Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been using this space to do a positional analysis of the best players in fantasy basketball. As an owner, I am typically looking for three things in a player–stats (duh), flexibility (ability to play multiple positions), and keeper potential (salary/ ceiling). These are the same guidelines I’m using this week, the previous weeks, and in the weeks to come. Next up, the four best fantasy small forwards in the game today.
I’ll get the obvious ones out of the way first. Lebron James is still the King. Sure, his numbers are down, but subpar numbers for Lebron are still MVP-like for other players. And get this–he’s only 30 (even if he has been in the league forever), so you can count on at least 4-5 more years of production barring injury.
The other obvious choice is Kevin Durant. Durant is enjoying a typical season, which means he’s one of the top, if not the top player in most fantasy leagues. At 27, he’s got many, many good years ahead of him, which gives him the slight edge over KIng James.
My personal favorite small forward is Kawhi Leonard, who is finally putting it all together in San Antonio. He’s a two-way stud who is finally putting up consistent numbers. I think in a year or two, he might be one of the better players in all of fantasy basketball (and just to make you even more jealous of the guy in your league who owns him, Leonard is only 24).
The last guy on my list, definitely brings flexibility (as well as numbers). In many leagues (including my own), Paul George is listed as both a SF and PF, something that fantasy owners can only hope will last after this season. And speaking of this season, George is having one of the very best of his young career. At just 25, he has a chance for many more.
Week 10 Fantasy Basketball Preview
Team Number of Games Schedule Favorability Must Start Consider Sitting
Atlanta 0 home
Neutral Paul Millsap, Al Horford Dennis Schroder, Kent Bazemore, Jeff Teague
Boston 2 home
Poor Isaiah Thomas Evan Turner, Jared Sullinger, Avery Bradley
Brooklyn 0 home
Unfavorable Brook Lopez Jarrett Jack, Thaddeus Young
Charlotte 3 home
Neutral Kemba Walker, Nicolas Batum Al Jefferson
Chicago 3 home
Neutral Pau Gasol, Jimmy Butler Derrick Rose, Nikola Mirotic
Cleveland 1 home
Neutral Lebron James, Kevin Love Mo Williams, Tristan Thompson
Dallas 3 home
Neutral Dirk Nowitzki, Deron Williams Chandler Parsons, Deron Williams
Denver 2 home
Neutral Danilo Gallinari Emmanuel Mudiay, Kenneth Faried
Detroit 1 home
Neutral Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson Marcus Morris, Ersan Ilyasova
Golden State 2 home
Highly Favorable Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson Andre Iguodala
Houston 2 home
Favorable James Harden, Dwight Howard Ty Lawson, Trevor Ariza
Indiana 3 home
Neutral Paul George Monta Ellis, George Hill, Ian Mahinmi
Los Angeles Clippers 1 home
Favorable Blake Griffin, Deandre Jordan, Chris Paul None
Los Angeles Lakers 2 home
Favorable None Kobe Bryant, Roy Hibbert, Julius Randle
Memphis 1 home
Poor Marc Gasol Mike Conley, Zach Randolph
Miami 2 home
Favorable Hassan Whitehead, Chris Bosh Dwayne Wade, Goran Dragic
Milwaukee 0 home
Favorable Greg Monroe Michael Carter Williams, Jabri Parker, Giannis Antekokounmpo
Minnesota 2 home
Unfavorable Karl-Anthony Towns Ricky Rubio, Andre Wiggins
New Orleans 1 home
Neutral Anthony Davis, Tyreke Evans Eric Gordon, Ryan Anderson
New York 2 home
Poor Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis Robin Lopez
Oklahoma City 2 home
Favorable Russel Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka None
Orlando 2 home
Neutral Victor Oladipo, Nikola Vucevic Elfrid Payton, Tobias Harris
Philadelphia 0 home
Neutral Jahlil Okafor, Robert Covington Nerlens Noel
Phoenix 1 home
Highly Favorable Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight Tyson Chandler, TJ Warren
Portland 1 home
Neutral Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum Mason Plumlee
Sacramento 2 home
Neutral Demarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo Rudy Gay
San Antonio 3 home
Favorable Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge Tony Parker, Tim Duncan
Toronto 3 home
Neutral Kyle Lowery, DeMar DeRozan, Bismack Biyombo Jonas Valanciunas
Utah 3 home
Highly Favorable Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward Rudy Gobert
Washington 3 home
Favorable John Wall, Bradley Beal Marcin Gortat, Otto Porter
Bismack Biyombo, C, Toronto Raptors
Jonas Valanciunas is set to return to action Monday night, but I still think Biyombo is a must start. During Valanciunas’s absence, Biyombo looked like a revelation, not only blocking shots (which we knew he could do), but also grabbing rebounds at an astounding rate. I personally believe he’ll still get enough minutes this week to merit starting.
Anthony Davis, C, New Orleans Pelicans
Solid start in Anthony Davis’ 1st Christmas game. Through 1Q, he scored or assisted on all 15 Pelicans’ Pts. pic.twitter.com/040RMRdNFI
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 25, 2015
Okay, this one is a no-brainer. If you have him on your team, you’ve probably been starting him anyway. But I decided to include him because he’s been playing like a man possessed lately. On Christmas day, Davis 20 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 blocks. Over the last seven days, Davis has been the best player in my keeper league. Don’t you dare leave him on the bench.
Brandon Knight, SG, Phoenix Suns
The Suns have the best schedule in the NBA for the coming week. Add Eric Bledsoe’s absence due to a knee injury, and you have a recipe for a huge week from Knight. He’s been streaky this year, but it’s hard for me to imagining him not catching fire this week.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF, Milwaukee Bucks
I can’t figure Antetokounmpo out. Some games, he looks absolutely unstoppable, and then the there are some games where he appears afraid to even look at the basket. If I were Jason Kidd, I’d tell him to attack the rim hard and quit settling for jump shots. Of course, I’m not Kidd, just the idiot fantasy owner who’s been starting Antetokounmpo every week. If you’ve got any other options, Sure, the Bucks’ schedule is favorable, but I wouldn’t let that stop you from playing somebody else.
Avery Bradley, SG, Boston Celtics
I like Bradley’s game, and I think he’s a really good young player, but the Celtics only play twice in the coming week. Throw in Marcus Smart’s imminent return, and I think it’s a good week to keep Bradley on the bench.
- Week 23 Fantasy Basketball Preview: Westbrook Remains a Top Pick - March 28, 2016
- Week 22 Fantasy Basketball Preview: Draymond Green, Man of Many Talents - March 20, 2016
- Week 21 Fantasy Basketball Preview: Building a Champion - March 13, 2016