Power Forwards

All rankings are for 9-cat H2H leagues unless otherwise noted. All player positions are from Yahoo Fantasy Basketball. 

1) LeBron James (SF/PF) – Don’t expect a return to pre-Miami numbers but LeBron remains the safest pick in the draft after Durant. My only worry is that Rose goes down again and the Cavs run away with the conference. Cleveland’s playoff schedule is also an issue. The Cavs only play nine games during the fantasy playoffs and only two in Week 23, the fantasy finals.

2) Anthony Davis (PF/C) – He’s the only player who has a shot at dethroning Durant. However, until the Brow shows that he can play 75+ games, it’s tough to take him before LeBron.

3) Carmelo Anthony (SF/PF) – Melo is a surprisingly well-rounded fantasy player. Despite his reputation as just a scorer, Anthony provided positive value in every category outside of FT% and TOs last season. His 2+ 3PM gives Melo a very high ceiling.

4) Kevin Love (PF/C) – Yes, he’ll take a hit playing next to LeBron, but don’t expect a Chris Bosh-like drop in value. Even in Toronto, Bosh was never the fantasy asset that Love was. Love’s value will come down but he has room to fall. Last season, according to BBM, Love was roughly twice as valuable as the 19th ranked Joakim Noah. His rebounding and three-point shooting keep his ceiling in the top 15. The FG% bump that comes with playing with LeBron will help offset the decrease in counting stats.

5) LaMarcus Aldridge (PF/C) – Aldridge has finished in the top 13 four years in a row. He doesn’t have top-5 upside, but there isn’t a safer pick at the end of the first round. If you miss out on the top seven (or eight if you include Durant), grab Aldridge and roll the dice later.

6) Kevin Durant (SF/PF) – Where to take Durant depends on your league settings. If say eight teams make the playoffs in your 12-team league, then I would be all over Durant at the end of the first. However, if you are playing in a league where only four teams make the playoffs, then I would stay away. Durant’s injury has held players out much longer than the 6-8 week timetable that has been thrown around. In roto, wait until the end of the second to start looking at Durant.

7) Al Jefferson (PF/C) – Similar to Aldridge in that he’s not a sexy pick but a smart one. The addition of Lance Stephenson could bump his FG% even higher than his already very useful 51%. There’s some upside here when it comes to blocks. Jefferson has averaged 1.1 BPG over the last two seasons but posted back-to-back 1.6 BPG and 1.7 BPG in 2010-2011 and 2011-2012.

8) Serge Ibaka (PF/C) – His value is obviously heavily dependent on blocks but he’s also an elite FG% anchor (53.6% on 12.1 FGA), and gives you a huge leg up on the competition when it comes to TOs (1.5 TOPG). An ideal target around the turn for those planning to punt assists (1.0 APG).

9) Dirk Nowitzki (PF/C) – Dirk has only finished outside of the top 10 once in last 14 years. No that is not a typo. While clearly no longer in his prime, remains an elite fantasy option due to his incredibly clean line that includes a top three FT% impact and microscopic TOs (1.4 TOPG).

10) DeMarcus Cousins (PF/C) – Cousins’ line is the opposite of clean. He’s going to kill you at the line (72.6% on a whopping 8.4 FTA), be up and down from the field, and turn the ball over a ton (3.5 TOs). However, his upside and versatility (1.5 SPG, 1.3 BPG) more than make up for the messiness.

11) Al Horford (PF/C) – His pectoral injury is an extremely rare basketball injury (it’s more common in football) so I’m hesitant to call him an injury risk despite all the missed games over the last three years. Horford, when he’s on the court, is a very good bet for first-round value. He’s done it in the past and was posting top 15 value before going down last season. Only Andre Drummond and LeBron had a larger FG% impact than Horford last season.

12) Andre Drummond (PF/C) – Speaking of Drummond, the young Piston center has officially become the core piece of the FT% punt build. He won’t give you the points Dwight does, but his lack of TOs (1.3 TOPG) is a breath of fresh air for a build that has traditionally been difficult to pull off without punting turnovers as well.

13) Chris Bosh (PF/C) – With LeBron in Cleveland and Dwyane Wade being a walking injury, we’ll find out if Bosh still has it. I wouldn’t expect a return to his Toronto numbers but 20 points, nine rebounds, a block, and great percentages is a reasonable prediction.

14) Blake Griffin (PF/C) – He’s finally respectable enough from the line (71.5%) to be useful outside of a punt FT% build. Griffin is a great source of out-of-position assists (3.9 APG) and steals (1.2 SPG).

