Goaltender rankings are made extra difficult because playing time is the largest driver of statistics and playing time for goaltenders is becoming increasingly fickle. We don’t have the primary starter system like we did 20 years ago. In the 2001-02 season, 20 goaltenders appeared in 60 or more games and 27 of them appeared in 50 or more games. Last season, in 2021-22, it was five goaltenders to appear in 60 or more games and only 17 in 50 or more.

That means you need to keep a closer eye on just who is the current leader in certain tandems. Let’s have a look at a few of them, including some you may not have even realized are a tandem.

pit - Replay Madness

Pittsburgh Penguins: This is no longer a tandem after some time earlier this season when Casey DeSmith worked himself into a split of duties with Tristan Jarry. Over the past month, Jarry is not only running away with this crease, he’s been the best fantasy goaltender over that span.

car - Replay Madness

Carolina Hurricanes: Pyotr Kochetkov has emerged as a legitimate starter for the Canes, pushing well past Antti Raanta while Frederik Andersen is on the shelf. But what happens when Andersen returns in the near future? It’ll be hard for the Canes to justify sending down Kochetkov, but it’s equally as hard to carry three goaltenders. Andersen will be given every chance to reclaim his crease, so he needs to be on fantasy rosters, but Kochetkov does too — at least until this situation sorts itself out.

ott - Replay Madness

Ottawa Senators: What looked a little like a tandem when Cam Talbot first returned from injury is no longer one. Talbot has played 77% of the Senators crease time in the past month, putting up some solid stats in the interim. He’s a locked in fantasy starter, but still better as your No. 2 goalie until the Sens start beating tougher competition.

tor - Replay Madness

Toronto Maple Leafs: This is a locked in, 50-50 tandem. Maybe the Leafs will give someone a second start in a row after a shutout, but it’s a straight rotation of Matt Murray and Ilya Samsonov. Because the Leafs have done so well defensively this season, this rotation doesn’t remove them from fantasy relevance. In fact, they are arguably the perfect No. 2 fantasy goalie for your squad, regardless of which one you have. But also know that an injury to one will make the other one of the top tenders in the league.

fla - Replay Madness

Florida Panthers: Before he got sick a couple of weeks ago, Spencer Knight had played two-thirds of the Panthers minutes in the crease this season. That has dropped to a 44% crease share due to his time missed recently. The Panthers have been riding Sergei Bobrovsky in the meantime and he’s been better. Not great, but better. With Knight healthy now, this should work its way back into a split of time. That said, Knight is the only to trust when he’s in the crease until we see more than a two-week solid sample from Bobrovsky.

edm - Replay Madness

Edmonton Oilers: Stuart Skinner has played 71% of the crease share in the past month and 59% for the season. His fantasy contributions have been slowing down with the more minutes he’s been getting, but he’s still the much better choice than Jack Campbell. For his part, Campbell has worked his way back up to zero fantasy points on the season. Yes, zero.

cgy - Replay Madness

Calgary Flames: Sneaky Dan Vladar has played 50% of the Flames time in the crease over the past month. Jacob Markstrom just hasn’t been good enough this season — for the NHL or fantasy managers. With the increased playing time, Vladar has settled in nicely, actually. He has more fantasy points in the past month than Vitek Vanecek, Logan Thompson and Ilya Sorokin.

la - Replay Madness

Los Angeles Kings: Shoutout for the Kings here, who are running the ultimate hot-hand experiment. After waiving and sending Cal Peterson to the AHL, call-up Pheonix Copley has gotten himself on a little run that the Kings seems content to see through. He’s won four of his five starts and has been the choice over Jonathan Quick for three games in a row, which includes a shocker win over the Bruins.

Forward notes

buf - Replay Madness

Tage Thompson, C/W, Buffalo Sabres (up seven spots to No. 13): This is still a game of chicken with the man dubbed the “Magic Beanstalk” by The Athletic (such a great proposed nickname). The stats say Thompson should be ranked No. 2 after Connor McDavid. But as a longtime fantasy hockey ranker, it’s still tough to push him past these last dozen or so superstars. Honestly, if you have anyone but McDavid from this top 10 on your fantasy team and are struggling near the bottom of your standings, see if you can sweet talk the manager with Thompson to unload him on you. Auston Matthews for Thompson? Nikita Kucherov for Thompson? It’s a calculated risk for any struggling fantasy team and not out of the realm of positive outcomes.

