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Fantasy Doctor, NBA / Oct 14, 2009 / 3:00 pm

Top 10 Fantasy Small Forwards In 2009-10

LeBron James

We’ve looked at the top 10 fantasy point guards and shooting guards this week already and now we’re moving on to look at the projected top 10 fantasy small forwards for the 2009-10 season. As always, your comments are very welcome here so don’t shy away from voicing your opinions.

1. LeBron James: The King needs little explanation here. Though his scoring and rebounding declined last season, James improved on his turnovers and free-throw shooting, two areas that were seen as his weaknesses. Expect a hungry, bitter James to furiously put up nasty lines on a nightly basis as he seeks redemption after last year’s disappointing early exit from the playoffs.

2. Kevin Durant: There is a ton of hype surrounding Durant in fantasy circles this year, and with good reason. The kid had a fantastic season last year and with an improved, more developed roster this year it seems that the table is set for the 21-year-old phenomenon to assert himself further as one of the league’s elite players. If he continues to improve his overall game, Durant could easily finish the season as a top-5 fantasy player.

3. Danny Granger: No one can fault someone who wants to list Granger above Durant on this list. Durant’s appeal is in his potential, but the two players were fairly even in terms of production last season. Granger did hit more threes, block more shots, turn the ball over less and score half a point more per game in 2008-09, but he also missed 15 games last year because of a bad knee. It basically comes down to whether you can stomach the injury risk with Granger this year and how high you estimate Durant’s ceiling to be.

4. Caron Butler: Tough Juice hasn’t been able to play in more than 67 games in each of the past three seasons, which doesn’t bode well for his health this year. But he lost 10 pounds and worked hard on his explosiveness and strengthening his core this summer, and with Gilbert Arenas and Brendan Haywood back, along with a few key new players on board, it seems that Butler’s body will carry a lighter load this season. His scoring will go down, but so will his turnovers. His rebounding and steals should climb back up to 2006-07 levels though, his All-Star year when Arenas was playing, too.

5. Gerald Wallace: Another player with a history of health concerns. Wallace has never played more than 72 games in a year during his eight NBA seasons, mostly because of his reckless style of play. But with that wildness comes some pretty nice stats, and with the Bobcats set to run more this season, it looks like all of Wallace’s numbers have feasible potential to increase. However, his turnovers are also likely to increase, and if he shoots more threes like he did in 2007-08, his field goal percentage will dip again as well.

6. Shawn Marion: He has new life in Dallas with a very capable, intelligent point guard in Jason Kidd, which bodes well for Marion’s numbers. He won’t be the Matrix of old, but expect him to hit more threes and grab another rebound or two per night while maintaining his great shooting percentages and low turnovers.

7. Rashard Lewis: He’s out for the first 10 games of the season, but if you’re willing to wait on his return Lewis should produce a fine return on your investment. He hit 2.8 threes per game in the past two seasons, which is bananas, and though none of his other numbers pop out, Lewis is an efficient player that will help any fantasy team. The new players in Orlando do pose slight risks to his value, but expect more of the same from Lewis this season.

8. Paul Pierce: Kevin Garnett‘s return shouldn’t affect Pierce’s numbers too drastically. His scoring might drop a bit along with his minutes, but he will probably hand another assist each night. He’s as steady as they come, so you pretty much know what you’re getting with Pierce.

9. Carmelo Anthony: I expect many disagreements with Anthony’s position here, but besides his scoring (which dipped to below 23 ppg last season) and solid rebounding numbers, he doesn’t offer anything that’s all that great. He won’t hit more than about one three-pointer per game, hands out as many turnovers as assists and with his minutes declining during the past three seasons it doesn’t look like Anthony will improve much on his numbers from last season.

10. Hedo Turkoglu: He won’t play as well as he did last year for Orlando, especially with his recent bout with health and fatigue issues, but Turkoglu has always had a nice all-around game, which shouldn’t change much in Toronto. His three-point shooting always helps, but expect a relatively low field goal percentage along with a few turnovers per game. Expect an up-and-down season from Turkoglu this year.

On the cusp: Rudy Gay, Charlie Villanueva, Lamar Odom, Luol Deng, Marvin Williams, Richard Jefferson

What do you think?

Throughout the season, be sure to leave your questions, comments, concerns, trade offers, roster problems and more in the comments below.

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  • Detroit Dave

    Too bad I don’t live in FANTASY WORLD because their aint no way in hell I can name 7 Small Forwards ahead of MELO…

  • Jah

    I loved Charlie V. last year because he was considered SF/PF in my ESPN league, had a great FT%, solid rebounding, and plenty of 3’s!

  • scotsman

    shawn marion hasnt done jack in years and yet you are still listing him above melo, who btw, i think is going to explode stat wise this year considering the nuggets squad thinned out a bit.

  • Amar

    What about Artest? He gives you 3’s and steals, not to mention his assist numbers may go up. Overall though, this is a pretty good list, and I agree with the rankings

  • Kobeef

    Marion is too high. Once other teams start trying to stop him you’ll see, again, that he has fallen off.

  • Youngwood

    Thaddeus Young ?? B-Easy ?? Jeff Green ?

