John Carlson is a good fantasy start vs Flyers

John Carlson, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports
John Carlson, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports /

The Washington Capitals take on the Philadelphia Flyers in a key Metropolitan Division matchup and the player you should start on your fantasy team on defense is John Carlson.

Sean Allen and Victoria Matiash of ESPN Fantasy listed Carlson under their 1-32 power rankings for best fantasy player on each team. While the Caps dropped from 14th to 18th, there were some good words about the veteran defenseman:

"It’s telling of how “meh” the Capitals are that Carlson is easily leading the pace at a rate that would finish 65th overall. It’s unlikely anything will change to make Alex Ovechkin challenge him, but Max Pacioretty returning to the ice could be an X factor."

Max Pacioretty has been practicing with the Caps in a non contact jersey. The next step for him is full contact practice before he can be cleared for game action.

Carlson has one goal and 14 assists for 15 points in 25 games. He averages 25:36 minutes of ice time.

While ESPN was positive about the play of Carlson, Yahoo Fantasy Sports was negative in Ryan Dadoun’s article for daily fantasy picks:

"Carlson has recorded at least 70 points in three separate campaigns with the latest instance of that coming in 2021-22, but this is shaping up to be a substantially less productive year. He has a goal and 15 points through 25 contests in 2023-24, including just four assists with the man advantage. The 33-year-old isn’t showing any signs of rebounding either, registering four assists over his last nine outings."

Carlson had a slow start to the season but 15 points through 25 games isn’t bad. He leads all Caps skaters in average time on ice. He also leads in blocks with 57, eight ahead of Rasmus Sandin who sometimes pairs with him but lately Carlson has paired up top with Martin Fehervary.

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Carlson is ranked 11th on the Caps in hits with just 12. He is 33 though so maybe he just doesn’t want to throw his body around like he did in the 2021-22 season where he laid out 73 hits.