Today we take a look at Power Forwards, perhaps the most versatile position in the NBA. Coaches like to slot these guys in the Center position, move them to fill in at Small Forward, and take them to the bowling alley for some downtime. I’m not sure if that last part is true, but most of these guys will have dual eligibility in some important position, and because there are only five positions, that’s a minor consideration at best. Whoo boy, anyway, I want to grab one of these guys early. let’s take a look at these guys as we continue our 2012-2013 fantasy basketball rankings.
1. Kevin Love – See top ten for 2012 fantasy basketball for Kevin Love’s projections.
2. Josh Smith - See top ten for 2012 fantasy basketball for Josh Smith’s projections.
3. Pau Gasol - See top ten for 2012 fantasy basketball for Pau Gasol’s projections.
4. LaMarcus Aldridge – See top twenty for 2012 fantasy basketball for LaMarcus Aldridge’s projections. This ends our first tier, what I call “the Cream of the Crop.”
5. Blake Griffin – See top twenty for 2012 fantasy basketball for Blake Griffin’s projections. This is a new tier, which only includes Griffin, because Griffin is a controversial guy to rank. I like his pros more than his cons, but other ‘perts hold the opposite view. If you’re a cat lover, you can overlook his bird features.
6. David Lee – Lee kicks off our next tier, dubbed “Silver plated studs,” which runs to Bosh. I like Lee a bit, and not because I still have a warm spot for him from his days as a Knick. If you ignore his laughably poor shot blocking ability, he actually has quite a number of solid and desirable stats. He delivers high quality ratios and should dish out more dimes than anyone below him. If he could go at least 20/10, that would be perfect. I want 20/10 so we’ll all close our eyes and wish it to happen. And…it’s gonna happen. We did it. Congratulations, everyone. Wishes do come true, particularly if you have a terminal childhood disease. Projections: .513 fg/.791 ft/0.0 3pt/21.2 pts/9.9 rbd/3.1 ast/1.0 stl/0.4 blk/2.5 tov
7. Dirk Nowitzki – If you don’t like Dirk, you are a big jerk. I like Dirk. He’s cool. It was awesome to see him win a title. He makes tall awkward white guys like myself feel good. Here’s the thing, though. His minutes and counting stats have been slowly heading south, and I don’t see any reason for that to change with age. He’s got a few more seasons in the top ten, but he’s not top 5 for me. Projections: .490 fg/.888 ft/1.1 3pt/21.3 pts/6.9 rbd/2.1 ast/0.8 stl/0.7 blk/1.9 tov
8. Paul Millsap – What makes Millsap attractive is…certainly not his face. Hey-o! Wait, that was uncalled for. What makes him attractive are his high steals (for a Power Forward) and steady stream of assists and rebounds. His high end sees him 20/12, but I don’t think he’s there. Still, if he’s going to do it, now’s the time. Also, every few games he’ll gift you a three. That’s always nice. He may be competing for minutes with Derrick Favors, and my FT% numbers are optimistic, but I wouldn’t pass on him. Projections: .512 fg/.800 ft/0.1 3pt/17.5 pts/9.4 rbd/2.4 ast/1.7 stl/0.9 blk/2.0 tov
9. Zach Randolph - It looks like Zach Randolph’s head never developed past 13. He has a child’s head on a man’s body. It creeps me out. Regardless, you don’t need a normal looking head to grab a prodigious number of rebounds. He isn’t very good at blocking, in fact there are Point Guards who block more often than he does (by the way, does it bother you when I capitalize positions?). He could be ranked higher, but I feel like you’re really only getting (great) points and rebounds with him and not enough else. Projections: .482 fg/.710 ft/0.1 3pt/18.7 pts/11.1 rbd/1.9 ast/0.9 stl/0.2 blk/2.0 tov
10. Chris Bosh - I debated where to put him. Miami is a good team in real life but not always a great team to have players on for fantasy purposes. His numbers take a hit playing with superstars, but he still manages to put up top ten production. Projections: .486 fg/.815 ft/0.1 3pt/18.5 pts/8.6 rbd/1.9 ast/0.7 stl/0.9 blk/2.2 tov
