Aug 21, 2010 Blog
2010-2011 NBA Fantasy Basketball Small Forward Draft Rankings
Rankings for the Small Forward position using our FPS Ranking System will be updated throughout the offseason. Updated rankings can always be found under the 2010-2011 Rankings Tab on the Fantasy Basketball Daily Homepage.
Kevin Durant (42.0 FPS, 51.4 eFG%, 90.0 FT%, 40 MPG)
Many people are automatically moving Durant to the top of the Small Forward board with LeBron now in Miami. I am going with that trend for now, but I think the gap between the two is a lot smaller than many people realize. The deciding factor here in August is that I know what I’m getting with Durant, while James is a bit of a wildcard. Durant should again lead the Thunder to the playoffs while putting up around 30 points a game with great shooting percentages. He took 4.3 threes a game last season, hitting 37%. Durant lived at the line with a free throw rate of 50.4, earning him 10.2 freebies a game where he hit them at a 90.0% rate. Free throw points made up 30% of his 2009 point total. His Usage rate was 32.0 and should remain there this season. Durant’s Jumper/Inside breakdown is 75%/25%, which shows that he’s a bit more of a perimeter player than James.
LeBron James (47.4 FPS, 54.5 eFG%, 76.7 FT%, 39 MPG)
The concern I have with LeBron this season is a probable decline in his Usage rate statistic from a 33.5 level in 2009. With Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh needing touches, that stat could drop 10%, which would hurt his overall line. James’ Jumper/Inside split is 64%/36%. His free throw rate is 50.6, getting him to the line 10.2 times a game where he converts at only a 76.7% rate. The assist category is where James has an advantage over Durant. Last season saw LeBron put up 8.6 assists a game, which is huge from the SF spot. He needs to lay off the three pointers though, putting up 5.1 of them a game last year and hitting only 33%. James was assisted on only 36% of his shots last season and I expect that he might not have to create his own shot as much in 2010, which might help his efficiency. Be happy if he falls to you in drafts.
Carmelo Anthony (38.4 FPS, 47.8 eFG%, 83.0 FT%, 38 MPG)
I’ve seen many people bashing Melo and saying that he isn’t an elite player, but fantasy fans know otherwise. If you put Anthony’s 2009 line beside Durant’s, there isn’t much difference. The real life knock on Anthony is his inefficiency, as noted by his low 47.8 eFG%. He has a free throw rate of 40.7 which got him 8.9 trips to the line per game, where he converted at 83.0%. He isn’t good from three, putting up 2.7 per game, hitting only 32%. His Jumper/Inside split is 63%/37% and he has a Usage stat of 33.4. With the weak interior of the Nuggets, I expect that Melo will again be leaned on heavily in 2010, if he isn’t traded. If he changes teams, then we will have to rethink his ranking.
Danny Granger (34.5 FPS, 49.8 eFG%, 84.8 FT%, 37 MPG)
I’m one of the people who rarely owns Granger in fantasy leagues. He’s inconsistent and for whatever reason decided all he wants to do is shoot three pointers, which left him with a 42.8 FG% in 2009. He took 7.1 threes a game last season, hitting 36%. It’s great when he’s on, but he can destroy your FG% and 3PT% for the week when he’s off. Granger has a Jumper/Inside split of 75%/25% and a free throw rate of 37.6. He managed 6.9 free throw attempts per game, hitting 84.8%. I’m not sure how well Granger and Darren Collison are going to mesh, but I don’t think that will affect Granger’s fantasy ranking that much. Granger has also been somewhat of an injury risk the last couple of seasons missing 15 games in 2008 and 20 games last year.
Gerald Wallace (33.2 FPS, 51.1 eFG%, 77.6 FT%, 41 MPG)
Wallace is on the Small Forward board, but his game is probably better suited for the Power Forward spot. If you like to build you fantasy team around big men, Wallace is definitely a guy you want to scoop up and plug in a the SF spot. Wallace put up a career year rebounding last season, grabbing 10.0 per game, which was well above his career average of just 6.1 per game. There is a good chance that he could see a regression in that number. Another red flag with Wallace is the 41.0 minutes per game he played last season. Crash has never been the healthiest player around and I don’t think it would be wise for Charlotte to ride him that hard again this year. I could see his minutes dropping 10% to the 36-37 minute range. Much like Josh Smith, Wallace is a player that fills every column of the stat sheet. He managed 1.5 steals per game and 1.1 blocks per game and played excellent defense in 2009. One of the reasons he gets hurt is because he draws a huge amount of contact. Wallace had a free throw rate last season of 57.7 which got him to the line 544 times where he converted at a 77.6% rate.