wpg - Replay Madness

Pierre-Luc Dubois, C, Winnipeg Jets (up 17 spots to No. 46): Take away his wingers and give them to Mark Scheifele? Doesn’t matter to Dubois. He started the season just fine with Blake Wheeler and Cole Perfetti, but to spark Scheifele both were moved up the depth chart. No worries, as Dubois got along just fine with Kyle Connor and insert-replacement-for-Nikolaj-Ehlers-here (Sam Gagner, Michael Eyssimont). Dubois just keeps finding ways to score and will easily surpass his career highs this season.

ott - Replay Madness

Alex DeBrincat, W, Ottawa Senators (up 15 spots to No. 49): Thank goodness the Sens power play figured itself out. The advantage continues to drive DeBrincat back toward elite status. He’s up to 18 power-play points this season, with 15 of them coming after Nov. 1.

cbj - Replay Madness

Patrik Laine, W, Columbus Blue Jackets (up 45 spots to No. 54): I don’t want to move Laine up the rankings. The less-than-perfect chemistry with Johnny Gaudreau was discouraging and the second significant injury of the season really turned me off last month. But since he’s been back, Laine isn’t playing on a line with Gaudreau and, well, he’s doing much better. In nine games back from his most recent injury, he’s posted seven goals and four assists — and is still hooking up with Gaudreau on the power play.

ott - Replay Madness

Tim Stutzle, C, Ottawa Senators (down 14 spots to No. 66): Hopefully the shoulder injury sorts itself out this week or next, so the missed time doesn’t help Stutzle. But the bigger concern from a fantasy perspective is how good the Sens power play has been without him. The unit, which always features Claude Giroux, Brady Tkachuk, Alex DeBrincat, has 12 goals in 65 minutes with Stutzle. But with Drake Batherson replacing Stutzle, they have seven goals in 21 minutes. There’s a chance this unit gets to keep running even when Stutzle is back.

tb - Replay Madness

Brandon Hagel, W, Tampa Bay Lightning (up 36 spots to No. 155): Underutilized in fantasy leagues on only 29.6% of rosters, Hagel absolutely deserves more love. His line with Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point is No. 1 in expected goals this season at five-on-five (per MoneyPuck) and is tied for second in actual goals with 19.

ana - Replay Madness

Trevor Zegras, W, Anaheim Ducks (down 11 spots to No. 177): It’s been a slow fade for Zegras down the rankings all season as I don’t want to move him down after what we saw last season. There’s no other choice than to keep fading him down though. His fantasy points per game (FPPG) on the season stand at a barely-relevant 1.7, with his output for the last month at a dismal 1.3 FPPG.

bos - Replay Madness

Taylor Hall, W, Boston Bruins (up 42 spots to No. 182): Hall fell right out of these rankings at one point. He was on the third line and not scoring at all. On Nov. 13, he was posting 1.5 FPPG with nine points in 15 games and only one point on the advantage. But Hall has pushed his way back into the fray, is back on the second line and has scored 2.5 FPPG for the past month. He’s now up to 25 points in 30 games with five on the advantage.

phi - Replay Madness

James van Riemsdyk, W, Philadelphia Flyers (up 16 spots to No. 188): Healthy again for the Flyers, van Riemsdyk is back to being a power-play specialist and his even-strength line with Morgan Frost and Owen Tippett is dangerous, too.

min - Replay Madness

Ryan Hartman, C/W, Minnesota Wild (up six spots to No. 209): Sam Steel must have sensed Hartman’s return, turning on his game just before Hartman returned on Sunday in order to fend him off for the coveted top-line spot. For now, Hartman is playing with Matt Boldy and Frederik Gaudreau, while Steel remains with Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello.

Defense notes

wpg - Replay Madness

Josh Morrissey, D, Winnipeg Jets (up 10 spots to No. 32): His career-high for points is the 37 he put up last season. Well, it was until later this week when Morrissey surpasses that total not even halfway into the season.

det - Replay Madness

Filip Hronek, D, Detroit Red Wings (up six spots to No. 123): There’s room for two fantasy defenders of note on this Red Wings squad. Hronek and Moritz Seider are both top-25 defensemen this season with 2.1 FPPG — and for very different reasons. Seider is still getting it done with his defensive play (hits and blocked shots), while Hronek has fully usurped the power play and sits tied for sixth among defensemen with seven goals.

Goaltender notes

nyi - Replay Madness

Ilya Sorokin, G, New York Islanders (down 10 spots to No. 24): It was a always going to be a risk that Sorokin wouldn’t get the goal support at times. He hasn’t won in December yet. Though he didn’t help himself by allowing five goals in two of the five games since his last victory, he allowed two or three in the other contests and still didn’t get a W.

bos - Replay Madness

Linus Ullmark, G, Boston Bruins (down five spots to No. 29): Jeremy Swayman used an Ullmark injury in late November to find his game. He’s not taking over the reins by any means, but Swayman is getting more run of late. Certainly it’s enough to cut into Ullmark’s epic production just a little bit.

