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Terence Davis steps up in bench role

Terence Davis

Terence Davis

John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

In the past, when the Sacramento Kings played without starting guard Kevin Huerter, Terence Davis was the player called on to fill the resulting void. In four starts, he’s averaging 13.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.5 blocks, and 2.8 3-pointers per game, shooting 42.9% from the field and 100% from the foul line. So it appeared safe to assume Davis would be Mike Brown‘s choice to start Saturday’s game in Washington, with Huerter nursing a leg injury. But Brown went in a different direction, moving Kessler Edwards into the lineup and keeping Davis on the bench. And this decision did not negatively impact Davis or the Kings, as he produced one of his best efforts of the season in a comfortable win over the Wizards.

In 29 minutes off the bench, he scored 21 points while also accounting for seven rebounds, two steals, and five 3-pointers. Davis shot 8-of-13 from the field, establishing season-highs in field goals made and attempted, with this being his fifth game of at least 20 points this season. Davis is rostered in just 1% of Yahoo leagues, and Saturday’s performance was an indicator of what he’s capable of while Huerter is sidelined, whether he starts or not. As for Edwards, he played 19 minutes and didn’t miss a shot from the field, going 3-of-3 and finishing with a line of nine points, two rebounds, one assist, and two 3-pointers in 19 minutes. That kind of effort may have been enough to keep him in the starting lineup should Hurter remain out, but it doesn’t move the needle as Davis’s did.

Sacramento wasn’t the only team dealing with significant injury issues on Saturday. This opened the door for some low-rostered players to step up and be an asset to fantasy managers. Let’s look at some of Saturday’s top pickups.

Jordan Nwora (15%)

Nwora’s ascension into the Pacers’ starting lineup has coincided with Tyrese Haliburton being sidelined by a sprained right ankle. After recording a 12/9/4/1/1 line in Thursday’s win over the Bucks, Nwora finished Saturday’s loss to the 76ers with 13 points, nine rebounds, five assists, and three 3-pointers in 29 minutes. He was just 5-of-13 from the field, but this was against one of the league’s best teams. Nwora will be worth holding onto for as long as Haliburton and Bennedict Mathurin (ankle) are sidelined, as the latter does not have a timeline for return.

Naz Reid (15%)

Rudy Gobert (ankle) being cleared to play meant that Reid was going to come off the bench for Saturday’s game against the Raptors. But this would not limit his fantasy value as it has in the past because the Timberwolves were without Anthony Edwards (ankle). That meant more offense would be needed from a player like Reid, and he stepped up, finishing the loss to Toronto with 22 points, four rebounds, one assist, and one 3-pointer. Reid shot 8-of-10 from the field and 5-of-7 from the foul line, which was three points less than what the other Timberwolves’ reserves combined to score on the night. There’s still no word on how long Edwards will be out, with the Timberwolves’ road trip ending on Saturday, but we should get some clarity on Edwards’ status at some point in the very near future. And until Ant-Man is cleared to return, fantasy managers should strongly consider adding Reid.

Jonathan Kuminga (25%)

After starting Friday’s loss in Atlanta, Kuminga moved back to the bench on Saturday, as Draymond Green was back from his one-game suspension. And he would lead the Warriors in scoring with 24 points to go along with eight rebounds, three assists, one steal, one block, and four 3-pointers. With it not being known when Andrew Wiggins (personal reasons) will be able to return, Kuminga is worth holding onto, as the Warriors will play four games in Week 22.

Grant Williams (14%)

Boston played Saturday’s one-point loss to the Jazz without Marcus Smart (hip) and Al Horford (back), which led to Williams and Blake Griffin moving into the starting lineup. The former posted some quality numbers, scoring 23 points with four rebounds, two assists, and seven 3-pointers in 31 minutes. Walker Kessler‘s block of Williams’ layup attempt in the final seconds determined the outcome, but Williams was productive in the spot start. He isn’t worth holding onto moving forward, though, as Horford should be back for Tuesday’s game in Sacramento, and there’s a chance that Robert Williams (hamstring) will also be available.

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Ochai Agbaji (2%)

On the opposite side of that thriller is Agbaji, who moved into the starting lineup after Jordan Clarkson suffered a finger injury last week. The rookie wing out of Kansas recorded a line of 19 points, one rebound, three assists, and four 3-pointers in 36 minutes. Agbaji is worth holding onto for a little while longer if you took that chance, as the Jazz will be without Clarkson and Collin Sexton (hamstring), and they have four games on the schedule for Week 22.

Coby White (5%)

White is in an interesting spot in that there was no reason to consider him in fantasy leagues before Saturday’s action. But starter Alex Caruso aggravated a left mid-foot strain during Chicago’s win over the Heat, which freed up minutes for White and Patrick Williams. Williams (10 points, two rebounds, one steal, two blocks, and two 3-pointers in 33 minutes) started the third quarter in Caruso’s stead, but White had the better offensive night. In 27 minutes, he put up 18 points, one rebound, six assists, two steals, and four 3-pointers.

White’s inconsistency has made him a difficult player to trust in fantasy, but Caruso’s injury may give him one last shot at fantasy relevance this season. Following the game, Bulls coach Billy Donovan said that the foot injury is something Caruso will have to manage moving forward, as there isn’t time for an extended rest. With that being the case, White’s minutes may not increase much, if at all. That said, the Bulls can certainly use another scorer off the bench, and White is capable of being that guy. Consistency will be the key.