Dec 15, 2011 Blog
Below are the initial 2011-2012 NBA Fantasy Basketball Power Forward draft rankings for all 30 teams. I have placed a copy of the rankings under the 2011-2012 Draft Rankings Tab at the top of the homepage for easy access as drafts approach. Check back Friday for complete Center rankings.
Tier 1 – The 2011-2012Fantasy Basketball All-Stars
1 Amare Stoudemire (NYK) – Tough choice for the number one spot on the PF board, but I’m going to be a little controversial and go with Stoudemire. He had the highest Power Forward per/36 scoring last season with 24.7 points/36. I also like to get blocks from my big men and Stoudemire at 1.9 blocks per game was the only guy in the all-star tier to help in that category. Amare’s 2010 stats: 25.3 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 1.9 BLKG, 2.6 APG. He’s also got the highest career FG% of the all-star tier at 53.7% and his FT% is still a respectable 76.2%.
2 Kevin Love (MIN) – The ranking of the all-star tier really depends on how you want to build your fantasy team. If you like to build around rebounds, then Love has to be your guy with 15.2 rebounds per game. It’s almost like having an extra rebounder on your fantasy team, which is pretty nice in weekly head to head leagues. He’s also got a unique talent of putting up nearly 3 three pointers per game. He’s supposedly dropped some weight which could make him quicker. Love’s 2010 stats: 20.2 PPG, 15.2 RPG, 2.5 APG.
3 Blake Griffin (LAC) – Rookie seasons don’t get much better than Griffin’s 22.5 PPG, 12.1 RPG, 3.8 APG, and he’s only 23 with plenty of room to improve on those stats. His 3.6 assists per/36 was the best mark for all power forwards. His only blemish is his FT% of 64.2%. The sky is the limit for Griffin and he gets the number thee spot based on his potential to improve on his rookie campaign.
4 Dirk Nowitzki (DAL) - At 24.2 points per/36, Nowitzki was second only to the 24.7 points per/36 mark of Amare Stoudemire. He’s starting to creep up a little bit in age at 33 years old and his minutes dropped to 34.3 per game, which is a career low. Playing 66 games in just under four months is going to wear on him. Dallas also lost Tyson Chandler, so that could affect defensive coverage of Nowitzki. Still, you have to be pretty happy getting the fourth best PF.
Tier 2 – Potential All-Star Performers
5 Pau Gasol (LAL) – There were rumors of Gasol being shipped out of LA, but he remains there for now and you have to like the fact that his minutes will likely have to increase with Lamar Odom now gone. He’s one of the most consistent guys in the league. Gasol’s 2010 stats: 18.8 PPG, 10.2 RPG, 3.3 APG, 1.6 BLKG.
6 Josh Smith (ATL) – If Smith could stay on the court for as many minutes as Gasol, their rankings would likely reverse. In 2010 Smith had better three point attempts per 36 numbers than Pau (2.1 to 0), better steals per 36 (1.6 to .6) and better blocks per 36 (3.0 to 1.5). Smith’s overall 2010 stats: 16.5 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 3.3 APG, 1.3 SPG, 1.6 BLKG, 2.0 3PAG.
7 LaMarcus Aldridge (POR) – Aldridge got huge minutes last season with 39.6 per game, but I’m not sure you can count on that happening again in 2011. If the minutes go down, so will the fantasy stats. His 2010 stats: 21.8 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 2.1 APG, 1.0 SPG, 1.2 BLKG. He turned in a 50.0 FG% and an excellent 79.1 FT% in 2010.
8 Carlos Boozer (CHI) – Boozer got off to a really slow start in 2010 after suffering a mysterious broken hand injury and it took awhile for him to get into game shape, which caused a drop in his minutes to just 31.9 per game. He’s reported to have dropped some weight this season and seems to be ready to hit the ground running. If he can work his minutes into the 34-35 range, he should be good value at number eight.