15) Paul Millsap (PF/C) – Millsap is a great source of out-of-position steals (1.7 SPG) and threes (1.0). Millsap was still flirting with top 20 value before the Horford injury so draft him with confidence.

16) Thaddeus Young (SF/PF) – He’s going to have a massive role in Minnesota and now is a very good source of out-of-position threes (1.1 3PG) in addition to his usual outstanding out-of-position steals (2.1 SPG).

17) Joakim Noah (PF/C) – It’s difficult to know what we’ll get from Noah this season. He’s an injury risk who managed to stay healthy last season despite a massive increase in his role. Rose is back, but it’s fair to wonder for how long. The last time Rose was healthy, Noah barely posted top 50 value. Noah is a better player now but his value is directly tied to Rose’s knees. This is too high if Rose stays healthy and too low if he doesn’t.

18) Nikola Vucevic (PF/C) – He’s known for his rebounding (11.0 RPG in only 31.8 MPG), but Vuc is also a sneaky source of steals (1.1 SPG) and doesn’t hurt you from the line (76.6 FT%).

19) Chandler Parsons (SF/PF) – Parsons arrives in Dallas coming off of back-to-back top 35 finishes. His minutes and role shouldn’t change much with the move across state. We could see an uptick in dimes with the Mavs lacking at lead guard. Parsons already averaged a very useful 4.0 APG in Houston.

20) Dwight Howard (PF/C) – He’s no longer the dominant punt-FT% force that he once was due to his sudden lack of steals (0.8 SPG) but is still a great target if you’re punting FT%. A LeBron-Howard punt FT% is extremely doable this year. That will definitely be recommended when I write up my punting strategy articles.

21) Tim Duncan (PF/C) – You know what you’re going to get from him. A double-double with two blocks and a whole lot of updating Rotoworld for last minute sits during the fantasy playoffs.

22) Derrick Favors (PF/C) – There’s not many players with more breakout potential than Favors. He didn’t truly breakout last season but still managed to post top 60 value despite shooting 66.9% from the line. That top-60 finish included a top-30 performance over the last two months of the season. He should be a very good source of defensive stats this year (1.0 SPG and 1.5 BPG).

23) Terrence Jones (SF/PF) – Jones is a per minute stud who is an excellent source of FG% impact (54.2% on 9.4 FGA) and blocks (1.3 BPG). If he was to ever get 32+ MPG, he’d likely flirt with top-30 value despite his poor FT shooting (60.5 FT%).

24) Rudy Gay (SF/PF) – Despite some epic chucking at the beginning of the year in Toronto, Rudy was actually a pretty good fantasy asset. Unfortunately the trade, while good for Rudy’s real life impact, tanked his fantasy value. There’s hope for a bounce back with Darren Collision and his lower usage taking over for Isaiah Thomas at point. Rudy should have the ball in his hands more and is one of the last very good sources of points (20.0 PPG) available.

25) David West (PF) – Someone has to pick up the slack with George and Stephenson gone and my guess is that it will be West. West is only one year removed from posting top-40 value. Expect his scoring to return to around the 17.2 PPG that he posted in 2012-2013. There’s no one category that West excels in, however, he doesn’t hurt you anywhere. West is a great roto pick this season.

26) David Lee (PF/C) – Draymond Green is a legitimate threat to Lee’s value but he’s still going to give you close to a double-double every night on very good percentages (52.3 FG% and 78.0 FT%).

27) Nerlens Noel (PF/C) – Wiggins and Parker have all the hype, but this is the rookie you want this year. Noel is very likely to have a very strong impact on FG%, rebounds, and blocks but the thing that makes him really intriguing is his potential for steals. At Kentucky, Noel averaged 2.1 SPG. He’ll likely be babied by the Sixers but he projects as a per minute monster.

28) Larry Sanders (PF/C) – It’s hard to trust him after the disaster that was his 2013-2014 season, but he’s got more upside than anyone else left on the board at this point in the draft. He’s the type of pick that can win you your league. It’s not a large sample size but over Sander’s last ten games of the season, he was posting top-65 value.

29) Kenneth Faried (PF) – Last season, Faried provided top-12 FG% impact. Unfortunately, he also had the 10th largest negative impact on FT%. The lack of defensive also caps his upside (0.9 SPG and 0.9 BPG).

30) Jordan Hill (PF/C) – Hill’s always been a per minute beast and should finally get the run he deserves with the Lakers having next to nothing up front. Incredibly, over the last two months of the season, Hill posted top-35 numbers despite only playing 24.3 MPG. With D’Antoni gone the only thing that can hold back Hill is his health.

