Goaltenders are the most difficult of all positions to project in fantasy hockey, but there are several netminders who - for one reason or another - aren't worth the trouble in 2019-20.
Here is a trio of goalies to steer clear of in fantasy drafts:
Hellebuyck was once an excellent fantasy option, but several factors are working against him this time around.
For one, the Jets' blue line has been decimated by departures. Jacob Trouba was traded to the New York Rangers for Neal Pionk and a pick, Tyler Myers inked a deal with the Vancouver Canucks, and Ben Chiarot signed with the Montreal Canadiens. So, heading into the upcoming campaign, the Jets' defense is looking rather suspect beyond the top pairing of Josh Morrissey and Dustin Byfuglien.
Another bad sign is that Hellebuyck took a step back statistically in 2018-19. Aside from finishing with a respectable 34 wins, the American was fairly average, posting a career-worst 2.90 goals-against average, a .913 save percentage overall, and a .920 mark at five-on-five, the latter of which ranked 18th among goalies with at least 41 games played.
He's currently being drafted as the 13th goalie off the board on average in Yahoo leagues, just ahead of Carter Hart, who possesses more upside. Don't be tempted by the Jets' offensive weapons, as their lack of defensive depth is bound to diminish their goaltender's value.
No one expects Lundqvist to be what he once was, but the Rangers' offseason overhaul may have some fantasy owners hoping the King will drink from the fountain of youth and excel once again.
Think again. Yes, the Rangers should be better this season with Artemi Panarin, Kaapo Kakko, and Trouba in the fold, but despite the Broadway Blueshirts' bolstered roster, Lundqvist still isn't a reliable fantasy option.
The 14-year veteran will turn 38 in March, and he played his fewest games last season (52) since 2014-15 while posting the worst save percentage of his career (.907). The emergence of Alexandar Georgiev doesn't bode well for Lundqvist, either, as the 23-year-old Bulgarian carved out 33 appearances in 2018-19.
However, just because he has a clearer path to playing time doesn't guarantee he'll be worth owning in fantasy. "Big Save Dave" excelled out of the gate in 2018-19 but faltered down the stretch amid a nagging knee injury and ultimately lost his job to Smith, as a respectable .918 save percentage and 2.47 GAA in 30 games before the All-Star break dropped to marks of .898 and 2.89 in 15 contests afterward.
Even if Rittich is given 50-plus starts in 2019-20, the 27-year-old has yet to prove he can handle the workload. If he finds himself in anything resembling a time-share with Talbot, his fantasy value will diminish even more, so either way, he's not worth the gamble.
(Analytics courtesy: Natural Stat Trick)