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2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Outlook: Philadelphia Flyers

Under new coach John Tortorella, the Flyers expect to make sweeping changes to their culture. Will it be enough to get your fantasy team's attention?
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The fantasy season is upon us. Another year of tears of joy and heartbreak.

To help you along, here’s your fantasy outlook for the Philadelphia Flyers.

2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Outlook: Philadelphia Flyers

Last season: 25-46-11, 8th Metro, 29th overall. GF: 31st, GA: 27th, PP: 32nd, PK: 26th.

The last time John Tortorella came in and lit the locker room on fire, he called the Canucks “stale” and lasted just one season in Vancouver. The Flyers are coming off a horrendous season in many, many ways, and there was no move more symbolic than trading long-time captain Claude Giroux to let him chase a Cup. It was their second-worst season in the cap era; only two players scored more than 20 goals, Keith Yandle was a league-worst minus-47 and Carter Hart still hasn’t reverted back to his Calder-season form. If we talk anymore about the Flyers’ 2021-22 season, your screen might melt in protest so let’s move on to the big question in 2022-23:

Just like how Vancouver had the wrong roster for Tortorella to coach, does Philadelphia have the players who can play his way?

Tortorella is a good coach who can squeeze a lot out of a little, but he’ll look at a roster lacking elite scoring talent and whose best player – Sean Couturier – who is expected to miss all of training camp and the first few weeks of the season, and possibly even the months ahead. You kind of fear for Hart because Tortorella isn’t exactly known for being able to handle goalies, and spending a lot of time in their end blocking shots also means less time in the offensive zone to score goals.

Best fantasy option: Travis Konecny, RW 

This would hands-down by Sean Couturier if he wasn't suffering from a back ailment, and you could argue he is also the hidden gem considering he’s only rostered in 27 percent of Yahoo leagues with an ADP of 161.6. At his best, Couturier’s a 70-80-point player who can win a lot of faceoffs, and he’s going to be on the ice nearly the entire time because he plays in all situations and he’ll likely be one of the few Tortorella really trusts. 

That leaves Konecny, arguably their top winger because top scorers James van Riemsdyk and Cam Atkinson are both 33 years old, and Joel Farabee is recovering from neck surgery. THN's Pool Guide has Konecny projected to finish with 54 points, only one less than Couturier while BetMGM's over/under is set at 65, higher than Atkinson (57), Farabee (50) and JVR (50). Where there could be added upside for Konecny, especially in banger leagues, are in PIM and hits. Konecny's 77 PIM was a career high, and Tortorella will be pushing for an aggressive, physical system that plays to Konecny's strengths as a high-energy, chaos-inducing forechecking winger. A season in which Konecny scores close 60 points while piling up close to 250 shots and racking up over 50 PIM and 100 hits makes him a very worthwhile pick in the later rounds. 

Hidden gem: ... 

I think Ivan Provorov is a low-upside pick, Tony DeAngelo definitely isn’t going to have as good a season as he did in Carolina, I’ve been burned too many times thinking Morgan Frost would be good and Farabee is hurt. When Ryan Ellis is healthy, he can be a valuable fantasy asset with his points and blocked shots without giving up a whole lot else, but there's no timeline for his return. Beyond that, we’re starting to really reach for long-shot names such as prospect Tyson Foerster or Noah Cates, who looked good in limited action last season. Both players will likely see limited minutes, if any, during the season.

Goalies:

Hart is going to get a huge workload because projected backups Felix Sandstrom and Troy Grosenick have a combined seven (!) games of NHL experience under their belts. Hart looked improved last season with a few games where he made 40 saves, which made it easier for fantasy managers to absorb the numerous losses. In a season where there seems to be a lack of quality starters, getting dibs on Hart in the late rounds could yield tremendous value in goalie categories that depend on quantity, such as saves.

Outlook:

Everyone seems to think the Flyers are lottery bound except them. Torts was a splashy hire and he expects to turn this team around quickly. Chuck Fletcher spent money when he should be considering opening up cap space for deals and accumulating picks and prospects. Couturier says he thinks the Flyers will surprise everyone, but I think that was contingent on him playing a good chunk of the season. That’s a good attitude to have, but the roster on paper just doesn’t look very good, not to mention the injuries they will already be carrying into the season with Couturier and potentially Farabee and Ellis. What is the potential upside of this team? Sneaking into the playoffs? 

The Flyers don’t offer any elite fantasy options, though Couturier coming closest because he’s by far their best player. They have a few players who can score 50 points so they’re not completely devoid of options, but they are all late-round picks who tend to get drafted simply because fantasy managers get tired of scrolling. 

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