I’m breaking down the top 25 power forwards in fantasy for this 2010-2011 season. These tiers are based on the averaged rankings of GMTR’s three authors. This is actually the deepest position based on our rankings. Assuming you’re not employing a micro-ball strategy, you will probably find yourself drafting at least two, three, or more of these players to fill out your team’s roster.
Tier 1: European Dominance (They don’t build ‘em with drawbacks over there)
1. Dirk Nowitzki (DAL) – 4.0
2. Pau Gasol (LAL) – 6.0
They’re efficient, reliable, and are solid early first-round fantasy picks. Yes, Pau is center eligible and will in fact be playing a lot at C while Andrew Bynum is still recovering from off-season surgery, but he would be awesome as your team’s PF, assuming you can draft some solid centers down the line. It’s also a good thing he’s rested and healthy over the Summer, since he did not participate in the World Championships. Dirk is the model of consistency. Even though he’s already categorized as “aging,” expect him to deliver solid numbers across the board.
Tier 2: Second-Round Studs
3. David Lee (GSW) – 10.7
4. Amar’e Stoudemire (NYK) – 13.0
5. Josh Smith (ATL) – 14.3
Both Stoudemire and Lee are C-eligible and have stat lines that lend themselves for use in “Efficiency Strategies.” Josh on the other hand, is coming off a bounce back season, and is a monster in the counting categories. Which ever direction strikes your fancy, all three of these guys are excellent complements to almost any first round pick you’ve got.
Tier 3: “We Don’t Block” Club
6. Carlos Boozer (CHI) – 13.3
7. Chris Bosh (MIA) – 13.7
8. David West (NOH) – 27.0
This group pretty much give you the same thing. “Points and Rebounds” is the name of the game here. Bosh has managed to log one lonely block a night over his last three seasons with Toronto (down from his first four seasons), which has pretty much been his main downside over the years. Let’s hope he concentrates less on figuring out how to insert “I will NOT be forced to play Center” in his contracts, and listen more to Dwyane Wade on how to frickin’ swat the Spalding.
Tier 4: Old Faithful
9. Tim Duncan (SAS) – 30.0
10. Troy Murphy (NJN) – 31.7
11. Zach Randolph (MEM) – 33.3
While Duncan’s the only real old man at 34 years of age, both Troy and Zach have been playing in the NBA for a long time (since 2001) and have had their fair share of getting banged up here and there. Old or not, these guys are still solid fantasy producers. Murphy produces higher than his ranking, but is notorious for being injury prone. The Grizzly cubs are expected to come into their own this season, and may take some opportunities away from “Papa Bear.”
Tier 5: Semi-Multi-Cat Contributors
12. Antawn Jamison (CLE) – 43.3
13. Jeff Green (OKC) – 47.0
14. Kevin Garnett (BOS) – 48.3
15. LaMarcus Aldridge (POR) – 53.3
On any given night either of these guys are capable of giving your fantasy team any two of the following: 1-Block, 1-Steal, 1-Trey (Treys by Green and Jamison. Blocks by KG and Aldridge) as peripheral production to their points and decent boards. Nels disagrees with me here, but I think Jamison has a good chance to deliver close to his Wizards stat line now that he’s inherited the Cavs. Green still has some potential to exceed our rankings. KG is declining. Aldridge bulked up over the Summer, but is trimming down in the pre-season to get back some speed. All told, these are solid choices as mid-round, PF picks.
Tier 6: Volatile Values
16. Rashard Lewis (ORL) – 59.3
17. Kevin Love (MIN) – 63.3
18. Anthony Randolph (NYK) – 67.0
Lewis’ fantasy value plummeted last season because, well to be technical about it was crappy. He might see some time at SF this year. Kevin Love and Al Jefferson did not work well together last season, contrary to Minnesota’s hopes. Al Jefferson’s now in Utah, so… booyah? Anthony Randolph was a Summer League stud in 2009, but was a regular season dud. Bye, GSW. Helloooo, New York (and Mike D’Antoni)! If you’re a risk taking type of manager, you would probably draft these guys way a bit earlier than where we have ‘em. The question is how much risk are you willing to pin on the early rounds of your draft?
Tier 7: They’ll Get Their Minutes
19. Paul Millsap – 79.3
20. Luis Scola – 79.7
21. Lamar Odom – 83.0
22. Carl Landry – 83.3
23. Al Harrington – 86.0
Everyone was excited for Millsap in anticipation of Boozer’s departure, but the Jazz got Jefferson. Okur’s out for a bit, so Paul will get some time to secure minutes at the four. Scola peaked last season (with Yao out), so expect some decline from 2009-2010. The Nuggets paid Harrington a ton of money, well relative to his value at least, and he may be the only one left after Denver goes through a post-MELO-dramatic overhaul. These players represent your late-middle round options at PF.
Tier 8: Boom or Bust in 2010?
24. Andray Blatche – 92.7
25. Blake Griffin – 96.0
Blatche broke out last season and showed us what he is capable of delivering, consistently. On the other hand Griffin, the first pick in 2009’s draft was just broken (injured). Can Andray continue to bring the goods while playing with Wall and Arenas? Can Blake, now healthy, live up to his potential?
On the bubble are former fantasy studs, Shawn Marion (102.3) and Elton Brand (104.3).
Lamar Odom technically should get a slight upgrade for the first two months of the season while Andrew Bynum is out. The thing is that once Bynum returns, Odom’s value will drop once again. You might factor in the fact that Odom did not get as much rest as his aching body parts need due to his participation in Team USA’s World Championship stint.
Fair warning to people are the same leagues I’m in: Pau’s my pet pick in the first round in 2010-11.
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