Value changes for Miller, Halak

Ryan Miller's fantasy owners should enjoy quite a few more wins in the weeks ahead. AP Photo/Ralph Freso

How much of a difference can a change of scenery make? Last Thursday, Ryan Miller was a solid No. 2 fantasy goaltender, used mostly to help owners in the ratio department but not expected to win many games for the Buffalo Sabres. This week, he is a consensus top-five fantasy goaltender that has all the tools in place to be the clear cut best fantasy goaltender during the remaining schedule. That's a pretty big difference.

The Top 200

Note: Sean Allen's top 200 players are ranked for their expected performance in ESPN standard leagues from this point on, not on the statistics that have already been accrued. ESPN standard stats include goals, assists, power-play points, shots on goal, plus/minus, penalty minutes and average time on ice for skaters, and wins, goals-against average and save percentage for goalies. Last week's ranking is indicated in parentheses.

1. Sidney Crosby, F, Pit (1)
2. Alex Ovechkin, F, Was (2)
3. Steven Stamkos, F, TB (3)
4. Evgeni Malkin, F, Pit (5)
5. Corey Perry, F, Ana (4)
6. Patrick Sharp, F, Chi (6)
7. Ryan Getzlaf, F, Ana (8)
8. P.K. Subban, D, Mon (9)
9. Chris Kunitz, F, Pit (10)
10. Patrick Kane, F, Chi (7)
11. Jonathan Toews, F, Chi (12)
12. Phil Kessel, F, Tor (18)
13. Erik Karlsson, D, Ott (13)
14. Tuukka Rask, G, Bos (11)
15. James Neal, F, Pit (16)
16. Joe Pavelski, F, SJ (17)
17. Duncan Keith, D, Chi (14)
18. Ben Bishop, G, TB (15)
19. Ryan Miller, G, StL (119)
20. Claude Giroux, F, Phi (20)
21. Zach Parise, F, Min (22)
22. Carey Price, G, Mon (21)
23. David Backes, F, StL (23)
24. Henrik Lundqvist, G, NYR (19)
25. Anze Kopitar, F, LA (25)
26. Logan Couture, F, SJ (28)
27. Martin St. Louis, F, TB (32)
28. Patrick Marleau, F, SJ (34)
29. Dustin Byfuglien, D, Wpg (31)
30. Semyon Varlamov, G, Col (35)
31. Jonathan Quick, G, LA (42)
32. Drew Doughty, D, LA (33)
33. Marc-Andre Fleury, G, Pit (30)
34. Pavel Datsyuk, F, Det (24)
35. Henrik Sedin, F, Van (27)
36. Nicklas Backstrom, F, Was (36)
37. Alexander Steen, F, StL (37)
38. Tyler Seguin, F, Dal (40)
39. Rick Nash, F, NYR (41)
40. Eric Staal, F, Car (39)
41. Shea Weber, D, Nsh (43)
42. Jamie Benn, F, Dal (44)
43. Sergei Bobrovsky, G, Cls (45)
44. Roberto Luongo, G, Van (38)
45. Matt Duchene, F, Col (47)
46. Cory Schneider, G, NJ (48)
47. Joe Thornton, F, SJ (49)
48. Antti Niemi, G, SJ (50)
49. Jarome Iginla, F, Bos (51)
50. David Krejci, F, Bos (52)
51. James van Riemsdyk, F, Tor (62)
52. Nathan MacKinnon, F, Col (67)
53. Jonas Hiller, G, Ana (53)
54. Thomas Vanek, F, NYI (54)
55. Corey Crawford, G, Chi (55)
56. Ryan Kesler, F, Van (56)
57. Pekka Rinne, G, Nsh (179)
58. Alexander Semin, F, Car (57)
59. Jaromir Jagr, F, NJ (58)
60. Mikko Koivu, F, Min (59)
61. Gabriel Landeskog, F, Col (69)
62. Kyle Turris, F, Ott (60)
63. Milan Lucic, F, Bos (70)
64. Alex Pietrangelo, D, StL (61)
65. Taylor Hall, F, Edm (64)
66. Kevin Shattenkirk, D, StL (65)
67. Ryan Suter, D, Min (66)
68. Kyle Okposo, F, NYI (46)
69. Scott Hartnell, F, Phi (76)
70. Jeff Carter, F, LA (71)
71. Craig Anderson, G, Ott (72)
72. Niklas Kronwall, D, Det (73)
73. Andrei Markov, D, Mon (74)
74. Brent Seabrook, D, Chi (75)
75. Nazem Kadri, F, Tor (77)
76. Patrice Bergeron, F, Bos (78)
77. Brandon Dubinsky, F, Cls (79)
78. Blake Wheeler, F, Wpg (80)
79. Dion Phaneuf, D, Tor (81)
80. Jakub Voracek, F, Phi (82)
81. Keith Yandle, D, Pho (83)
82. Jonathan Bernier, G, Tor (68)
83. Jordan Eberle, F, Edm (84)
84. Jaden Schwartz, F, StL (124)
85. Marian Gaborik, F, Cls (86)
86. Bobby Ryan, F, Ott (87)
87. Radim Vrbata, F, Pho (88)