ESPN fantasy NHL top-250 rankings

1. Connor McDavid, C, Edm (F1)
2. David Pastrnak, RW, Bos (F2)
3. Leon Draisaitl, LW, Edm (F3)
4. Auston Matthews, C, Tor (F4)
5. Kirill Kaprizov, LW, Min (F5)
6. Connor Hellebuyck, G, Wpg (G1)
7. Jason Robertson, LW, Dal (F6)
8. Rasmus Dahlin, D, Buf (D1)
9. Roman Josi, D, Nsh (D2)
10. Nikita Kucherov, RW, TB (F7)
11. Cale Makar, D, Col (D3)
12. Matthew Tkachuk, LW, Fla (F8)
13. Tage Thompson, C, Buf (F9)
14. John Carlson, D, Wsh (D4)
15. Andrei Vasilevskiy, G, TB (G2)
16. Mikko Rantanen, RW, Col (F10)
17. Brad Marchand, LW, Bos (F11)
18. Steven Stamkos, C, TB (F12)
19. Elias Pettersson, C, Van (F13)
20. Mitchell Marner, RW, Tor (F14)
21. Igor Shesterkin, G, NYR (G3)
22. Mikhail Sergachev, D, TB (D5)
23. Alex Ovechkin, LW, Wsh (F15)
24. Ilya Sorokin, G, NYI (G4)
25. Charlie McAvoy, D, Bos (D6)
26. Sidney Crosby, C, Pit (F16)
27. Brady Tkachuk, LW, Ott (F17)
28. Tristan Jarry, G, Pit (G5)
29. Linus Ullmark, G, Bos (G6)
30. Nathan MacKinnon, C, Col (F18)
31. Timo Meier, RW, SJ (F19)
32. Josh Morrissey, D, Wpg (D7)
33. Mika Zibanejad, C, NYR (F20)
34. Bo Horvat, C, Van (F21)
35. Aleksander Barkov, C, Fla (F22)
36. Jack Hughes, C, NJ (F23)
37. Erik Karlsson, D, SJ (D8)
38. Jakob Chychrun, D, Ari (D9)
39. Jake Oettinger, G, Dal (G7)
40. Kyle Connor, LW, Wpg (F24)
41. Logan Thompson, G, Vgk (G8)
42. Alex Pietrangelo, D, Vgk (D10)
43. Jack Eichel, C, Vgk (F25)
44. Juuse Saros, G, Nsh (G9)
45. Adam Fox, D, NYR (D11)
46. Pierre-Luc Dubois, C, Wpg (F26)
47. Jake Guentzel, LW, Pit (F27)
48. Alexandar Georgiev, G, Col (G10)
49. Alex DeBrincat, LW, Ott (F28)
50. Aaron Ekblad, D, Fla (D12)
51. Roope Hintz, C, Dal (F29)
52. Travis Konecny, RW, Phi (F30)
53. William Nylander, RW, Tor (F31)
54. Patrik Laine, RW, Cls (F32)
55. Valeri Nichushkin, RW, Col (F33)
56. Dylan Larkin, C, Det (F34)
57. Brayden Point, C, TB (F35)
58. J.T. Miller, C, Van (F36)
59. Mats Zuccarello, RW, Min (F37)
60. Vitek Vanecek, G, NJ (G11)
61. John Tavares, C, Tor (F38)
62. Brock Nelson, C, NYI (F39)
63. Seth Jones, D, Chi (D13)
64. Moritz Seider, D, Det (D14)
65. Elias Lindholm, RW, Cgy (F40)
66. Tim Stutzle, LW, Ott (F41)
67. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, C, Edm (F42)
68. Victor Hedman, D, TB (D15)
69. Andrei Svechnikov, LW, Car (F43)
70. Sebastian Aho, C, Car (F44)
71. Filip Forsberg, LW, Nsh (F45)
72. Boone Jenner, C, Cls (F46)
73. Ville Husso, G, Det (G12)
74. Joe Pavelski, RW, Dal (F47)
75. Logan Couture, C, SJ (F48)
76. Miro Heiskanen, D, Dal (D16)
77. Zach Hyman, LW, Edm (F49)
78. Noah Dobson, D, NYI (D17)
79. Nico Hischier, C, NJ (F50)
80. Artemi Panarin, LW, NYR (F51)
81. Johnny Gaudreau, LW, Cls (F52)
82. Dougie Hamilton, D, NJ (D18)
83. Thomas Chabot, D, Ott (D19)
84. Jeff Skinner, LW, Buf (F53)
85. Patrice Bergeron, C, Bos (F54)
