Amare Stoudemire Injury Outlook Getting Worse

Amare Stoudemire will be getting a second opinion on his left knee injury, which reports are now speculating could keep him out 15-20 games.  That’s a far cry from the initial diagnosis of 2-3 weeks for a simple ruptured cyst.  At this point, it really seems that there could be more to his knee injury than is being reported.

Fantasy Outlook – If Stoudemire is required to miss extended time, the Knicks playoff hopes really take a huge hit.  They’ll probably move Carmelo Anthony to power forward and maybe try to run with Steve Novak and Ronnie Brewer at Small Forward.  If the Knicks decide to move Melo to power forward, his stats could be better than what he could do at small forward, especially his rebounding numbers.

Tyson Chandler would also probably see a little bump up in rebounding numbers.

With Anthony at power forward, New York would also likely lean a little more heavily on the perimeter offense provided by J. R. Smith, which would really help his fantasy value.

I got stuck with Stoudemire a couple of weeks ago in one keeper league when he just fell a ridiculously long way down the draft board, but this just goes to show that sometimes what you think is a bargain is simply a piece of trash that will never get any better.  I’d avoid Stoudemire, let someone else deal with that headache.

Kevin Love Breaks Hand, Out 6-8 Weeks

Kevin Love suffered a broken hand yesterday and will miss 6-8 weeks.

Fantasy Analysis:  What a brutal start for Roto league owners who used a top 5 pick on Love.  With Love out, Derrick Williams really has a chance to get some significant minutes and make a case for more playing time even after Love returns.  Williams has had a great camp and I was already giving serious thought to taking a late round flier on him, especially in a few keeper leagues.

Andrei Kirilenko also sees a spike in value with Love out.  Kirilenko should get the start at small forward with Williams moving to power forward.  He’s looked pretty good in camp and can help you in just about every category.

Nikola Pekovic should also see a bump in value with a couple more rebounds without Love around.   He could also be leaned on a little more for interior scoring.

Fantasy Red Flags: Dirk Nowitzki

I’ve loved having Nowitzki on my team in the past, but I definitely think it’s time to hop off the bandwagon before it goes crashing over the cliff.  The latest reports have Dirk suffering from a lingering knee injury and talking possible surgery, but you also have to wonder just how much of his attitude could be disgust with Mark Cuban and the dismantling of their team as Dirk winds down his career.  Curious timing to say the least.

So where should we draft Nowitzki and who else might benefit if he is sidelined?  I’ve currently got him slotted as the sixth best power forward on the board, but that was before I ran across the latest news report about the knee.  I could easily see moving Greg Monroe ahead of him, possibly David Lee and likely Zach Randolph if Randolph shows to be back to full health.  If you are in a keeper league, then you have to drop Nowitzki behind guys like Paul Millsap, Serge Ibaka and maybe even Amare Stoudemire.

If Nowitzki does end up having surgery, or even if he’s just seeing a big decrease in minutes, the guy that stands to benefit the most is Elton Brand.  I’ve pretty much written Brand off as nothing more than a 25 minute per night backup, but he could really gain some value if he’s getting big minutes backing up Nowitzki, as well as seeing good minutes backing up Kaman in a smaller lineup.  Keep an eye on Dirk’s health and keep Brand in mind at the end of your draft, and most definitely as a handcuff if you decide to roll the dice on Dirk.

Mirza Teletovic – Fantasy Three Point Machine

If you are looking for three pointers late in your fantasy draft, then you’ll definitely want to give 6’9 Euroleague star, Mirza Teletovic, a look.  Not many NBA fans know about the recently signed Brooklyn Net, but the guy has a great shooting stroke and could be a huge source of threes from the power forward position.  Here’s a quick look at his game.

2012-2013 NBA Fantasy Basketball Power Forward Draft Rankings

PF Rankings Updated Oct. 9.    Our 2012-2013 NBA Fantasy Basketball Power Forward Draft Rankings will be updated throughout the offseason and training camp, so check back weekly for updated rankings.