Andre Iguodala (31.5 FPS, 48.5 eFG%, 73.3 FT%, 39 MPG)
Iguodala was caught in an offensive system in 2009 that just didn’t fit his game. He’s athletic and excels when he has free reign to use that athleticism and the Princeton offense just didn’t allow that. Philly has scrapped that experiment and I expect Iggy to bounce back with a great season. He offers help in just about every category and the 5.8 assists he put up are big from the SF spot. He’s not a good three point shooter, taking 3.7 per game and hitting just 31%. He gets to the line with a 38.4 free throw rate, but hits just 73.3 once he gets there. He’s got a Jumper/Inside split of 71%/29% and that should probably move more toward a 67%/33% level to improve his stats. He’s an excellent defensive player and will contribute in the steals (1.7 per game) and blocks (.7 per game) categories. He could get overlooked in drafts, so be ready to grab him.
Rudy Gay (29.9 FPS, 49.1 eFG%, 75.3 FT%, 40 MPG)
Memphis committed to Gay with a huge contract and it will be interesting to see how he responds. I think they probably overpaid. His stats look good on the surface, but he played 39.7 minutes a game to get them and was inefficient with a FG% of 46.6 and FT% of 75.3%. He won’t help you in the three point category, putting up 2.5 per game, hitting only 33%. His Jumper/Inside split is 68%/32% and he has a free throw rate of just 31.1, getting to the line only 5.0 times per game. He’s pretty solid in the steals (1.5) and blocks (.8) categories, but his defense overall is soft. He’s a good player, but don’t overreach for him.
Paul Pierce (26.7 FPS, 53.5 eFG%, 85.2 FT%, 34MPG)
Pierce had a solid season in 2009 and I think he probably has one more in him before age starts to erode his game. He had a career year shooting the ball with a 47.2 FG%, but that could regress to his career average of 44.5% in 2010. He was excellent with the three ball, putting up 3.7 per game and hitting 41%, which was also well above his 37% career average. Pierce’s Jumper/Inside split was 67%/33% and he had a free throw rate of 49.9, which got him to the line 6.8 times a game where he converted 85.2%. The first crack in Pierce’s game is the 2009 decline in his rebounding. He only managed 4.4 per game, which is well below his career average of 6.1 and the first time in his career where he has been under 5.1 rebounds per game. His Usage stat also saw a career low of 23.8, which may be a result of the Celtics trying to keep their star fresh and that will probably continue in 2010.
Luol Deng (28.6 FPS, 48.2 eFG%, 76.4 FT%, 38 MPG
Deng is another player who should have a much better season in 2010 than he did in 2009. He’s finally healthy and could find himself open a lot with defenses focusing on Derrick Rose and Carlos Boozer. If he can consistently knock down shots, he’ll have a great year. Deng’s 2009 line was very similar to his career line in just about every category, especially his shooting percentages. He’s a very good rebounder and contributes in both the steals (.9 per game) and blocks (.9 per game) categories. He’s got a Jumper/Inside split of 69%/31% and a free throw rate of 32.5. The only concern with Deng is his Usage Rate, which may decline with the arrival of Boozer.
Caron Butler (26.2 FPS, 44.8 eFG%, 83.8 FT%, 38 MPG)
The move from Washington to Dallas did not help Butler’s fantasy value, especially his scoring, where he posted a career low of 15.2 per game in his 27 games with Dallas. His minutes per game dipped from 39.4 in Washington to 34.4 in Dallas. It’s hard to put up fantasy stats if you aren’t on the court. He seemed to be more focused on defense than on scoring, which should continue this year. One reason may be that he just isn’t that good of a shooter (44.1 career FG%) and Dallas has more efficient offensive options. Butler doesn’t shoot the three, taking 2.0 per game and hitting 29%. He gets to the line at a 30.0 rate and hit 83.8% last year. He’s a solid rebounder and a very good defensive player. Let someone else overpay for the Tough Juice brand.
Hedo Turkoglu (20.5 FPS, 49.0 eFG%, 77.4 FT%, 31 MPG)
I’ve put Turk in the SF rankings, but he may see a lot of time at PF this season if Warrick and Lopez can’t handle the PF job. Hopefully, we will get the Orlando version of Turkoglu rather than the unhappy, disgruntled Toronto version. Turkoglu has become a medium usage (18.1) option, much like Manu Ginobili in San Antonio. Last season he only played 30.7 minutes per game, but his per/36 averages were solid. Turkoglu is a big help in the assist category where he put up 4.1 per game in 2009, but he is capable of more as evidenced by the 4.9 and 5.0 per game he put up with Orlando in 2007 and 2008. His Jumper/Inside split is 76%/24% and he can shoot the three with a career 38% three point percentage. He could move in the rankings depending on how things go in Suns’ camp with the PF spot.
