This is going to be a major topic of conversation in fantasy basketball moving into the 2016-17 season: Should you trust Anthony Davis? No one is going to debate that he is a major talent. If you are in a dynasty league or keeper league, you are not going to get rid of him. That is not what this article is about though. It’s about where how to handle drafting him moving into next season.
Anthony Davis had the most points in a game in the 2015-16 with 59. He also had 2 different 20 rebound games. He had one game with 9 blocks. He’s had two different games over 70 fantasy points this year, including one that almost hit 90 points on certain daily fantasy sites. Davis was basically a consensus number one coming into the year, with the asterisk being that he is somewhat injury prone, but is worth the risk.
Let’s take a look at how many games Anthony Davis has missed through his career:
2012-13 – 18
2013-14 – 15
2014-15 – 14
2015-16 – 21
This does not count the games that he left early because he got hurt. There are several games where he played under 10 minutes, and about a dozen more where he played just under 20 and got hurt. I think the more important factor to look at, over this time period, is the amount of games that other top producing fantasy players. Here is a chart of most FanDuel points in the 2015/16 season, courtesy of statmuse:
Now, let’s compare Davis to other top producing stars:
While we are at it, let’s look at where these players finished in terms of fantasy production:
So, though he was “the guy” to draft at the top this year because of his undeniable amount of talent and potential, it would have been a much better decision to go another direction. Of the players on this short list, only Davis and Cousins have been close to missing double digit games per year. Not to mention the number of games Davis will miss this year, 21, is inclusive of the rest of the season – 13 fames for the Pelicans. That means with 2 less games missed than Cousins, he is still 4 spots lower on the total fantasy point list for the year.
My goal in this isn’t to try to diminish the ability of Anthony Davis. Rather, it is to advise that when you are drafting, that there is a major opportunity cost in trying to rely on his potential. His history shows that you will lose around 15 games a year if you draft him, and with these knicks, bruises and surgeries adding up, you have to wonder how long that potential is going to carry him.
In my drafts next year, I am unlikely to draft Davis in the top five. I’m sure some of you are in agreement, and I am sure that others would love for me to join their leagues if that is going to be my strategy. When you have guys like Harden and Curry who don’t miss much time, or Westbrook and Durant who really only miss due to injury, it makes it difficult to draft a guy that missed on average 20% of the teams games per year.
It’s your team, it’s up to you. But me, I’m staying away.