When Anthony Davis left Friday night’s matchup against the Jazz after just four minutes of action, the hearts of fantasy owners went into their collective mouths and hoped against all hope that it wasn’t the end of their championship hopes.
It may not be as doom and gloom filled as that, but it’s definitely not an ideal time for the second best player in fantasy to sustain an injury. As all leagues are in their playoffs now , you need your best players pounding the hardwood in order to bring home the bacon. And if you have Davis on your roster, I’d wager that he is your absolute best player.
The good news to come out of the injury is that it didn’t occur on any one specific play, rather it was due to pre-existing soreness that had been plaguing Davis pre-game. He couldn’t deal with the discomfort after only four minutes, so the Pelicans decided to pull the pin there.
The Pelicans have nothing to play for this season, so there is absolutely no need to rush Davis back into the lineup if there is any concern with the ankle, particularly considering he has had issues with this same ankle previously.
But from every negative, springs a positive.
With the Pelicans hurting all over the court, there are options a plenty on the waiver-wire to help lift your team to glory.
The Pelicans are already without Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson for the rest of the season. They currently have Eric Gordon sitting out with knee tendonitis as well as starting point guard Brian Roberts. That leaves some big holes (and minutes) to be filled.
A great indicator as to who will benefit the most from a particular injury is to see who starts the second half or runs with the first unit in the game in which that injury occurs. On Friday night, big Frenchman Alexis Ajinca took the reigns in the frontcourt.
While you can’t replace the production of the number two fantasy player, you can get really nice numbers from players who have ben limited previously. Ajinca, replacing Davis, scored nine points, grabbed 10 boards and blocked three shots — numbers which can definitely help fantasy owners. If we look back at the two previous games, with Davis in the lineup, Ajinca would very solid as well. He’s averaged 10.0 rebounds in his last three as well as 1.3 blocks and hasn’t missed a free throw.
When Davis was injured in December with the broken hand, the Pelicans had the luxury of adding Anderson into he starting five. There is no such luxury this time around. It has to be Ajinca and that’s where you, as a fantasy owner, need to make the most of this development.
Another player to keep an eye on is Al-Farouq Aminu, who should be able to increase his rebounding and overall production, but it’s Ajinca that’s the guy I want.
Davis may not miss much time, but in the fantasy playoffs, we have to live for the now. Therefore, you need to take advantage of any opportunity you can, and that opportunity is Ajinca.