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Fantasy Basketball Positional Rankings: Small Forwards

Oct 17, 2009 – 7:30 PM
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Tom Lorenzo

Tom Lorenzo %BloggerTitle%

LeBron JamesHistorically, the small forward position has been designated for slashers and swingmen who are smaller and not as physically imposing as their frontcourt counterparts. They're easy enough to identify. LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Paul Pierce are all small forwards. Brian Scalabrine, on the other hand, is a power forward. I suppose the true definition of a small forward is someone who, for the most part, measures at least 6-feet, 5-inches and encompasses a more versatile skill set -- a player who can dribble, pass, shoot, and rebound.

Three of the most versatile and all-around NBA talents in the game are eligible at the small forward position. The top of the list is headlined by King James, the first or second pick in all fantasy drafts -- depending on who you ask. The rankings themselves are considered to be a little top-heavy. You'll find some value toward the end of the list, but it's at the top where the bread and butter is.
Fantasy Basketball Rankings: C | PF | SF | SG | PG

The rankings are based on a standard 8-category, head-to-head (H2H) scoring system: points, assists, rebounds, steals, blocks, three-pointers, FG% and FT%. Position eligibility is based on Fleaflicker's fantasy basketball game.

1. LeBron James
2. Kevin Durant
3. Danny Granger
4. Andre Iguodala
5. Caron Butler
6. Carmelo Anthony
7. Vince Carter
8. Paul Pierce
9. Gerald Wallace
10. Rashard Lewis
11. Josh Smith
12. Shawn Marion
13. John Salmons
14. Charlie Villanueva
15. Rudy Gay
16. Jason Richardson
17. Anthony Randolph
18. Boris Diaw
19. Al Harrington
20. Tyrus Thomas
21. Hedo Turkoglu
22. Andrea Bargnani
23. Jeff Green
24. Trevor Ariza
25. Ron Artest
26. Wilson Chandler
27. Richard Jefferson
28. Stephen Jackson
29. Marvin Williams
30. Lamar Odom
31. Luol Deng
32. Michael Beasley
33. Danilo Gallinari
34. Al Thornton
35. Corey Maggette
36. Andrei Kirilenko
37. Yi Jianlian
38. Tayshaun Prince
39. Kelenna Azubuike
40. Thaddeus Young
41. Josh Howard
42. Peja Stojakovic
43. Mike Miller
44. Travis Outlaw
45. Thabo Sefolosha
46. Julian Wright
47. Grant Hill
48. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute
49. Matt Barnes
50. Tracy McGrady

- LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Danny Granger should all be gone by pick No. 8. All three, however, are good enough to go in the top five picks.

- Just a quick note: it's tough to determine projections when you're talking about players with multiple eligibility. For instance, Andrea Bargnani's value is much higher when you place him in your center position. As a small forward he's not quite as valuable. So keep that in mind.

- Andre Iguodala is ranked highly on my list because I love the fact that he's playing in the Princeton-style offense this season. He may not love it, but I do. He'll contribute across the board, and if Eddie Jordan can help improve his three-point range -- much like he did with Richard Jefferson and Mitch Richmond -- Iggy could prove to be a nice second-round talent.

- Caron Butler needs to prove to me, and me only, that he can stay healthy before I use an early second-round pick on him. Besides, there are too many cooks in the kitchen for my taste in Washington. A third-round selection would make me feel more comfortable knowing that he'll more than likely miss 15-plus games this season.

- Carmelo Anthony could put together a career year this season. He added a three-point shot to his repertoire and it wouldn't surprise me in the least if he finished in the top 5 in scoring this season. He's a married man now. It's time for him to handle his business. At least that's what my wife would tell me -- if I had one.

- Vince Carter and Paul Pierce's best days are behind them. That's not to say that either isn't good for 20 points per game this season.

- I'm sure Rudy Gay wishes he doesn't have to suit up for the Griz this season. He looked excellent this summer playing with Team USA. It a shame that Zach Randolph and Allen Iverson have to retard the progress of Gay and the other young core players in Memphis. Still, they're all coming off the board at great value. If Iverson continues to be hindered by his hamstring or goes down with a more serious injury, Rudy Gay should step forward and shine once again.

- I'm not sure who's happier about Ben Gordon being in Detroit -- John Salmons or Gordon himself? Salmons posted career numbers while in Chicago, and with no one breathing down his neck at the two-guard position, we might see him top his '08-'09 campaign. Is it too soon in our relationship to say that Salmons is swimming upstream?

- I can't bring myself to suggest that you draft Stephen Jackson this season. I'm staying away from him altogether. He was suspended for two preseason games, he called out his teammates, called out the refs, called out Kobe Bryant, stepped down as the team captain ... the list goes on. From a basketball perspective I was already down on S-Jax. His FG% is poor enough to drag your entire team down. In November, December and March (36 games), he shot below 28 percent from the floor in each month, shooting at least 14.5 attempts. And don't get me started on the turnovers. No thank you!

- If the Warriors come to their senses and buyout Stephen Jackson, then move Kelenna Azubuike up a few spots on this list. He's got a knack for scoring.

- If you want to take on Josh Howard go for it. Just know that when a coach says they expect the player not to hit the court "for a while ... whether it's two weeks, a month or a month and a half" it usually means that he's not expecting that player to return for a few months.

- I'm a Danilo Gallinari guy. Go figure. This paisan can shoot out the lights and that's appealing to me.

- Thaddeus Young unfortunately doesn't do enough on the court to warrant a mid-round draft pick. I think his scoring is going to go up in Eddie Jordan's new offense, just not sure where else he's going to contribute other than points, steals, a few rebounds, and a decent FG%.

- Grant Hill might have something left in the tank. The training staff in Phoenix happen to be miracle workers, but let's not go too crazy over his draft stock this season.

- I re-read Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai, and it says nothing in it about having to honor Tracy McGrady by drafting him. Just so we're clear on that: you do NOT have to draft T-Mac.

If you have any fantasy hoops questions you can send them my way on Twitter: @RotoLorenzo
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