Fantasy Basketball 2014-2015 Power Forward Preview

by Howard Roark

There is a lot of change in the air this year in fantasy basketball. I would venture to say that this season is probably my favorite so far. There are things that we can only guess about like what happens to Love’s value, and will David West  continue drinking from the fountain of youth now that Paul George is out for the season? The move by LeBron James back to Cleveland impacted many many players. Funny how that works. Sit back and enjoy this season. As far as fantasy, this is one of the more difficult positions to analyze with so many changes happening.

Can Kevin Love still maintain his high value now that he has other weapons around him?
Wizards v/s Timberwolves 03/05/11This happens to be a pretty easy answer for me. All we have to do is to see what has happened to the values of other players when they joined a super team. As an example, we can look at the most recent Big Three with LeBron, Wade, and Bosh. The individual values fell for both Wade and Bosh. Even though LeBron was the Alpha in the Heat’s version of the Big Three, his overall numbers did drop. Same thing will happen to Love. There is the wildcard as well with how he adjusts not being the top dog in his team. Some guys struggle with that. He will be the equivalent to Chris Bosh when LeBron was in Miami except that he will be a much better three point shooter. If LeBron is Batman and Irving is Robin, then who will Love be? I don’t think he deserves the high current average draft position (early 1st round).

How will Pau Gasol fair playing with Derek Rose in Chicago?
This is a tricky player to draft. For one thing, he will playing for a point guard that distributes the ball nicely. On the other hand, he has Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson taking shots or minutes from him. He is also 34 years old. He was injured last year, and he is 7 feet tall. That leads me to expect a pedestrian season with a high ramp up as playoffs get closer. He is taking Carlos Boozer’s old spot, so should we expect more production from Pau than what Boozer provided? I expect something similar. He is a double eligibility guy, and that aspect is very positive. He is good catch in the 5th round or later.

After a huge FIBA world cup is Kenneth Faried worth an early to mid round pick in 2014?
Faried is not a recognized name by many outside the fantasy world but it looks like he is ready to take that next step forward. He is one of the main targets on my list that have a big upside. He is currently being taken at about round 5 or six, but I think he is much better than that. If you can pick him up in round 5 then I think you are getting an exceptional deal. His anticipated rebounds places him in the top 10 rebounders at his position. His points per game are going to be near 18pts/Game. He will most likely be a double double machine. He will probably be available in the fourth round, but I would not hesitate to catch him in the third round if you are picking late in that round.

Jared Sullinger (PF - CEL)- This is a player with a lot of versatility and the Celtics will need someone to focus the offense. He served under this role last year and we saw good results from that. It helps that Rondo is out, and with Smart and Bass in the mix they will need him to continue his improved play. He wisely decided to expand his game to be able to play on the perimeter and mid-range ala Chris Bosh.

Josh McRoberts (PF-MIA) – When he joined the Miami Heat it was more as a role player. This Duke player will have the opportunity to be an important part of the Miami team. He has a nice three point shot as evidenced by the 36.1% shooting average from the behind the arc. I know that it was the first year that he took as many shots (made 105 of them), but they will need him to continue to do that at Miami. Spoelstra likes players that have the flexibility to play in multiple roles. I would target him in the later rounds (8th or 9th). He would be a guy with great upside that may give you the boost to win the league.

Wizards v/s Warriors 03/02/11David Lee (PF-GS ) -  I know what you are thinking, “Another Florida guy?” Notice though that I have two out of three Florida players under the bust category, so I am fair. David is 31 years old and Golden State has definitely changed strategy on how Lee will be used.  It is not as if Golden State has slowed its play down. It is one of the higher scoring teams in the league for the past few years. Also, it is hard to bemoan a player that averaged 18.22 pts/G and 9.32 rebounds/G. I want to point out that he has become less consistent and injury has hurt his performance 2 out of last three years. In short, I wouldn't spend a fourth or higher draft pick on him. He would be a deal at round 6 or below.

Tristan Thompson (PF-CLE) – If your name is not Love, LeBron, or Irving, on the Cleveland Cavalier team, then avoid him. Sure, there will be some stats to go around, but there are better options out there. We will probably still get the nice Rebounds out of him, but the average point per game is going to drop. He is not a gifted on the offensive side of the ball anyway, so I would just avoid this player altogether.

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