We looked at the top 20 shooting guards for 2011 on Monday. Today? The 20 best fantasy swingmen (“fantasy swingmen” sounds naughty) from the year (or four months, as the case may be) that was. You know the deal, here’s my preseason Top 20 Small Forwards for 2011. 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 2011 fantasy basketball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them. Live it. Love it (she’s just a woman).

1. Kevin Durant I’ve had a hard time placing exactly what it is about Durant that I prefer to LeBron and I think it boils down to this: fantasy owners can count on Durant playing for you in the playoffs, whereas LeBron is a crapshoot.  Preseason Rank #1, 2011 Projections: .470/.880/2 3pt/29 pts/6 rbd/3 ast/1 stl/1 blk/2.5 tov. Final Numbers: .496/.860/2 3ptm/28 pts/8 rbd/3.5 ast/1.3 stl/1.2 blk/3.8 tov, 66 games

2. LeBron James I’ve been saying Durant was better for three seasons now. This is the first year I truly believed it. Preseason Rank #2, 2011 Projections: .515/.755/1 3ptm/25 pts/7 rbd/7 ast/1.5 stl/1 blk/3 tov. Final Numbers: .531/.771/0.9 3ptm/27.1 pts/7.9 rbd/6.2 ast/1.9 stl/0.8 blk/3.4 tov, 62 games

3. Paul Pierce It’s worth noting that Pierce’s three best free throw shooting seasons have all come in the last three years. I like noticing things like this about players because it hints at their ability to stay relevant a year or two longer than the average player. Pierce will be 35 next year, but I don’t think remaining an elite (top 5) SF was a fluke this year or will be if he does it next year. Along with his FT%, he averaged more or an equal number of assists as he had in any of his last five seasons. This is a guy learning how to do more as his body is compelling him to do less. Preseason Rank #8, 2011 Projections: .470/.840/1.5 3pt/19 pts/5.5 rbd/3.5 ast/1 stl/0.5 blk/3 tov. Final Numbers: .443/.852/1.6 3pt/19.4 pts/5.2 rbd/4.5 ast/1.1 stl/0.4 blk/2.8 tov, 61 games

4. Rudy Gay Not as statistically valuable as 2010, but he stayed healthy. And statistically, that’s just as valuable as anything else. Preseason Rank #4, 2011 Projections: .460/.775/1 3pt/19.5 pts/6 rbd/3 ast/1.5 stl/1 blk/2 tov. Final Numbers: .455/.791/0.8 3ptm/19 pts/6.4 rbd/2.3 ast/1.5 stl/0.8 blk/2.5 tov, 65 games

5. Danny Granger In the last three seasons Granger’s FG%, 3PTM and PPG averages have dropped right along with his  USG%. Dude’s shot selection and the effect it has on fantasy owners’ moods are enough to drop him a couple more spots on this list. Preseason Rank #5, 2011 Projections: .445/.850/2 3pt/22 pts/5.5 rbd/2.5 ast/1.5 stl/1 blk/2 tov. Final Numbers: .416/.873/2 3ptm/18.7 pts/5 rbd/1.8 ast/1 stl/0.6 blk/1.8 tov, 62 games

6. Nicolas Batum I can only hope Portland gets its shizz aligned next season and let’s Frenchy No “H” run wild. He’ll be 24, part of Portland’s new axis that includes neither Roy nor Oden. Along with LMA, Batum is Portland’s new hope. He improved in almost every category this season despite averaging one fewer minute on the floor. Look for big, big things from this guy and for an outside chance of him cracking the top 3.  Preseason Rank #14, 2011 Projections: .470/.830/1.5 3pt/14 pts/5 rbd/2 ast/1 stl/1 blk/1.5 tov. Final Numbers: .451/.836/1.8 3ptm/13.9 pts/4.6 rbd/1.4 ast/1 stl/1 blk/1.5 tov, 59 games

