OTL: 1 – GAA: 2.41 – GA: 28 – Shots: 300 – Saves: 272 – SVPCT: .907 – SO: 2
26 – Ondrej Pavelec, G – WPG – GP: 10 – W: 4 – L: 4 – OTL: 1 – GAA: 2.41 – GA: 23 – Shots: 282 – Saves: 259 – SVPCT: .918 – SO: 0
27 – Thomas Greiss, G – NYI – GP: 6 – W: 3 – L: 1 – OTL: 2 – GAA: 2.45 – GA: 15 – Shots: 197 – Saves: 182 – SVPCT: .924 – SO: 0
28 – Linus Ullmark, G – BUF – GP: 5 – W: 3 – L: 2 – OTL: 0 – GAA: 2.56 – GA: 11 – Shots: 134 – Saves: 123 – SVPCT: .918 – SO: 0
29 – James Reimer, G – TOR – GP: 8 – W: 2 – L: 2 – OTL: 3 – GAA: 2.57 – GA: 20 – Shots: 229 – Saves: 209 – SVPCT: .913 – SO: 0
30 – Curtis McElhinney, G – CBJ – GP: 5 – W: 0 – L: 3 – OTL: 0 – GAA: 2.58 – GA: 10 – Shots: 113 – Saves: 103 – SVPCT: .912 – SO: 0
31 – Craig Anderson, G – OTT – GP: 10 – W: 6 – L: 3 – OTL: 1 – GAA: 2.72 – GA: 28 – Shots: 338 – Saves: 310 – SVPCT: .917 – SO: 0
32 – Antti Niemi, G – DAL – GP: 9 – W: 6 – L: 2 – OTL: 0 – GAA: 2.77 – GA: 24 – Shots: 260 – Saves: 236 – SVPCT: .908 – SO: 1
33 – Brian Elliott, G – STL – GP: 6 – W: 4 – L: 0 – OTL: 1 – GAA: 2.81 – GA: 15 – Shots: 134 – Saves: 119 – SVPCT: .888 – SO: 0
34 – Chad Johnson, G – BUF – GP: 10 – W: 3 – L: 6 – OTL: 0 – GAA: 2.94 – GA: 27 – Shots: 237 – Saves: 210 – SVPCT: .886 – SO: 0
35 – Cam Talbot, G – EDM – GP: 11 – W: 3 – L: 7 – OTL: 0 – GAA: 3.00 – GA: 31 – Shots: 290 – Saves: 259 – SVPCT: .893 – SO: 0
36 – Jonathan Bernier, G – TOR – GP: 7 – W: 0 – L: 6 – OTL: 1 – GAA: 3.02 – GA: 19 – Shots: 189 – Saves: 170 – SVPCT: .899 – SO: 0
37 – Anders Nilsson, G – EDM – GP: 5 – W: 2 – L: 3 – OTL: 0 – GAA: 3.09 – GA: 14 – Shots: 157 – Saves: 143 – SVPCT: .911 – SO: 0
38 – Tuukka Rask, G – BOS – GP: 10 – W: 4 – L: 5 – OTL: 1 – GAA: 3.22 – GA: 32 – Shots: 293 – Saves: 261 – SVPCT: .891 – SO: 1
39 – Mike Smith, G – ARI – GP: 12 – W: 5 – L: 4 – OTL: 1 – GAA: 3.22 – GA: 32 – Shots: 320 – Saves: 288 – SVPCT: .900 – SO: 1
40 – Semyon Varlamov, G – COL – GP: 10 – W: 3 – L: 6 – OTL: 1 – GAA: 3.26 – GA: 31 – Shots: 281 – Saves: 250 – SVPCT: .890 – SO: 0

Save Percentage Leaders – Top 10

Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers

The Smug-Looking Henrik Lundqvist is tied for the best save percentage in the NHL after a month and a week.

1. Henrik Lundqvist – .945
1. Jake Allen – .945
1. Michal Neuvirth – .945
4. Reto Berra – .943
5. Mike Condon – .940
6. Carey Price – .936
7. Marc-Andre Fleury – .933
8. Jimmy Howard – .932
9. Roberto Luongo – .931
10. Frederik Andersen – .929

Save percentage is not a stat for goalies on DraftKings, but saves are given. Since the two statistics are connected, it presents an interesting dynamic. Fantasy goalies are like linebackers and safeties in fantasy football: you want goaltenders on bad NHL teams. The more shots a goaltender sees, the more chances they get to score. The only dangerous thing is you get points off for goals, so the save percentage has to be high for a goalie on a bad defensive team or a bad NHL team is going to be an advantage.

The other strategy is start a goaltender on a top NHL team. If your goalie gets 3-point bonus for a win, then this is going to be a more consistent point-getter than some of the average netminders on bad hockey teams. Going with this strategy tends to have less volatility to it, though the former strategy has a better chance for big points. The only time that isn’t the case is when a goaltender is so transcendant that they are the main reason their (NHL) squad keeps winning.

Saves Leaders – Top 10

1. Ryan Miller – 354
2. Henrik Lundqvist – 341
2. Frederik Andersen – 341
4. Ben Bishop – 333
5. Marc-Andre Fleury – 319
6. Corey Crawford – 310
6. Craig Anderson – 310
8. Roberto Luongo – 309
9. Jonathan Quick – 298
10. Sergei Bobrovsky – 296

Notice how the only goaltenders who are in the top ten for save percentage and saves are Frederick Andersen (16), Henrik Lundqvist (2), Marc-Andre Fluery (7), and Roberto Luongo (13). Of those, Frederick Andersen was the best value, while Roberto Luongo was a close second. [Note: Preseason ranking in parentheses.]

Those who drafted Carey Price (preseason: 1, season: 6th in SVPCT), Sergei Bobrovsky (preseason: 10, season: 296), Jonathan Quick (preseason: 6, season: 298 saves), or Pekka Rinne (preseason: 4, season: 297 saves and .919 Sv Pct) might be a little disappointed, but got decent deals for where they were drafted. The fantasy owners of Braden Holtby (3), Ben Bishop (5), Devan Dubnyk (8), and Tuuka Rask (9) are likely to be a more disappointed.

DraftKings Prices: An Example

Carey Price – $8,200 – FPPG: 6.7
Mark Fleury – $7,700 – FPPG: 5.7
Mike Condon $7,500 – FPPG: 5.9
Jeff Zatkoff $7,000 – FPPG: 8.7
Frederik Anderson – $6,900 – FPPG: 4.3
Dustin Tokarski – $6,700 – FPPG: 0.0
Anton Khudobin – $6,600 – FPPG: 4.5
Cam Talbot – $6,300 – FPPG: 2.7
Anders Nilseeon – $6,300 – FPPG: 4.1

Above is a sampling of the goalie prices on DraftKings, taken from tonight’s contests. Notice how the prices for the top preseason goalies haven’t gone down. Carey Price remains the top netminder. He is collecting to most points per hockey match of those on-tap for tonight.

Fantasy Hockey Scoring for Goalies on DraftKings

Win – +3 points
Save – +0.2 points
Goal Against – -1 pts
Shutout Bonus = +2 pts

Goalies collect points of all stats they collect, including goals (+3) and assists (+2). For the Goalie Shutout Bonus to be in-effect, the goalie has to be in the net for all 3 periods and in overtime of a shutout. Shootout goals do not prevent a shutout, but the goalie must complete the entire game, if they want to get credit for the shutout.