9 Zach Randolph (MEM) – Randolph really gets no respect in fantasy basketball, but he’s been on most of my teams the last two years and produced monster seasons given his ADP. Maybe it’s his reputation that scares owners away. His 2010 stats: 20.1 PPG, 12.2 RPG, 2.2 APG, .8 SPG. He also put up 20.8 PPG and 11.7 RPG in 2009, so the consistency is there.
10 Chris Bosh (MIA) – Bosh’s fantasy game really took a hit when he went to Miami. His scoring dropped from 24.0 to 18.7, his rebounding dropped from 10.8 to 8.3 and his blocks dropped to a career low .6 per game. He evolved into more of a perimeter player which really killed his free throw attempts, dropping him from 8.4 attempts in 2009 to just 6.1 attempts in 2010. He also dropped nearly three field goal attempts.
11 David West (IND) – West has been traded to the Pacers, who run a much more uptempo offense than the Hornets, so that should help his game. On the downside, he’s recovering from a torn ACL and I haven’t seen any detailed reports on how he’s doing so far. I have him ranked here based on the hope that he’s going to be 100%. West is a well rounded player that helps in every category. His 2010 stats before the injury: 18.9 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.0 SPG, .9 BLKG. His career percentages are excellent with a 49.0 FG% and 83.9 FT%
12 David Lee (GSW) – Lee’s stats dropped a little from his previous two years in New York, but they were still pretty good: 16.5 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 3.2 APG, 1.0 SPG. He doesn’t have any serious competition for minutes so he should be good for 36-38 MPG this season with possibly some improvement on last season’s numbers.
Tier 3 – Dependable Value
13 Luis Scola (HOU) – Scola puts up some great numbers, but the willingness of Houston to include him in a trade concerns me. He’s also approaching 32 years old. His 2010 stats: 18.3 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 2.5 APG. He’s not facing any real competition for minutes in Houston and should be a safe draft pick as long as he remains there.
14 Kevin Garnett (BOS) – Garnett has settled into a nice groove in Boston putting up very similar stat lines in his three years there averaging 15.0 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 2.5 APG, 1.1 SPG and 1.0 BLKG. He should put up that exact line again this season as long as he doesn’t run into any injuries. The only fear with Garnett is the Celtics limiting his minutes to keep him fresh for the playoffs.
15 Elton Brand (PHI) – Sooner or later the Sixers are going to have to start working Thad Young into more minutes, hopefully they don’t come at the expense of Brand. Brand had a solid 2010 season which he should repeat in 2011 posting 15.0 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 1.1 SPG, 1.3 BLKG.
16 Paul Millsap (UTA) – Millsap had a breakout season in 2010, mostly due to the fact that the Jazz were short on big men. Now it seems that Mehmet Okur is healthy, Derrick Favors is in town and the Jazz drafted big man Enes Kanter, so Millsap’s future fantasy prospects are a little cloudy. His 2010 stats: 17.3 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 2.5 APG, 1.4 SPG, .9 BLKG. If he earns the starting spot and repeats the 34.2 minutes per game he got in 2010, he could be a great play.
17 DeMarcus Cousins (SAC) – The whole point of this tier is dependability, but I’m not absolutely sure Cousins will progress from his rookie season. He should, but there’s no guarantee. He’s also in a bit of a crowed big man rotation with Chuck Hayes, J.J. Hickson and Jason Thompson, so if he slips he could lose minutes. His 2010 stats: 14.1 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 2.5 APG, 1.0 SPG, .8 BLKG. His FG% is a little weak for a big man at 43.0% and his FT% stands at a mediocre 68.7%. He’s going to have to get his 4.1 personal fouls per game down if he wants to improve his fantasy stats.
18 Andray Blatche (WAS) – Blatche is slowing improving his game and the Wizards keep rewarding him with more minutes. Hopefully he’s maturing too. Blatche posted career best stats in 2010 of 16.8 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.5 SPG and .8 BLKG. He’s also learing how to get to the line, improving his free rate from .24 to .30. As long as he keep his head on straight, he should have a good fantasy season.
