NBA Fantasy Preview: Top 15 Power Forwards Forwards

Posted on 01. Sep, 2009 by Tarun Joseph in Fantasy Hoops, NBA, Top 15 by Position

1. Dirk Nowitzki (DAL)– 2008/09 Stats: 25.9 PPG/ 8.6 RPG/ 89.0 FT%/ 61 3PTM

Dirk Nowitzki can flat out score. As the unquestioned No.1 option for the Mavs, Nowitzki uses post moves, long distance shooting, slashes, and an ability to get to the charity stripe to give fantasy owners plus production in scoring categories. Although last year Nowitzki made the fewest amount of 3 pointers in his career, it’s a real testament to the type of balanced offensive player he has become. Owners also will love the dual combination of rebounding Dirk provides. There might be a slight dip with Shawn Marion in the fold but Dirk will get his too. Nowitzki is an elite selection at the PF slot and the fact he has only missed 15 games in the past 5 years just makes him all the more attractive on draft night.

2. Chris Bosh (TOR)– 2008/09 Stats: 22.7 PPG/ 10.0 RPG/ 2.5 APG/ 1.0 BPG/ 81.7 FT%

There could be an argument for Bosh to be No. 1 on this list going into next year. First it’s his contract year so you know he’ll be playing for a max contract. Second he’s gotten better and better every season and given his still relatively young age there’s every reason to think he can improve next year. Finally Bosh has never had as much talent around him as he does for the coming year. Still Bosh is yet to achieve first round draft status because owners are still waiting for him to push it to the next level he is so capable of. Bosh is a dynamic offensive player who uses his excellent athletic ability with a deadly mid range jump-shot to keep defences guessing. Keep in mind Bosh is also going to be a the feature player in Jay Triano’s new offensive minded game plan so expect to see career numbers all over the board. The future is now for Bosh.

3. Tim Duncan (SAS)– 2008/09 Stats: 19.3 PPG/ 10.7 RPG/ 3.5 APG/ 1.7 BPG/ 50.4 FG%

Though Tim Duncan is known as “The Big Fundamental” for his smart offensive moves, efficient playing style and a clinical mastery of bank shots his nickname might as well be known as “Old Reliable”. Since leading the Spurs to a championship in his rookie year, Duncan has been a top flight fantasy option for owners for the past 12 years and though he is getting on in years Duncan has become a model of consistency. Duncan is a smart playmaker and his 3.5 assists are second to none among any forward on this list while his supreme post moves has made him one of the best scorers in the paint. Duncan also provides excellent defensive production for fantasy owners continuously placing himself in the league leaders for both blocks and rebounds.

4. Pau Gasol (LAL)– 2008/09 Stats: 18.9 PPG/ 9.6 RPG/ 3.5 APG/ 1.0 BPG/ 56.7 FG%

Much like the aforementioned Duncan, Gasol is as consistent as they come and a great option if you miss out on any of the top 3 on this list. Gasol is a solid yet unspectacular scorer who uses finesse rather than power to get the job done. Gasol has meshed beautifully in Los Angeles and has become a great source for assists on any forward slot. Though much of Gasol’s offensive production stems from Kobe Bryant double teams or penetration kick outs, Gasol uses a potent mid range jump shot along with a sweet baby hook to put the ball in the basket. Gasol also shoots a great percentage and though his rebounding numbers could dip slightly with the addition of Ron Artest, look for Gasol to again be a smart pick for any fantasy owner next season.

5. Antawn Jamison (WAS)– 2008/09 Stats: 22.2 PPG/ 8.9 RPG/ 1.2 SPG/ 112 3PTM

Though Antawn Jamison had a great year in 2008-09 much of his offensive production could seem inflated due to the fact that Gilbert Arenas was injured for most of the season. With Arenas back in the fold it would seem likely that Jamison’ s PPG would dip, perhaps to the 18 point range. Still Jamison is a versatile scorer whose value from long range is an added bonus for any fantasy owner. Jamison has always been one of the most underrated cutters in the NBA and makes good use of screens to get open shots. Though Jamison is not a prototypical power forward he uses his athleticism to grab a solid amount of boards and should see an increase in FG% with Arenas back.