11. Tim Duncan – Lookee here, a new tier, called “I don’t see the Riddler but these guys have question marks on them.” Duncan hasn’t played more than 30 MPG the past two seasons, and his PPG has suffered because of it. Those numbers should continue to trend down, not up. There’s still some gas in the tank, but he’s 36 in human years, which is 78 in basketball years. He pees a little when he coughs. Good guy, though. Projections: .488 fg/.700 ft/0.0 3pt/14.8 pts/8.8 rbd/2.3 ast/0.6 stl/1.6 blk/1.5 tov
12. Amar’e Stoudemire – If there was a category for punching through glass, we’d have Stoudemire ranked higher. Having listened to WFAN and ESPN NY during the past season, I can tell you most of New York City was aggravated with Stat’s performance, so fantasy owners can join the brotherhood. I’m not sure I buy the fact that he was pouting and sullen over having to share the spotlight with Carmelo Anthony. I will chalk it up to a down year and hope for more this time around. Hopefully, his bad back doesn’t pee on my hope. Projections: .522 fg/.784 ft/0.0 3pt/22.5 pts/8.3 rbd/1.8 ast/0.8 stl/1.2 blk/2.9 tov
13. Kris Humphries – This tier is called “Tommy Tutone and other one hit wonders” and runs through Ibaka. This tier focuses on guys who have tremendous value in one category. This far down, you are getting quite a deal in rebounds. I don’t care who he has married, is married to, or will marry again (unless it’s me, then I have concerns), so long as he keeps grabbing boards and throwing in satisfactory points and blocks. Projections: .500 fg/.704 ft/0.0 3pt/14.8 pts/11.7 rbd/1.6 ast/0.7 stl/1.3 blk/2.3 tov
14. Ryan Anderson – I have a deep affinity for Ryan Anderson for no other reason than his ability to score from all over, particularly beyond the arc. He has a great eye, maybe even two eyes, but he doesn’t offer enough in the assists, steals and blocks categories. His high FT% would technically make him a two hit wonder. Projections: .440 fg/.888 ft/2.6 3pt/18.6 pts/8.5 rbd/0.8 ast/0.7 stl/0.3 blk/1.2 tov
15. Serge Ibaka - I am crazy high on his block projections, but he can reach the mark. He has decent numbers in FG% and TOV, and his rebounds are serviceable. He’s a little soft from the free throw line. Like a lonely scientist, I theorized about Ibaka here. Projections: .540 fg/.680 ft/0.0 3pt/10.0 pts/8.0 rbd/0.4 ast/0.6 stl/4.1 blk/1.1 tov
16. Andrea Bargnani - This tier is “Girl’s Club” and includes my favorite chicks, Andrea and Nene. Bargnani scores prolific amounts and tosses in a three or two (huh?), but can’t give you much in terms of rebounds. I’m probably overestimating his block production but not his turnover rate. Projections: .450 fg/.849 ft/1.3 3pt/21.7 pts/5.8 rbd/1.9 ast/0.5 stl/0.9 blk/2.6 tov
17. Nene Hilario – Nene is my favorite Knight Saber, but obviously that wasn’t enough to move Hilario up the list. Also, apparently Nene doesn’t have a last name anymore. Even Ichiro has a Suzuki. Nene is fairly well balanced, just a little light on rebounds. Not a bad pick in this area. Projections: .580 fg/.711 ft/0.0 3pt/14.2 pts/7.9 rbd/1.9 ast/1.2 stl/1.0 blk/2.0 tov
18. Ersan Ilyasova - My last tier, “Booty Call.” It may be the bottom, but there’s something attractive about it. If he reaches double-double status and you don’t care about blocks, he actually offers quite a bit. I keep wanting to bump him up but I don’t want to disrupt my previous tier. Projections: .500 fg/.796 ft/1.0 3pt/14.1 pts/9.2 rbd/1.3 ast/1.2 stl/0.7 blk/1.5 tov
19. Carlos Boozer - It’s a little sad to see Boozer this low, but his minutes and production have been declining in recent years. He’s only 30. Come on, dude, get it together! Who knew joining the Bulls would hurt his value? Projections: .528 fg/.705 ft/0.0 3pt/16.0 pts/8.9 rbd/2.2 ast/1.0 stl/0.5 blk/2.6 tov
20. David West - He’s alright. If he gets his numbers back up, he will produce better than last season’s forgettable effort, but he’s also 32 and coming off a major injury, so I’m not sure if he fully reaches his 30+ MPG. Projections: .484 fg/.800 ft/0.0 3pt/15.9 pts/7.4 rbd/2.5 ast/0.9 stl/0.8 blk/2.1 tov
After the top twenty, here’s a name to consider:
Antawn Jamison - I don’t like Jamison like everyone else does. I hope he proves me wrong, but I think we’re looking at low FG%, low FT%, and insignificant amounts of rebounds, steals, and blocks. Decent option if you like threes and manageable turnovers. I originally had him in my top 20 but booted him out. Projections: .410 fg/.699 ft/1.1 3pt/16.7 pts/6.1 rbd/1.8 ast/0.8 stl/0.5 blk/1.4 tov