2020 Fantasy Hockey Tiers: Goalies (1-5)

Updated: September 27, 2019 at 2:02 pm by Brock Seguin

We have broken the DailyFaceoff Top 300 into tiers, continuing with the goalies. Drafting a goalie can be tricky, you don’t want to reach too early but you also don’t want to be too late. Tiers will help make sure you’re not reaching.

Previous Tiers Posts:

Tier 1

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Not too many players deserve their own tier, but Connor McDavid, Nikita Kucherov and Vasilevskiy are that good.

Vasilevskiy plays for the best team in hockey and has led the NHL in wins in back-to-back seasons. During that time he is fifth in the NHL in SV% (.922) and 10th in GAA (2.52). The Lightning don’t play the best defensive brand of hockey, so Vasilevskiy will face more shots than the average netminder. That will lead to a modest GAA and elite SV%. Vasilevskiy should start 60-plus games and record 40-plus wins. He should be the first goalie off of the board in 100 percent of drafts.

Tier 2

Sergei Bobrovsky

Durability used to be a bugaboo for Bobrovsky, but he’s put that in his rearview mirror in recent years. Bobrovsky has started over 60 games in three consecutive seasons, trailing only Frederik Andersen for games started (189) over that span. The former Blue Jacket netminder is tied for second in SV% (.922) and tied for third in GAA (2.35) during that time, clearly cementing himself as one of the top options in fantasy hockey.

Now he heads to Florida to play for Joel Quenneville led team that should be more defensively responsible than in years past. With a high-powered offence in front of him and little competition for starts, Bobrovsky is firmly among the top-3 fantasy netminders heading into the 2020 season. He should start 60-plus games and could challenge Vasilevskiy for the most wins.

Marc-Andre Fleury

After being injured for a lot of 2018, Fleury was able to start 61 games in 2019 and finished tied for fifth in wins (35) and GAA (2.51) and was tied for eighth in SV% (.913). The veteran will backstop one of the best teams in the Western Conference and should have no trouble winning 35-plus games for the ninth time in his career.

Tier 3

Braden Holtby

Holtby has been a workhorse throughout his NHL career. He has averaged an incredible 63 starts per season over the last five years and has 19 more wins than the next closest goalie over that span.

We have seen a decline in his play in the last couple of years, but Holtby is still the workhorse for one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. He should start close to 60 games and win around 35 games with pretty solid splits. You can safely select him as your No.1 fantasy netminder.

Frederik Andersen

Andersen has been incredibly consistent throughout his time with the Maple Leafs. In three years, he has started 66, 66 and 60 games while posting save percentages of .918, .918 and .917. Toronto is not the most defensively-sound team in the league, so you’ll never find Andersen among the GAA leaders, but he is a workhorse and could lead the NHL in wins in 2019-20.

Ben Bishop

Bishop could easily end up being the best goalie in fantasy hockey this season but durability is a concern with him. Bishop has not started over 60 games since 2016 but still ranks 17th in wins (71) in the last three years despite ranking 22nd in games played.

Bishop was outstanding last season, leading the NHL in SV% (.934) and posting a GAA below 2.00 (1.98) in 45 starts. Bishop will be a great source of wins and splits this year but be prepared for him to miss some time and play less than the other elite fantasy goalies.

Jordan Binnington

Who saw that coming? Binnington was trending towards being a good NHLer after going 17-9-0 with a 2.05 GAA and .926 SV% in the AHL in 2018. But no one was expecting him to go 24-5-1 with .927 SV% and lead the Blues to a Stanley Cup in his first season.

It would be crazy to expect him to maintain that into 2020, but the 2.46 GAA and .914 SV% that he posted in the playoffs is more than serviceable. If he can sustain those splits across 60 games, he will win 35-to-40 games this season.

Tier 4

Connor Hellebuyck

Hellebuyck had a difficult time meeting the high expectations set for him in 2019. The 26-year-old faced a ton of rubber last year, seeing a league-high 2051 shots. He wasn’t able to stand up to that kind of quantity, tying for 19th in SV% (.913) and tied for 32nd in GAA (2.90). Entering 2019-20, Jacob Trouba is gone, Dustin Byfuglien’s status is up in the air and the Jets don’t look like a championship calibre team anymore and that’s going to affect Hellebuyck.

