Player News - Pelicans

Date: Team: Pos:

DeMarcus Cousins (leg) is expected to play his normal minutes in Wednesday's regular-season opener against the Grizzlies.

Head coach Alvin Gentry said that Cousins had a minor ankle tweak, but this isn't going to be something that limits him at all on opening night, so owners can feel free to fire him up for Week 1. Cousins and Anthony Davis have shown that they can work well together, so while he may sacrifice some touches, he should still be operating with an elite usage rate while posting early-round value.
Oct 16 - 2:21 PM

Jordan Crawford scored 19 points with one rebound, four assists and two 3-pointers in 29 minutes against the Grizzlies on Friday.

The injury to Rajon Rondo should get Crawford in the rotation, but E'Twaun Moore is likely to start. Despite a really nice finish in April, Steez isn't really worth drafting in most leagues.
Oct 14 - 12:43 AM

Darius Miller scored five points with one rebound and one 3-pointer in 18 minutes on Friday.

There was a chance he starts at small forward, but it looks like it'll be Dante Cunningham. Miller isn't worth drafting.
Oct 14 - 12:40 AM

Cheick Diallo scored 13 points with six rebounds, one assist, one steal, one block and five turnovers in 27 minutes on Friday.

He's gone through practice and he was active in his minutes tonight. Nobody else really stepped up in the second unit while Diallo was hurt, so he has a decent chance to soak up 18-22 minutes even while DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis is healthy. He also gets a double-handcuff bonus for weekly leagues with deep benches.
Oct 14 - 12:39 AM

Tony Allen (ankle) will not play against the Grizzlies on Friday.

It's just soreness, so he should be OK for the opener. This game is in Memphis and owner Robert Pera announced today that the team will retire The Grindfather's No. 9 jersey at some point in the future. This year, the Pelicans will likely limit his minutes at times, so it's tough to use him in fantasy even if he starts.
Oct 12 - 2:47 PM

Alvin Gentry said that E'Twaun Moore will likely open the 2017-18 season as New Orleans' starting two-guard.

Gentry added that he's also considering Ian Clark for the starting two-spot, but we'd lean towards Moore securing the position given that's what has happened in the past. Jrue Holiday will slide back over to the point guard spot while Rajon Rondo recovers from his hernia, and the Rondo injury figures to open up some more minutes for Jordan Crawford and Tony Allen. While Moore figures to start, he's not a great fantasy target in most settings.

Rajon Rondo underwent surgery on his sports hernia injury and will miss 4-to-6 weeks.

If Rondo returns in four weeks, he will have missed the first 11 games of the season. That's the best-case scenario. His fantasy value obviously takes a significant hit, and he'll slide to later rounds of fantasy drafts. With Rondo sidelined, the Pels will likely start Jrue Holiday at point guard, which should allow Holiday to boost his assist numbers over the first month-plus of the season. Ian Clark, E'Twaun Moore, Jordan Crawford, and Tony Allen will also see an uptick in minutes.
Oct 10 - 9:20 AM

Tony Allen made his Pelicans debut on Sunday with two points, one turnover and no other stats to his credit in 10 minutes.

The Pelicans added the 35-year-old defensive specialist to solidify their wing rotation, but they're not going to over-work him, especially in the preseason. Rajon Rondo's core-muscle injury creates even more question marks for coach Alvin Gentry's rotation, but no matter what happens Allen is just a steals specialist.
Oct 8 - 9:58 PM

Anthony Davis made 22-of-23 free throws en route to 37 points on Sunday, adding 15 rebounds, three assists, three steals and one block in an exhibition win vs. the Bulls.

Fantasy owners have to be thrilled to see AD sinking free throws with ease. That continues a trend from last year, when he shot 80.2 percent on a career-high 8.6 attempts per game. New Orleans' offense revolved almost entirely around Davis, DeMarcus Cousins and Jrue Holiday tonight, all of whom should have huge usage rates this year. The injury risk is unavoidable, but Davis' unknown upside makes him a tempting first-round target.
Oct 8 - 9:57 PM

Alexis Ajinca didn't play during Sunday's exhibition.

Ajinca was out recently due to the birth of his second son, but he's been back with the team since Friday. New Orleans leaned toward smaller lineups when DeMarcus Cousins or Anthony Davis were off the court, and it doesn't look as though Ajinca will help any fantasy owners while those two are healthy.
Oct 8 - 9:56 PM

DeMarcus Cousins nearly triple-doubled vs. the Bulls with 22 points, nine rebounds and nine assists in 36 minutes.

Cousins made 8-of-19 FGs and 4-of-5 FTs, and he rounded out his line with two 3-pointers, two blocks and three turnovers. His workload didn't suffer after being traded to New Orleans last season, and he posted a 34.4 percent usage rate, which helps to solidify his elite fantasy value.
Oct 8 - 9:55 PM

Ian Clark played 30 minutes off the Pelicans' bench on Sunday, finishing with seven points, seven assists, four steals and three rebounds.

Clark has never handed out more than six assists in an NBA game, but he was called upon to play a big role tonight with Rajon Rondo (core muscles) out of commission. Rondo will be evaluated on Monday to determine if he needs surgery, at which point a timetable should be established -- if he's out for an extended period, Clark and E'Twaun Moore should get a nice short-term boost in fantasy leagues.
Oct 8 - 9:54 PM

Dante Cunningham (hip) started Sunday's game and had two points, two assists and one rebound in 26 minutes of action.

The veteran's recent hip flexor injury obviously isn't a big concern, and coach Alvin Gentry said he expects Cunningham to start at SF on opening night. Even a starting role isn't a guarantee that he'll help typical fantasy owners, however -- in 35 starts last season, he averaged a modest 6.8 points, 1.2 threes, 4.6 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.6 steals and 0.5 blocks.
Oct 8 - 9:54 PM

E'Twaun Moore started on Sunday in place of Rajon Rondo (core muscles), posting nine points, nine rebounds and two assists in 36 minutes.

Moore also turned the ball over six times, but the playing time is the big takeaway for fantasy purposes. Rondo's outlook should be clearer after meeting with doctors on Monday, and Moore is worth a speculative add in deep leagues -- in 22 starts last year, the six-year veteran averaged 10.6 points, 1.0 threes, 2.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.3 blocks.
Oct 8 - 9:53 PM

E'Twaun Moore will start for the Pelicans on Sunday.

Rajon Rondo has a sports hernia and his return date is uncertain, so Moore could begin the regular season with an expanded role. He's still a dubious long-term asset.
Oct 8 - 6:43 PM


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