88. Max Pacioretty, F, Mon (89)
89. Gustav Nyquist, F, Det (131)
90. Matt Niskanen, D, Pit (90)
91. Jimmy Howard, G, Det (100)
92. Bryan Little, F, Wpg (91)
93. Johan Franzen, F, Det (92)
94. Evander Kane, F, Wpg (93)
95. Victor Hedman, D, TB (94)
96. Jay Bouwmeester, D, StL (95)
97. T.J. Oshie, F, StL (85)
98. Andrew Ladd, F, Wpg (97)
99. Jason Spezza, F, Ott (98)
100. Brandon Saad, F, Chi (107)
101. Ondrej Pavelec, G, Wpg (99)
102. Zdeno Chara, D, Bos (101)
103. Jack Johnson, D, Cls (177)
104. Derek Stepan, F, NYR (102)
105. David Perron, F, Edm (103)
106. Joffrey Lupul, F, Tor (104)
107. Jeff Skinner, F, Car (105)
108. Brad Marchand, F, Bos (106)
109. Anton Khudobin, G, Car (96)
110. Steve Mason, G, Phi (116)
111. Kari Lehtonen, G, Dal (108)
112. Paul Stastny, F, Col (109)
113. Ryan Johansen, F, Cls (110)
114. Christian Ehrhoff, D, Buf (143)
115. Patrik Elias, F, NJ (122)
116. Clarke MacArthur, F, Ott (111)
117. Ryan O'Reilly, F, Col (112)
118. James Wisniewski, D, Cls (114)
119. Brent Burns, F, SJ (115)
120. Tyler Bozak, F, Tor (136)
121. P.A. Parenteau, F, Col (178)
122. Jaroslav Halak, G, Buf (63)
123. Cam Fowler, D, Ana (117)
124. O. Ekman-Larsson, D, Pho (118)
125. Vladimir Tarasenko, F, StL (120)
126. Shane Doan, F, Pho (139)
127. Mike Green, D, Was (151)
128. Mikael Granlund, F, Min (180)
129. Chris Kreider, F, NYR (121)
130. Jiri Hudler, F, Cgy (123)
131. Lubomir Visnovsky, D, NYI (147)
132. Dustin Penner, F, Ana (144)
133. Jason Garrison, D, Van (125)
134. Torey Krug, D, Bos (126)
135. Nathan Horton, F, Cls (127)
136. Jason Pominville, F, Min (128)
137. Evgeni Nabokov, G, NYI (129)
138. Daniel Alfredsson, F, Det (149)
139. Marek Zidlicky, D, NJ (132)
140. Martin Hanzal, F, Pho (133)
141. Wayne Simmonds, F, Phi (134)
142. Matt Moulson, F, Buf (135)
143. Tyson Barrie, D, Col (176)
144. Justin Williams, F, LA (137)
145. Andrej Sekera, D, Car (138)
146. Nick Bonino, F, Ana (130)
147. Brad Richards, F, NYR (140)
148. Marian Hossa, F, Chi (29)
149. Mark Giordano, D, Cgy (141)
150. Cam Ward, G, Car (142)
151. Tomas Plekanec, F, Mon (145)
152. Brian Elliott, G, StL (113)
153. R. Nugent-Hopkins, F, Edm (146)
154. Valtteri Filppula, F, TB (148)
155. Jussi Jokinen, F, Pit (150)
156. Braden Holtby, G, Was (173)
157. Erik Johnson, D, Col (153)
158. Alex Killorn, F, TB (154)
159. Radko Gudas, D, TB (155)
160. Troy Brouwer, F, Was (194)
161. Darcy Kuemper, G, Min (NR)
162. Adam Henrique, F, NJ (200)
163. Jacob Trouba, D, Wpg (156)
164. Dan Boyle, D, SJ (157)
165. Mike Smith, G, Pho (158)
166. John Carlson, D, Was (166)
167. Ryan McDonagh, D, NYR (159)
168. Daniel Sedin, F, Van (26)
169. Mike Richards, F, LA (171)
170. Chris Stewart, F, Buf (198)
171. Ryan Strome, F, NYI (NR)
172. Ben Scrivens, G, Edm (161)
173. Mark Scheifele, F, Wpg (162)
174. Antoine Vermette, F, Pho (163)
175. Matt Carle, D, TB (164)
176. Reilly Smith, F, Bos (165)
177. Mike Ribeiro, F, Pho (167)
178. Kevin Bieksa, D, Van (168)
179. Mark Streit, D, Phi (169)
180. Mike Fisher, F, Nsh (170)
181. Teddy Purcell, F, TB (172)
182. Brendan Gallagher, F, Mon (174)
183. Nino Niederreiter, F, Min (190)
184. Alex Goligoski, D, Dal (175)
185. Mats Zuccarello, F, NYR (152)
186. Olli Maatta, D, Pit (NR)
187. David Legwand, F, Nsh (181)
188. Brian Campbell, D, Fla (182)
189. Cody Franson, D, Tor (183)
190. Roman Josi, D, Nsh (184)
191. Frederik Andersen, G, Ana (185)
192. Loui Eriksson, F, Bos (NR)
193. Mikael Backlund, F, Cgy (186)
194. Alex Galchenyuk, F, Mon (NR)
195. Nick Foligno, F, Cls (187)
196. F. Beauchemin, D, Ana (189)
197. Hampus Lindholm, D, Ana (191)
198. Tim Thomas, G, Fla (NR)
199. Cody Hodgson, F, Buf (195)
200. Alexander Edler, D, Van (197)

