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The Truth #12

Hello everyone and welcome in for another article, the twelfth part of a series in which I try to determine the truth about puzzling players. First I want to take a second to invite you to join the Apples & Ginos Discord server which is where I gathered ideas from the members on which players to investigate. With that said, let’s discover the truth:

David Savard, D – TBL

David Savard is not a name that comes up a lot in fantasy circles, but he is certainly relevant in banger leagues (leagues with one or more of hits/blocks/PIMs as scoring categories) as a very physical defenseman. Prior to getting traded, Savard was on a five game run averaging over two blocks per game, which is absolutely elite levels as far as blocks go. Add an average of three hits a night in that span and you’re looking at a very valuable defenseman in a bangers league. His trade to the Lightning only helps his value in my opinion as so far as I type he’s been placed on the top pair and top PK unit with Victor Hedman. This should mean plenty of minutes and plenty of opportunity for Savard to hit and block. The Lightning have four games in each of the next two weeks (albeit only one off night in each week) so there is definitely opportunity to put Savard’s bangs to use in your league.

Verdict: Very nice bangers option for next couple of weeks after this one; just don’t expect any points

Thomas Chabot, D – OTT

Chabot is an easy study. He’s averaging an unconscious 29:07 of ice time in the last five games and throwing hits, blocking shots, and getting his customary assists. He’s everything you want in a stud defenseman. Unfortunately, Ottawa has a truly terrible fantasy playoffs schedule. They have just two games left this week, three next week with zero off nights, and three the following week with one off night. If your playoffs extend to the last week of the season then you get four games with one off night, but Chabot’s going to have to put up some really nice numbers in the games he does play to be able to overcome the abysmal schedule.

Verdict: Great player, awesome in all facets… terrible schedule

Ilya Samsonov, G – WSH

Samsonov has been a frustrating own this season, missing a big chunk of time on the COVID list and getting outplayed by the relatively unheralded Vitek Vanecek at times. He’s in the midst of a nice game right now versus the hapless Philadelphia Flyers, but he lost two starts in a row to Vanecek prior to this game and Vanecek won both. Vanecek has simply been better of late no matter what stat you choose: goals saved above average (GSAA/60), goals saved above expected (GSAx/60), or high danger save percentage (HDSV%), they all point to Vanecek being the better goalie over the past three weeks. At this point I think the best we can hope for with Samsonov is a 50/50 split.

Verdict: Probably a hold in your league since WSH wins a lot; but not “The Guy” like we hoped

Alexander Radulov, RW – DAL

Unfortunately this one is easy to me. Radulov is out until further notice, visiting a specialist to determine whether or not he needs surgery or will play again this year. Radulov was great in the 11 games he played this season, but it sounds like if he does play again this year he will almost certainly be playing through injury, which could obviously limit his fantasy upside. If you have the IR space to stash him feel free, but I’m not waiting around for Radulov to get back in the lineup.

Verdict: Stash or drop

Adam Fox, D – NYR

I do love me some Adam Fox. I made some enemies on Reddit about a year ago by putting Fox over DeAngelo in my 2021 fantasy defensemen rankings. But in my wildest dreams I couldn’t have expected his immediate ascension to 25-minute-per-game, PP1, fantasy stud status. Fox is undoubtedly running hot on the season with a 57% IPP and a shot rate that is curiously a little worse than last season’s on a per minutes basis, but all of his on-ice stats are in line and he’s done it game in and game out all season long. The Rangers have a great 4-game, 2 off-night week next week and then a rough 3-game, zero off-night week to follow, but you’re riding Fox all the way to the finish line now and you’re going to feel good about it.

Verdict: He’s a stud

Phillip Grubauer, G – COL

Grubauer had been an absolute gold mine as a late round goalie performing as a top-5 option at the position for fantasy managers everywhere. Then the roof seemed to cave in and Grubauer went from pure fantasy gold to fool’s gold in a hurry. I can’t say I’m all that worried about Grubauer despite the Avs’ recent move to bring over Devan Dubnyk from San Jose. Dubnyk is a backup through and through, and Grubauer may get a few more nights off than normal the rest of the way but he still plays for a dominant team in a weak division. If that’s not reason enough for optimism, Grubauer is actually sporting a solid if unspectacular .842 5v5 HDSV% over his last eight games, which makes me think that he needs a break but is still an above average goalie on a great team who will do just fine for your fantasy team through your playoffs.

Verdict: He’ll be fine

That’s all for this one folks! Make sure you follow Apples & Ginos on Twitter or join the Apples & Ginos Discord server for more content and to ask any fantasy hockey questions you may have.

Thanks for reading, you are appreciated!

Nate

Advanced stats credit: Natural Stat Trick

Title photo credit: Getty Images

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Apples & Ginos Fantasy Hockey Advice

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