Fantasy Basketball

2019-20 Fantasy Basketball Small Forward Preview

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Welcome to the 2019-20 Fantasy Basketball Small Forward Preview! If you missed any of our other previews so far, check out the rest of them on our Fantasy Basketball page.

In previewing the small forward position, I’m going to key in on some players who will have their game impacted by their new teams as well as some reaches and potential steals of the draft.

2019-20 Fantasy Basketball Small Forward Preview

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How will the change is scenery affect two of the top small forwards

Both Leonard & Butler find themselves in a new environment this season, and both should see an increase in their stats but in many different ways.

Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat

Buttler bounced around a lot last season, never really finding his footing on a team. He is now in a place that he wants to play, a city he wants to be in, and that should carry over to the court.

In Miami, Butler will be the top dog, asked to carry the load on both sides of the court. His usage rate should see a significant increase, which would help his stats across the board.

If he stays healthy, it is not crazy to think his numbers could return to what they were his last season in Chicago, which was a career year for him (23.9 ppg, 6.2 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2 steals).

Those are back end first-round numbers and right now. Butler can be had in the mid-second which is crazy to think right now.

Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers

Leonard made a big splash this offseason by leaving the Raptors to join the Clippers. No offense to any previous teammates of his, but Leonard finally has a superstar running mate next to him in Paul George, and that should lessen the load for him.

Let us be clear, Leonard will still get his and still be a stud, but his scoring may take a slight dip. To make up for that, with the cast that is around him in LA, the rest of his stats should take a slight bump up specifically assists.

With George in tow, Leonard should be able to stay fresh, and healthy throughout the season, which would be the biggest benefit to his game and owners alike.

Will Jayson Tatum thrive in the post-Kyrie Era?

While Tatum did improve his game across the board last year over his rookie year, he was still overshadowed but Kyrie Irving often deals with team turmoil that carried over to the court.

With Kyrie gone and Kemba Walker in his place, the time is now for Tatum to take that next step towards stardom.

Tatum played a healthy 31.1 minutes last season, scoring 15.7 points with 6 rebounds and 2.1 assists. Kemba and Tatum have built a rapport and grew there chemistry this offseason, playing together for Team USA.  It is not out of the realm of possibility to see Tatum take a big jump in points and assists as he handles the ball a bit more for these Boston Celtics.

Draft Strategy

When it comes to the Small Forward spot, I try to make sure that I get a top one early in drafts. The top small forwards are a jack of all trades that usually finish in the top half of nine-category leagues.

They will help you across the board.  If you can land one with a good FG%, they really will not hurt you at all.

If you fail to land a top one early, do not hesitate to grab one or two sleepers in the mid-rounds. Small forwards usually always return their value.

Reach

Kyle Kuzma, Los Angeles Lakers

I love Kuzma and think he has the chance to develop into a very good NBA player. However, last year saw him play 33 minutes per game due to lack of depth on the Lakers roster.  He saw an uptick in usage but a decline in 3pt% and rebounds.

Another important fact is Kuzma is starting the season in street clothes with a foot injury.

With the way the Lakers roster is constructed this year, I can imagine Kuzma sitting on the bench late in close games with defensive-minded veterans taking the floor – Rajon Rondo (moving LeBron James from Point Guard to Small Forward or even Power Forward and Anthony Davis to Center), Danny Green and Avery Bradley.

Kuzma will be a useful piece in Fantasy this season, but I am not sure he needs to be drafted in the top 100 considering we don’t even know when he will be ready to play this season.

Steal

T.J. Warren, Indiana Pacers

The acquisition of T.J. Warren this offseason by the Indiana Pacers has flown under the radar and could turn out to be one of the best offseason moves in the NBA. Warren finished inside the top 75 in nine-category leagues in each of the past three seasons, proving a model of consistency.

This year, he is on the best team he has ever played for, surrounded by a strong cast that should help his numbers overall. Every year, despite the consistency, Warren seems to drop in drafts, and this is the year that will pay off in big dividends. Warren has already been named the starter and has the confidence of the coach to back him up.

Jonathan Isaac, Orlando Magic

Jonathan Isaac is the guy that I believe is going to late in drafts.

In the offseason, Isaac added over 20 pounds (mostly muscle) to his frame and now stands at seven feet. He has looked extremely explosive off the bounce and has shown flashes of an impressive face-up game, even working exclusively with T-Mac on his game. He is getting glowing reviews from the coaching staff and his teammates cannot stop raving about him.



Isaac will fill out multiple categories for owners, (five to be precise) and reaching for him in the first part mid rounds is something you should do (unless you are in a draft with me!).


Visit the F6P Fantasy Basketball Page for more advice to get you prepared for the 2019-20 season.

About Jon Witt

Buffalo Boy born and raised. He loves his Buffalo sports unconditionally, despite them driving him nuts more often than not. Bleeds Dodgers Blue during the summer and wishes he had an NBA team. Plays all sorts of fantasy sports, has been for a very long time. Hit him up @JPW2542 with any comments or questions.

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