6. Troy Murphy (IND)– 2008/09 Stats: 14.3 PPG/ 11.8 RPG/ 2.4 APG/ 82.6 FT%/ 161 3PTM

Along with David Lee troy Murphy was one of the true hidden fantasy gems last year ranking 4th in the NBA for double-doubles and giving owners excellent production from the PF spot. Murphy was a model of consistency and went from a pleasant surprise to a genuine fantasy threat on any roster. The true value of Troy Murphy lies in the fact that much of his scoring comes via the 3 pointer ranking as the top long range shooter in this list. Add to the fact the Murphy grabbed close to 12 boards a game, and still managed to keep owners satisfied with a silky smooth FT% makes Murphy a dangerous weapon for any fantasy team that could potentially fall into later rounds.

7. Kevin Garnett (BOS)– 2008/09 Stats: 15.8 PPG/ 8.5 RPG/ 2.5 APG/ 1.2 BPG/ 53.1 FG%

There used to be a time when Kevin Garnett was the top fantasy player in almost all formats giving owners insane all round production in various categories. Since his introduction in Boston, Garnett’s fantasy production has taken a major hit while his championship focus has narrowed. Nevertheless Garnett is still a top option at the PF slot and although he averaged career lows across the board last year, he should have a great comeback season. He may have lost a step, but Garnett still has well above average athletic ability and uses it to score in various ways under the basket. Garnett may never again become the fearsome shot blocker he once was, but look for all his numbers to improve slightly as he is finally healthy again. He’s no longer about number. His eye is on the big prize.

8. David Lee (NYK)– 2008/09 Stats: 16.0 PPG/ 11.7 RPG/ 1.0 SPG/ 54.9 FG%

David Lee became a double-double machine for the Knicks in 2008-09 ranking No.1 in the NBA beating out Dwight Howard and Chris Paul in that category. As a result Lee became a very underrated fantasy find for owners often providing them with top notch rebounding numbers on a nightly basis and is a great source to solidify your FG % and rebounding categories for next year. Lee is a hard work and gets most of his points around the paint doing the dirty work which is why his FG% is so high. Though Lee might not benefit as much as people thing playing in a Mike D’antoni system, Lee is a top 2-cat player and should see small increases all over the board next year. Owners should take note that though last year Lee might have been a sleeper, the double-double king will not slip under the radar this year.

9. Brook Lopez (NJN)– 2008/09 Stats: 13.0 PPG/ 8.1 RPG/ 1.8 BPG/ 53.1 FG%

Lopez was one of the unsung fantasy players last year for the lowly New Jersey Nets and with the departure of Vince Carter looks to have a career year all over the board. Lopez, much like David Lee, is a hard worker underneath the basket and is a tremendous rebounder due to smart positioning and fundamentals. Lopez’s long frame also allows him to block quite a few shots and could average more than two blocks a game for next season. Lopez could be a steal for owners next year and should be the recipient of various Devin Harris double teams, don’t sleep on this guy.

10. Zach Randolph (MEM)– 2008/09 Stats: 20.8 PPG/ 10.1 RPG/ 2.1 APG/ 0.9 SPG

Often seen as an under achiever Zach Randolph had one of his best years last year averaging a double-double for the injury riddled Clippers. Owners might have gotten a bit lucky with Randolph as much of his inflated playing time and touches came from the fact that the Clippers had about as many healthy guys as a hospital ward. After an off-season trade to the Grizzlies don’t expect Randolph to provide owners with the same type of production he did last year as he becomes the 3rd option behind Rudy Gay and O.J. Mayo. Although his points should dip considerably l Randolph should be able to repeat his double-double production and is a solid choice in later rounds of any draft

11. Josh Smith (ATL)– 2008/09 Stats: 15.6 PPG/ 7.2 RPG/ 2.4 APG/ 1.4 SPG/ 1.6 BPG

Though Josh Smith started last year as a fringe 3rd or even 2nd round pick, Smith went through all types of regression last season and was one of the most disappointing fantasy players all season. Smith has incredible athletic ability and can use his immense wingspan along with an explosive vertical to become a fearsome shot-blocker and defensive stud. The problem with Smith is that last year he struggled with inconsistency all year juggling every good game with a couple mediocre ones. Smith has the type of tools scouts drool over and since he is so young should be able to bounce back nicely next year. With Jamal Crawford in the mix Smith should see his FG% rise and be able to focus on the defensive end of the court where his true fantasy value lies. If you can handle the potential of inconsistency Smith could regain his form into one of the top defensive fantasy performers in the league.