86. Nick Suzuki, C, Mon (F55)
87. Jacob Trouba, D, NYR (D20)
88. Mark Scheifele, C, Wpg (F56)
89. Alec Martinez, D, Vgk (D21)
90. Alex Tuch, RW, Buf (F57)
91. Matt Murray, G, Tor (G13)
92. Jordan Kyrou, C, StL (F58)
93. Rasmus Andersson, D, Cgy (D22)
94. Ivan Provorov, D, Phi (D23)
95. Anze Kopitar, C, LA (F59)
96. Artturi Lehkonen, LW, Col (F60)
97. Tomas Hertl, C, SJ (F61)
98. Ilya Samsonov, G, Tor (G14)
99. Drake Batherson, C, Ott (F62)
100. Evgeni Malkin, C, Pit (F63)
101. Kris Letang, D, Pit (D24)
102. Quinn Hughes, D, Van (D25)
103. Martin Necas, C, Car (F64)
104. Pavel Buchnevich, RW, StL (F65)
105. Spencer Knight, G, Fla (G15)
106. David Krejci, C, Bos (F66)
107. Jacob Markstrom, G, Cgy (G16)
108. Justin Faulk, D, StL (D26)
109. Chris Kreider, LW, NYR (F67)
110. Shayne Gostisbehere, D, Ari (D27)
111. Claude Giroux, LW, Ott (F68)
112. Cole Caufield, RW, Mon (F69)
113. Darcy Kuemper, G, Wsh (G17)
114. Jonathan Huberdeau, LW, Cgy (F70)
115. Jesper Bratt, RW, NJ (F71)
116. Jamie Benn, LW, Dal (F72)
117. Carter Verhaeghe, C, Fla (F73)
118. Jake DeBrusk, LW, Bos (F74)
119. Joel Eriksson Ek, C, Min (F75)
120. Troy Terry, C, Ana (F76)
121. Darnell Nurse, D, Edm (D28)
122. Filip Hronek, D, Det (D29)
123. Vladimir Tarasenko, RW, StL (F77)
124. Clayton Keller, C, Ari (F78)
125. Brandon Montour, D, Fla (D30)
126. Gabriel Landeskog, LW, Col (F79)
127. Frederik Andersen, G, Car (G18)
128. Kevin Hayes, C, Phi (F80)
129. Nazem Kadri, C, Cgy (F81)
130. Kevin Fiala, C, LA (F82)
131. Andre Burakovsky, LW, Sea (F83)
132. Anders Lee, LW, NYI (F84)
133. Matty Beniers, C, Sea (F85)
134. Cam Talbot, G, Ott (G19)
135. Brent Burns, D, Car (D31)
136. Nicholas Paul, C, TB (F86)
137. Mathew Barzal, C, NYI (F87)
138. Sean Durzi, D, LA (D32)
139. Marc-Andre Fleury, G, Min (G20)
140. Vincent Trocheck, C, NYR (F88)
141. David Perron, RW, Det (F89)
142. Devon Toews, D, Col (D33)
143. Nikolaj Ehlers, LW, Wpg (F90)
144. Dylan Cozens, C, Buf (F91)
145. Sam Reinhart, RW, Fla (F92)
146. Anthony Duclair, LW, Fla (F93)
147. Mark Stone, RW, Vgk (F94)
148. Nick Schmaltz, C, Ari (F95)
149. Karel Vejmelka, G, Ari (0)
150. Adam Larsson, D, Sea (D34)
151. Andrei Kuzmenko, LW, Van (F96)
152. Robert Thomas, C, StL (F97)
153. Rickard Rakell, C, Pit (F98)
154. Shea Theodore, D, Vgk (D35)
155. Brandon Hagel, LW, TB (F99)
156. Patrick Kane, RW, Chi (F100)
157. Bryan Rust, RW, Pit (F101)
158. Pyotr Kochetkov, G, Car (G21)
159. Matt Boldy, LW, Min (F102)
160. Michael Bunting, LW, Tor (F103)
161. Dominik Kubalik, LW, Det (F104)
162. Hampus Lindholm, D, Bos (D36)
163. Morgan Rielly, D, Tor (D37)
164. Vince Dunn, D, Sea (D38)
165. Sam Bennett, LW, Fla (F105)
166. Anthony Cirelli, C, TB (F106)
167. Noah Hanifin, D, Cgy (D39)
168. Stuart Skinner, G, Edm (G22)
169. T.J. Oshie, RW, Wsh (F107)
170. Neal Pionk, D, Wpg (D40)
