The 2010 fantasy basketball rankings just-a keep on rollin’ with the top 20 small forwards for 2010 fantasy basketball. The small forward position is tricky and the one you want to navigate with the thickest of rubber fisherman boots. The top of this list is stronger than any of the other four positions, but the drop-off after the first 11 is steep. Steep. e.e. cummings would have added, like, three more e’s and a few spaces in between the word steep to illustrate how steep the dropoff is. Get into the SF’s early in your draft and then hold off until later rounds. Or don’t. Either way, refund requests on this post will be denied because such a request wouldn’t make any sense. Without further ado, here’s the top 20 small forwards for 2010 fantasy basketball:
3. Danny Granger – See the top 10 for 2010 fantasy basketball post for Danny Granger’s projections.
5. Gerald Wallace – See the top 20 for 2010 fantasy basketball post for Gerald Wallace’s projections.
6. Andre Iguodala – Here’s the first tier. The tier I call “The Usual Suspects – And Gallinari!” It ends at Gay. Iggy could outproduce Wallace (and Carmelo and Granger) this season and it wouldn’t surprise me, but it would be hard to convince me that we haven’t seen most of what he can do in previous seasons. He’s already been über healthy (oooh, German!), the centerpiece of the team, and played massive minutes (39 last season). He’s in the prime of his career – at this point we’re talking tweaking his game, not massively overhauling it. Collins will certainly lean on Iguodala, and I do think hunkering down at SF instead of sharing time at SG might produce his most relaxed season yet, I just don’t think it’ll translate into a massive upswoop in stats.
Season Projections: .451/.735/1 3pt/18.5 pts/5.5 rbd/5.5 ast/1.5 stl/0.5 blk/3.0 tov
7. Paul Pierce – Pierce runs on his heels and it makes him look slow. He also runs next to Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett (and Shaq soon enough) and the fact that he doesn’t look like the Roadrunner next to those guys only enhances these feelings that he moves in slow motion. But he’s deceptively quick and agile still and has made me look foolish in each of the last two seasons after I’ve declared Pierce an old man poised for a large statistical fall off. That’ll teach me to declare stuff. Who’m I? A 1920s paperboy? His days as an elite fantasy option are as dead as dentured gums, but injury is more of an enemy of Pierce this season than the inability to produce while healthy.
Season Projections: .460/.845/1.5 3pt/19 pts/4 rbd/3 ast/1 stl/ 0.5 blk/2.5 tov
8. Danilo Gallinari – The Rooster has everything going into this season that he had last year, a fast-paced team happy to let him freely catapult trey after trey, the love of fantasy owners everywhere, gallons of hair gel – everything a young man could possibly hope for! It’s hard to tell how many of last year’s errant shots Gallinari launched because he felt it was the best offensive option and how many he launched because he got a giggle out of it, but with Felton, Stoudemire and Randolph filling out the rotation, one hopes he’ll be a little more discerning and raise that FG% and possibly his assist numbers.
Season Projections: .440/.830/2.5 3pt/16.5 pts/5 rbd/2 ast/1 stl/1 blk/1.5 tov
9. Luol Deng – Deng started his career six seasons ago as a solid defender, but lost sight of that as his health went in the pooper. Assuming his 60-game seasons are behind him, Tom Thibodeau’s lockdown defensive regimen may bring out a side of Deng we’ve never fully seen. He’ll only be 25 this season and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Deng is the steal of this draft.
Season Projections: .461/.780/0.5 3pt/15.5 pts/6.5 rbd/2 ast/1.5 stl/0.5 blk/1.5 tov
10. Rudy Gay – Gay’s best year was in ’07, his sophomore season. Then, in ’08, he took one step back, then a half-step forward in ’09. That’s fine if this were a square dance (more than fine, because we’d get to see Gay wearing overalls), but as the 23-year-old enters his fifth season after a summer that saw him get a silly contract, what is there to make me believe he’ll get any better than this. Allemande left!
Season Projections: .460/.750/0.5 3pt/18 pts/5.5 rbd/1.5 ast/1.5 stl/0.5 blk/2 tov
11. Corey Maggette – This next tier, “Great Value If You Wait To Grab ‘Em … And A Lot Of People Won’t Wait To Grab ‘Em” starts here and ends with Ariza. Corey Maggette needs to be on a team that is cool with him driving to lane, drawing fouls and absolutely nothing else. Corey, haaaave you met the Bucks?
Season Projections: .490/.830/0 3pt/23 pts/5 rbd/2 ast/1 stl/0 blk/3 tov
12. Andrei Kirilenko – Kirilenko’s season teeters mostly on how the Jazz use him this season. If they need him to play a grind and battling SF, his peripheral stats like blocks and FG% will likely rise to levels the 2004 you is used to. If they have him staying out on the wing as a shooter with a nice mid-range shot, you’ll get the Pantene Andrei that appeared out of nowhere last season. You’re hoping for the Baby Drago version we all know and love. Either way, expect no more than 70 games out of him.
