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Fantasy Hockey: 2023 UFA Goaltenders to Target in Contract Years

Goalies are always a challenge when it comes to fantasy hockey, but these three 2023 UFAs could provide excellent value this coming season.
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A simple case study showed that the contract year effect is probably more real than not. It’s a defensible strategy for fantasy managers to rely on and it could make the difference in finding those late-round value picks that can win your league.

After taking stock of some impending UFA forwards to bet on the upcoming fantasy season, here are the goaltenders with a Yahoo ADP of 50 or lower to target in your respective leagues.

Tristan Jarry, G, Pittsburgh Penguins (113.2)

Jarry was a steal with an ADP of 113.2, turning in his finest season and faces little competition for the starting job with the recently re-signed Casey DeSmith relegated to a full-time backup role. Sure, the Pens’ Cup window seems to be fading, but they’re a competitive team and starting goalies are a very rare commodity these days. Drafting Jarry as early as the fifth round in 10-team leagues isn’t a reach.

Alex Nedeljkovic, G, Detroit Red Wings (145.2)

Nedeljkovic heads into the 2022-23 as one of the league’s most intriguing young goalies. For spurts, he looked like a legit starter, but at other times he looked destined to be a journeyman. The Wings’ rebuild is gaining steam but there’s still no hurry to rush things; that means Nedeljkovic will continue to get chances to prove his worth and he’s pencilled in as their No. 1 goalie going into the season. His 52 starts ranked 15th, and unless the Wings land a big-name goalie via free agency, expect Nedeljkovic to share time with Ville Husso. 

Anthony Stolarz, G, Anaheim Ducks (n/a)

Much of Stolarz’s fantasy value will depend on whether the Ducks move John Gibson. Stolarz, 28, didn’t establish himself as an NHL goalie until last season, and the early returns were pretty good. He projects to be a capable backup or a 1B as a late bloomer with towering size, and both scenarios are amenable for a team that’s still years away from being competitive. Goalies are tough to find, and if Gibson is moved, look for Stolarz to get a lot of playing time, making him an attractive streaming option or for fantasy managers who like to hoard goalies. 

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