Fantasy Basketball

Fantasy Basketball 2013-14 Small Forward Preview

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By: Justin Ramlochan

A shallow position this year is undoubtedly the small forward position. Everyone knows that Kevin Durant and Lebron James will be first and second off the board but after them it is slim pickings. It really is a fantasy luxury to be able to pick in the first two slots of the draft; not only are you getting a player that is heads and tails above the competition but you also will get to pick back to back, which I love to do. With that being said in the article I will be evaluating who I think will be a nice value pick, the player that will contribute the most to fantasy owners in their rookie season, sleepers, and busts. All of my assumptions are based on a 14 player roto/head to head league.

If I can’t get LeBron or Durant, when should I take my SF?
As mentioned above the SF position is a thin one. As supply and demand would indicate, when there is less supply there is more demand. With that in mind I do not want to wait too long before selecting a starting SF for my fantasy basketball team. Depending on how you intend to build your team you will be able to decide when to plug your SF in there. Don’t wait too long however else you will be left with the bottom feeders of the position. Some draft formats however give players dual eligibility like Kobe (SG, SF). If this is the case the position is not that shallow after all. Again these things will dictate where and when to select your SF.


With a full training camp under his belt with the Toronto Raptors, where will Rudy Gay provide the most value?
Just a few seasons ago Rudy Gay was rewarded with a huge contract due to his stellar play and forecasted potential. His roto value was in the top 20. A dislocated shoulder and a “slow it down, pound it inside” offensive regime later Rudy has seen his game diminish and FG % slip drastically. He has yet to regain his top 20 roto form. This past offseason he had corrective eye surgery as he could not pass the test for his driver’s license. Rudy has also bulked up. I don’t know about you but if I cannot see the rim I can also see my fg% dip. In most leagues Rudy Gay will be hanging around come the 3-4 rd. His potential to hit a three, add a steal and a block is a luxury. If he can somehow bring that fg % back up over 45%, Rudy will outplay his ADP.

Which Small Forward will provide any help to fantasy mangers in their rookie season?
Again, the position is very thin and so is this year’s rooking class for a true small forward. One name stands out is Otto Porter on Washington. Porter will most likely go undrafted in most fantasy leagues and can be grabbed off waiver if he has a few solid outings. Also keep in mind the Wizards have a slew of wings in Beal, Webster and Ariza so minutes will not be cheap. I think you can get my drift by now: I am not too high on any rookie SF providing any kind of fantasy impact and the safe bet is to take a wait and see approach.

Sleepers
Gordon Hayward (UTAH) – Jazz are in rebuild mode and their most proven talent on the wings is Hayward. He has the ability to put up well rounded stat lines with decent percentages. I just hope his increased shot volume does not curb he FG % down. His minutes will be there and he also has the ability to play some back up PG, especially with Burke being down. I like Hayward for value in the middle of the draft.

Wilson Chandler (DEN) – With increased minutes Chandler has proven he can be productive. He has the ability to fill the stat sheet. Danilo Gallinari is out for the foreseeable future and Denver has traded away their wing depth in the offseason. Providing Chandler can stay healthy he should provide middle-to late round value.

Jeff Green (BOS) – Rondo is out until Christmas, The Celtics are rebuilding and they really have no one aside from Green that can be relied on to put the ball in the net. Green has fantastic athleticism and can also fill the stat sheet. I am worried about him getting double teamed a lot and the ball being forced out of his hands. Green should however get enough touches and shot volume to be relevant in Boston. I am not sure if Green is a sleeper at this point but is worth mentioning in this column as other draft names may slip before Jeff but he could beat their ADP come year end.

Busts
Andre Igoudala (GSW) – Igoudala’s fantasy game and percentages have been slipping. The Golden State Warriors are a very deep team and there is only so much ball to go around. The primary options are Stephen Curry and David Lee and rightfully so. Iggy needs the ball in his hands to be affective and the ball will be in Curry’s hands and this does not spell good things for Igoudala’s fantasy game. He still has the ability to stuff the stat sheet but I am not going to pay for his services this year.

Josh Smith (DET) – If Smith doesn’t get back to doing what he does well and drive the ball he is a player that I have to stay away from. He stuffs the stat sheet but kills your percentages. After all these years I do not see an improvement in FT%. The inside for Detroit is crowded and floor spacing is going to be a problem. Those same driving lanes that were opened from J Smooth in Atlanta will now be closed by the likes of Drummond, who they need to develop, and Monroe. The idea of josh Smith sitting out at the three point line sends cringes down my spine. Some pundits have Smith pegged in the third round, there are better options there.

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About Justin Ramlochan

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