We looked at the top 20 shooting guards for 2010 on Monday. Today? The 20 best fantasy swingmen (“fantasy swingmen” sounds naughty) from the year that was. You know the deal, here’s my preseason Top 20 Small Forwards for 2010. Sip it, don’t slurp it … eh, what the hell. Go ahead and slurp it. Also, to recap, we’re using the season totals from ESPN’s Player Rater to determine each guy’s final rank. We’re listing averages, but we took totals into account because Games Played weighs heavily on his value – natch. Anyway, here’s the top 20 small forwards for 2010 fantasy basketball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them. Live it. Love it (she’s just a woman).

1. LeBron James – Considering the could-go-any-number-of-ways nature of LeBron’s preseason, I’m cool with my predictions. I underestimated his boards and dimes and overestimated his ability not to chuck up uncontested 29-footers and then stupidly lob the ball over a teammates head on an outlet pass the next time down the court. My mistake. Preseason Rank #2, 2010 Projections: .512/.785/1 3ptm/28 pts/6 rbd/6 ast/1.5 stl/1 blk/2.5 tov, Final Numbers: .510/.759/1.2 3ptm/26.7 pts/7.5 rbd/7 ast/1.6 stl/0.6 blk/3.6 tov, 79 games

2. Kevin Durant – I’ve got nothing to add about Durant. If you have the third pick in next year’s draft and Durant is still available, quit your league. Oh, wait! Before we move on, I will put my “Wonder Years Theory” out there for the masses. Durantula’s first and middle names are Kevin and Wayne – the names of the two Arnold brothers in the nostalgic TV show The Wonder Years. Durant was born in 1988, the same year the show premiered. Also, a guy named Stern served as the omniscient voice that oversaw every season, every narrative, everything that happened. In the NBA, a guy named Stern serves the exact same purpose. Jrue story. Preseason Rank #1, 2010 Projections: .482/.889/1.5 3pt/29 pts/7 rbd/3.5 ast/1 stl/1 blk/3 tov, Final Numbers: .462/.880/1.9 3ptm/27.7 pts/6.8 rbd/2.7 ast/1.1 stl/1 blk/2.8 tov, 78 games

3. Paul Pierce – Who does Pierce think he is shooting a career-high field goal percentage two seasons in a row? The Truth dusted off the old Delorean and returned to his 2004 form: a time before he did all that weed with Ricky Davis and when he was still of an age that could get away with not being able to connect his cheek hair to his chin or his sideburns. Preseason Rank #7, 2010 Projections: .460/.845/1.5 3pt/19 pts/4 rbd/3 ast/1 stl/0.5 blk/2.5 tov, Final Numbers: .497/.860/1.4 3pt/18.9 pts/5.4 rbd/3.3 ast/1 stl/0.6 blk/2.1 tov, 80 games

4. Carmelo Anthony – You have to wonder what a full season of three-point shooting for the Knicks will look like for ‘Melo. I suppose you don’t have to wonder, but it might behoove you and I’m pretty sure horses are the only ones not into being behooved. The fact is, averaged 2-for-4.6 from beyond the arc in 27 games with New York. Before now, he had never made more than 1.2 treys a game, nor attempted more than 3.3. Preseason Rank #4, 2010 Projections: .460/.825/1 3ptm/29 pts/6 rbd/3.5 ast/1 stl/0.5 blk/3 tov, Final Numbers: .455/.838/1.3 3ptm/25.6 pts/7.3 rbd/2.9 ast/0.9 stl/0.6 blk/2.4 tov, 77 games

5. Danny Granger – In the last two seasons Granger’s FG%, 3PTM and PPG averages have dropped right along with his PER, ORtg and USG%. Luckily, for next season, I’m only predicting one more dip: his average draft position. Preseason Rank #5, 2010 Projections: .455/.860/2.5 3pt/25.5 pts/6 rbd/2.5 ast/1.5 stl/1 blk/2 tov, Final Numbers: .425/.848/2 3ptm/20.5 pts/5.4 rbd/2.6 ast/1.1 stl/0.8 blk/2.6 tov, 79 games

6. Dorell Wright – I won’t sniff Wright on any of my teams next year, as he’ll be gone about two rounds before I’ll be willing to consider the guy that, despite leading the league in threes, shot .423 on the season (.409 after the All-Star Break) and had such a sterling January that he spent the rest of the season being overrated. Remember how excited you were to draft Channing Frye last October? Ladies and gents, I present you with Exhibit B. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: .423/.789/2.4 3ptm/16.4 pts/5.3 rbd/3 ast/1.5 stl/0.8 blk/1.6 tov, 82 games

