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Markelle Fultz injury clears path for rookie Cole Anthony

With Fultz done for the season, the Magic rookie guard has a chance to make some noise, potentially in the starting lineup and in the Rookie of the Year race.

Cole Anthony of the Orlando Magic dribbles the ball as Collin Sexton of the Cleveland Cavaliers defends during the first quarter at Amway Center on January 06, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

The Orlando Magic got some bad news after their win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night. Early in the contest, PG Markelle Fultz left after suffering what appeared to be a horrible knee injury. The worst was then announced by the Magic, Fultz done for the rest of the season due to a torn ACL in his left knee. So with Fultz on the sideline the rest of 2020-21, Orlando will be looking for a replacement at point guard. Insert rookie Cole Anthony.

The UNC product will almost certainly have to step into the starting lineup in place of Fultz for the rest of the season. This makes Anthony a must-add in almost all fantasy basketball formats off the waiver wire. He ended up playing 32 minutes on Wednesday night, scoring 8 points with 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Those aren’t the numbers we’re looking for but we know that Anthony is capable of putting up good fantasy numbers if he’s going to play that much the rest of the way.

Anthony is only 12.8 percent owned in ESPN fantasy basketball leagues. So if your league allows you to scoop him up right now, you’ve got to get on that (I just did actually). He actually ranks within the top 50 in terms of PGs on ESPN. That number — and his ownership percentage — are only going to increase exponentially.

In terms of NBA Rookie of the Year odds, Anthony is +3300 on DraftKings Sportsbook. Getting thrust into the starting lineup could be exactly what Anthony needs to get the numbers and exposure to win the award. Nobody else has truly separated himself from the pack in the ROTY race. With plenty of season left, Anthony will have a legit shot to win the award.