The following rankings are based on the FBD scoring system, which you can find HERE.

I also use these rankings for all of my cash game play at FANDUELDaily cash games and tournaments at Fanduel are highly addictive for guys who like daily fantasy action.  Registration at Fanduel is free and you can deposit with Paypal or a credit card.

Kevin Love (MIN, 41.8 FPS) – Much like the center position, the top spot on the power forward draft board is an easy choice.  Love simply has no weaknesses in his fantasy game.  Last year’s 26.0 points, 13.3 rebounds and 5.1 three pointers attempted is a fantasy combination that you just don’t see in any other player.  In addition, his 8.2 free throws attempted per game and  82.4 FT% is just icing on the cake.  The only bad thing that can be said about Love is his lack of blocks (.9), and possibly that horrible chinstrap beard he had for awhile.  He’s going to cost you a first round pick, but he’s easily worth it.

Oct. 9 – Love says he’s going to pass more and shoot less this season.  Yeah, not going to happen.  He’s going to keep scoring and keep piling up rebounds.  He’s an early first round pick.

Josh Smith (ATL, 36.0 FPS) – I probably have JSmoove ranked higher than anyone else you’ll find on the net.  He is a complete player who is now going to be the clear centerpiece on a fairly bad team.  The Hawks got rid of Joe Johnson and the scoring burder will fall to Smith.  The Hawks will also likely be playing from behind a lot this season and Smith should bump up to around 37 minutes a game.  As for his skills, he averaged 1.4 steals, 1.7 blocks, 9.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.7 threes attempted.  That’s all around production.  His FT% was a little light at 63.0%, but his FG% was still solid at 45.8%.   Smith will always help at least one or two fantasy categories every night.

UP – Oct. 9 – The Hawks have been fooling around in camp with a starting lineup of Teague, Stevenson, Korver, Smith and Horford.  Who do you think gets all the scoring opportunities in that lineup?

Blake Griffin (LAC, 35.5 FPS) – I love Blake Griffin highlights, but they are usually better than his fantasy game.  Blake gets points and rebounds in a big way, but the .8 steals, .7 blocks and zero threes attempted just puts him a notch below Josh Smith.  Another problem with Blake is this constant fear of him getting hurt.  He just recently hurt his knee and will be out for the next two months.  Hopefully he’s going to be 100% by the time camp opens, but the way he plays the game just isn’t good for his long term health.  He may end up being a lot like Gerald Wallace.  He’s also got a real problem with his free throw shooting with a 52.1 FT% last season, and that’s on a pretty heavy 7.1 FTA per game.  If you put Griffin side by side with someone like Zach Randolph, there just isn’t that much difference that would justify the high price you have to pay to get him.

Oct. 9 – Griffin is a tricky rank.  I have readers who play in head-to-head, points and roto leagues and Griffin’s value differs in all three games.  He’s a beast in Points leagues, solid in Head-to-Head leagues and overvalued in Roto leagues.  Move him up or down depending on what type of league you are in.

LaMarcus Aldridge (POR, 33.5 FPS) – Aldridge is the classic fantasy gold on a really bad team.  The Blazers aren’t going to have much around Aldridge this season, which will leave the big man as the centerpiece of the offense and probably logging big minutes.  He put up 22 and 8 with .9 steals, .8 blocks and solid percentages (51.2 FG%, 81.4 FT%).  There’s a chance he could push that to 25 and 10 this year, but I wouldn’t expect any increase in steals or blocks.

UP – Oct. 9 – It’s looking like Aldridge will soon jump Blake Griffin for the number three spot on the power forward board for Roto league players.  The real key for Aldridge’s value is how Damian Lillard performs.  If Lillard and Aldridge get on the same page quickly, then I’d have no problem bumping Aldridge ahead of Griffin.

