This week’s question is:
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Ryan: Carter Hart is the only one of those I would consider owning in a standard fantasy league at this point. I wasn't convinced that he was NHL-ready this season initially, but he's shown that he's already a solid NHL starter and obviously there's a lot of untapped upside there. Cam Talbot is strictly the Flyers' backup now, so I don't see him as a great pickup unless you already have Hart and want to hedge your bets. Even then, he's a rather below average option. He does have a pre-existing relationship with Hart so he should fit in well into the veteran mentor role, but he's likely to start sparingly and frankly I don't think he'll do that well when he does get to play. Brian Elliott has started an AHL conditioning stint, but if the Flyers had any confidence in him at all, they wouldn't have acquired Talbot. The best-case scenario for Elliott at this point is that he gets traded or claimed on waivers. He's a solid goaltender when he's healthy, so while I can't recommend picking him up yet, I do think it's worth keeping an eye on this situation because he might have some value depending on where he ends up. I haven't heard an update about Neuvirth in a while, which is usually a bad sign. He's in a similar situation to Elliott in that he has no place with the Flyers anymore, but is good enough that he could be of benefit to another team. However, I'm more pessimistic about Neuvirth because while Elliott is on the brink of returning, there's no telling when Neuvirth will be ready.
Corey: I think we will all agree that Hart has established himself as not only the goaltender of the future for the Flyers, but also the number one goalie of the present for the team. He has a 10-2-0 record in his last 12 outings and owns a .926 save percentage during that span. I believe Talbot will get a boost in value as a result of his trade to Philadelphia. He has already said he is open to re-signing with the Flyers and I think he feels he has a lot to prove. Talbot has some value as a handcuff for Hart owners and I would give him the edge on Elliott, who could end up on waivers, because the Flyers may want to try him out to see what he brings to the table. I don't think Neuvirth should be on anyone's fantasy radar. He hasn't played well this season and has struggled through too many injuries.
Brian: I couldn't agree more with both Corey and Ryan. The order of fantasy value for this season is clear: Hart, Talbot, Elliott and Neuvirth. Instead of repeating their reasoning, which I agree with completely, I thought I'd answer another question that comes out of this question. Does Cam Talbot have any value for a rebuilding team? I say, yes. Talbot had clearly worn out his welcome in Edmonton and but for a few brief periods, he really was never given the support to have success as the Oilers have been a terrible defensive team. The soon-to-be UFA could use his time in Philly to show he still has some mileage left in his tank at the age of 31 and parlay that into an opportunity next season. If I owned a rebuilding fantasy team and had a slot on my reserve list available, I'd take a flier on Talbot.
Joey: I feel like Hart will get the most starts out of any of the four goaltenders in Philadelphia down the stretch, but I get the feeling that they'll want to see what Talbot has left in the tank. I'm sure the Flyers have seen everything they need to see from pending unrestricted free agents Elliott and Neuvirth, so they should use this opportunity to determine whether or not Talbot deserves and extension. Hart and Talbot are close friends, which means they'd likely be open to re-signing the veteran at the right price. Hart has the most fantasy value, Talbot will be second and you can flip a coin between Elliott and Neuvirth.
Michael: I agree with everyone that Hart is an easy choice for being the most valuable as far as fantasy and the NHL is concerned. But I think that the second most valuable could be Brian Elliott because I fully expect him to be traded by the Monday deadline next week. I think that Vegas could be a destination despite the strong showing by backup Malcolm Subban this weekend. Talbot will back up Hart and see some action but not enough to be fantasy-worthy unless Hart suffers an injury. Neuvirth has no fantasy value.