Culture of Hoops

Fantasy Basketball 2012: Power Forward rankings by tier

When using the term power forward to describe this very important position the word “power” is quite fitting. We need a strong and powerful player to do the things that three out of the other five positions mostly do not accomplish. This player should help across the board, minus assists, and help you climb the ladder in “big man” statistics.

Tier One

Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves

To this expert, Love is the clear third overall selection. His points, free throw percentage, and rebounds are extraordinary for this position, as well as Love hitting three-point bombs. However, he lacks in really producing in steals and blocks, so keep that in mind if you are lucky enough to own this Olympic stud.

LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers

This long-armed talent is as solid as they come. Aldridge will help you across the board and won’t hurt you anywhere. He’s young and still learning, so be sure he doesn’t slip past pick 10 in your fantasy basketball drafts.

Pau Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers

Not the “sexiest” pick, but you will be drafting one of the most consistent year-in/year-out performers in our game. The addition of Dwight Howard might curtail some rebounding stats, but I can’t see that big a drop-off where Pau isn’t worth a first round selection.

Tier Two

Chris Bosh, Miami Heat

Bosh plays third fiddle to some guys named LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Still, you can safely expect a solid and consistent line from this big man. Doesn’t get as many blocks as he used to, but maybe he decides to this year. Rock-solid second rounder.

Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City Thunder

Shot blocker extraordinaire. I have seen Ibaka go as early as the first round, but think that is a stretch. There are others who get blocks, albeit less than Serge. His coach seems to limit Ibaka’s minutes on the court and it seems to stop me from putting him any higher on this list.

Paul Millsap, Utah Jazz

Millsap turned in the best year of his young career last season. There really is nothing this talented player doesn’t do well on the basketball court. He will definitely go later than the others above him here, but we wouldn’t be so surprised if he ends up ranked higher than them at the end of the year.

Amar’e Stoudemire, New York Knicks

I understand this ranking will be the highest you will see anywhere. Trust me, a big year is coming. Being healthy and fit will surely equate into stats up and down the box score. Stoudemire won’t duplicate what he did during his Phoenix Suns days, but a definite uptick in last year’s numbers has us as a buyer and buying everywhere.

Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks

Nowitzki is the greatest shooting big man since Larry Bird, hands down. This future Hall of Fame player is good for points, a great free throw percentage and a handful of threes. His rebounds are not what they used to be and with the addition of Elton Brand we might see that number decline further. No blocks and steals to mention. Dirk will probably go higher and before others listed above in the draft, but generally we won’t own him this year.

Tier Three

As was the case with other positions, this tier has interchangeable players with similar value.

David Lee, Golden State Warriors

Lee is a double-double threat with points and rebounds every single night. Terrific percentages add up to me putting him atop this tier of similar players.

Carlos Boozer, Chicago Bulls

Same as Lee. No blocks and steals to speak of either.

Zach Randolph, Memphis Grizzlies

Ditto the two above.

Kris Humphries, Brooklyn Nets

Ditto the three above.

Luis Scola, Phoenix Suns

Scola goes to a new team, but we should expect similar totals as his history predictably has been. Ditto the four above as far as stats go.

Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Lakers

I know what you’re thinking. Why the heck is Blake so low on this list? Here is why: I do not believe you can win with him dragging you down to last place in the free throw percentage category. Now if your league uses free throws made, please by all means vault him into tier one. Granted he is the sexy pick and will definitely get you a great field goal percentage along with an abundance of points and rebounds. However, that free throw deficiency is enough to scare me away.

Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs

Amazing that the greatest power forward to ever play the game is still going strong. Tough to gauge his true value due to coach Gregg Popovich limiting his games played and with Duncan’s minutes on the court being monitored. However, when he does lace them up you can be sure he will make his presence felt. Unlike the others listed above him in this tier, TD does get blocks. Just determining his playing status will be is too dicey for me to truly recommend.

Tier Four

Kenneth Faried, Denver Nuggets

The Manimal is a beast. Literally. He is looking to build on a sensational campaign from last year and if Faried continues to build on his tremendous upside and potential look for him to leap tiers in fantasy basketball value. Yes, plural!

Andrea Bargnani, Toronto Raptors

Bargnani is cut from a different mold than your prototypical power forward as this big likes to roam the perimeter. He has terrific stroke from three and will score a ton. Bargs’ other categories (blocks, steals, and field goal percentage) are limited and that could set you back.

Tier Five

Ryan Anderson, New Orleans Hornets

Call me crazy. Call me clueless. Bottom line is there is no way Ryan has the same year he had last year. If you read my review from Runnin’ the Weave about Anderson, you will see my explanation and reasoning. Sure Anthony Davis is going to be a solid player, but he certainly will not be Dwight Howard who commands the entire defense’s attention. You’ve been warned.

Ersan Ilyasova, Milwaukee Bucks

A “strange” power forward to figure out. Ersan has huge games then disappears for stretches. His overall numbers could certainly improve if he finds himself with a consistent role. Ilyasova’s three-pointers are nice to own at this position. This is a player that can easily outproduce his average draft position in every league.

David West, Indiana Pacers

Could have been lumped into tier three, but I find his role slightly less sure than the others’. Pretty solid player to target if you went small and missed out on the others. West won’t hurt you, but in turn, won’t help you much.

Honorable Mention: Michael Beasley, Phoenix Suns – New surroundings with a lot to prove. Should see solid minutes and the Phoenix Suns will need him to contribute.; Derrick Williams, Minnesota Timberwolves – Let’s not forget how talented this kid is. Didn’t really have a role last year but you gotta think the team will want to see what they drafted with this stud from Arizona. I am keeping a close eye on him; Derrick Favors, Utah Jazz – Talk about upside! As of writing this there was no set role for this young stallion. It seems though as if the team is interested in finding him minutes to showcase his game. If and when that happens you will surely want his name on your roster; Thaddeus Young, Philadelphia 76ers – With Andre Iguadola on a new team there is a spot to claim. Young can flat out score the ball. His other contributions might be lacking but it’s from a small sample size since he never really had a chance to do his thing.

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