Fantasy Preview: Forwards
Everything you need to know about which 3s and 4s you’ll need on your squad.
Thomas Robinson, Kings: Robinson joins a train wreck of a team in Sacto, but he’s amazingly active on the boards and has the ability to generate his own offense. He could lead the NBA in rebounding a few years down the line.
Anthony Davis, Hornets: Yeah, you’ll have to pay a premium for Davis this year. But with his obscene shot-blocking ability (he blocked 30 jump shots last year) and a high basketball IQ, once his jump shot catches up he’s first-round material.
Derrick Favors, Jazz: With Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap hitting free agency after the season, Favors probably won’t claim a full-time role until 2013-14. He can already rebound and block shots, and Favors is making major strides as a scorer.
Kenneth Faried, Nuggets: Faried can obviously rebound and block a few shots. He gets everything around the rim, leading to a lot high FG percentage. And if his FT percentage keeps rising, he’s going to be a third- or fourth-round pick down the line.
Nicolas Batum, Trail Blazers: The Blazers wrestled Batum away from Minnesota, a sign that they actually do understand he’s one of the League’s best young players. Expect Batum to finally get the prominent role he deserves.
Paul George, Pacers: He’s already established as a top-notch defender, and George’s per-minute rates improved in points, rebounds, assists, steals and threes last season. He’s also a strong FT shooter.
Ersan Ilyasova, Bucks: Ilyasova might not blister the nets like he did late last year (55.2 percent from the field, 50.8 percent from three-point land after the All-Star break), but he’s got the kind of inside-outside game (8.8 RPG last year) to thrive now that he’s starting.
Gordon Hayward, Jazz: Hayward’s role is growing in Utah, especially after averaging 14.1 ppg and 1.1 threes per game after the break a year ago. He’ll help in FT shooting and picks up a decent number of assists (3.1 apt) for a wing.
Kawhi Leonard, Spurs: Leonard has already proven he can rebound and get steals, and now the Spurs are ready to get him a bigger offensive role. With points and threes ready to rise, he’s going to be a sneaky good mid-round pick.
Taj Gibson, Bulls: With Omer Asik gone and replaced by only Nazr Mohammed, Joakim Noah injury-prone and Carlos Boozer crappy, Gibson will have to have a bigger this year. He should be a nice source of boards and blocks.
Blake Griffin, Clippers: We’ll keep on reminding you: Griffin is a stud in points-based leagues, but in roto leagues he’s a borderline top-100 pick at best. He gets no defensive numbers (no, he doesn’t block shots) and kills your FT percentage.
Ryan Anderson, Hornets: Anderson really cooled off when Dwight Howard was out last year, shooting just 34.5 percent from three after the break and averaging just 9.6 PPG in the Playoffs. Now in NOLA, he’ll miss Howard drawing defenses.
Amar’e Stoudemire, Knicks: Stoudemire was a great fit in Mike D’Antoni’s pick-and-roll heavy system, but the Knicks will now run a lot of iso and Stoudemire will continue to hoist ill-advised mid-range jumpers. He’s a major reach in the early rounds now.