Pau Gasol (LAL, 33.3 FPS) – What you saw with Gasol last season is exactly what you are going to get this season, and sometimes consistency is a great thing.  You can just about mark him down for 18 and 10, 3.5 assists, 1.5 blocks and solid percentages every night.  With Steve Nash running the show there could be a slight dip in assists for Gasol, but it shouldn’t be much.  The only negative thing that can be said about Gasol is that he’s pretty far past his physical peak at 32 years old, but there’s probably a good bit of solid basketball left in him.

Update 8/24:  After really digging into what the Lakers are going to do with their offense after acquiring Dwight Howard, it looks like Gasol may be the Laker that takes a hit to his stats.   If the Lakers truly start running the Princeton offense, there’s really only room for one big man, and that’s probably going to be Howard.  Gasol also won’t be Nash’s choice on the pick and roll.  I’m bumping Gasol down a spot.

Dirk Nowitzki (DAL, 31.1 FPS) – Dirk is 34 years old and has shown signs of declining the last three seasons and that really scares me, especially given the fact that Dallas lost some really key players this offseason.  His minutes have gone from 37.5 per game in 2010, to 34.3 in 2011, all the way down to a career low of 33.5 per game last season.  As expected, the rest of his stats have followed.  He posted career lows of 21.6 points and 6.8 rebounds.  He’s got too much talent to rank any lower, but he’s going to have to get things turned around or risk being a real fantasy disappointment this year.

Greg Monroe (DET, 29.0 FPS) – At just 22 years old, Monroe had a great sophomore NBA season posting 15 and 10 with 1.3 steals and .7 blocks.  He logged 31.5 minutes per game and I would expect that could bump up to nearly 35 MPG this season.  He also increased his FT% from 62.2% to a very respectable 73.9%.  The only fantasy weakness was his high turnover rate of 2.4 per game.  Monroe is a guy who still has a lot of room to improve and I think he’s got a great fantasy upside.

UP – Oct. 9 – I probably started Monroe off way to low in my initial rankings, but I’ll take this opportunity to move him back up.  He’s looked very strong in camp and should improve his stats this season.  He’s especially attractive for keeper leagues and dynasty league owners.

Zach Randolph (MEM, 34.7 FPS) – If you put Randolph and Aldridge’s stats side by side, it would be difficult to tell them apart.  The only real difference is that Randolph is the stronger rebounder, but weaker shotblocker.   The only concern I have with Randolph is his performance after returning from an MCL sprain last season, his stats just weren’t that good.  I’ll be watching him closely in training camp just to make sure he’s 100% and worth the number seven ranking.

UP – Oct.  9 – Randolph has looked like his old self and the knee looks healthy.  He seems poised to return to his regular 20 and 10 stat line.

David Lee (GSW, 32.5 FPS) – Lee was another dependable 20 and 10 player last season with the Warriors and he should keep those stats going this season.  He set career high marks with 16.2 field goals attempted per game, as well as as a career high 4.9 free throws attempted per game.  His career 53.9 FG% and 77.7 FT% are both solid.  His weakness is the shotblocking category, where he only managed .4 blocks a game.  His .9 steals and 2.8 assists were fairly mediocre.

Paul Millsap (UTA, 31.1 FPS) – Millsap put up 17 and 9 in 2012 with a great steals stat of 1.8 per game.  He put up .8 blocks per game, with 2.3 assists.   He’s got a career 52.2 FG% and 71.9 FT%, although he has improved his free throw shooting recently with a 75.7 and 79.2 mark the past two seasons.  The only red flag in Millsap was his decrease in minutes last season to just 32.8 per game.  He’s 27 and those minutes should be trending up, not down.

Update 8/24:  Millsap’s fantasy value seems to be decreasing as the Jazz keep talking about giving Derrick Favors a larger role in the rotation.  Keep an eye on this position battle in camp and if Favors does indeed get a bigger role, then I’ll be bumping Millsap down a few spots.

