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Fantasy Sports Fantasy Basketball

Fantasy Basketball 2013: Anthony Davis Emerging Into A Star

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

 

The unibrow is literally the only ugliness to his game.

Former number one overall pick, Anthony Davis has the makings of a star. He has the size, strength, physical ability, smarts, you name it. However, some nagging injuries limited him to 64 games during his rookie year, capping his immediate upside. Still, despite seeing limited action, Davis averaged 13.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and 1.2 steals in year one. With Davis getting healthier this offseason, many had him pegged for a breakout campaign in year two.

Clearly, he’s received the message loud and clear.

It’s still early, but five games into the season, Davis is looking like a superstar in the making. The number two overall option on ESPN’s Player Rater, Davis is averaging a ridiculous 21.2 points, 11.4 rebounds and an insane four blocks per contest. No, that is not a typo. Four blocks per game, which means Davis is averaging more blocks than many players are averaging points. We knew this would be one of the most intriguing components to his fantasy value, and we’ve clearly seen he’s an elite shot-blocker. There is so much to like with Davis from a fantasy perspective right now, that I felt the need to address that it is not a stretch to say that he can finish the season as a top-five overall fantasy player.

Volume

Volume, especially in fantasy hoops, is a crucial aspect when analyzing players. It’s the most common formula in fantasy sports, but talent plus opportunity equals fantasy success. Obviously, Davis has scary talent, and the minutes he’s receiving reflect that talent. Davis is averaging 38.1 minutes per game, which is the eighth-most in basketball. He is without a doubt the focal point of this Pelicans (yes I just laughed out loud) offense, shooting the ball 16.8 times per contest, which is more than any power forward not named Kevin Love or LaMarcus Aldridge. New Orleans knows that their offense runs through Davis, and giving him as many looks as possible gives them the best chance of winning basketball games.

Opportunity

Playing time is one thing, but Davis also needs to be in the right position to do two of the things he does best; Score and rebound. Again, Davis is averaging over 11 rebounds per game this season, and has posted three double doubles on the year. The vast opportunity is the reason why. Davis is currently seeing 16.4 rebound chances per game, which is ranks among the top-fifteen in the league. He’s also sporting a rebounds per chance percentage of 69.5, which, according to NBA.com, measures the number of rebounds a player recovers compared to the number of rebounding chances. If you give a freakish athlete that comes in at a towering 6’10″, 220 pounds that many chances to grab rebounds, he’ll make you pay.

As for his offensive prowess, Davis can dominate a game with the ball in his hands, and he’s been getting the appropriate looks to dominate for fantasy owners. Davis is currently 56.6 offensive touches per game, which is the 10th-most among all big men. He’s seen a total of 283 touches on the season. Davis is also seeing a significant amount offensive touches where his job may be a bit easier, seeing 4.4 close touches per game, which are looks that come from 12 feet within the basket. Davis also has very strong point guard play in newly acquired Jrue Holiday to help feed him the rock. This trend shouldn’t change too much, as the Pelicans know that a breakout season is looming for their prized power forward.

Oh yeah. He’s only 20-years old, too.

*Stats provided by NBA.com.

Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.

You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.