Those fantasy owners who were using Miller to supplement their numbers hit the jackpot with the deal that sent Miller to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for Jaroslav Halak. Miller was unquestionably one of the most talented goalies in the game, but because of his situation behind a lackluster Sabres offense and improving (but still not there yet) Sabres defense, Miller wasn't all that great for fantasy owners. But behind the rock-solid defense and dangerous offense of the Blues, Miller landed in the perfect place to excel.

We have Miller ranked as the third best fantasy goaltender going forward from this point, behind only Tuukka Rask and Ben Bishop. Carey Price would have been ahead of him, too, if not for the injury. That ranking has Miller inside our top 20 players overall.

But don't say it's impossible to trade for him. Nothing is impossible. Put yourself in the shoes of a Miller owner. You just won the goaltending lottery, but you are already pretty well off in net. Chances are that Miller's owner wasn't relying on him as his top goaltender at the time of the trade. You could possibly talk the owner into parting with Miller for a strong offensive weapon that may be valuable, but won't quite touch the overall value of Miller. Would his owner take Henrik Sedin straight up for Miller? Maybe, if you just look at the numbers. But Sedin will be without brother Daniel Sedin for three weeks and won't come close to returning the value of Miller.

Can't pry Miller away from a happy lottery winner? Well, as we mentioned already, Miller probably wasn't his top goaltender a week ago. Maybe the owner will part with his other goalies now that he has Miller in tow.

Halak owners are caught going the other way, but don't give up hope too soon. Halak tumbles in our rankings this week, but that's largely due to the unknown. If Halak doesn't get moved again by the Sabres before Wednesday's NHL trade deadline, he has little to no value. Jhonas Enroth is more likely to be the Sabres' future in net and will be given a chance to play regularly down the stretch. There are still teams with a need to shore up their goaltending -- mainly the Washington Capitals and Minnesota Wild. If Halak could find his way to the Wild, his value would skyrocket. If he ends up with the Caps, we aren't quite as sold. One thing is for sure, Halak owners need to hang on to him to see where the chips fall. If Halak lands with the defensively astute Wild, it would be another huge boon to the fantasy goaltending world.

To round out this conversation, we'll touch on Chris Stewart here, too. Stewart was part of the package that the Blues sent to the Sabres for Miller. He debuted on the team's second line with Cody Hodgson and former Blues linemate Matt D'Agostini. Stewart has always offered fantasy potential, both from his propensity for hot streaks and his accumulation of penalty minutes. That said, the Sabres aren't exactly a hotbed for offense this season. And, if the Sabres unload more offense at the deadline, the quality of Stewart's linemates will likely continue to erode. But looking to the future, Stewart could settle into an intriguing top-six role for the Sabres as they continue to build for the future. He will be a name to look at depending on what the team brings to the table next year.

Forwards Rising and Falling

Jaden Schwartz, F, St. Louis Blues (up 40 spots to No. 84): The arrival of Steve Ott has seemed to re-energize coach Ken Hitchcock's desire to have three formidable lines. But even before Ott came over in trade, there have been hints all along that Hitchcock has been looking for an excuse to make Schwartz's promotion to the top line permanent. Committing T.J. Oshie to a line with Ott and Derek Roy does give Hitchcock a better look for a third unit than one he could put together with Stewart still in the fold. That leaves Vladimir Tarasenko, Patrik Berglund and Magnus Paajarvi as a younger scoring line with upside.

