The Philadelphia Flyers have opened their development camp, which means the season is only getting closer. With many new additions to the Flyers’ team and older veterans preparing for their seasons, it’s time to take a look at the potential top fantasy players on the team.
For fantasy hockey fans looking to add to their teams, the Flyers’ have a couple of guys who could make strong impacts in fantasy hockey. Over the past couple of seasons, Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier, and former Flyer Jake Voracek have been the top performers from the Flyers’ in fantasy. In this piece, I will list five must drafts coming from the Flyers, as well as a few notable options for fantasy teams.
Drafting Giroux to a fantasy team is no question. The Flyers’ captain has produced strong numbers since joining the Flyers back in 2006. Giroux can provide some goal-scoring to a team but will mostly bring a lot of assists. With the addition of Cam Atkinson, he finally has a natural-goal scorer on his team, and if they both play together, Giroux could pick up a ton of points.
Over the past few seasons, Giroux has also provided very good power play efforts to the Flyers’ lineup, putting him near the top in the NHL. According to RotoWire, Giroux’s 11 power-play points last season were his lowest total since he was a 20-year-old in the 2008-09 season. Hopefully, that changes this season, in the final year of his contract.
Atkinson has been one of the best goal-scores in the NHL since being drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the sixth round of the 2008 NHL draft. The “shoot-first” mentality forward was acquired in mid-July after the Flyers traded long-time forward Voracek to the Blue Jackets for Atkinson in a one-for-one deal. The former Boston College Eagle will be reunited with former college teammate Kevin Hayes on the Flyers.
Atkinson has provided solid fantasy value for teams over the years, having produced over 40 points a season since the 2013-14 season. The best year of his career came in the 2018-19 season, where he posted 41 goals and 28 assists for 69 points, putting himself as a top goal-scorer in the league. The past two seasons haven’t been the best for the Blue Jackets, but Atkinson could very well improve his game with the Flyers and provide great fantasy value.
The former Selke Trophy winner is a must-draft to a fantasy team. Couturier is the Flyers’ number one center and will be for eight more years, after signing a contract extension this past summer worth $62 million. “Coots” is a potential option for the Flyers’ next captain after Giroux retires. He brings offensive and defensive skills and very strong leadership abilities. He is a big, powerful center with strong skating skills, who will continue to post great fantasy numbers.
Couturier was drafted by the Flyers eighth-overall in the 2011 NHL draft. Over the years, he has been a great point-getter for the Flyers, as well as a strong playoff presence. His best season came in 2017-18, where he scored 31 goals and 45 assists for 76 total points. The following year, he would again post another 76-point season, with 33 goals and 43 assists. Last season, serving as an alternate captain for the team, he finished fourth in points scored with 18 goals and 23 assists for 41 points.
Newly acquired Ryan Ellis will be an immediate fan-favorite with the Flyers’ organization. The former Nashville Predator has spent the past 11 seasons playing with the team. Ellis will bring a strong presence on the blue line for the Flyers down the line and give Ivan Provorov a true number-one partner to play alongside. He is under contract with the team for the next six seasons.
“Ryan is an excellent all-around defenseman. In our opinion, he’s one of the best passers in the game on the blue line. He’s great in transition, he can play the power play, he’s got a heavy shot, and he’s a very good penalty killer.”Chuck Fletcher
Ellis will bring leadership to the Flyers, as he has been an alternate captain for the Predators for the past three seasons. He can pick up a lot of assists with his playmaking and transition abilities, post strong time-on-ice numbers, and play a key asset in the defensive zone. Last year, Ellis didn’t have his best season by any means, but with a full schedule this season and a new team to suit up for, he could have a great year and be a perfect fantasy addition.
Russian defenseman Ivan Provorov has been the Flyers’ best defenseman for the past few seasons. Drafted by the team in 2017, Provorov has brought lots of offensive skills to the club. He has hardly missed any games since being drafted by the Flyers, and he brings a warrior mindset every game in terms of block shots and doing what it takes to win.
With the new addition of Ellis from the Predators, Provorov finally has a true number one defenseman and veteran beside him on the blueline. Over the past few years, he has had multiple partners, including Justin Braun a few times last season. He has the ability to provide even more points for the team if he just had a consistent partner with him. Ellis will help him greatly over the next few years, but he can still provide a solid pick in fantasy drafts.
Joel Farabee is a great pick for fantasy drafts. The Flyers’ leader in goals last season continues to get better and better every season. He has already proven he can play on the top line of the Flyers and provide consistent goal-scoring for the team.
Rasmus Ristolainen has played for a horrible Buffalo team. It seems Ristolainen struggles with handling a number one role. Coming to the Flyers’ could help him, as he would have a bit of a lesser role with the team, taking some pressure off him. Either way, he can provide lots of defensive value with his size and strength, as he loves to make hits.
Carter Hart is in for a bounce-back year. After a horrific season last year, Hart will put it behind him and look for a better year this season. The defense has greatly improved, and that should really help hard stay more confident in the net. He will be a risky fantasy pick, but if he does have a good year, fantasy drafters could miss out.
Clare McManus has been a freelance hockey writer for the past two years. Starting out on Instagram as NHLProspectReport, she went on with a role with DobberProspects and Future Considerations. After sometime there, she now currently covers the NHL Draft for Neutral Zone and the Philadelphia Flyers for The Hockey Writers.