HoopsHype.com Fantasy Basketball
Fantasy basketball owners want their power forwards to be like the Wu – rough, rugged, and raw – bringing the pain every night they take the floor. We don't need them to shoot bombs from beyond the arc necessarily, but we want them to be like foot soldiers down in the box doing damage on the boards, getting putbacks, blocking shots into the stands, and coming strong. Basically, they need to be the strong arm of fantasy basketball teams.
(Note: DroppingDimes.com’s overall position rank in parentheses)
If you’re looking for a forward that can produce stats all over the place, then get on board Garnett’s train and punch “The Big Ticket” who will give you big results. While he’s given way to the Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James as the consensus No. 1 overall pick in fantasy basketball, Garnett still brings it every night he’s on the hardwood, playing second fiddle to no one. And the fact that he's been one of the better three-point shooters in T-Wolves camp could make him the best fantasy player when all is said and done.
Nowitzki showed just how good he could be during the postseason and you can expect that to continue coming into the this regular season. What other big man can score in the various ways that he can? He may not produce as much as you’d like defensively, but you’ll be more than happy to take his overall offensive production.
Brand came into his own last season and is a legitimate MVP candidate. For the fourth time in his seven-year career, Brand achieved the prestigious 20/10 mark in points/rebounds. Don’t expect that to change anytime soon. Add in his amazing ability to put “Spalding” across opposing shooters' foreheads and Brand is a product you can trust. Forget about Coke, forget about McDonalds. Brand will be the Happy Meal for your team.
I can only imagine what kind of production Howard can give once he learns more offensive moves. The youngster is a beast down in the box and after playing with the disappointing U.S. World Championships team, you have to believe the bright power forward learned a thing or two. He got a taste of international play, was coached by Duke's Mike Krzyzewski and got to play with superstars from the League. Add the fact that he could become center eligible at some point during the season and Howard could gain more value.
Somebody needs to feed Kobe Bryant all those shots, right? Odom may play Goose to Bryant’s Maverick, but make no mistake about his ability. As the second option on the Lakers, Odom can put up a very good amount of points, but what really stands out are the assists from his position. And Odom isn’t a slouch grabbing boards either, but you’d expect that he could at 6-10 tall.
If you want numbers across the board (although, not as much on a KG level), then Wallace is the one that you want the way Danny Zuko needed Sandy Olsson. In any case, with the loss of Ben Wallace to the Chicago Bulls, the boards could come in abundance for Wallace. Add in about 15 points, two or three dimes, a couple of treys, one steal and one and half blocks and Wallace will have you hopelessly devoted to him on your fantasy basketball team.
Jamison is option No. 2 after Gilbert Arenas on the Wizards, but there aren't many second options that can score 20 ppg on top of nine boards and a fair amount of moneyballs as well. You can expect more of the same this season from Jamison as he's just like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a glass of water... you'd like to have the sandwich with milk, but either way, it's still good.
Webber staying relatively healthy for a whole season is like that kid in the sandbox that didn't play with his trucks, but ate the sand – just weird. But Webber did remind us what he could do when healthy and that's get it done. Another second option that can put up the points, Webber is also one of the better passing big men. And he can also rip the rock at a good clip although he can turn the ball over a lot.
Villanueva is one talented dude. How much more does he need to prove? He was booed at the draft unceremoniously, didn't get a real shot to play at the beginning of the season, but when he did, he did very well. But then what happens? He gets traded to the Bucks. With Andrew Bogut gone until about a month into the season, Villanueva will get a chance to show his new team just how good he is and in all likelihood get the love from Brew City that he couldn't get from the T-Dot.
Drafting Randolph has the potential of making one feel disappointed with one's self. Why? Because of the off-the-court issues, the fact that he seems like he's coasting on the court wasting all of his talent, and because he acts like a cosmic entity – a black hole – whenever the ball goes down to him you know it ain't ever coming back out. However, it's that talent part I mentioned that will almost force you to draft Randolph. Without a solid alternative (Darius Miles doesn't count) to put the ball in the basket, Randolph will be the Blazers' main man.
Bye bye the chaos of Atlanta, hello the chaos of Indiana! Well, at least Harrington has been on the team before and should immediately team up with good friend Jermaine O'Neal to form one of the best frontcourts in the league. Depending on how the cast of characters pans out regarding playing time, it's pretty much safe to assume that Harrington will probably score a little less points, but should still be a solid play in the middle rounds.