12. Carlos Boozer (UTA)– 2008/09 Stats: 16.2 PPG/ 10.4 RPG/ 1.0 SPG

It might be a mystery why Boozer is so low on this list but he only played 37 games last year and at 28 he’s not getting any younger which could deem him an injury risk on draft day. When Boozer is healthy his ability to hit the mid range jumper along with smart post moves can make him very valuable on any fantasy roster, but knee problems at a latter stage of any player’s career could always come back to haunt them. Still Boozer is a great talent and though he might on the trading block the entire year he should look forward to this season as one of redemption. Boozer meshes well with Deron Williams and is a top notch rebounder for the Jazz.

13. LaMarcus Aldridge (POR)– 2008/09 Stats: 18.1 PPG/ 7.5 RPG/ 0.9 SPG/ 0.9 BPG

Lamarcus Aldridge is a terrific young talent who has emerged as one of the most underrated young big men today. Aldridge has improved every single year and along with teammate Brandon Roy is part of a dynamic nucleus in Portland that should be set for the next decade. Aldridge has a feathery touch and uses a smooth jump-shot along with finesse moves to score near the basket. Aldridge is also an improving rebounder and should benefit heavily from the playmaking skills of newly acquired point guard Andre Miller. It could be the case that Aldridge has peaked as a player but more than likely expect to see slight increases all over the board, especially if Greg Oden continues his disappointing career.

14. Anthony Randolph (GSW)– 2008/09 Stats: 7.9 PPG/ 5.8 RPG/ 1.2 BPG
At the end of the 2008-09 season Anthony Randolph caught fire in the starting SF role on a fast paced Warriors offence averaging 14 points per game along with 11 rebounds for fantasy owners in the final 10 games of the NBA season. Randolph has great length and athleticism at the SF spot and has won the starting role for next year in the Warriors line-up. Randolph has added 20 pounds of muscle over the offseason and could potentially by a 5-cat player next year with consistent minutes in a high octane Warriors offense. Randolph is a versatile athlete who should be a great source of rebounding and blocks at the SF position and shoots a great percentage due to his ability to get to the basket. Randolph really turned it on for the Warriors the last month of the season and ripped up the Vegas Summer League to the tune of 27 PPG / 10.5 REB / 3.0 Blocks. Don Nelson has already promised that Randolph will be in the thick of the Warriors offensive plans this year and owners have to realize that they are looking at possibly the biggest fantasy sleeper of the entire year next year.

15. Elton Brand (PHI)– 2008/09 Stats: 13.8 PPG/ 8.8 RPG/ 1.5 BPG
Brand is turning out to be one of the worst free agent signings in the past few years playing only 37 games in two years and finding it extremely difficult to fit in. Brand never really meshed well in Philly and owners have to be frustrated with the type of production they have gotten from him even when he was healthy. Still Brand is reportedly fully healthy and ready for training camp and if he’s healthy he could be the steal of the draft. Brand is a monster on the offensive glass and uses power moves underneath the basket to set up easy scores. Brand is also a smart shot-blocker often times relying on timing rather than pure athleticism to swat shots. Brand, much like Gilbert Arenas, is a high risk/high reward type of player that could really set an owner back if a high pick is used on Brand but could also push a team to the top if Brand can be snagged in much later rounds.

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3 Responses to “NBA Fantasy Preview: Top 15 Power Forwards Forwards”

  1. Tarun Joseph

    02. Sep, 2009

    It’s not that I don’t think Brand can have a good season, infact Brand made this list above other guys who will see good numbers such as Jeff Green, Ryan Gomes, Blake Griffin and Boris Diaw.

    Brand’s heath is an issue here. perhaps Brand does play in at last 70 games this season. even if he does how will his injury affect his playing style, or his mental agressiveness? It’s all good questions. Brand is simply not used to a Philly team that wants to run and gun their offense and until he does so he will be No. 15 on this list.

    But seeing how the Power Forward postion this year is probably the deepest, its not a bad spot to be in.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Ryan

    02. Sep, 2009

    Brand ruined my fantasy team last year. He is exactly what Tarun says High RISK high reward. You gotta be careful with that man. Has had to devistating injuries the past two years.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Nolan

    02. Sep, 2009

    I also think Randolph is poised for a monster year, but ahead of Brand? Why is it you feel Brand will have such a mediocre year?

    Reply to this comment

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