Finding Fantasy Value: Backup goalies for short term help

Watch as Roberto Luongo is injured making a kick save on a Ryan Pulock point shot.

With the recent spike in injuries to starting goalies, there are a few backups that could help your squad if you are in need of goalie starts. We’ll help you sort through these goalies to determine if and when any are deserving of a pickup.

Whether you add any of these players to your team should depend on your league settings (points only vs. multicategory), other available players, and team needs. Matchups also matter, particularly for the goalies.

Anton Forsberg, G

Forsberg’s last start may have been a stinker, as he was pulled after allowing three goals in the first period against Washington on Wednesday. But as far as recent backup-turned-starters go, he might be your best bet for a win should Tristan Jarry already be claimed in your league. Keep in mind that Hawks’ starter Corey Crawford might return within a week, so your run with Forsberg may not be very long. But given his standout AHL numbers in the Blue Jackets’ system, Forsberg is worth at least a short-term pickup.

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James Reimer, G

Since Roberto Luongo is expected to be sidelined for an extended period of time, Reimer should receive a lot more work over the next few weeks. He’ll need to pull up his socks if he will really help your fantasy team, but you could point to his numbers over the past two seasons (2.53 GAA, .920 SV% in 2016-17) as a reason to pick him up. As well, starting goalies can be difficult to secure, so whether you add Reimer will depend on the quality of other goalies out there. But he’s still available in about three-quarters of Yahoo leagues. One other reason to add Reimer: recently recalled backup Harri Sateri has never played an NHL game.

Laurent Brossoit, G

The Oilers have struggled for much of the season, so it might appear as though Brossoit is in over his head as a starter. But he was somewhat better on Wednesday against Philadelphia, allowing three goals on 32 shots. As with Reimer, whether or not you add the inexperienced Brossoit will depend on which other goalies are available. So you should treat Brossoit as a stopgap option at best. But it’s worth mentioning that when the Oilers were better last season, so was Brossoit (4-1-0, 1.99 GAA, .928 SV%). At least he’ll give you a few starts, as Cam Talbot will likely be sidelined at least one more week and recent call up Nick Ellis has no NHL experience.

Adam Henrique, C

Since being acquired from the Devils last week, Henrique has given the Ducks exactly what they needed: a centre that can fill more of the scoring void left by the injured Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler than the Ducks’ other options. Henrique has recorded a point in each of the four games that he has played for the Ducks, including two goals on six shots on goal on Wednesday. His value will drop slightly once the injured centres return, but for now he should be treated as a player whose fantasy value received at least a short-term boost with the trade.

Craig Smith, RW

A trade sometimes not only has a significant effect on the player being traded, but also on that player’s new teammates. Smith is a prime example of this. Since Kyle Turris was acquired by the Predators and placed on Smith’s line 13 games ago, Smith has scored seven goals and five assists. Although Smith has never received a lot of attention, he already has three 20-goal seasons under his belt. He experienced a down season in 2016-17 with just 12 goals and 29 points, but remember that he also didn’t have Turris as his linemate then.

Marian Gaborik, RW

When you think of Gaborik, you think of two things: scoring and injuries. Over the last few seasons the injuries have taken over, as he has not played 70 games in a season since the 2011-12 season. But since making his season debut in late November, Gaborik has been on a tear with four goals and two assists with a plus-7 in seven games. He even saw time on the top line with Anze Kopitar on Tuesday, scoring two goals that were both assisted by Kopitar. He’s worth adding, at least until the next injury.

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