7. Andre Iguodala It’s still kind of amazing that Iguodala has survived another season as Philadelphia’s starting SF. He’s like the decrepit teacher you had in high school that seemed on the verge of death who is still teaching when you return to your 20-year reunion. With both Turner and Young making obvious improvements this season, I would assume Iggy’s time is up, but then again, I’ve thought that for three seasons straight. Preseason Rank #7, 2011 Projections: .469/.714/0.5 3pt/14.5 pts/6 rbd/6 ast/1.5 stl/0.5 blk/2 tov. Final Numbers: .454/.617/1.2 3ptm/12.4 pts/6.1 rbd/5.5 ast/1.7 stl/0.5 blk/1.9 tov, 62 games

8. Carmelo Anthony I’m tempted to quote Brando’s “I coulda been a contender speech” from On the Waterfront, but it would better suit Amar’e (who’s a bum, let’s face it). Anyway, this was one weird-ass season for the Big Apple Knickerbockers. Preseason Rank #3, 2011 Projections: .455/.835/1.5 3ptm/25.5 pts/7 rbd/3 ast/1 stl/0.5 blk/2.5 tov. Final Numbers: .430/.804/1.2 3ptm/22.6 pts/6.3 rbd/3.6 ast/1.1 stl/0.4 blk/2.6 tov, 55 games

9. Gerald Wallace I predicted a regression from his 2010 totals. And he did regress while with the Trailblazers, 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 with the Nets were closer to what owners drafting him in the top five among SFs probably had in mind. Then I’ll use my third hand to freak you out until I remove the glove and reveal it to be a foot. I don’t have a whole lot of hope for the Nets and so I’m treading lightly with Crash next season. Preseason Rank #6, 2011 Projections: .470/.759/0.5 3pt/15.5 pts/7.5 rbd/2.5 ast/1.5 stl/1 blk/2.5 tov. Final Numbers: .454/.800/0.8 3pt/13.8 pts/6.7 rbd/2.8 ast/1.5 stl/0.6 blk/1.9 tov, 58 games

10. Thaddeus Young I was wrong not to have ranked Thad on this list in the preseason. He’s shown steady improvement over the last three seasons and has proven to be a solid utility plug-in on most fantasy teams. Outside of his non-existent three-point shooting, he’s one of the most versatile option teams can hope to grab after the eighth round of most drafts. He’s not a very hyped guy and one of my sleeper picks for a breakout season next year. Preseason Unranked. Final Numbers: .507/.771/0 3ptm/12.8 pts/5.2 rbd/1.2 ast/1 stl/0.7 blk/0.9 tov, 63 games

11. Shawn Marion I’m beginning to think that Marion was overrated for so long that it’s taken until now for him to become underrated. That said, if he’s the 11th SF taken in next year’s draft, your league will have returned to overrating him. Preseason Unranked. Final Numbers: .446/.796/0.4 3ptm/12.6 pts/8.7 rbd/2.5 ast/1.3 stl/0.7 blk/1.8 tov, 63 games

12. Luol Deng Remember that horse at the end of the Coen Brothers’ True Grit? The one that galloped Rooster and Mattie away to safety then collapsed and died from absolute exhaustion in the middle of nowhere? This was Deng to back in mid-January when he was averaging 39 minutes a game. He never seemed to leave the floor before the fourth quarter. Hhe missed 12 games over the course of the next 12 weeks, yet increased his time on the court to over 40 minutes per game. I think it cost him, too. His PER sagged and his shot was by far the worst it’s ever been. Stop beating a dead horse, Thibs!  Preseason Rank #10, 2011 Projections: .455/.770/1 3pt/16.5 pts/6 rbd/2.5 ast/1 stl/0.5 blk/1.5 tov. Final Numbers: .412/.770/1.5 3ptm/15.3 pts/6.5 rbd/2.9 ast/1 stl/0.7 blk/1.8 tov, 54 games

13. James Johnson One of my favorite in-season pick-ups on the year. I’d like to see him on a team with a clearer vision for what his role should be and a system in which to incorporate his varied skills, which is a long-winded way of suggesting he be traded off of the Raptors. Still, he showed marked improvement in most categories while averaging three fewer minutes per game.  Preseason Unranked. Final Numbers: .450/.704/0.3 3ptm/9.1 pts/4.7 rbd/2.0 ast/1.1 stl/1.4 blk/1.6 tov, 62 games