Chris Bosh (MIA, 29.0 FPS) – Bosh would probably be a top 5 power forward if he played on any other team than Miami.  His stats have been nearly identical the the past two seasons, but they aren’t anywhere near as good as his performance in Toronto.  Bosh still put up 18 and 8, with .9 steals and .8 blocks.  He’s the third offensive option on the Heat, but he still managed 14.2 shot attempts, hitting them at a 48.7% rate.  He’s a good free throw shooter getting to the line 4.9 times a game and converting on 82.1%.   His only blackmark was as career low 35.2 MPG, but that’s still pretty solid for fantasy owners.

UP – Oct. 9 – Bosh has center eligibility on a few sites and should gain it on all sites this season, which really ups his fantasy value.

Amare Stoudemire (NYK, 27.6 FPS) – Stoudemire was simply horrible last season, there just isn’t any other way to say it.   Much of the poor performance was due to a bulging disc in his back, and that’s the type of injury he could re-aggravate at anytime this year.  Even worse was the self inflicted hand laceration that knocked him out of the playoffs.   When he was playing, he wasn’t putting up Amare-like stats with just 17.5 points, 7.8 rebounds.  After his first monster season in New York, much more was expected last season.  I’ll probably end up moving him up in the rankings, but I’ve got to see that his back is fully healed and that he’s at least developed a little more chemistry with Carmelo Anthony.

Kevin Garnett (BOS, 28.9 FPS) – I’m not a Garnett fan, but you have to give him credit for still producing at a fairly high level after such a long time in the league.  Garnett played a lot of center last season, but I think most fantasy sites will keep him listed at power forward.  If they move him to center, I’ll do the same.  He’s 36 years old but turned in 16 and 8 with .9 steals and 1.0 blocks in 31.1 minutes of game action.  It appears that he’ll have most of the same teammates surrounding him again this year, minus Ray Allen, so he should be able to keep up something close to his 2012 stats, but I don’t think there is any upside.

Kris Humphries (BN, 28.4 FPS) – Humphries is still hanging in limbo waiting on the Nets to figure out what they want to do with him.  He seems to constantly be distracted in some way or another, but he put up some solid stats in 2012 going for 14 and 11 with 1.2 blocks and .8 steals.  His career shooting percentages aren’t very exciting at 46.7 FG% and 65.7 FT%, but we’re getting to the middle of the pack in the rankings, so those can be overlooked in order to pick up a guy who averages a solid double-double.  His final ranking will depend greatly on where he ends up playing.

Carlos Boozer (CHI, 26.5 FPS) – I keep seeing people overpay for Boozer based strictly on his name and past performance, and I expect that it will probably happen again this year.  The Bulls will be without Derrick Rose, so they may look to Boozer to add a little extra scoring.  The red flag on Boozer is that his minutes over the last two seasons have been just 31.9 MPG in 2011 and an even lower 29.5 MPG last season.  If Boozer can’t top 30 minutes a night, his value really declines.   He put up 15 and 7 last season, but those numbers are the lowest of his career.

Serge Ibaka (OKC, 24.2 FPS) – Ibaka is a beast in the blocks category, but he’s going to have to improve his scoring and rebounding to move up in the rankings.  He posted just 9 and 7, with a 53.5 FG% and 66.1 FT%.  If you draft Ibaka, it won’t be for the points, it will be for the 3.7 blocks per game he averaged in 2012.  I think he can repeat that number and from watching some of his playoff performances, there’s a good chance he can improve his scoring.

UP – Oct. 9 – If you want blocks, you’ll want to move him up your board.  I like Ibaka, but the problem with him is that you have to use a second or third round pick to get him, and I just don’t think the one category strength is worth it.

Ersan Ilyasova (MIL, 24.5 FPS) – The Bucks just signed Ilyasova to a 5 year, $45 million contract, so it looks like he’s now the man at power forward.  I’m still a little hesitant, but I think as training camp starts and I get to see him a little more, that his ranking will change.  He managed 13 and 9 in 27.6 MPG, but he also shot 49.2 and I’m not sure if he can keep that up.  If his shooting percentage falls to the lower 40’s, then his scoring could take a hit.  His defensive stats were solid at .9 steals and 1.0 blocks.

