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31 in 31

Philadelphia Flyers fantasy preview for 2017-18

Giroux likely to bounce back; Konecny has sleeper potential

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / NHL.com Staff Writer

As part of NHL.com's 31 in 31 series, our fantasy hockey staff is breaking down each team's fantasy landscape. Fantasy-relevant players are listed in order of rank in NHL.com's top 250. Today, we look at the Philadelphia Flyers:

 

[FLYERS 31 in 31: Season preview | 3 Questions | Top prospects | Behind the numbers | More team fantasy previews]

 

FORWARDS

Wayne Simmonds, RW -- One of the most complete fantasy players, Simmonds has strong coverage across every category except for plus-minus. He's scored at least 28 goals, 50 points, 21 power-play points (13 power-play goals), had four-game winning goals and at least 188 shots in each of the past four seasons. Simmonds has more than 200 SOG and 100 PIM in three of the past four seasons, missing eight games. His strong power-play prowess is a reason for the poor rating (minus-18 last season, minus-30 in NHL career), but his a solid late-third, early fourth-round pick.

Claude Giroux, C -- Despite having declining goals, assists and points totals in each full season since 2011-12, Giroux ranks fourth since 2010-11 in points (501) behind Alex Ovechkin (506), Sidney Crosby (521) and Patrick Kane (522). Giroux's 14 goals last season were the lowest in a full season since he scored nine in 2008-09 and his 58 points were his lowest since he had 47 in 2009-10. Still, he scored 31 PPP (fourth in the League) and had 199 SOG. There's a good chance Giroux, 29, surpasses those totals especially considering he was recovering from hip and abdominal surgery last season.

Jakub Voracek, RW -- Two seasons ago, Voracek was one of the top fantasy players with 81 points (22 goals, 59 assists), 78 PIM, 33 PPP and 221 SOG. He's regressed since, with 61 points (20 goals, 41 assists), 56 PIM and a minus-24 rating last season, though he did have 253 SOG (15th in League) and 23 PPP. He should fare better this season, especially if Giroux, his linemate, stays healthy.

Nolan Patrick, C (INJ.) -- It's no secret injuries have plagued the No. 2 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. Patrick missed part of last season in the Western Hockey League because of a sports hernia surgery and missed development camp after having a similar procedure. Assuming Patrick, 18, makes the opening night roster, he would at best be the second-line center, but could play on the third line. Regardless, his offensive ability at the NHL level and health remain questions, so don't reach too high for him.

Video: Pete Jensen on where to draft rookies in fantasy

Travis Konecny, C/LW -- As a rookie in 2016-17, Konecny had 28 points (11 goals, 17 assists) in 70 games with eight goals coming at even-strength. With the loss of Brayden Schenn (traded to St. Louis Blues), who tied for the League lead in PPG last season (17), Konecny could see an increased role on the power play. His offensive numbers are more than likely to rise if he begins the season at left wing on the top line with Giroux and Voracek. Either way, an increased workload is expected from Konecny, who averaged 14:05 of ice time per game. He's a sleeper pick with a very high upside.

 

 

DEFENSEMEN

Shayne Gostisbehere -- The Calder Trophy runner-up in 2015-16, Gostisbehere had 39 points (seven goals, 32 assists) in 76 games, down from 17 goals and 46 points in 64 games, and was a minus-21. He was even benched and a healthy scratch at times, which didn't help his confidence. Gostisbehere will try to put last season behind him and fantasy owners should as well; he had 23 PPP and 198 SOG, and has shown he can be one of the elite offensive defenseman in the League.

Ivan Provorov -- The 20-year-old had a solid fantasy season with 30 points (six goals, 24 assists) 34 PIM and 161 SOG. Provorov led the Flyers in total ice time by more than 200 minutes and was tops with 21:58 per game. It would be nice to see him produce more on the power-play; he averaged 1:41 of power-play ice time and had no goals (five assists). However, the potential is there for Provorov to eclipse those offensive totals this season.

Video: 31 in 31: Philadelphia Flyers 2017-18 season preview

 

GOALTENDING

Brian Elliott -- Playing for his third team in three seasons, Elliott, 32, went 23-9-2 with a .919 save percentage and two shutouts in his final 35 games with the Calgary Flames last season after starting 3-9-1 with an .886 SV% in 14 games. Prior to last season, Elliott did not have a GAA above 2.28 since 2010-11, when he was with the Colorado Avalanche and Ottawa Senators. The Flyers tied for 19th in goals allowed per game (2.82) and Elliott should help that number decrease this season. He has potential to finish in the top 10 among goalies.

Others to consider: Michal Neuvirth (G), Sean Couturier, (C), Valtteri Filppula (C), Oskar Lindblom (LW/RW), Radko Gudas (D)

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