Oct 4, 2009 News
2009-2010 Small Forward draft rankings are complete. I’m sure the list will see some changes as the season approaches, but this draft cheat sheet should give you a good starting point for your player rankings. I will put a link to the draft rankings cheatsheet on the Small Forward News and Rankings Page. You can also find this post under the ‘Popular Posts’ tab at the top of the home page for quick reference. Check back for adjustments in the rankings.
LeBron James (Cleveland, #23, 6’8-250, 25yo) What else could I say that someone else hasn’t already said about LeBron? Easily the top SF and possibly the best in fantasy basketball. The only stats that might drop are the rebounds with Shaq in the picture and 3 point shooting which might revert back toward his 32.8 career 3P%.
Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City, #35, 6’9-215, 21yo) Putting Durant this high is a gamble but I think it might be worth it. The jump in stats between his rookie and second year was amazing. If he continues to make improvement at 21 years old, the second spot in the rankings is justified. Durant improved his shooting last season with a 47.6 FG%, 86.3 FT% and 42.2 3P%. His stats were 25.3 pts, 2.8 ast, 6.5 rebs, 1.3 stl and .7 blk. He does turn it over 3.04 times a game, but he was on the court 39+ minutes every night. If he gets those kind of minutes this season, and he should, then he will be a very dependable fantasy SF with huge upside.
Danny Granger (Indiana, #33, 6’8-228, 26yo) Sooner or later defenses are going to start keying on Granger, especially since Indiana doesn’t have much else on the court to take the pressure off. Granger is an excellent shooter with a career 51.6 eFG%. Last season he put up 25.8 pts, 2.7 ast, 1.0 stl, 1.5blk and 2.46 tov. Very similar numbers to Durant, but Granger is 5 years older. Granger also increased his free throw rate last season getting to the line more than years past. I feel comfortable with Granger this high and in fantasyland it is sometimes the guys on the bad teams that really provide the stats.
Paul Pierce (Boston, #34, 6’7-235, 32yo) Pierce is very consistent and durable putting up numbers in line with his career averages last season with 20.5 pts, 3.6 ast, 5.6 reb, 1.0 stl and 2.8 TOV. His stats (like everything else in Boston) will depend on the health of Kevin Garnett. At 32, Pierce should still be able to match last seasons stats.
Caron Butler (Washington, #3, 6’7-228, 29yo) I probably have Butler ranked higher than many people, but I think this might be his best year ever. Washington has a great team and Butler is healthy. He missed some time last season, but when he was healthy he put in an average of 38.6 minutes a game scoring 20.8 pts, 4.3 ast, 6.2 reb, 1.6 steal and 3.1 tov. His shooting percentages are average and he could probably cut down on the number of 3′s since his career 3P% is only 31.6%. I think his averages will be ok this season, as it seems like he moved more to a driving style last season getting to the line a career high 6.0 times a game.
Carmelo Anthony (Denver, #15, 6’6-230, 25yo) For all the shooting that Melo does, he really isn’t that good at it with only a career 47.8 eFG%. He does however get an incredible amount of opportunities in the Denver offense and that’s what really matters in fantasy basketball. Last seasons line was 22.8 pts, 3.4 ast, 6.8 reb, 1.1 stl and 3.02 tov. I’m not sure if the 37.1 3P% he put up last season is repeatable since his career average is 30.7. Anthony is still only 25 years old and maybe last year’s numbers were a real improvement in his shooting ability. I’d gamble that he still has room to improve.
Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia, #9, 6’6-207, 25yo) I’ve got Iguodala on the SF list, but he will probably be moving to the shooting guard list depending on how Eddie Jordan structures his new offense. Iguodala dropped in my rankings because I’m just not sure where he is going to spend most of his minutes and I’m not sure how Brand’s return is going to affect him. Iguodala played much better last season once Brand got hurt. I’m not sure that all the set plays for Brand left much room for Iguodala to show what he does best. Last season he put up 18.8 pts, 5.3 ast, 5.7 reb, 1.6 stl and 2.71 tov. I think Iguodala will end up at shooting guard this year with Brand at PF and T. Young at SF.
Gerald Wallace (Charlotte, #3, 6’7-220, 27yo) Wallace always seems to be hurt, but last season that really wasn’t the case. He played 71 games and averaged 37.6 minutes a night. Wallace’s game is definitely around the basket and his percentages show it with a 48.0 FG%, 80.4 FT% and 29.8% 3P% last season. Be careful of that FT% though, because it will likely revert back toward his career 69.6% figure. His stats from last season were 16.6 pts, 2.7 ast, 7.8 reb, 1.7 stl and 2.08 tov. Also be careful of last season’s rebound number, as his career average is only 5.4 rebounds per game. It might also be important to see how the arrival of Tyson Chandler and Boris Diaw affect Wallace’s game.