Danilo Gallinari (23.5 FPS, 52.3 eFG%, 81.8 FT%, 34 MPG)
Gallinari is a unique player in that he is 6’10 and could probably play shooting guard if that is where the Knicks wanted him. He is a lights out shooter with a 52.3 eFG% in 2009. He took 6.0 threes per game, hitting 38%. His perimenter game shows up in his Jumper/Inside split of 82%/18%, but he isn’t afraid to draw contact either with a free throw rate of 33.1. He’s an excellent passer and could improve his assist numbers as he develops. Gallinari was assisted on 66% of his shots last season, so it will be important to see how he works with new point guard, Raymond Felton. It should also be interesting to see how much defenses collapse on Amare Stoudemire, which would leave Gallinari open on the perimeter where he excels. He’s a little weak on defense, but that isn’t much of a concern in the D’Antoni system. If you like to build your team around threes and excellent percentages, Gallinari is a great pick.
Trevor Ariza (26.9 FPS, 46.2 eFG%, 64.9 FT%, 37 MPG)
Ariza moves from Houston to New Orleans this season and hopefully he can work well with Chris Paul. Ariza was asked to fill a role that he wasn’t suited for in Houston where he was asked to carry the offense. The move to New Orleans will allow Ariza to become a third or fourth option and let him play to his spot up shooter strength. He’s a very good defensive player and should fill the steals category. Ariza didn’t shoot the ball very well in 2009, but he launched 5.7 threes last season, hitting only 33%. He’s got a Jumper/Inside split of 67%/33% with a free throw rate of 22.8. He was assisted on 59 percent of his shots last year and that number should probably be higher in 2010. Ariza was a disappointment last season and hopefully he can bounce back in his new role in New Orleans.
Corey Maggette (26.8 FPS, 52.3 eFG%, 83.5 FT%, 30 MPG)
Maggette was a big surprise last season going for 19.8 points in 29 minutes a game for Golden State. He joins the Milwaukee Bucks this season, so a decline is possible. Maggette’s biggest contribution comes in the free three category where he somehow managed a 62.2 free throw rate, getting to the line 7.9 times per game and hitting 83.5%. His 6.6 free throws made per game were 33.3% of his 2009 scoring total. His Jumper/Inside rate of 58%/42% helps explain the contact he draws that gets him to the line so frequently. Keep an eye on his role in training camp before determining his final draft ranking.
Dorell Wright – He’s a great sleeper this season for Golden State. I think fans are finally going to get a chance to see his offensive and defensive abilties. And it sure doesn’t hurt that he gets to play in the run and gun of the Warriors system.
Tayshaun Prince (23.3 FPS, 50.9 eFG%, 71.4 FT%, 34 MPG)
Tayshaun Prince is one of those guys that you can happily scoop up in the last rounds of drafts and stash him on your bench as a backup for your starter. He isn’t flashy, but he is consistent. His career averages of 49.5 eFG% and 77.1 FT% won’t kill you and he’ll even take 1.5 threes per game and hit them at a 37% clip. His Usage rate is near league average at 18.9. Prince even managed 3.3 assists per game in 2009, which is a nice bonus from the SF spot. He’s also pretty good taking care of the ball, turning it over only 1.2 times per game. If you need an insurance policy at SF, give Prince a look. There is also the possibility that he could be traded into a bigger role on a contending team sometime in February.
Shawn Marion (21.9 FPS, 51.0 eFG%, 75.5 FT%, 32 MPG)
Shawn Marion has fallen a long way since his fantasy glory days of just four seasons ago. He posted career lows in every category and I don’t expect much improvement this season with his role in Dallas. He’s got a Jumper/Inside split of 42%/58%, but somehow doesn’t draw contact and has a very poor free throw rate of 17.9, which gets him to the line only 1.9 times a game. He’s a good rebounder, grabbing 6.4 per game in only 31.8 minutes of action. Marion has evolved into a medium usage player who is depended on more for his defense than offense. He will continue to go too high in drafts based on his past reputation.
Grant Hill (20.1 FPS, 50.3 eFG%, 81.7 FT%, 30 MPG)
Grant Hill is still putting up serviceable numbers at 38 years old, but you have to wonder how much of a role he’ll have this season with Hedo Turkoglu in town. Hill is a good shooter and rebounder and can even get a couple of assists per game. His Usage rate last season was 16.8 in 30.0 minutes per game. He’ll be lucky to reach 30 per game this season.