7. Luol Deng – Rose and Thibodeau have rightly gotten 98.6 percent of the credit for Chicago’s league-best record during the regular season. I won’t argue against them, but I will argue that the 1.4 percent credit that I made up just now should not only be reserved for Deng, but should be more. Dude had career-highs in MPGs, 3PTM (1.4 this season, no more than 0.5 in any other season) and APG, improved ORtg and DRtg and stayed healthy for the first time in four seasons. I predicted he’d have a career year and he exceeded my expectations for what that would mean. Like when you ask a girl on a date and she just takes her top off for you. Preseason Rank #9, 2010 Projections: .461/.780/0.5 3pt/15.5 pts/6.5 rbd/2 ast/1.5 stl/0.5 blk/1.5 tov, Final Numbers: .460/.753/1.4 3ptm/17.4 pts/5.8 rbd/2.8 ast/1 stl/0.6 blk/1.9 tov, 82 games

8. Gerald Wallace – I predicted a regression from his 2009 totals. And he did regress, much in alignment to my preseason prediction. With one hand I’ll pat myself on the back and with my other hand, point out that his final numbers probably won’t improve much outside of a few upticks in scoring. I’ll use my third hand to freak you out until I remove the glove and reveal it to be a foot. Preseason Rank #5, Projections: .480/.740/0.5 3ptm/17 pts/8.5 rbd/2.5 ast/1.5 stl/1 blk/2 tov, Final Numbers: .454/.746/0.9 3pt/15.7 pts/8 rbd/2.4 ast/1.5 stl/0.9 blk/2.1 tov, 71 games

9. Wilson Chandler – Blahblahblah development with the Knicks blahblahblah traded to the Nuggs for Carmelo blahblahblah saw every single one of his stat categories drop in Denver blahblahblah the Nuggets plan to keep him next season blahblahblah there goes that.  Preseason Rank #16, 2010 Projections: .476/.810/1 3pt/15 pts/5 rbd/2 ast/1 stl/1 blk/2 tov, Final Numbers: .450/.807/1.6 3ptm/15.3 pts/5.7 rbd/1.7 ast/0.7 stl/1.3 blk/1.4 tov, 72 games

10. Rudy Gay – If he hadn’t missed the last two months of the season, he’d have been third behind James and Durant on this list. But that ‘if’ is bigger than the gap between Gay and whatever shmoo you replaced him with in February. Preseason Rank #10, 2010 Projections: .460/.750/0.5 3pt/18 pts/5.5 rbd/1.5 ast/1.5 stl/0.5 blk/2 tov, Final Numbers: .471/.805/1.1 3ptm/19.8 pts/6.2 rbd/2.8 ast/1.7 stl/1.1 blk/2.5 tov, 54 games

11. Nicolas Batum – I didn’t love Batum’s season, didn’t hate it. I also don’t hate Gerald Wallace taking up the starting SF slot on the Blazers with Batum coming in hot off the bench. He looked confused or intimidated, occasionally overmatched. Dude needs a chill pill and to be used wisely anywhere from the two to the four spot on the floor. He’s French, you hafta handle him gingerly. Preseason Rank #13, 2010 Projections: .505/.855/2 3pt/14.5 pts/4.5 rbd/1.5 ast/1 stl/1 blk/1 tov, Final Numbers: .455/.841/1.5 3ptm/12.4 pts/4.5 rbd/1.5 ast/0.9 stl/0.6 blk/1 tov, 80 games

12. Shawn Marion – Yeah, you could have had Marion for 80 games or you could have had Iguodala and Gerald Henderson for 82 and nearly doubled most of Marion’s production. Which would you have preferred? Yeah, I figured. Preseason Rank #20, 2010 Projections: .488/.764/0.5 3pt/12.5 pts/6 rbd/1.5 ast/1 stl/0.5 blk/1 tov, Final Numbers: .520/.768/0.1 3ptm/12.5 pts/6.9 rbd/1.4 ast/0.9 stl/0.6 blk/1.6 tov, 80 games

13. Grant Hill – Yawn. Hill’s a better NBA story than fantasy one. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: .484/.829/0.6 3ptm/13.2 pts/4.2 rbd/2.5 ast/0.8 stl/0.4 blk/1.7 tov, 80 games

