In order to win in the postseason, a team needs a reliable (and hot) goalie. It might not be as important in fantasy hockey, but you still do need to make sure you have at least one solid starter. Depending on your fantasy hockey draft strategy, you could take a goalie in the first round, or wait until the fourth or fifth. Here is a look at the different tiers of talent in 2013-2014.
Tier I – Henrik Lundqvist, Jonathan Quick
There are two truly elite goalies in fantasy hockey this season, and you probably need to take them in the first round to lock them up. Lundqvist is as consistent as they come, while Quick struggled a little bit in the regular season before turning it on a year ago in the playoffs. Most will favor Lundqvist slightly, but they are both outstanding options.
Tier II – Tuuka Rask
Rask is in a tier by himself, simply because he is a step above the rest, but he’s not going to go in the first round of most fantasy hockey drafts. If you want to wait until the second round for a goalie, he is the best (and only) option unless one of the top two slip.
Tier III – Pekka Rinne, Jimmy Howard, Sergei Bobrovsky, Antti Niemi, Carey Price, Corey Crawford
This is a big group, basically because they are all basically solid full-time goalies that should provide quite a bit of value in fantasy hockey. Rinne and Bobrovsky probably have the best shot of joining Rask in Tier II, but for now they are too risky in the first two rounds. If you prefer drafting other positions early on, all six of these guys should still be available at the start of third round on (depending on the size of the league).
Tier IV – Craig Anderson, Roberto Luongo, Marc-Andre Fleury
If you are in a deep league, these are the fringe starters to consider drafting if you really enjoy waiting. In smaller leagues, the three could all be nice options as backups. The drop off after these three and the rest of the league is pretty significant, so make sure you have at least one of the players listed in these four tiers on your roster come fall.
Who do you want in your fantasy draft? Are we over or under valuing any goalies? Let us know in the comments!
Written by Hannah Miller