Rudy Gay (Memphis, #22, 6’8-222, 23yo) Gay plays hard every night putting in 37.3 minutes over 79 games last season. His stats were right on his career averages in almost every category with 18.9 pts, 1.7 ast, 5.5 reb, 1.2 stl, .8 blk and 2.57 tov. He is only 23 and should improve or at least match last seasons numbers.
Hedo Turkoglu (Toronto, #26, 6’10-220, 30yo) Turkoglu moves to Toronto and takes his ‘point forward’ game with him. The only worry here is that Toronto doesn’t use him the same way Orlando did. Last season Turkoglu put up 4.9 assists per game (much of which was filling in for an injured Jameer Nelson), which is way above his career assists average of 2.7. With Calderon doing the dishing, expect the assists to decline for Turkoglu. Another concern for Hedo are the percentages. Last season he had a 41.3 FG%, 80.7 FT% and 35.6 3P%. His career percentages aren’t much better. His other stats were 16.8 pts, 4.9 ast, 5.3 reb, .8 stl and 2.6 tov.
Stephen Jackson (Golden State, #1, 6’8-215, 31yo) Is Jackson going to be happy and productive this season or his he going to whine and cry until he gets his trade wish? Who knows. The guys does have the ability to put up great numbers when he is motivated. Last season his line was 20.7 pts, 6.5 ast, 5.1 reb, 1.5 stl and 3.9 tov. I had to double check the assist numbers just to make sure they were right. They were, and unfortunately so was the huge 3.9 turnover per game figure. His percentages were poor last season at 41.4 FG%, 82.6 FT% and 33.8 3P%. If he gets happy and stays in the running Warrior system, he could be a nice bargain in the draft.
Luol Deng (Chicago, #9, 6’9-220, 24yo) Simply put, Deng just wasn’t very good last year. Hopefully it was due to injury and he can bounce back healthy this season. It also helps that Ben Gordon is out of the picture and someone has to pick up the scoring slack. Deng’s shooting really declined last season with a 44.8 FG% and 79.6 FT%. He isn’t a 3 point threat, making only 8 of them last season. His other stats were 14.1 pts, 1.9 ast, 6.0 reb, 1.22 stl and 1.47 tov. If he comes back healthy and gets the opportunity to become more involved in the offense, he could also be a real draft bargain.
Richard Jefferson (San Antonio, #24, 6’7-225, 29yo) Jefferson knows how to score. His line last season was 19.6 pts, 2.4 ast, 4.6 reb, .8 stl and 2.0 tov. I’m not exactly sure how he will fit in with the Spurs, but I’m guessing he should be expected to put up something similar to last season’s numbers. His numbers are very similar to Rudy Gay’s, but at 29 years old I think this may be the ceiling for Jefferson.
Rashard Lewis (Orlando, #9, 6’10-215, 30yo) Lewis is looking at a 10 game suspension to start the season, so Rotisserie leaguers might push him down the rankings a bit. If you are in a h2h league, you might push him up a little, especially if you are looking to bolster your 3 Pointer category. Lewis is a excellent shooter with a career 52.6 eFG%. He is deadly from 3 Point range making 220 of them last season at a 39.7% rate. His line was 17.6 pts, 2.6 ast, 5.7 reb, 1.0 stl and 2.0 tov. With Carter now in Orlando, I think Lewis might see a bit of a decrease in stats, but not much. Lewis is a much better h2h value than he is a rotisserie value.
Josh Howard (Dallas, #5, 6’7-210, 29yo) Howard was injured most of last season playing in only 52 games for an average of 32.0 minutes. On top of the injuries, he is also 29 years old and I don’t think he is going to improve much from his existing skills. His line last season was 18.0 pts, 1.6 ast, 5.1 reb, 1.1 stl and 1.71 tov.
Ron Artest (LA Lakers, #96, 6’6-244, 30yo) Artest is a better real life player than he is a fantasy player. He isn’t a very good shooter with 40.1 FG%, 74.8 FT% and 39.9 3P% last year. The FG% and FT% were close to his career average, while the 3P% may have been an aberration from his career 34.2 percentage. His line was 17.1 pts, 3.2 ast, 5.2 reb, 1.5 stl and 2.0 tov. Last season Artest was asked to carry a heavy offensive load with Ming and McGrady out with injuries but I don’t think LA will expect anywhere near as much offense from him. His primary goal this season will be defense. Be careful on draft day with Artest.
Al Thornton (LA Clippers, #12, 6’8-220, 26yo) Thornton is still flying under most people’s radars but he had a solid season averaging 37.4 minutes over 71 games last year. He put up 16.8 pts, 1.5 ast, 5.2 reb, .8 stl and 1.8 tov. His percentages were 44.6 FG%, 75.4 FT% and 25.3 3P%. If he keeps getting those minutes then he might be a great later round pickup.