Tier 4 – Risky Potential
19 Thad Young (PHI) – The Sixers locked Young up for the next five years at a fairly hefty price, so I would expect that they will start finding more minutes for him. He’s somewhat stuck behind Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand, but that could be cured if the Sixers would just move Iguodala to SG and let Young run at SF. Watch Young’s role in camp and if it looks like he’s slotted as a starter, then move him up the rankings.
20 Greg Monroe (DET) – ESPN and Yahoo seem to think very highly of Monroe, but I’m not totally convinced yet, plus he has Charlie Villanueva to contend with at PF. The Pistons have hinted that they will run the offense through Monroe this season, so he’s got serious fantasy potential. He only scored 9.4 PPG and 1.3 APG last season, so I’m not exactly sure what the Pistons see in his offensive ability.
21 Boris Diaw (CHA) – The Bobcats lost Kwame Brown and it looks like Diaw will be playing some center this season. The center eligibility would definitely help Diaw’s fantasy value. Diaw has a unique skill set for a big man, he has a career average of 4.0 assists per game and he takes 2.8 threes per game. Not bad stats from a center eligible player if you are building your fantasy team around those categories.
22 Serge Ibaka (OKC) – At just 22 years old Ibaka is loaded with potential. His blocks per/36 number of 3.2 is higher than any other PF on the board. He showed good progress putting up 9.9 PPG, 7.6 RPG and 2.4 BLKG in his sophomore season. His minutes should creep up this year making him a nice draft day gamble.
23Tyrus Thomas (CHA) – The Bobcats lost Kwame Brown to free agency and there is some talk of moving Boris Diaw to center thereby opening the starting PF spot for Thomas. Tyrus has serious shot blocking ability. His per/36 stats for 2010 were 17.5 PPG, 9.4 RPG, 1.3 SPG, 2.8 BLKG. The guy just needs starters minutes to be a big fantasy winner.
24 Antawn Jamison (CLE) – Jamison doesn’t really belong in this group of young potential, but I had to stick him somewhere and his stats are similar to the guys around him. Cleveland should be developing their youth and Jamison might not make it very far into the season before he gets hurt or traded. He can produce if healthy and given the minutes, but with this years compressed schedule I wouldn’t hold my breath on him staying healthy.
25 Channing Frye (PHO) – Frye has a deadly three point shot and that’s where his fantasy value lies. He put up 5.7 per game in 2010, hitting 39.0%. If you need help in the three point category, he’s definitely a sneaky option at the center position.
26 Kris Humphries (FA) – 27 year old late bloomer or just a one year wonder? Is his head screwed on straight after his tabloid filled offseason? I’m betting that his situation on a talentless Nets team last season contributed to his inflated stats. Don’t bet on it happening again.
27 Lamar Odom (DAL) – I hate to rank Odom this low, but I’m just not sure if his role in DAL is going to be as good as his role in LA. As training camp progresses and we learn more about his role and minutes, he could move quickly up the draft board.
28 DaJuan Blair (SAS) – So how long can Blair continue to play without ACLs? Who knows, but the Spurs are cautious with him only letting him on the floor for about 20 minutes a night over the past two seasons. Fantasy owners need more than that.
29 Glen Davis/Ryan Anderson (ORL) – Both guys should get decent minutes. Anderson has a nice offensive game. Davis held his own with the Celtics. Watch the battle in camp and then adjust the position battle winner up in the rankings.
30 Amir Johnson/Ed Davis (TOR) – The Raptors need to make a decision on one of these guys and play him starters minutes. If this turns into a timeshare, then neither guy is draftable.
31 Ersan Ilyasova/LR. Mbah a Moute (MIL) -Ersan has some offensive ability, but LRMAM is strictly defense. Timeshare situation, avoid.
32 Timofey Mozgov (DEN) – I’ve seen rumors of Mozgov grabbing the starting job, but would wait for it to devlop before wasting a draft pick on him.
Waiver Wire Power Forwards: Udonis Haslem, Charlie Villanueva, Taj Gibson, Shawne Williams, Josh McRoberts, Anthony Randolph, Carl Landry, Hakeem Warrick, Derrick Favors, Tyler Hansbrough, Marreese Speights