The Duel

Zion Williamson Fantasy Outlook Rises With Expected Season Debut on Thursday

David Kaestle
Zion Williamson warms up before a game against the Sacramento Kings.
Zion Williamson warms up before a game against the Sacramento Kings. / Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After sitting out most of the first half of the NBA season, it's being reported that Zion Williamson will make his long-awaited NBA debut this Thursday when the New Orleans Pelicans take on the Utah Jazz at home.

The news of Zion's return should bring a sigh of relief to fantasy owners that spent a draft pick or auction money on the super-hyped rookie.

Zion has been out following knee surgery just before the start of the season, so we don't have much NBA experience to work off of, outside of four preseason games.

In those contests, Zion put up impressive numbers, averaging 23.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game with a 71.4 percent field goal percentage in 27.3 minutes per game. Clearly, he is poised to contribute in a number of fantasy categories, especially ones that factor in efficiency.

While that's just preseason, it's still an encouraging sign. Even if Zion's numbers take a decent dip, they would still be in a respectable spot for a rookie.

The Pelicans will surely take their time in bringing Zion back into the fold, but even as a rookie, once he's back at full strength you can pencil him in as one of the top options in the Pelicans' offense.

New Orleans has struggled to get things going this year, currently sitting in last in its division, so Zion should bring some much-needed help, even if it just means drawing attention away from other players like Jrue Holiday and Brandon Ingram.

He'll have a long way to go if he hopes to catch Ja Morant in the Rookie of the Year race, but with a talent like Zion, it's tough to rule that out entirely.

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David Kaestle is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username davekaestle. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.