14. Dorell Wright – Here’s what I said about Wright this time last year: “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.” Despite his spot as one of the 15 best small forwards from this season, I feel I should have gone further in my renouncement. His shooting was equally horrendous to the season before, his minutes dipped from 38 to 27, and his 3ptm production could have been replicated by a dozen other 2-3 hybrids. Think of Wright as more of a Kyle Korver, Matt Bonner or Anthony Morrow-type of fantasy option. Preseason Rank #9, 2011 Projections: .420/.780/2 3pt/15.5 pts/5.5 rbd/3 ast/1.5 stl/0.5 blk/1.5 tov. Final Numbers: .422/.816/1.7 3ptm/10.3 pts/4.6 rbd/1.5 ast/1 stl/0.4 blk/0.8 tov, 61 games

15. Alonzo Gee How steep a dropoff does this position face after its first 10 players? Alonzo Gee played 46 percent of the season at SF, but I included him here instead of SG because his total stats weren’t good enough to land him in the top 20 SGs list … and SG is ALSO a shallow position! Preseason Unranked. Final Numbers: .412/.788/0.7 3ptm/10.6 pts/5.1 rbd/1.8 ast/1.3 stl/0.3 blk/1.8 tov, 63 games

16. Danilo Gallinari For the period of time he was healthy, he really didn’t improve much from last season. I still think there’s a top 10 talent in there somewhere and at 23 years old, he’s still got some time to prove it, but dude’s missed 20 and 23 games in the last two seasons and I’m now willing to just settle for a healthy top 15 talent. Preseason Rank #13, 2011 Projections: .425/.885/2 3pt/16.5 pts/6 rbd/2 ast/1 stl/0.5 blk/2 tov. Final Numbers: .414/.871/1.4 3ptm/14.6 pts/4.7 rbd/2.7 ast/1 stl/0.5 blk/1.6 tov, 43 games

17. Mike Dunleavy Grabbing Dunleavy out of the free agent pool back in late February just as Stephen Jackson stopped participating and watching the junior Mike D average 15/4/3 in March was the equivalent of picking up a crumpled dollar bill from the ground and watching a ruby fall out. Preseason Unranked. Final Numbers: .474/.811/1.5 3ptm/12.3 pts/3.7 rbd/2.1 ast/0.5 stl/0.1 blk/1.1 tov, 55 games

18. Vince Carter I was betting that a Lamar from Dallas would have a positive impact on the team. Never imagined it’d be Vincent Lamar Carter (or “Lamarter” as impatient people might say, or “la Martyr” as French people referring to Jesus might say). It’s worth pointing out that this was statistically Carter’s worst season of professional basketball, but also his healthiest since 08-09. Preseason Unranked. Final Numbers: .411/.826/1.2 3ptm/10.1 pts/3.4 rbd/2.3 ast/0.9 stl/0.4 blk/1.4 tov, 61 games

19. Matt Barnes Don’t make me evaluate Matt Barnes’ fantasy value. He played all but three games this season and sank a better percentage of his free throws than Chandler Parsons. There.  Preseason Unranked. Final Numbers: .452/.742/0.7 3ptm/7.8 pts/5.5 rbd/2.0 ast/0.6 stl/0.8 blk/1.2 tov, 63 games

20. Chandler Parsons The 38th overall pick in last year’s draft filled this year’s honorary Darren Collison – Landry Fields role of deep draft pick who found some fantasy value. His minutes climbed between December and March and his production climbed right along with it. And imagine, he managed all that despite sounding like an Appalachian fiddler who runs a weekday church group attended by just four elderly people and a blind guy! I actually think he’ll keep it rolling next year (he can’t NOT improve on his free throw shooting) and should be considered after the eighth round of most drafts.  Preseason Unranked.  Final Numbers: .452/.551/1.0 3ptm/9.5 pts/6.0 rbd/2.7 ast/1.5 stl/0.6 blk/1.3 tov, 63 games

Preseason Unranked