31) Amir Johnson (PF/C) – Amir’s health, as it usually is, was an issue for most of the season which lead to a decrease in his defensive stats (0.7 SPG and 1.1 BPG in 2013-2014 vs 1.0 SPG and 1.4 BPG in 2012-2013). Patrick Patterson has carved himself out a nice role but Amir remains the Raptors defensive anchor and should still see his usual 28 MPG.

32) Ryan Anderson (PF/C) – The injury to Anderson’s neck was extremely serious. Expect the Pelicans to bring Anderson along very slowly. He’s still a good bet for 2+ 3PG, but the injury combined with the signing of Omer Asik makes him a risky mid-round pick.

33) Markieff Morris (PF/C) – With Channing Frye in Orlando thanks to one of the worst free agent deals I’ve ever seen, Morris should finally be unleashed. He’s easily the most talented player in the Suns’ frontcourt and posted top-100 value last season despite only 26 minutes a night. He’s scoring will be his main contribution but with the extended minutes, he also has an outside chance of joining the one three/one steal/one block club. Morris posted 0.6 3P36, 1.1 SP36, 0.9 BP36 last season.

34) Pau Gasol (PF/C) – Pau turned an awful start into a top-50 finish thanks to his top-20 production over the final three months of the season. The Gasol-Thibs match is a little scary. Thibs runs his players into the ground and Gasol has been very fragile the last three seasons. He’ll be a good sell-high candidate if he starts off hot.

35) Paul Pierce (SF/PF) – In his last three seasons in Boston, Pierce posted top-40 value. Things didn’t go to plan in Brooklyn but despite his minutes being cut to 28 a night, The Truth still managed to put up top-75 numbers. He doesn’t stand out in any category but he will give you a little bit of everything (4.6 RPG, 1.5 3PG, 1.1 SPG). Despite his age, Pierce has been relatively durable the last two seasons, playing in an average of 76 games.

36) Josh McRoberts (PF/C) – McBob is a great glue guy to have on your team and an excellent target for those punting points (8.5 PPG). He is an excellent source of out-of-position dimes (4.3 APG) and threes (1.3 3PG). With Miami having little up front and Bosh not being much of a rebounder these days, expect McRoberts to improve on the pedestrian 4.8 RPG that he averaged in 2013-2014.

37) Greg Monroe (PF/C) – His FT% (65.7 FT%) continues to regress and be a major drag on his value. In addition to his charity stripe woes, his role is up in the air with the Pistons wanting to play Josh Smith more at PF. Still he’s a solid source of steals (1.2 SPG) and will give you close to a double-double every night.

38) DeMarre Carroll – (SF/PF) – He’s still the starter but a repeat of last season’s top-60 finish is unlikely with Horford back and the additions of Thabo Sefolosha and Kent Bazemore. Even if his minutes dip, he’ll still give you solid contributions in threes (1.3 3PG), rebounds (5.5 RPG), and steals (1.5 SPG).

39) Josh Smith (SF/PF) – Josh Smith is a terrible player when he is forced to play SF. He’ll still provide solid defensive stats from the three (1.4 SPG, 1.4 BPG) but the efficiency is now uglier than ever (41.9 FG%, 53.2 FT%). He hits the odd three (0.9 3PG) but that is a bad thing due to the drag all those attempts have on his FG%. I’d only consider him in a FT% punt build. There’s been some positive news coming out of Detroit regarding Smith. Smith has been seeing plenty time at PF during the preseason. This would mean a move to bench but any minutes drop should be at least equaled out by an efficiency increase.

40) Anderson Varejao (PF/C) – Very good per minute player who you will want to sell high if he starts off hot. Last season was the first time in four years that Varejao has played over 31 games. A better bet to stay on the court now that the Cavs are playing for something. While healthy he’ll give you very solid rebounding (9.7 RPG) and steals (1.1 SPG). Expect his FG% (49.5 FG%) to rise with LeBron in town. The last time LeBron wore a Cavs uniform, Varejao shot 57.2% from the floor.

41) Tobias Harris (SF/PF) – The talent is there but the opportunity may not be with the Magic having such a crowded frontcourt. He’ll likely play most of his minutes at SF as he did last season. This is bad news for Tobias’ fantasy value as his block rate predictably drops when he plays SF. Tobias is mostly a popcorn stats guy (14.6 PPG, 7.0 RPG), but there’s lots of upside here if Jacque Vaughn ever truly unleashes Harris.

