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31 in 31

Philadelphia Flyers fantasy preview for 2019-20

Voracek, Gostisbehere, Provorov bounce-back candidates under Vigneault; Couturier brings rare category coverage

by Jonathan Baron / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

As part of NHL.com's 31 in 31 series, the fantasy hockey staff identifies relevant players from the Philadelphia Flyers. For more fantasy coverage, visit NHL.com/Fantasy and subscribe for free to the NHL Fantasy on Ice podcast.

 

[Flyers 31 IN 31: Season preview | 3 Questions | Top prospects | Behind the Numbers]

 

Claude Giroux, C/LW/RW (NHL.com rank: 37) -- He set NHL career highs in goals (34), assists (68) and points (102) in 2017-18 but regressed last season with 85 points (22 goals, 63 assists). He also declined in shooting percentage (9.6 last season; 17.6 in 2017-18), but his career rate (11.1) suggests he could have better fortunes this season. Giroux has the fifth-most points in the NHL over the past two seasons (187) and should thrive under new offensive-minded coach Alain Vigneault.

Video: Top five plays of 2018-19: Giroux

 

Carter Hart, G (76) -- The goalie went 16-13-1 in 31 games (30 starts), including an eight-game winning streak from Jan. 14 to Feb. 9, after making his NHL debut on Dec. 18. The 21-year-old is a preseason top 15 fantasy goalie option and will look to translate his .917 save percentage to a heavy start volume in his first full season with Brian Elliott as the clear backup.

 

Jakub Voracek, RW (79) -- The right wing had his third straight season of at least 20 goals and 60 points (66). Voracek had a strong finish with 34 points (10 goals, 24 assists) in his final 36 games on a line with mostly center Sean Couturier and left wing Oskar Lindblom. He could either remain on that line or play on a new unit with center Kevin Hayes, who was acquired and signed by the Flyers after an NHL career-high 55 points last season with the Winnipeg Jets and New York Rangers. Voracek could have a ceiling close to his 2017-18 point total (85) if he plays with Hayes and left wing James van Riemsdyk.

 

Sean Couturier, C (82) -- The center had 76 points and at least 223 shots on goal for a second consecutive season, including an NHL career-high 33 goals last season. Couturier is a fixture in the top six and on the first power play with Giroux, Voracek, van Riemsdyk and valuable defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere. Couturier, one of four forwards with at least 30 goals, 220 SOG and 60 blocked shots (others: Auston Matthews, Mika Zibanejad, Gabriel Landeskog), could reach 80 points for the first time under Vigneault and is worth reaching for around the top 75 overall.

Video: TOR@PHI: Couturier uses silky move in shootout

 

Shayne Gostisbehere, D (138) -- He had 37 points (nine goals, 28 assists) last season, a significant dip from his career-best 65 points (13 goals, 52 assists) in 2017-18. Gostisbehere (minus-20) was negatively impacted by the Flyers allowing the third most goals (280) but could bounce back with a full season of Hart as the clear No. 1 goalie. Gostisbehere, a fixture on the first power play, should be attainable outside the top 100 but has enormous upside at a scarce position.

 

Ivan Provorov, D (145) -- He finished tied for the most goals by a defenseman two seasons ago (17) but only had seven goals in 82 games last season. A regression in Provorov's shot volume (145 SOG; 203 in 2017-18) contributed to his goal-scoring dip last season, but it's worth nothing he sustained a shoulder injury in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs and then led the Flyers in average ice time (25:07) last season. Provorov remains behind Gostisbehere in NHL.com's rankings but is still worth targeting in mid-to-late rounds with the chance to score double-digit goals with strong hits coverage (1.6 per game in NHL career).

 

James van Riemsdyk, LW (152) -- The left wing had an NHL career-high 36 goals with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2017-18 and then scored 27 despite missing 16 games because of injury. He plays on the Flyers' loaded PP1, has scored at least 20 goals in five of the past six seasons and could return to the 30-35 range if he plays on a line with Hayes and Voracek.

 

Other players to consider in late rounds or off waiver wire: Kevin Hayes, C (218); Travis Konecny, RW (221); Travis Sanheim, D (225); Oskar Lindblom, LW (242); Joel Farabee, LW, or Morgan Frost, C/LW

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