171. Jake McCabe, D, Chi (D41)
172. Matt Duchene, C, Nsh (F108)
173. Jordan Binnington, G, StL (G23)
174. David Savard, D, Mon (D42)
175. Jonathan Marchessault, LW, Vgk (F109)
176. Tony DeAngelo, D, Phi (D43)
177. Trevor Zegras, C, Ana (F110)
178. Jared Spurgeon, D, Min (D44)
179. Phillip Danault, C, LA (F111)
180. J.J. Moser, D, Ari (D45)
181. Lawson Crouse, LW, Ari (F112)
182. Taylor Hall, LW, Bos (F113)
183. Tyler Johnson, C, Chi (F114)
184. Chandler Stephenson, C, Vgk (F115)
185. Marcus Bjork, D, Cls (0)
186. Brock Boeser, RW, Van (F116)
187. Torey Krug, D, StL (D46)
188. James van Riemsdyk, LW, Phi (F117)
189. Viktor Arvidsson, RW, LA (F118)
190. Ben Chiarot, D, Det (D47)
191. Adrian Kempe, C, LA (F119)
192. Jordan Eberle, RW, Sea (F120)
193. Jeff Petry, D, Pit (D48)
194. Drew Doughty, D, LA (D49)
195. Carter Hart, G, Phi (G24)
196. Brayden McNabb, D, Vgk (D50)
197. Teuvo Teravainen, RW, Car (F121)
198. Martin Jones, G, Sea (G25)
199. Owen Tippett, RW, Phi (F122)
200. Tyler Toffoli, RW, Cgy (F123)
201. Joel Edmundson, D, Mon (D51)
202. Tyson Barrie, D, Edm (D52)
203. Vladislav Gavrikov, D, Cls (D53)
204. Craig Anderson, G, Buf (G26)
205. Luke Schenn, D, Van (D54)
206. Shane Pinto, C, Ott (F124)
207. Max Domi, C, Chi (F125)
208. Charlie Lindgren, G, Wsh (0)
209. Evgeny Kuznetsov, C, Wsh (F126)
210. Jared McCann, LW, Sea (F127)
211. Ryan Hartman, RW, Min (F128)
212. Gabriel Vilardi, C, LA (F129)
213. Ryan Pulock, D, NYI (D55)
214. Reilly Smith, RW, Vgk (F130)
215. Justin Schultz, D, Sea (D56)
216. Ian Cole, D, TB (D57)
217. Jake Sanderson, D, Ott (D58)
218. Adam Henrique, C, Ana (F131)
219. Alexander Romanov, D, NYI (D59)
220. Jakub Vrana, C, Det (F132)
221. Sergei Bobrovsky, G, Fla (G27)
222. J.T. Compher, RW, Col (F133)
223. Zach Parise, LW, NYI (F134)
224. Travis Sanheim, D, Phi (D60)
225. Spencer Martin, G, Van (G28)
226. Gustav Forsling, D, Fla (D61)
227. Colton Parayko, D, StL (D62)
228. Rasmus Sandin, D, Tor (D63)
229. Cam Atkinson, RW, Phi (F135)
230. Tom Wilson, RW, Wsh (F136)
231. Alex Iafallo, LW, LA (F137)
232. Jean-Gabriel Pageau, C, NYI (F138)
233. Mike Matheson, D, Mon (D64)
234. Radko Gudas, D, Fla (D65)
235. Alexander Barabanov, LW, SJ (F139)
236. K’Andre Miller, D, NYR (D66)
237. Marcus Pettersson, D, Pit (D67)
238. Dawson Mercer, C, NJ (F140)
239. Noel Acciari, C, StL (F141)
240. Jordie Benn, D, Tor (D68)
241. Evan Bouchard, D, Edm (D69)
242. Scott Laughton, C, Phi (F142)
243. Sean Monahan, C, Mon (F143)
244. John Klingberg, D, Ana (D70)
245. Esa Lindell, D, Dal (D71)
246. Kaiden Guhle, D, Mon (0)
247. Dan Vladar, G, Cgy (0)
248. Daniel Sprong, RW, Sea (F144)
249. Jonas Siegenthaler, D, NJ (D72)
250. Adam Erne, LW, Det (F145)

Just missed

Dropped out

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Fantasy hockey rankings – Goalie tandem update