Ramblings: Is Jones Average, Autopicking Your Draft

Ian Gooding

2018-09-23


When discussing the recent Erik Karlsson trade and whether it makes the Sharks a Stanley Cup contender, the host of a local radio talk show described Martin Jones as an average goalie. For the record, I don’t think this host was describing Jones from a fantasy perspective. So just how average is Jones in fantasy leagues? And is he average enough where Aaron Dell would pose a serious threat to steal from starts?

Just to get this out of the way, I don’t believe that Dell would steal starts from Jones outright. Jones has played in at least 60 games for three consecutive seasons. Only two goalies (Cam Talbot, Devan Dubnyk) have played more games and only three goalies (Braden Holtby, Pekka Rinne, Devan Dubnyk) have won more games over that three-year span. That’s the definition of a goalie that you can leave in your lineup and don’t have to constantly check Goalie Post to find out whether he’s starting.

But here’s where Jones becomes average. Over that same three-year span for the 42 goalies that have played at least 100 games, Jones is 24th with a .915 SV%. He is, however, 9th with a 2.40 GAA. So if save percentage is more of a function of the goalie’s ability and goals-against average is more of a function of the team’s ability, Jones is an average goalie who plays for an above-average team. So if Jones is traded to a team below the Sharks in the standings, his fantasy value takes a hit.

Simply put, Jones gets the job done for the Sharks. Plus he has led his team to a Stanley Cup Final, and he has the much bigger more long-term contract compared to Dell. That won’t stop Dell from being one of the league’s better backups. It’s possible that Dell could start more games down the stretch if the Sharks lock up a playoff spot early in a Pacific Division that has a lot of question marks throughout. Even with the Karlsson trade, I believe the Pacific will turn into a two-horse race between the Sharks and Vegas Golden Knights. Take that for what it’s worth.

The Karlsson trade probably helps the fantasy value of each goalie compared to where it was before the trade, and it shouldn’t affect the number of starts each goalie receives. I don’t think it raises each goalie a tier unless your fantasy league only counts wins, which the addition of Karlsson should be good for. Karlsson is a solid defensive defenseman, but remember that he was a minus-25 last season and is coming off an injury. So I don’t honestly believe his addition will improve the ratios of each goalie much, if at all.  

Speaking of the Sharks, here's Karlsson sporting some new threads, not just for him, but also his new teammates. This jersey gets my thumbs up.