A lot of these guys are a little hard to put in the PF tier since they qualify and Power Forwards and Centers in Yahoo and ESPN leagues. For our system, we tried to put them in their “natural” or “starting” position.
Tier 1: Love Conquers All
Kevin Love (4)
Or, at least, Kevin Love conquers the Rebounding category. Just like Dwight Howard will probably win you Rebounds at the Center position (along with blocks and the opposite for FT%), Kevin Love can almost guarantee a victory in Rebounds. Sure, 15 rebounds may be a bit of a fluke, but when they’re combined with 47% from the field, 1.2 threes, and 85% from the line (with 6.8 attempts) do you really want to bet against that? Well, some people have… I’ve seen it in drafts. Those people can only hope that Derrick Rose takes less of a step back than Kevin Love possibly will, or that Dwyane Wade somehow ups his numbers even with a stronger supporting cast this year.
Tier 2: Can’t Teach Height
Pau Gasol (8)
Dirk Nowitzki (10)
Amare Stoudemire (11)
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There is definitely something to be said for being tall. Flat out blocks, rebounds, and scoring. These guys do that and while they vary a bit in their other categories, they’ll give you more than just those impressive traditional big man categories.
Tier 3: Really, the Second Tier
Josh Smith (16)
LaMarcus Aldridge (17)
Paul Millsap (24)
Zach Randolph (27)
Blake Griffin (29)
The only reason there’s 3 tiers is because Kevin Love is so far ahead of his first round companions. The guys in Tier 3 are all good second round picks. I’ve seen Griffin picked much higher than 29, and Millsap and Zebo have often slipped, and that’s why Smith and Aldridge are at the top of this tier.
Tier 4: Still, Not Bad
Chris Bosh (34)
Elton Brand (35)
David West (37)
Channing Frye (41)
Serge Ibaka (45)
Nobody wants Chris Bosh after his failure to live up to whatever standards anyone set for him last year… And you still have to wonder if he’s worth a third round pick, but once we’ve left the third round, these guys are all fair game. Most of them are also eligible at Center making them “Not Bad” picks, especially for anyone in a 2 Center league.
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Tier 5: The Aged and Weary
David Lee (58)
Tim Duncan (61)
Kevin Garnett (64)
Andray Blatche (65)
With the Fun’N'Gun Warriors seeming to be a thing of the past, it’s hard to say where David Lee is going to end up. Timmy D and KG are only getting older and we know that their teams like resting them right when fantasy owners need them the most. That’s probably going to be even more of an issue with the rigorous schedule this season. Blatche’s numbers project pretty well, but his FG% and blocks are not great for a big man and his 2.7 turnovers are also pretty ugly for someone with only 2.3 assists. That said, my guess is if you take TOs out of the equation, Blatche will be an excellent starter for a fantasy team.
Tier 6: Prove Yourself
Tyrus Thomas (69)
Lamar Odom (70)
Carlos Boozer (79)
Luis Scola (80)
Antawn Jamison (88)
Guys, we all know you can play. You are very good at the game of basketball that we love. But, you’re just kind of inconsistent or hard to try to rely on right now. If you live up to your potential, you will be some of the best value picks in fantasy drafts. If you don’t, we’ll be glad we didn’t take you that high.
Tier 7: Who Needs Scoring?
Boris Diaw (97)
Amir Johnson (99)
If you’re looking for some guys to grab later in the draft to fill in some Rebounds, Steals and/or Blocks, with low risk for Turnovers and FG% then here you are. Fairly standard Big Ball guys to shore up those categories for you.
Tier 8: The Dregs. Or Are They?
Ryan Anderson (121)
Brandon Bass (122)
Charlie Villanueva (128)
J.J. Hickson (134)
Josh McRoberts (136)
These guys will all produce some decent numbers, but, with the exception of Hickson, they’re really just around for injury insurance. Hickson should be starting for the Kings, but the rest of these guys will need an injury to a teammate to see any real playing time. Some of those injuries are more likely than others… E.g., I’ve seen Josh McRoberts taken as a sleeper pick in every draft I’ve been in. Yes, Andrew Bynum is going to get injured. But will McRoberts be favored as his replacement over Troy Murphy? I’m not sure about that one. And Jermaine O’Neal will probably also go down at some point and Bass seems in line to pick up the slack there.
Tier 9: Still in the Top 150
Carl Landry (147)
Back with the Hornets, Landry is backing up a pretty strong front line, but Chris Kaman and Emeka Okafor have been known to miss a few games. Okafor had a good run for a few years, but missed 10 last year and Kaman has played 82 only once. I actually like him as a sleeper more than McRoberts at this point.
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