  • calvin brodus

    unbelievable. melo at 7 amongst small forwards? where would that put him in your full draft? at least in the 30s, maybe 40s? fantasy doctor, you need to see a doctor.

  • http://dimemag.com/category/fantasy-basketball/ The Fantasy Doctor

    @Youngwood: Green is starting at PF this year, so he’ll be considered tomorrow, for sure. Thaddeus and Beasley were right there, too, but I had to cut the list somewhere. They could easily be on the cusp, too.

  • vince

    thad & green are better than deng for fantasy purposes.

    and indeed melo isnt that good for fantasy basketball.

    jefferson is always around 90 in yahoo rankings, so he shouldnt even be mentioned

  • http://dimemag.com/category/fantasy-basketball/ The Fantasy Doctor

    @vince: I’m taking a wait-and-see approach with Young now that Brand is set to return, but he certainly is a candidate for this list. (See above comment about Green.) It’s good to see someone else who values Melo similarly, for fantasy purposes. RJ has been pretty one-dimensional lately but I like the chances for a better all-around game now that he’s on a talented Spurs team.

  • K Dizzle

    I still see Josh Smith as a small forward. He’s as much a power forward as Horford’s a center. Two dudes just playin outta position..

  • K Dizzle

    @ Fantasy Doc

    1 roster spot left – Al Thornton or Thaddeus Young?

  • http://dimemag.com/category/fantasy-basketball/ The Fantasy Doctor

    @K Dizzle: Agreed. There are just so many position conflicts that I’m going with where each player is slated to start at the beginning of the season, so look for Smith tomorrow.

  • http://dimemag.com/category/fantasy-basketball/ The Fantasy Doctor

    @K Dizzle: Young – he’s got the starting spot locked up while Thornton has tough competition from Rasual Butler in a crowded frontcourt.

  • Ian

    amar
    well if crazy is one stat u guys use in your league then yeah artest is top ten.

  • loganlight

    Replace Hedo with Jefferson and I’m down with your list…

  • Claw

    Not convinced on Marion or R. Lewis because of PT issues and their impact might fall off, don’t see them top 10 at the end of the season.

    Melo should be higher (#5), he might not carry other categories but his points and boards will be the highest after LBJ and Durant, you can draft specialists in steals and boards.

    Wilson Chandler should be top ten unless you got him playing another position. Will post higher numbers this year and hits a three a game

  • http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/ProphetGK ProphetGK

    Whoa Melo at 7??? Naaaa B, you at least 4th…

  • http://dimemag.com/2009/10/top-10-fantasy-small-forwards-in-2009-10/#more-21677 layzie

    this suck…MELO should be 2nd in the list…

  • futurestar

    is this a joke.. MELO is 9.. You must be kidding me!!! how the hell can he be no 9.. he should atleast be in the top 3.. 9 you must be joking!!how does a guy like marion get ahead of melo.. did u forget melo played a huge role in the nuggets making the conference finals..

  • http://dimemag.com/category/fantasy-basketball/ The Fantasy Doctor

    @futurestar, @layzie: Good luck picking Melo before before Durant, Granger and co. and being competitive in your fantasy leagues…

  • spirow

    your an idiot for writing such a dumb blog . . . Melo is number two forsure behind lebron james. . . Most explosive scorer in the NBA. . . three you have to go with Paul pierce. . . The mans clutch. . . Durant goes at number 4 and Hedo at 10? you kiddding me? the man was a factor goin into the orlando playoffs as well as their season. . . You can’t tell me Shaq opps i mean D-howard can win a championship or beat premiter oriented teams such as boston. . . cavs . . . by himself? You got richard lewis ahead of him who was not even their second option after dewight. . . It was hedo mr 4rth quarter

  • BENNYHILL

    Doc,

    We are in a points league where ‘Melo is real good. He would be no.4 in our comp,

    The list, as I see it should be

    1. Lebron
    2. Durant
    3. Granger
    4. ‘melo
    5. Butler
    6. Wallace
    7. Lewis
    8. Marion
    9. Truth
    10.Turk

    And Artest (my guy)…

    SF spot is stacked

  • BENNYHILL

    @spirow

    This is a FANTASY BLOG

  • Josh

    @Bennyhill

    Maybe spirow’s got a new fantasy format where clutch and explosiveness are cats. Heh.

  • futurestar

    fantasy doctor.. i think u need the good luck cause i m not choosing granger over melo.. give every single team in the nba the choice between granger or melo and almost every team will say melo..

  • http://dimemag.com/category/fantasy-basketball/ The Fantasy Doctor

    @futurestar: I know the past isn’t everything, but last season Granger bested Melo in six of the nine standard fantasy categories. For fantasy purposes, what NBA teams would say doesn’t matter much to me.

  • 85wasagreatyear

    3 outta ten of the picks play in the west. safe to say the east has the most talented 3’s outta the 2 conf?

  • http://proscoutlook.com ProScoutlook

    I like the picks guys, not to sure about Marion this year after last year’s poor performance. For a different perspective be sure to check out http://www.proscoutlook.com/fantasy/fantasy-basketball/ for the top 10 in each position.