Season Projections: .495/.755/0.5 3pt/13.5 pts/5 rbd/3.5 ast/1.5 stl/1.5 blk/1.5 tov
13. Nicolas Batum – I already covered Batum as a 2010 fantasy sleeper. It was Tuesday, it won’t take you long to find if you scroll down a bit. Don’t be lazy. Don’t prove your mother right about you.
Season Projections: .505/.855/2 3pt/14.5 pts/4.5 rbd/1.5 ast/1 stl/1 blk/1 tov
14. Caron Butler – He whined his way out of D.C. with a 17/7/2 average, landed in Dallas and fared no better. The Mavs won’t need him to put in 38-39 minute games like he has in the past – not with Shawn Marion floating between PF and SF. Expect for the Holy Caron’s penchant for shooting unnecessary jumpers – resulting in a steadily falling FG% in each of the last three seasons – to eat into his stats more than anything else.
Season Projections: .433/.836/0.5 3pt/15 pts/5 rbd/2 ast/1.5 stl/0.5 blk/2 tov
15. Trevor Ariza – Ariza was super-overrated last year and it cost plenty of fantasy owners dearly. How facacta was Ariza’s season? He wet the bed and it caused nightmares – usually that happens the other way around. His 2009 Per36 averages were slight improvements over previous seasons, but he strained like a sumo in pilates to get there and his percentages took the south-bound bullet train. This year, he’ll have Chris Paul doing the heavy lifting and those percentages should level out … a little.
Season Projections: .449/.690/1.5 3pt/14 pts/5 rbd/3.5 ast/2 stl/0.5 blk/1.5 tov
16. Wilson Chandler – This next tier, “If You’re Not Hoping For Some Upside Here, Your Team Might Be In Trouble,” ends at Casspi. Even if Kelenna Azubuike misses a month of games to start the season, he’s still a Knick and will be a Knick whenever he becomes healthy. This alone, makes a Chandler a hesitant pick as the jury’s still out on which player is better and will earn boku minutes. Then there are the whispers that Chandler won’t even start because Anthony Randolph will play SF. By choosing Chandler, you may be picking the donkey behind Door No. 2 when there was a burro behind Door No. 1 (burros are better – don’t ask so many questions).
Season Projections: .476/.810/1 3pt/15 pts/5 rbd/2 ast/1 stl/1 blk/2 tov
17. Wesley Johnson – Johnson is the T’Wolves’ most likely starting SF, which is like saying the southern belle is Cybil’s most likely personality to appear at tonight’s dinner party. Who knows, right? But by the time the other 16 players on this list are gone, you’ll be 90 picks into your draft and you can choose between upside and blah stats from guys who won’t surprise you. What? Do you really think you’re going to say, “Dang, I could have had Tayshaun Prince if only I hadn’t completely wasted my pick on Wesley Johnson!”
Season Projections: .495/.770/1 3pt/13.5 pts/6 rbd/1.5 ast/1 stl/1 blk/2 tov
18. Richard Jefferson – Quick! Think of the San Antonio Spurs’ roster. Right now! Go! Who popped into your head first? Probably Duncan and Parker. Maybe Manu. For the counter-culturists among you, perhaps you went with Splitter or Blair. You didn’t, however, think of Richard Jefferson despite the fact that right before you were asked to think of Spurs, you read Jefferson’s name. That’s about the same level of invisibility he exhibited last year. I know I won’t have Jefferson on any teams this year, as there will be someone banking on his upside. Those same people also have accounts with Citibank.
Season Projections: .477/.777/0.5 3pt/14 pts/4.5 rbd/2 ast/1 stl/0 blk/1.5 tov
19. Omri Casspi – I had this to say about the Great Casspi back in June: “Despite his dropoff in last season’s final stretch and his slight-ish 19.4 USG%, Casspi still started in 31 games (more than any other King at the SF position) and stands to gain more minutes this year than last. The best part of Casspi’s game is that he does a little of everything. The worst part is that he does it all exactly how one expects a rookie to do it. His .446 FG% and .672 FT% will rise with his age and I would fully expect his place in this youthful core to further gel in ’10.” Seriously, how beautiful is that prose?
Season Projections: .450/.735/1 3pt/13 pts/6 rbd/2 ast/1 stl/0.5 blk/1.5 tov
20. Shawn Marion – This tier consists of Shawn Marion. I call it, “Well, Shawn Marion Is Still Hanging Around.” This is what the last leg of a solid career looks like.
Season Projections: .488/.764/0.5 3pt/12.5 pts/6 rbd/1.5 ast/1 stl/0.5 blk/1 tov