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Fantasy Basketball: Ed Davis Has Value!!

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Ed Davis had a breakout 2015 season. He also has a new team to play for. Does Ed Davis have Fantasy Value or will he wind up waiver wire fodder in 2016?

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Ed Davis has had an interesting journey on his way to becoming the newest Portland Trail Blazer. Thursdays three year deal becomes the fourth team in six seasons for Davis. Let's revisit some of that career in the hope we can determine just what his Fantasy Basketball value might be in 2015-2016.

The following projection for 2011-2012 was quite interesting;

2011-12

Davis had his NBA debut delayed after suffering a torn meniscus in his right knee prior to training camp last season. The Raptors wisely decided to bring the rookie along slowly, but by the end of the season he was a regular in the starting lineup. After showing steady progression, Davis started to shine during the last few weeks of the season, averaging 13.1 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in his final 11 games. Coming out of the University of North Carolina, Davis was already considered a solid rebounder and defender, but his offensive game was considered raw. While he's still in need of fine-tuning, Davis has the potential to develop into a solid low-post offensive option down the line. The Raptors also have Amir Johnson at power forward, but given Davis' strong finish and first-round pedigree, we expect him to eventually earn the brunt of minutes at the four.

Davis only started nine games for the Raptors that season. He did average 23.2 minutes per game averaging six points and six rebounds per game with a blocked shot per night. He shot just 51 percent from the floor and just 67 percent from the charity stripe. Not exactly the best season for Davis or for Fantasy Basketball owners.

The 2012-2013 projection for Davis wasn't all that encouraging.

2012-13

Davis' second season in the NBA was not much different than his rookie season. He averaged 6.3 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 23.2 minutes per game, all but his blocks were slightly down from his 2010-11 numbers. Coach Dwane Casey doesn't like playing Davis at center, believing he's strictly a power forward. It's also believed that rookie Jonas Valanciunas will win the starting center job, or at least demand significant minutes there. Davis will be fighting an uphill battle to improve on his numbers this season. Unless Casey is willing to slot Andrea Bargnani into the small forward spot, Davis will likely played limited minutes and only be of use in deeper leagues when the Raptors' roster is healthy. If he ever gets over 30 minutes of run per game, Davis should be a double-threat and have some value in the blocks category. While we like his long-term potential, we're also worried that Casey isn't ready to give him starters minutes.

Davis began the season in Toronto and after starting 24 games for the Raptors averaging 9.7 points and 6.7 rebounds plus a block and an assist per game he was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies, He didn't get the minutes (15.1) or the starts (4) made the most of those limited minutes averaging 5.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and just over one block per game in a very limited role.

The Fantasy Basketball projection for 2013-2014 also wasn't very hopeful either.

2013-14

Davis appeared to be having a semi-breakout season with the Raptors in 2012-13 before he was shipped to Memphis in the Rudy Gay trade. With the Grizzlies, Davis averaged nine minutes less per game and never fit in with head coach Lionel Hollins, who wasn't happy with the trade. It may have been the coach's grudge or Davis' inability to pick up a new system that resulted in him not having an impact in Memphis. Aside of ridding themselves of Gay's salary, the Grizzlies view Davis as a key asset in the deal. He's still on the thin side, so it remains to be seen if he can become a power forward who doesn't get pushed around in the low post. His minutes will be capped with Zach Randolph in front of him, but the Grizz are hoping to see a player that can eventually replace Z-Bo.

Davis saw about the same amount of minutes (15.4) and starts (4) that he did at the tail end of 2013. He averaged 5.7 points, 4.1 rebound and less than a block a night. Once again Davis found himself in a very limited role and he did produce enough for him to leave the Grizzlies and join the Los Angeles Lakers as a Free Agent for the 2014-2015 season. Below was his Fantasy Basketball projection.

2014-15

Ed Davis was planted on the bench in Memphis last season, stuck behind Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, Kosta Koufos, and at times, Jon Leuer in the rotation. He averaged 5.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 0.3 steals, and 0.7 blocks in 15 minutes per game through 63 games, all career lows. Davis shot 53 percent from the field on 4.6 attempts and 53 percent from the line on 1.4 attempts. He signed as a free agent in Los Angeles for the veteran's minimum and will be looking to reignite his career. The frontcourt isn't as stacked as it was in Memphis and new coach Byron Scott has already stated he expects Davis to get a good amount of minutes at the center position, likely backing up Jordan Hill. When Davis was last getting near-starters minutes in Toronto in 2012-13 before his trade to Memphis, he averaged 9.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.6 steals, and 0.8 blocks in 24 minutes per game. His fantasy strengths lie in his ability to get rebounds, blocks, and shoot a very solid field goal percentage, and if the minutes return to his Raptors' days, he could be a sneaky, deeper league option.

Davis started 24 games for the Lakers last season and played in 79 games averaging 8.3 points, 7.6 rebounds with 1.2 blocks and 1.2 assists on 23.2 minutes per game. Davis also shot a career high 60 from the floor and a career low 48 percent from the Free Throw line. He was a very good deeper league option for Fantasy Basketball owners and was owned in roughly 63 percent of all Major Fantasy Basketball leagues.

2015-2016  Fantasy Basketball Projection

The promise has always exceeded the output for Ed Davis. Unfortunately for Davis and Fantasy Basketball owners that promise has always been tied in to his minutes played. When he gets the minutes he produces quality numbers in points, rebounding, blocks and field goal percentage. Nothing extraordinary but quality nonetheless.

This season finds Davis with his fourth NBA team but unlike the other situations he's found himself in it looks as though he's going to get a chance to start on a consistent basis;  LaMarcus Aldridge decided to take his talents to San Antonio and this is the best situation we could hope to see Ed Davis in.

Fantasy Value wise Ed Davis is going to be valuable this season. Ed Davis more than likely will find himself in a situation where averaging double digits in points and rebounds is a very real possibility. There aren't many duel eligible forward/centers you can say that about either. He also should be good for a block or two a night as well.

Ed Davis will be valuable but where he should be drafted at this point is anyone's guess. I might go as far as to say Davis might go undrafted in  a 10 team standard league. I think that may be a mistake. Providing that he gets the minutes all signs point to Davis having a fantastic season. He should go in one of the last two rounds of a ten team draft. In a 12 team league he should go in about the eighth or ninth rounds. Any later than that and you will have gotten yourself a steal.

If you would like to play with me in a Fantasy Basketball league or have a Fantasy Basketball question you would like answered please contact me at fantasyphil31@yahoo.ccm.