42) Luol Deng (SF/PF) – He’ll have a sizable role in Miami but he looked like he regressed in Cleveland. Some of that may have been due to lack of motivation but it’s very possible that all those years of Thibs running Deng into the ground have caught up with him. Deng is only averaging 64 games played over the last three seasons.

43) Zach Randolph (PF/C) – After a slow start, Zach posted top-85 value over the last three months of the season. He’s really only a two-category player (17.4 PPG, 10.1 RPG) but is a good target for those punting blocks (0.3 BPG).

44) Ersan Ilyasova (SF/PF) – It took three years but I’m finally over Ersanity. Jason Kidd often went at least ten deep into his bench while in Brooklyn so expect Ersan’s minutes to be up and down. He’ll likely outplay this rank on a per game basis but there will likely be times when he will be droppable. When Ersan’s on, he’s a good source of out-of-position threes to go along with his solid scoring and rebounding.

45) John Henson (PF/C) – Henson looked like he was about to explode at the beginning of the season but cooled off considerably down the stretch. Despite playing 25.3 minutes a night, Henson didn’t even post top-200 value over the last three months of the year. There’s upside here though. Henson averaged a very healthy 2.1 BP36 last season. He’s a good end-of-the-draft target for those punting FT% (51.4 FT%).

46) Taj Gibson (PF/C) – The signing of Pau Gasol was a buzzkill to those hoping Taj would take over Boozer’s old role. He won’t break out unless Pau goes down but Pau going down is basically a given. Even if Gibson’s minutes remain below 30 a night, he’ll still provide decent rebounding (6.8 RPG) and block numbers (1.4 BPG).

47) Mason Plumlee (PF/C) – He has two of the most injury prone players in the league in front of him and is coming off a rookie campaign in which he finished as a top-90 player on a per 36 basis. Plumlee is one of the best FG% (65.9 FG%) sources going outside of the top-100. Despite only playing 18.2 MPG last season, Plumlee had the 13th-largest positive impact on FG%.

48) Channing Frye (PF/C) – Frye’s inexplicable 4 year/$32M is a pretty good indicator that they plan on giving him serious minutes despite their stable of young PFs. Frye will give you elite out-of-position threes (2.0 3PG), decent blocks (0.8 BPG), and low turnovers (1.1 TOPG).

49) Jared Sullinger (PF/C) – He’ll never be a stud due to his lack of defensive stats (0.5 SPG, 0.7 BPG) but Sully should hold some end-of-the-bench value due to his scoring (13.3 PPG), rebounding (8.1 RPG), and out-of-position threes (0.8 3PG). Sullinger is a good late-round target for those punting FG% (42.7 FG%).

50) Brandan Wright (PF/C) – Wright as always, posted elite per 36 numbers. And by elite, I mean really elite. We’re talking 7th overall elite. Unfortunately, Rick Carlisle continues to refuse to give Wright even decent bench minutes (18.6 MPG). This is unlikely to change with Tyson Chandler in town so Wright will remain a late-round FG% anchor (7th highest FG% impact in 2013-2014) who will also chip in a block a night (0.9 BPG). Wright is a better roto pick than H2H pick.

51) Carlos Boozer (PF/C) – Boozer is now a two-category player as he now struggles to score efficiently (45.6 FG%). Moving from the Bulls’ last-ranked offense to a more free following offense in Los Angeles should help but there’s still no way he breaks the top-100 due to his complete lack of defensive stats (0.7 SPG, 0.3 BPG).

52) Kyle O’Quinn (PF/C) – O’Quinn won’t get the run he did last season, but has a chance to have some value due to his top-40 per 36 minute numbers. Last season, over the last three months of the year, O’Quinn provided top-100 value despite only playing 21.4 MPG. Even in limited minutes, he’ll be a decent source of rebounds (5.3 RPG) and blocks (1.3 BPG).

53) Chris Andersen (PF/C) – His role shouldn’t change much despite all the roster turnover the Heat have experienced. Birdman will give you blocks (1.3 BPG), FG% impact (64.4 FG%) and not much else.

54) Andrea Bargnani (PF/C) – Despite disappointing in his first year in New York, Bargs showed some promising signs from a fantasy perspective. After three straight years of averaging under a block a game, Bargs put up 1.2 a night last season. A block and a three a game to go along with 13+ points is possible. That would easily make Bargnani rosterable.

55) Miles Plumlee (PF/C) – The Suns have next to nothing up front so Plumlee should continue to start. He’ll hurt you from the line (56.1 FT%) but is a good, late source of rebounds (7.8 RPG) and block (1.1 BPG).

 

 

 

 

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