Wednesday, October 05, 2005

2005 Fantasy Tiers by Position: Small Forwards

It’s nearly impossible to define the “typical” small forward. Some are long-range bombers, some excel at crashing the boards. Others are defensive whizzes. Taken early, your small forward will determine how some of your late picks turn out. Taken late, a small forward can really fill a need – or make a small one even more glaring. Let’s sort through the variety:

Tier One
LeBron James, Shawn Marion, Andrei Kirilenko.

The cream of the crop. James is either the first or second pick in any draft. Marion is a top-5 pick, and if he stays healthy, AK-47 has top-5 talent as well. The health is certainly a risk, but we’re huge fans of AK, so we’re putting him in the top tier.

Tier Two
Peja Stojakovic, Ron Artest, Lamar Odom, Rashard Lewis, Richard Jefferson, Corey Maggette.

These are some of the most valuable players in fantasy basketball. Some are like shooting guards who can rebound. Others are power forwards who can step outside. Each really has unique skill set. You’ll notice we’ve got Ron Artest up here. That’s not a mistake. He’s lined up for a comeback fantasy player of the year award, if such an award existed.

Tier Three
Bobby Simmons, Antoine Walker, Quentin Richardson, Caron Butler, Carmelo Anthony, Jalen Rose, Al Harrington, Tayshaun Prince, Luol Deng, Kyle Korver, Josh Smith.

All of these guys could end up as top-25 players by the end of the year. All of them could also end up being one of the worst players on your team that you just can’t drop. I’m a personal fan of Carmelo this year if you can get him late enough that the risk is low. Meanwhile, Bobby Simmons might end up being overvalued this year in some drafts. He’s just not a 4th round pick – none of these guys are. But by the end of the fifth round, you have to start thinking about this tier.

Tier Four
Grant Hill, Mike Miller, Josh Howard, Darius Miles, Mike Dunleavy, Michael Finley, Gerald Wallace, Marvin Williams, Andres Nocioni, Wally Szczerbiak.

One of the problems with tiering the small forwards is that they have such different strengths, it’s tough to differentiate on an overall level. None of these guys will be fantasy studs this year. However, each has a chance to be a solid contributer to your teams, whether it’s in 3’s (Miller or Finley), boards (Nocioni), or head cases (Miles). These are important players to research for the mid-late rounds of your draft. While they’re never great picks, they’re generally pretty safe in the 10th round of so. Don’t target them necessarily, but if a player you were going to take goes right before you pick, these guys are nice second options.

Tomorrow: Power Forwards.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wondering, who would you rather have? Melo or Tayshaun?

1:25 PM  
Blogger bv said...

you know, that's been a source of debate here at FBB HQ. DM is a big fan of Prince's all-around numbers, and you can almost certainly get him later than Melo. But I think I prefer Melo. Last year was horrific for him off the court. Hopefully he can concentrate solely on his game this year, and put up better numbers. And hopefully, he won't do any snitching.

3:13 PM  
Blogger DM said...

like BV said, i prefer prince. like i always say, a player whose best category is points is almost ALWAYS overvalued. and like i said in my pistons recap, prince is the kind of guy you can just plug into the lineup at the beginning of the season, leave him alone for 6 months and at the end of the year you've got a top 50 player.

3:41 PM  
Blogger p_bulatovic said...

Just wondering, from what I can see, all Szczerbiak provides is points and 3's, why do you consider him to be even in 4th tier?

Also, if Spree signs with a team where he plays 20+ minutes a game, which tier would you rank him in?


6:41 PM  
Blogger bv said...

Szczerbiak, well, he's going to be drafted. I just can't imagine the whole draft going by without him getting picked. So he had to ge mentioned, even if it's the last guy on the last tier.

As for Sprewell, he's kicked. there's maybe a 5% chance he'll ever have fantasy value again.

7:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

where would you have Josh Childress? I'm assuming he should be in the small forward catagory.

12:08 PM  
Blogger bv said...

well, the hawks are going to be an interesting team to watch this year from a fantasy perspective. there's an abundance of small forwards there all who COULD have fantasy value, depending on who gets playing time. right now we're projecting josh smith and al harrington to get the most time at the 3 - but that could change. it's just a tough read right now, and really, it might never clear up.

2:06 PM  

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