Murphy is like a bed in that everyone usually sleeps on him at the draft. How many players can average a double-double and still get selected in the later middle rounds? Sure, he's not really a "sexy" pick, but Murphy will get you boards, about a trey a game, as well as a good amount of points. So put the blanket away and get ready to snatch Murphy up somewhere in the middle rounds.
I think West falls to unlucky No. 13 because the Hornets now have a legit scorer in Peja Stojakovic and a rebounder in Tyson Chandler. All that time and all those chances West got last season for a rag-tag bunch (not including Chris Paul) should basically disappear like a rabbit in a magician's hat. However, he should still be decent – especially because of his very good percentages.
Will Wilcox rest easy now that he signed a multi-year contract? Probably not because it's only for three years and not as much money as he wanted. So expect Wilcox to remain motivated and come close to averaging 15/9 for the whole season. Wilcox is still raw to some degree and actually has a higher ceiling to reach.
Did you know that the Cavaliers are going to have a Drew Gooden Bald Head Night? Not exactly the round object Gooden wanted to be known for, but I'm sure he'll take it. Coming out of college there were so many expectations for Gooden who never fulfilled them, and he may not fulfill this expectation, but Gooden has a chance to average 10 and 10 for the season if the anti-Gooden (hairwise anyway) Anderson Varejao doesn't take away too many minutes from him.
Okay, this is where sleepers start to pop up and all things considered, Williams is the best power forward to keep in the back of your mind. The aforementioned Al Harrington is no longer with the team, which means someone needs to step up to fill that space and I don't think it's going to be Shelden Williams, who always seemed like he was his teammates' uncle when Williams played at Duke. In any case, before the 2005 draft, most people were saying that Williams could eventually end up being the best player of the draft... It's time for Williams to make that statement true.
Haslem is the unsung hero that gets boards, hustles and scores whenever the flow of the offense dictates. He also shoots very good percentages and should contribute nicely in these categories for your fantasy basketball team.
What happened to the dominating, angry-as-heck Kenyon Martin from his college and Nets days? Back then it meant something when he roared like a lion and tensed his muscles. Now whenever he does that, you wonder if it might be the thin air of Denver that has Martin gasping. Martin never averaged double-digit rebounds (although he came close in his last season with the Nets, 9.5) or averaged 17 ppg, but you would at least know he was on the floor. The return of Nenê could cloud his presence even more, but Martin has the potential to do well, which all hinders on him staying healthy for a full season and staying out of George Karl’s doghouse.
Abdur-Rahim isn't as much of a force as he once was, but will still give you decent points and percentages. He's probably the Kings best post player after Ron Artest and should get enough touches to keep you happy for taking him in the later rounds.
Marshall is the perfect complementary player at this point in his career and fantasy-wise is probably considered more of a specialist from behind the three-point line. However, he'll still get his share of rebounds and a block or steal every now and then.
Radmanovic is the tallest person that cannot rebound relative to his height (6-10) in the league. For instance, Chris Paul at a reported 6-3 averaged more boards (5.1) than Radmanovic. Okay, fine, Paul is a special player. But how about six-foot even, weighing only a buck-sixty in wet clothes, TJ Ford who averaged 4.3 rpg, only 0.3 boards off from Radmanovic. Basically, don't draft Radmanovic for boards. However, triples and free-throw percentage? Yes.
With the Celtics, it was all about Walker. But in Miami, he's just another supporting player. He may be the best one of the bunch, though. Walker averaged over a dozen points and could very well achieve the same numbers as there were no significant changes to the roster.
Nenê suffered a season-ending injury in the first game of the season last year, but should come back well enough to get you a decent amount of points, boards, and steals. Keep an eye on his progress during camp because Nenê has the potential of being this season's David West in that he'll go undrafted and put up some pretty good numbers.
Thomas, for someone his height (6-7), is a beast on the boards, which is one of the main reasons teammate Shareef Abdur-Rahim will need to look over his shoulder, lest Thomas rests away the starting job the way he does basketballs off backboards. And he could even average 10 points a game. You gotta like the percentage from the floor as well.
Gomes came on strong the last two months of the season as he averaged 12.3 ppg, shooting close to 50 percent from the field, and close to 80 percent from the charity stripe. Add seven boards a game and Gomes has great deep sleeper written all over him.
Dennis Velasco writes for DroppingDimes.com
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