Monday, September 2, 2013

Fantasy Hockey Sleeper Picks 2013-2014: Goalies

It's the most important position in fantasy hockey, and it's also the most volatile. So while you won't be taking any of these guys as your first or second goaltender, it's important to have a feel for who else is out there. Just in case, you know, something doesn't pan out. After Sergei Bobrovsky tore the goaltending scene apart last season, all fantasy hockey fans must learn to prepare for the unexpected.



Anders Lindback - TB - The Lightning are a team that goes through volatile swings between respectability and disaster season to season, so who knows what's in store for them this year. Lindback will not go quickly in most drafts with the threat of fellow goalie Ben Bishop on the roster, but the management still believe in this guy and you should to a certain level as well.

Robin Lehner - OTT - Played great when Craig Anderson got injured last season and was a big reason the Sens didn't fall out of the playoff race. He might not get a lot of starts this year, but he puts up great numbers when he does. Anderson does have an injury history, so...

Jakub Markstom - FLA - Wasn't overly impressive in his debut as the Panthers starter, but the crease looks to be his for the time being. Expect some growing pains, but like Roberto Luongo before him, he has the ability to lift his team to new heights. Most expectations are low for Markstrom and the Panthers, much like Sergei Bobrovsky and the Blue Jackets last year.

Semyon Varlamov - COL - Isn't going to be available in the last round of your draft, but that being said he will probably slip quite far. With the addition of 2013 first pick Nathan MacKinnon, a full year from Gabriel Landeskog and Ryan O'Reilly, and maybe even an appearance by Erik Johnson, would benefit Semyon in the Colorado crease. He had mediocre numbers last season but has the talent to be a solid #1 behind a better supporting cast.

Kari Ramo - CGY - Ramo has been groomed to take the Calgary Flames' starter's job. He might not be ready for it yet, but he did play well in the KHL last season.

Kevin Poulin - NYI - Starts the season as the backup to Evgeni Nabokov, who has looked shaky at times in Long Island and is starting to get up there in age. Remember when Dwayne Roloson's ability to play goalie seemingly disappeared after he led Tampa Bay to the Conference finals in 2011? If that were to happen here, Poulin could quickly become the guy.


Mega-sleepers

Carter Hutton - NAS - Looks likely to win the backup role for the Predators. Sure, Rinne will probably start most of the games this year, but Hutton could be a decent spot start in a strong Nashville defense system.

Nikolai Khabibulin - CHI - If Crawford were to get injured, somebody will have to pick up the slack. The ancient veteran might still be able to cobble some wins together.

Joey MacDonald and Reto Berra - CGY - It's hard to recommend MacDonald or Berra as solid fantasy hockey options, but with only Kari Ramo standing in the way for starts, they're there if you need him.

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