Still, Hellebuyck’s workload should be among the league’s best and he’s still capable of winning 30-plus games. He has bounce-back potential but don’t expect a 2.36 GAA and .924 SV% like in 2017-18.

Tuukka Rask

Rask could easily be a top-5 netminder if you could guarantee he would start 60 games. However, that is not going to be the case. The Bruins are content with limiting his usage and starting Jaroslav Halak in almost 50 percent of the games. Even if he only starts 45 games again, Rask will have a .915 SV% and 25-to-30 wins. He’s a low-end No.1 fantasy option.

Pekka Rinne

Rinne is in the same boat as Rask. Rinne is a fantastic netminder but his team is content with him splitting time with Juuse Saros. Even without starting over 60 games in the last two seasons, Rinne still ranks fifth in the league in wins (72) while posting the second-best GAA (2.37) and SV% (.923). Saros will likely start more and more games with each passing season, but Rinne should be around 50 GS and 30 wins with high-end splits.

Tier 5

Devan Dubnyk

Since 2016, his first full season in Minnesota, Dubnyk leads the NHL in starts (254), tied for second in wins (138), tied for fourth in GAA 2.41 and tied for 10th in SV% (.918). He’s been the model of consistency in recent years and should be a reliable netminder again in 2019-20.

The Wild aren’t expected to be a contender in 2019-20 as they currently have the lowest odds in the division to win the Central at 40-to-1. I think they’re getting less respect than they deserve and their top-4 defensemen are among the best in the league—to me that eases concerns surrounding Dubnyk. He can win 30-plus games with strong splits and is a low-end No.1/high-end No.2 option.

Carey Price

Price remains one of the best goalies in the world and quickly put to rest the whispers of his demise by posting a .918 SV% in 2019. It was a good bounce-back campaign for the 32-year-old netminder, who won 35-plus games for the fourth time in his career. Montreal didn’t do much to improve this offseason, so it’s difficult to envision Price improving on last year’s numbers. That type of production makes him a low-end No.1/high-end No.2.

Martin Jones

Jones is a bizarre case. He has been a workhorse, starting 60-plus games in four straight seasons and is tied for second in wins (138) over that span despite being 14th in GAA (2.53) and tied for 36th in SV% (.910).

Playing behind a great team has made Jones serviceable despite him being a very average goalie. 2019-20 will be no different. Jones will post average splits, something between .900 and .910 but could lead the NHL in wins. The win equity is great and if you can pair him with a high-end No.1, you could dominate the goalie categories all season.

Philipp Grubauer

Colorado’s entire season rides on Grubauer’s shoulders. He has never started more than 33 games in a single season but is poised for a large workload in 2020. Grubauer has been outstanding as a backup throughout his 112 start career, posting a 2.39 GAA and .921 SV%.

The opportunity is there for the taking and Grubauer could be a No.1 fantasy netminder if he plays well. There’s huge upside here but it does come with some inherent risk.

Carter Hart

Hart was pegged as the Flyers goalie of the future and one of the league’s top goalie prospects after being drafted No.48 overall in 2016. Despite posting a .902 SV% in his first 18 AHL games, Hart was thrust into duty in Philadelphia thanks to a barrage of injuries and lack of quality goaltending options. Once he got the call-up, Hart never looked back. He went 16-13-1 with a .917 SV% and is the clear-cut No.1 entering 2019-20. With the lion’s share of the workload and a revamped Flyers team in front of him, Hart is a solid No.2 fantasy option with No.1 upside.

Matt Murray

Murray has been really good since breaking into the NHL, posting a .917 SV% in 155 career starts. However, he has never started more than 50 games and has stiff competition for starts in Casey DeSmith. Injuries have been a huge issue for Murray and will continue to drag down his overall value. However, when healthy he has as much win equity as any goalie out there and will post rock-solid splits. His ceiling appears to be somewhat limited but he is a low-end No.1/high-end No.2 when healthy.

Andrei Vasilevskiy, Ben Bishop, Braden Holtby, Carey Price, Carter Hart, Connor Hellebuyck, Devan Dubnyk, Fantasy Hockey, Frederik Andersen, Jordan Binnington, Marc-Andre Fleury, Martin Jones, Matt Murray, Pekka Rinne, Philipp Grubauer, Sergei Bobrovsky, Tuukka Rask