Fantasy Basketball

Fantasy Basketball 2013-14 Power Forward Preview

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The power forward position is one of, if not the weakest position in fantasy basketball, but is also one of the deeper positions.  At the top you get LaMarcus Aldridge, Zach Randolph, David Lee and even the older guys, Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki.  After them there are a plethora of players that can give you healthy contributions in multiple categories.  Power forward to me is where you find your center-like players, high rebound, field goal percentage and blocks, but should get your more points.  This is typically because they are better athletes and have a better mid range shot than your centers.  In fact a great strategy to use when drafting is find players that have PF/C eligibility to fill your center spot.  There are a few guys at this position that can get you a decent number of threes, Dirk is one of them, but I wouldn’t be too worried if you miss out on them, as you should be able to take care of that category with your other positions.

1. Can Tim Duncan continue to find the fountain of youth?
After three straight years of declined play from 2009 to 2011, Tim Duncan surprised everybody to put together a season where he scored 17.8 points, pulled down 9.9 rebounds and had close to a career high in blocks with 2.7.  I’m not confident he can continue that, now in his 17th season, but he should be able to provide about 85%.  That would carry plenty of value as a third round pick, but I will not draft him there and I’ll tell you why.  With his age, there is obviously a risk of injury, as he battled through a few during the 2011-2012 season.  Along with that, Greg Popovich sits his older players in back to back games and during blowouts often, which limits the number of games you will get Duncan’s stats to help you.  This is even more hurtful at the end of the season when the Spurs have probably clinched their status into the postseason and you are trying to compete without one of your top picks in during fantasy basketball playoffs.

2. Will Anthony Bennett have an immediate impact this season?
The only reason I will say yes is because he should get the immediate start in Cleveland at power forward, and get heavy minutes. Although, I don’t think it is going to be as much of an impact as the last couple years number one picks, including Kyrie Irving who the Cavaliers took first in 2011. In fact, Kyrie is one of the main reasons I don’t think he will be a great fantasy player. Normally the first pick of the draft goes to a team and immediately becomes the focal point of the offense. In this case though the Cavs already have their main piece in Irving and were looking for a secondary piece to work with him, Bennett was that guy. Thus limiting his impact in the fantasy game.

3. Is Kevin Love worth an early round pick again?
Absolutely Kevin Love is worth an early pick again.  In fact if he is there late in the first round, I may take him.  Injuries often make people forget just how good a player was before the injury.  Love has been one of the best power forwards in the game for the last two years.  Not only is he a rebounding machine, averaging around 14 a game for the last three seasons, he can score with the best of them.  The only thing that hurts his value as a power forward is field goal percentage is rather low for that position, that is because he shoots quite a bit from behind the arc.  That is something I can deal with when I’m getting over 20 points and 14 rebounds a game from, not to mention the three pointer bonus from a PF.


4. What is Blake Griffin’s real fantasy value?
Blake Griffin is one of the most exciting players to watch, with his high flying, aggressive dunks.  However what that does not equate too is a great fantasy basketball player.  His rookie season was amazing, averaging 22 points and 12 rebounds.  With those numbers, you could forgive the lack of blocks, steals, and poor free throw shooting, especially in just his rookie season. In each of the last two seasons his points and rebounds per game have dropped by two each, to him posting 18 and 8.3 last year. This is still impressive and valuable to have on your team, but in my opinion he gets drafted a tad too early considering the lack of defensive stats and terrible free throw percentage.

Sleepers
Pau Gasol (LAL) – Like Kevin Love, Gasol was injured and also had a disappointing season last year, with Dwight Howard in town.  It sounds like Gasol will be 100% to start the season, so if that is the case there I fully expect him to be right back to his pre-Dwight Howard days when he put up 18 points, 10 rebounds and added a nice block numbers.  In fact if Kobe plays but is not 100%, Gasol would be in line for an uptick in scoring.

Tobias Harris (ORL) – After Harris was acquired in late February last year in a trade with Milwaukee he immediately played big minutes for Orlando, and produced right away.  In fact in the 24 games played in March and April he averaged 17.2 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, adding over a 3-pointer a game and almost a steal as well.  They did not add anybody in the off-season to compete for the job so there is no reason to think he can’t continue that into this season

Busts
Serge Ibaka (OKC) – Yes he can block a ton of shots, but he really doesn’t do much else.  Last season was a career high in points, averaging 13.2, so that isn’t very helpful, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see that decline this year.  His percentages are great for a big man,. 552 field goal percentage, and .713 free-throw percentage for his career, but to me that isn’t enough for me to want to own him.  There are guys later in the draft I can get to help me win block, but help me compete more in other categories.

Kevin Garnett (BKN) – I don’t see anyway that he averages 14 and 8 in Brooklyn with Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez and Paul Pierce in the starting lineup.  I see Garnett being the 5th option on this team, probably having his averages drop closer to 10 and 6.  In fact, I will probably wind up dropping each of the Nets players a bit at the positions, just due to the fact that there are so many options on that team.


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About Joe Bond

Not just another "Average Joe" when it comes to Fantasy Sports, he is the fantasy brain trust behind the FantasySixPack.net website. Joe is one of the Experts included in the FantasyPros Consensus Rankings for Football, Baseball and Basketball and finished well each year. You can find him on Twitter, @F6P_Joe, where he is waiting by the keyboard for your question.

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