14. Hedo Turkoglu – “Hey! Hedo finished in the top 14! Not too shabby!” Fair enough Hedo optimist, or “Hedoptimist,” but before you skip away jubilantly (as you Hedoptimists tend to do), consider the fact that he played in all but one game, started in all but nine (this happened when he was removed from Phoenix’s starting five after a dreadful November) and no one else left on this list 1) started more than 60 games or 2) missed fewer than three weeks of the season. Turkogloser. Preseason Unranked , Final Numbers: .446/.679/1.6 3ptm/10.8 pts/4.4 rbd/4.2 ast/0.9 stl/0.4 blk/1.6 tov, 81 games

15. Andre Iguodala – His shot was off all season, but I would argue that he improved every other aspect of his game in the meantime (except the staying healthy part – that definitely slipped to a career-low).  Like Alec Baldwin realizing he burned too many bridges in Hollywood and moved to a hit TV show. Preseason Rank #6, 2010 Projections: .451/.735/1 3pt/18.5 pts/5.5 rbd/5.5 ast/1.5 stl/0.5 blk/3.0 tov, Final Numbers: .445/.693/0.9 3ptm/14.1 pts/5.8 rbd/6.3 ast/1.5 stl/0.6 blk/2.1 tov, 67 games

16. Shane Battier – There are literally three dozen players you could have gotten this production from in 2010. You just don’t respect any of them as much. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: .450/.688/1.2 3ptm/7.6 pts/4.5 rbd/2.3 ast/0.8 stl/1 blk/1 tov, 82 games

17. Thaddeus Young – Thad didn’t miss a game this season and only started in one. Neither of those two developments could have been said about him in any of his previous three seasons. Still, he’ll be 23 next season and found his efficiency groove (he maintained his ’09 production while averaging six fewer minutes per game). I’m expecting reasonably improved things from Thad next season.   Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: .541/.707/0.1 3ptm/12.7 pts/5.3 rbd/1 ast/1.1 stl/0.3 blk/1.2 tov, 82 games

18. Andrei Kirilenko – Is it weirder that I’m a) protesting ESPN’s Player Rater rating Kirilenko ahead of Michael Beasley, despite B.Easy killing him in points and playing nine more games or that b) Michael Beasley somehow managed to compel me to feel something for him for the first time in his career? Preseason Rank #13, 2010 Projections: .495/.755/0.5 3pt/13.5 pts/5 rbd/3.5 ast/1.5 stl/1.5 blk/1.5 tov, Final Numbers: .467/.770/0.6 3ptm/11.7 pts/5.1 rbd/3 ast/1.3 stl/1.2 blk/2 tov, 64 games

19. Michael Beasley – If you can draft this kind of production after the ninth round of your draft, you do it and you cackle maniacally to yourself about it until Christmas. You did it this season and I’m fairly certain you’ll be able to do it next season too. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: .450/.753/0.8 3ptm/19.2 pts/5.6 rbd/2.2 ast/0.7 stl/0.7 blk/2.7 tov, 73 games

20. Danilo Gallinari – I guarantee you’ll draft any one of these last three guys before you draft any of the ones listed at No. 12-14. Just playing 80 games is overrated. Preseason Rank #8, 2010 Projections: .440/.830/2.5 3pt/16.5 pts/5 rbd/2 ast/1 stl/1 blk/1.5 tov, Final Numbers: .414/.862/1.7 3ptm/15.6 pts/4.9 rbd/1.7 ast/0.8 stl/0.4 blk/1.3 tov, 62 games

  1. Migs says:

    So at the end of the season, I decided to swing a few trades, and I’m now sitting on keeping two of the following players: Carmelo Anthony, Rudy Gay, Brook Lopez. I’m actually thinking of keeping Melo and Gay and building a team around these two, especially since Brook Lopez has shown he’s got a case of Bargnanitis when it comes to rebounds, and I can probably pick him up later in the draft anyway.

    Adam, what are your thoughts? Any glaring weaknesses with this plan? I know that I’ll probably be punting FG and TO, but I feel it’s a better alternative than keeping one of the SFs + Bropez.

  2. Adam

    Adam says:

    @Migs: Yeah, I’d go with Gay and Anthony and target an elite big with your first pick. The only reason I would second-guess that advice is taking into account Lopez’s splits with Williams on the team. Brook averaged 19/6/1 in 34 minutes with Devin Harris, then went on to average 23/6/2 in 37 minutes. He certainly played more spiritedly with Williams at the helm, but not enough for me to pass up either of your other two keepers. ‘Melo is an elite scorer who out-rebounds your center keeper and Gay has been one of the most well-rounded SFs in the league for two seasons now.

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