But enough about the second and third line, the fantasy money is with Schwartz on the top line alongside David Backes and Alexander Steen. The trio had been together earlier this season when Oshie was hurt and Schwartz made his first big impression on fantasy owners. Now in his first game back on the line, Schwartz collected a pair of assists on Sunday. This definitely looks like a unit that could be together for the long haul, and don't forget that Hitchcock has a tendency to leave his line combinations together for the man advantage, so Schwartz would also be in line for increased power-play minutes.

Ryan Strome, F, New York Islanders (enters ranks at No. 171): Who knows if Thomas Vanek will still be there on Thursday, but even if the Islanders ship off their top winger the team will still score goals. The best place to be a part of those goals will be on the top line with Kyle Okposo and that is exactly where Strome is getting a chance to show his stuff. Fantasy owners will get a glimpse of Strome's potential with John Tavares sidelined for the remainder of the season; that means decent minutes and skilled linemates from here on out. Of course, it would be better with Vanek, but that is not a realistic expectation headed into the trade deadline. Strome has two points in three games since Tavares' injury, and he did that without top power-play minutes. If Vanek goes somewhere else, Strome could actually pick up his scoring with a better role on the man advantage.

Patrik Elias, F, New Jersey Devils (up seven spots to No. 115): Elias and center Adam Henrique have clicked since coming back from the Olympic break: Henrique has six points and Elias has five in those three games. They are together on a line with Steve Bernier at even strength. But on the power play, Henrique is playing with his old line of Michael Ryder and Ryane Clowe, while Elias is with Jaromir Jagr and Travis Zajac. Henrique is available in more fantasy leagues, but Elias has the stronger history of consistent scoring when healthy. This is the second time this season Henrique has returned from breaks (Christmas and Olympics) on fire, so the trend may not last.

Brandon Saad, F, Chicago Blackhawks (up seven spots to No. 100): Losing Marian Hossa is another blow to fantasy owners, as the star Blackhawks forward is expected to miss the next two to three weeks with an upper-body injury. This will be a huge opportunity for someone to play on the top line with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp. So far, that player appears to be Saad. He finished out Saturday's game on the top line with a plus-4 rating.

Defensemen Rising and Falling

Jack Johnson, D, Columbus Blue Jackets (up 74 spots to No. 103): We hope you were paying attention when ESPN.com's Victoria Matiash called a spiteful hot streak after Johnson got the snub from the U.S. Olympic team. Since the calendar flipped to 2014, Johnson has 14 points in 21 games, which is exceptional for a defenseman. A concern might be the complete lack of a shot on goal since the return from the Olympics, but it's hard to be too concerned about that when he has four points in three games.

Goaltenders Rising and Falling

Pekka Rinne, G, Nashville Predators (up 122 spots to No. 57): He's back. Don't hesitate to get Rinne back in to your lineups. Expected to start Tuesday for the first time since Oct. 22, Rinne has already been scooped back up in all but a tiny percentage of ESPN leagues. The Preds' defense is limiting opponents to minimal shots since the break, but Carter Hutton hasn't been up to the task of stopping very many of them. Rinne, however, is a different beast. He stopped 33 of the 35 shots he faced in two rehab starts for the Milwaukee Admirals this past week in the AHL, good for two wins and a 0.99 goals-against average. That shows he isn't hampered by the hip injury and your faith should be restored in him going forward.

Quick Hits

Brooks Laich was supposed to move off the top line with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom once Marcus Johansson was healthy. Only he didn't. It's not guaranteed that he stays there, but Laich did have three points in one game on the line coming back from the break.

• Looking to boost their scoring since coming back from the Olympic layoff, Elias Lindholm has found himself on a line with Eric Staal and Jeff Skinner. Calling that a pretty solid duo to be playing with for Lindholm, would be a massive understatement. Watch how the rookie handles himself with the opportunity.

Pavel Datsyuk has tweaked his knee and may miss a couple days. Then again, this knee issue has been ongoing and it could be longer. Riley Sheahan played on the top line with Johan Franzen and Gustav Nyquist after Datsyuk left the ice on Thursday. He is definitely the short-term beneficiary of Datsyuk's absence.

• The Montreal Canadiens' top line has been hot since the return from the Olympic break. Max Pacioretty, David Desharnais and Brendan Gallagher have been scoring at will. The only new factor is the return of Alex Galchenyuk to bolster the team's depth. If that is the true catalyst, then good things will continue for the top trio. Desharnais is likely available as a cheap roster add.

• Don't look now, but there's been a Tyler Myers sighting. The tall defenseman has four points in four games since the break. He stands to gain even more if Christian Ehrhoff is shipped off at the deadline.

Eric Gelinas is playing the important minutes on the Devils' blue line. He has four points in three games since the break and is getting power-play time.