Dobber's offseason fantasy hockey grades – Philadelphia Flyers
For the last 16 years (12 with The Hockey News) Dobber has reviewed each team from a fantasy-hockey standpoint and graded them.
The 17th annual review will appear here on DobberHockey throughout the summer. This is not a review of the likely performance on the ice or in the standings, but in the realm of fantasy hockey.
Impact of changes – The Flyers are – and have been – transitioning young defensemen into their lineup. Starting with Shayne Gostisbehere and moving on to Ivan Provorov, Travis Sanheim and Robert Hagg. With Philip Myers and Samuel Morin knocking on the door, they needed to get some veteran bodies onto the team to help guide them. Braun and Niskanen fit that bill nicely.
Philly also needed a big center who can play second- or third-line effectively. This not only shores up forward depth but also takes the pressure off of young Nolan Patrick. With Hayes on board, Patrick can now safely thrive on the third line and work his way up to the second line at his own pace rather than get forced there too quickly. The team also re-signed goaltender Brian Elliott, who was set to become an unrestricted free agent. In keeping the man who was supposed to be their former starter, they give young Carter Hart a good veteran backup. Elliott had proven to be too injury prone to be counted on to start. But as a backup he’s perfect. These are a lot of somewhat minor, under-the-radar moves that set the team up nicely.
Ready for full-time – Philippe Myers and Samuel Morin are giants. Flyers’ fans would love to one day see a pairing of the 6-5 Myers with the 6-6 Morin coming over the boards for their shift after the dynamic Provorov and Sanheim (or Gostisbehere) come off. Myers is a solid puck mover who can put up points, while Morin is a stay-at-home guy who will be lucky to ever see 25 points in a season. That’s how they were paired during Morin’s brief stint late in the season.
High-end offensive dynamos Joel Farabee and Morgan Frost should get long looks in training camp. Farabee might even get several games in before being sent back to junior hockey. But neither player is ready to crack this lineup just yet. A Frost recall could happen during the second half, depending on the injury situation.
Philadelphia Flyers prospect depth chart and fantasy upsides can be found here (not yet ready for mobile viewing, desktop only right now)
Fantasy Outlook – The Flyers finished 17th in goals scored last season and I have them hovering around the same area. They’ll tighten up defensively which should push them up the standings. The team is above-average at forward, with the typical first-second-third-fourth line roles and expected skill set and production. Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek and Sean Couturier will lead the way again, with James van Reimsdyk and (the yet unsighed) Travis Konecny providing secondary offense, along with newcomer Hayes. The Flyers are above average on defense – more in terms of offensive potential as opposed to experience. But the summer acquisitions will help there. Goaltending is (finally!) solid. Even though Carter Hart has not truly been battle tested, we’ve seen enough to be pretty convinced. And while Elliott is not ideal as a starting goalie, he certainly is as a backup and mentor. The prospect pipeline is starting to fill up with fantasy-worthy youngsters led by Frost and Farabee, as well as 2019 draftee Cameron York among others.
Fantasy Grade: B (last year was B+)
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2019 Offseason Fantasy Hockey Grades