Thaddeus Young (Philadelphia, #21, 6’8-220, 21yo) I’m putting Young at SF in my rankings because I think Brand should see most of the PF minutes with Young sliding to SF and Iguodala sliding to SG. Young got 34.4 minutes per game over 75 games played last season, so he has a full year of experience under his belt. He is an excellent shooter with a career 53.1 eFG%. He put up 15.3 pts, 1.1 ast, 5.3 reb, 1.4 stl and 1.6 tov last year. He’s only 21 and should have room to improve on those stats, but the key here is how much the return of Brand hurts Young’s involvement in the offense.
Trevor Ariza (Houston, #1, 6’8-210, 24yo) I probably have Ariza ranked lower than any other rankings list you will find. I’m just not a believer and I don’t think he is any better than Ron Artest. His percentages don’t look promising with only a 46.0 FG%, 71.0 FT% and 31.9 3P%. A guy who works inside like Ariza really needs to be a better free throw shooter. His scoring average only projects out to 12.5 points per 36 minutes. It is easy to score when the defense is concentrated on Kobe and the other LA big guns, but it is a completely different story when the defense is focused directly on you like it will be in Houston for Ariza. I could be wrong, but I just don’t think this is one of those gambles that will pay off, especially for all those guys who will draft him way ahead of where I have him slotted on the draft rankings. If you can get him late then give it a try, but if your league makes you reach for him then just pass and go after more established talent.
Tayshaun Prince (Detroit, #22, 6’9-215, 29yo) Prince is underrated and unappreciated in most fantasy leagues, but he is one of the most consistent producers out there and makes a great later round pickup, especially for h2h leagues where a strong bench is important. Prince produced right on his career percentages last season at 45.0 FG%, 77.8 FT% and 39.7 3P%. His line was 14.2 pts, 3.1 ast, 5.8 reb, .5 stl and 1.23 stl. The only risk with Prince might be a midseason trade, so keep that in mind.
Marvin Williams (Atlanta, #24, 6’9-240, 23yo) Williams worked on his shooting and it really showed last season with a 50.6 eFG% which was quite an improvement over his career 46.5 average. He’s only 23, so hopefully he continues the trend. Williams recorded 13.9 pts, 1.3 ast, 6.3 reb, .9 stl and 1.2 tov. He makes a great late round pick.
Michael Beasley (Miami, #30, 6’0-245, 20yo) SuperCoolBeas. What to do with him? Multimillion dollar talent with a ten cent head. Would more college have helped? Nah, just ask LaGarrette Blount. Immature is just immature and it usually continues for years. I’m not touching Beasley unless it is in the latest of late rounds.
Peja Stojakovic (New Orleans, #16, 6’9-220, 32yo) Peja is going to have to get that shooting stroke turned around quickly or he will fall out of the top 25 soon. His FG% last season was 39.9%, not very Peja-like. He didn’t really help in the other categories either putting up 13.3 pts, 1.2 ast, 4.3 reb, .8 stl and .8 tov. He is 32 years old, so use the preseason to determine his health and whether or not he is a bounce back candidate.
Andrei Kirilenko (Utah, #47, 6’9-225, 28yo) Kirilenko has fallen a long way from his fantasy glory days. The blocks have declined sharply to a career low last season, and the other stats weren’t so great either. His line was 11.6 pts, 2.6 ast, 4.8 reb, 1.2 stl, 1.2 blk and 1.8 tov. The 3 Point shooting was also poor at 27.4% while the eFG% fell to 46.7 last season. Late round flier to see if he bounces back.
Grant Hill (Phoenix, #33, 6’8-225, 37yo) Hill just keeps on going at age 37, but his minutes dropped last season to 29.8 per game, which is still good for a late round SF pickup with Hill’s excellent production and percentages. He put up a great 52.3 FG% last season scoring 12.0 pts, 2.3 ast, 4.9 reb, 1.1 stl, .7 blk and 1.5 tov. He is an injury risk, but if the price is right he could be a late round steal.
Ryan Gomes (Minnesota, #8, 6’7-245, 27yo) I’m going to roll the dice and give a bonus #26 spot to Gomes. Call it payback for the great stats he gave me down the stretch last season. He should be available in very late rounds in just about every league and he makes a great speculative pick. The question here is how many minutes will he get this year? With Corey Brewer out, he got an opportunity last season and produced 13.3 pts, 1.6 ast, 4.8 reb, .8 stl and 1.5 tov in 31.9 minutes per game. His statistics over the last three season are very consistent, so last year’s line should be easily repeatable if he gets the minutes.
Players who are on the bubble to climb into the Top 25 Small Forwards:
Francisco Garcia (Sacramento), Danilo Gallinari (New York), Luc Mbah a Moute (Milwaukee), Andres Nocioni (Sacramento), Bobby Simmons (New Jersey), Corey Maggette (Golden State), Nicolas Batum (Portland), Matt Barnes (Orlando), Mickael Pietrus (Orlando), James Jones (Miami), Joe Alexander (Milwaukee), James Posey (New Orleans), Martell Webster (Portland), Corey Brewer (Minnesota), Terrence Williams (New Jersey), Thabo Sefolosha (Oklahoma City), Jamario Moon (Cleveland), Travis Outlaw (Portland)