Anthony Davis (NOR, Rookie) – Anthony Davis was the number one pick in the 2012 NBA Draft and there’s a good chance that he steps right into a starting role for the Hornets.  He’s got great shotblocking ability and he should excel in rebounding, but it remains to be seen how fast his offensive game will develop.  I’ve got him listed at power forward, but there’s a good chance that the Hornets decide to play him at center.  Training camp will go a long way in determining his final draft ranking.

UP – Oct. 9 – The rookie looks strong and it appears that the Hornets are committed to getting him on the court for 30+ minutes a night.  If you are in a keeper league, you have to move him even further up the board.

Kenneth Faried (DEN, 20.9 FPS) – Faried moves into the Top 25 with the trade of Al Harrington out of Denver, as well as the fact that Chris Anderson isn’t returning to Denver either.  Those two things point to Faried being moved into the starting lineup at power forward.  Faried is an excellent rebounder and should also get his fair share of points in a very fast paced Denver offense.  If nothing else, he should get two or three buckets a night from offensive rebounds alone.

UP – Oct. 9 – It looks like Faried is clearly the starter and probably looking at 32-34 minutes a night.  He just seems to keep improving his offensive game, which really pushes up his value.  He’ll still get major boards, but the scoring could be a big surprise.

Ryan Anderson (NOR, 26.2 FPS) – Anderson was recently traded to the New Orleans Hornets where he’ll step into a starting spot and hopefully something similar to the 32.2 MPG he got last season in Orlando.  Anderson put up 16 and 8 with .8 steals and .4 blocks.  He best fantasy asset is his ability to shoot the three pointer.  He attempted 6.9 threes per game last season and hit them at a 39.3% rate.  He’s also got one of the lowest turnover rates for a power forward at just .9 turnovers per game.  If you like to build your team around efficient three point shooting,  Anderson is definitely a guy to move up your draft board.

Down – Oct. 9 – I’m starting to sour on Anderson in New Orleans.  After taking a look at his stats in Orlando, it becomes pretty clear that he had a benefit of a lot of open looks with Dwight Howard drawing defenses away from the perimeter.  But I don’t think that is the only factor at play, the Magic also had other excellent perimeter players like Jason Richardson and JJ Redick that stretched defenses and didn’t allow them to concentrate on Anderson.   Anderson won’t get that luxury in New Orleans, especially if Eric Gordon is slowed with his knee injury, and his stats could suffer.

David West (IND, 23.1 FPS) – David West had a very difficult time last season bouncing back from a torn ACL that he suffered in 2011.  He could only manage 29.2 MPG and posted near career lows with just 12.8 points and 6.6 rebounds.  His shooting percentages were still near career average and his defensive stats didn’t seem to suffer too much, but the lack of scoring was evident.  I’ll be watching him in training camp to see how he’s improving physically and then I’ll revisit his ranking.

UP – Oct. 9 – The knee has looked solid, but I’m still waiting to see if West gets that real burst of explosiveness back.  If he does, then his scoring and shooting percentage could increase as he gets back to taking it to the rim.

Luis Scola (HOU, 22.7 FPS) – Houston used their amnesty provision on Scola and sent him packing.  He was immediately claimed by the Phoenix Suns and there’s a good chance that he could take over the starting PF spot in Phoenix.  If he does, then he’ll likely move up a little in the rankings, however if he finds himself in some kind of platoon situation with Channing Frye, then his ranking will suffer.

UP – Oct. 9 – I was worried about a timeshare with Channing Frye in my initial rankings, but Frye is expected to miss the entire season with a heart problem, which leaves Scola as the clear starter at PF.  He’s going to get big minutes and needs to move up the board.

Taj Gibson (CHI) – Gibson makes a jump into the top 25 as reports keep coming out that he’ll likely see starter type minutes backing up Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah.  The extra minutes at center are the big thing here.  If Gibson can gain center eligibility and get close to 30 minutes a night, then he becomes a very attractive fantasy option, especially in keeper leagues.

