Paying up for
Defense Goaltender is Comfortable
I’m not sure if Carey Price makes the save in the picture above. That probably doesn’t matter.
I’m trying to make my introductions shorter and more relevant, so here it goes: Paying up for a top-tier goaltender like Price makes you feel comfortable. On FanDuel, goalies gain an extra 12 points for a win — the equivalent of 15 saves.
In total, the difference between favored and underdog goalies is a +1.99 Plus/Minus. That’s a big difference. But does paying up for a goaltender — even one who’s heavily favored — give you a false sense of security? It’s important to remember that with an elite goalie you’ll have a tougher time jamming in a top-tier goal-scorer or even an offensive defenseman.
What’s the true value of favored goalies?
Moneylines From a Macro Perspective
Let’s use the Trends tool to look at different moneyline ranges:
Vegas makes money, so it makes sense that goalies playing in games in which they are expected to win perform much better overall. But this still doesn’t tell us which types of goalies are exceeding value.
Breaking Down Common Moneylines by Price
Goalies on FD are like NFL defenses on DraftKings: They have a wide salary range. As a result, the decision to pay up for a top-tier option like Price on FD has a bigger impact on roster construction than it does on DK.
Is paying up at goalie worth it?
The following diagram breaks down moneyline trends for four salary ranges:
On a large scale it seems that goalies in the top salary subgroup have a difficult time exceeding value unless they are heavily favored.
Favorites look to be the preferred option overall for value across each pricing tier. However, there’s also a significant Plus/Minus bump for large underdog goaltenders priced $7,000-$7,900.
Same Data, Different Visor
This graph breaks down the previous data by moneylines instead of salary:
Again, significant underdog goaltenders in the $7,000-$7,900 range provide the second-most value in the study. They also likely have reduced ownership. For salary relief at the position, this subgroup is likely the one to target.
Wins heavily impact goaltender scoring in NHL DFS, so it makes sense to target Vegas favorites — although large underdogs who are moderately priced have provided value in the past, outproducing nearly every other pricing subcategory.
On FD, it is extremely difficult for expensive goalies to return much value in excess of their salaries, but when heavily favored they still may be worth rostering.