Geek of the Week – David Savard

by Terry Campkin on October 4, 2015

Would you like a solid all-around defenseman that you can pick very late in your draft?

It’s hard to believe, but this is already the last preseason installment of Geek of the Week. By this time next week, we will be in the midst of our Week 1 matchups. With a number of leagues already having drafted, most GMs are probably sitting and waiting for the season to start, but a shrewd fantasy GM might take this time for one last addition to get their team in the best position to start the season. Today, I am going to show you why David Savard is a great candidate to fit that bill.

David Savard is largely under the radar currently, going undrafted in 80% of all leagues. When he is drafted, guys like Jeff Petry, Kris Russell and Niklas Hjalmarsson are regularly being picked ahead of him, which is crazy when you consider that those are all depth or shutdown defensemen, and Savard is destined for some good powerplay minutes in Columbus. I have to admit, Savard wasn’t on my draft board either; that is until I ran my league through Fantasy Hockey Geek.  For a standard 12 team Yahoo! league (G, A, +/-, SOG, PPP, PIM) here is how Savard looked:

Rank

Player

G

A

+/-

PIM

SOG

PPP

99

David Savard

11

25

0

71

112

10

 

Savard wasn’t exactly a fantasy stud last year, but with an overall value of 99, he certainly deserves to be drafted in more than 20% of the leagues out there. FHG calculates him as having been the 32nd most valuable defenceman in this league last year, which makes him a very solid D4 or serviceable D3. Considering how hard it is to get good defencemen in most leagues, I find it unfathomable that this guy continues to sit unowned on the waiver wire. He probably flies under the radar because he didn’t break the 40-point barrier, but the contributions David adds in PIMs and PPPs help to bring his value up. It also helps that his points are weighted towards goals, which are hard to come by than assists. A lot of rival GMs may not realize this about Savard, but with the help of FHG we can see that they are missing out.

Here are some other things to consider with Savard:

He hits as well: Only three defencemen in the entire NHL had over 190 hits as well as at least 35 points (Dustin Byfuglien and Travis Hamonic were the others). This is what makes Savard so valuable. You don’t want to waste a roster spot on a specialist like Roman Polak just to boost your hits category; you want to have a guy who can boost your hits while still contributing across the other key stats and Savard does just that. Savard contributes to a wide variety of categories so he is likely valuable in your league no matter what categories you measure. Enter your league into FHG to determine just how much he can do for you.

Columbus is good: Last season Columbus struggled with injuries and consistency, but this is a good squad that I think will turn a lot of heads this year. Savard was already a valuable own in most fantasy hockey leagues last season when the club struggled. As the Jackets improve this season, Savard’s value should follow.

No more Wiz: With James Wisneiwski out of the picture, things are opening up for Savard and in fact this already started last season. After the 2015 all-star break, Savard put up 20 points in 37 games, which is a 44 point pace. He also went +13 after having been -13 to start the season and his PIMs went up to one per game.

What all of this tells me is that we have a perfect scenario for a late round flyer/waiver pickup. If Savard doesn’t improve at all and simply repeats what he did last season, his combination of points, powerplay contribution and PIMs make him a very valuable D4. There is a lot to suggest that Savard could be in for a career year, though, and if he breaks out in the season you draft him then you are going to be the one looking like a genius in March. Savard could easily blossom into a Dion Phaneuf type fantasy asset (and make no mistake, Phaneuf is still valuable in fantasy) but he is only being drafted about one-fifth as often as Dion is. Get Savard on your board now and thank me later. To find more last minute gems like Savard, enter your league into FHG and see who’s out there. Good luck to all in the upcoming season!