UP – Oct. 9 – Added to Top 25

Thaddeus Young (PHI, 21.7 FPS) – Elton Brand has been shipped out of Philadelphia, so Young could finally get his chance to shine.  Even with Brand around, Young still got 27.1 minutes a game, so that should jump well over the 30 MPG mark this year.  Young is still just 24 years old, so he’s got plenty of time to improve his game and become a valuable fantasy asset.  His final ranking will depend greatly on the rotation that emerges in training camp for the Sixers.

Update 8/24:  Thaddeus Young was looking pretty good after the Elton Brand trade, but news out of Philly is that the Sixers plan on moving Evan Turner to SF and Hawes to PF, which leaves Young back on the bench.  They also have to find minutes for LaVoy Allen at PF.   I was expecting a starting role for Young, but that isn’t looking so good right now.

Brandon Bass (BOS, 21.3 FPS) – It felt like Bass had a breakout season, but if you really look at his per 36 numbers, his 2012 numbers were worse than his 2011 year in Orlando.  Bass just seemed to have the spotlight on him, but in reality he managed just 13 and 6 with .6 steals and .9 blocks.  He’s got excellent shooting percentages with a career 49.3 FG% and 82.4 FT%.  Unless Bass starts getting way more than the 31.7 minutes he got last season, I don’t see much upside in his fantasy production.

Antawn Jamison (LAL, 27.1 FPS) – Jamison quietly had a productive season in 2012 putting up 17 and 6 with .8 steals and .7 blocks.  He’s another power forward who has the ability to shoot the three pointer.  He launched 4.1 per game last season and converted 34.1% of them.   His rebounding slipped to a career low of 6.3 per game, but that’s probably to be expected from a 36 year old.  There’s a good chance Jamison is somewhere other than Cleveland when the upcoming season starts, so his ranking could change greatly.

Update 8/24:  Jamison was traded to the LA Lakers and will now come off the bench behind Pau Gasol.  The move from starter in Cleveland to bench player in LA really kills his fantasy value.  The only thing that could save Jamison is if the Lakers decide to give him some run at SF, in addition to his run at PF, to get him close to the 30 MPG mark.

Emeka Okafor (WAS, 20.5 FPS) – Okafor was traded to the Washington Wizards, along with Trevor Ariza, where he should slide into the starting power forward spot.  I’m looking for Okafor to get about 30-32 minutes a game and put up something close to the 10 and 8 he put up last season for the Hornets.  He didn’t show much shotblocking last season, only swatting 1.0 per game, but he’s got a career 1.8 blocks per game average, so the ability is there.  Washington should be a defensive oriented team this season and Okafor could be looked upon to anchor the interior and provide some useful late round production.

Elton Brand (PHI, 23.9 FPS) – Philadelphia finally had enough of Brand and decided to use their amnesty provision on him.  He was quickly picked up by the Dallas Mavericks, but the real issue now is that he’ll be playing behind some guy named Dirk Nowitzki.  There’s a good chance Brand could still see 28-30 minutes a night backing up both Nowitzki and Kaman.  His name and experience are the only things keeping him him ranked at the moment, so Brand’s final role will depend greatly on how Dallas decides to use him.

Channing Frye (PHO, 20.4 FPS) – Channing Frye is another power forward with three point shooting skill that can be productive for fantasy owners who like to build their team around that category.  The Suns just picked up Luis Scola, but I still think Frye can manage 26-28 minutes a game, which should give him enough  minutes to repeat last season’s 11 and 6, with .7 steals and 1.1 blocks.  The 4.1 three pointers attempted are a nice bonus from the power forward spot.

Down – Oct. 9 – He’s out for the year with a heart problem.


Other players looking to break into the Top 25:

Derrick Favors
Al Harrington

Jason Thompson
Tristan Thompson
DeJuan Blair
Tyrus Thomas
Boris Diaw
Udonis Haslem
Amir Johnson
JJ Hickson
Lavoy Allen
Carl Landry
Trevor Booker
Patrick Patterson