Richard Jefferson (19.6 FPS, 50.5 eFG%, 73.5 FT%, 31 MPG)
Can it get any worse with Jefferson? Jefferson was terrible in 2009 with San Antonio and was limited to 31.1 minutes per game. His only real contributions were in the points (12.3 per game) and rebounds (4.4 per game) categories. He doesn’t create his own shot anymore, needing to be assisted on 70% of his shots. His three point shooting was poor at 2.3 per game and hitting only 32%. He is a medium usage player with a 18.3 Usage stat in 2009. He doesn’t contribute much in the steals (.6 per game) or blocks (.5 per game) categories. Unless he shows a huge improvement, he’s probably waiver wire material, which is a huge fall from just a couple of seasons ago. Let someone else overpay for the name recognition.
Linas Kleiza – He’s had a good preseason, even while slowed with a sore achilles. He can really help you in the three point category and someone is going to have to score for the Raptors. He can be had in the latest rounds of most drafts.
Ron Artest (20.1 FPS, 48.4 eFG%, 68.8 FT%, 34 MPG)
Ron-Ron sacrificed his fantasy value last season, but managed to win a ring playing some pretty good defense. His 11.0 points per game was the lowest figure of his ten year career. His blocks, steals, rebounds and assists were also well below his career averages. Artest can hit the three, putting up 3.8 last season, hitting 36%. He has a weak free throw rate of 25.1. His Usage stat was extremely low at 16.1 last season and I don’t think it will get much higher this year, especially with Matt Barnes now on the team for defense. Artest is a great personality and real life player, but he’s not much of a fantasy commodity.
Marvin Williams (18.2 FPS, 48.5 eFG%, 81.9 FT%, 31 MPG)
Somehow Marvin Williams manages to keep a starting job in the NBA. He’s not a great shooter (46.8 career eFG%) and doesn’t hit the three (1.6 attempts per game, hitting 30%). His Usage rate is 16.2 and he only logs about 30 minutes per night, which is basically the same as Grant Hill who is 14 years older. Williams will probably be on your waiver wire if you need SF help later in the season.
Thaddeus Young (21.3 FPS, 49.9 eFG%, 69.1 FT%, 32 MPG)
I’m not sure how Philly is going to use Thaddeus Young this season or if he’ll even have a starting job under new head coach, Doug Collins. Young’s game is driving to the basket, as evidenced by his Jumper/Inside split of 48%/52%. Given his habit of taking it inside, he has an extremely low free throw rate of 20.3 which earned him only 2.5 trips to the line a game where he converted at a poor 69.1% rate. He’s still only 22 years old, but he better turn it on pretty quickly or he might just be out of a job. His ranking could change once his role is defined in camp, so keep an eye on him.
Travis Outlaw – It looks like Outlaw has won the starting SF job for the New Jersey Nets. He’s a good shooter and can hit the three. He’s not an exciting option, but if you need depth on your bench, give him a shot.
Quentin Richardson – He’s probably going to end up with the starting spot for Orlando and he can help you with the three point category.
Nicolas Batum – Has won the starting SF job for Portland. He will give you some solid defensive stats and has 40+% ability from three point range.
Al Thornton (16.6 FPS, 48.2 eFG%, 72.5 FT%, 28 MPG)
Thornton found his way to Washington last season and his stat line was about the same there as it was with the L.A. Clippers. Thornton is simply an inefficient scorer who doesn’t offer much else for fantasy owners. His percentages are subpar and he isn’t that great at creating his own shot, needing to be assisted on 65% of his shots last season. He’s a fairly weak rebounder and he contributes very little in the steals (.6 per game) and blocks (.5 per game) categories. It will be intersting to see what the Wizards do with him this season and I’ll reserve final opinion as the season approaches.
Dante Greene – He’s won the starting SF job for Sacramento, although Casspi will be lurking. Greene has huge athletic ability and if he can get off to a good start, he could hold the starting job for awhile.
Other Small Forwards who will find their way onto the rankings as the season approaches:
Shane Battier – Battier likely moves into a starting role with Trevor Ariza now gone. He’ll split time with sharpshooting Chase Budinger.
Josh Childress – Childress landed in Phoenix and has some competition for playing time and I’m not sure what his final role will be.
Peja Stojakovic – Trevor Ariza will likely take over the Small Forward spot in New Orleans making Peja’s future uncertain.
Andrei Kirilenko – I’m not sure what kind of minutes Kirilenko is going to get this year with Gordon Hayward and C. J. Miles both needing touches too. This will clear up as the season approaches.
Tracy McGrady – Tmac found a home in Detroit, but his minutes are unclear right now and injuries are always a concern.
Matt Barnes – Barnes probably killed his fantasy value signing with the Lakers where he will ride the pine behind Ron Artest.
Other Small Forwards: Reggie Williams, Wesley Johnson, Carlos Delfino, Ersan Ilyasova, Ryan Gomes, Mikael Pietrus, Jared Dudley, Omri Casspi, Martell Webster, Rasual Butler, Corey Brewer, Andres Nocioni.