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2014-15 Power Forward Rankings

December 25, 2014 | By RotoRob | comment on this post
Kevin Love has been a key addition to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Kevin Love is struggling to find his form for the Cavs. (

By McCade Pearson and RotoRob

Today, we wrap up our Fantasy basketball cheat sheets with a look at the four. So while you wonder how Josh Smith will fit in with the Rockets, let’s explore the top 43 power forwards in the game.

Loading up on power forwards is important if you want to dominate the rebound and block categories, but try to balance things with fours that won’t kill your free throw percentage.

Some key questions: How will Kevin Love adjust to having to share star status? Can Chris Bosh pick up the slack in Miami? Does Tim Duncan have another great season left in the tank? Is Tristan Thompson ready to be an elite player?

Last year’s rankings are in parentheses.

1. Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans (5): As we discussed heading into the season, Davis is now a star. He started the season on fire, and was likely the top player in the Western Conference in the season’s opening month. This, coming off a sophomore season in which he garnered way more touches and became a dominant rebounder — especially under his own board. So far this season, The Brow has only been used as a starter, is seeing more PT and his attempts per game are up again. He’s scoring more points from the line, has become a three-block-per-game dude and is doing a better job of protecting the ball. Yup, he’s a stud. This 21-year-old is perhaps the best player in the NBA now. Now if he can just avoid getting bagged by teammate Austin Rivers (see video below). — RR

2. Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers (1): We expected Love’s addition to the Cavs to spell trouble for Anderson Varejao this season — and that was before Sideshow Bob suffered yet another season-ending injury. Last season, Love’s touches bounced back and he sunk more treys than ever before, but his rebounding dipped. This season, his PT is down and his rebounding has really slipped, but he’s also found himself in more foul trouble. The loss of Varejao should translate into more minutes for Love, so the news is not all bad. — RR

3. LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers (2): The King of the turnaround mid-range jumper, Aldridge is capable of dominating at times. Last season was the finest of his career as he shot better on the rare outside attempt he made and had career bests in points and boards. However, Aldridge’s blocks were down a tad. This season, his shooting is slightly better and he’s already set a career high in three-pointers made, but his steals are down. — RR

4. Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City Thunder (3): Ibaka’s production is likely to dip now that Kevin Durant has returned, so his 20-point games are likely going to become a bit more rare. Last season, Ibaka took his game to a new level, sinking more buckets, getting to the line more and improving his work under his own bucket. This season, his rebounding numbers have regressed somewhat, although the durable big has never shot better from the line. — RR

5. Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers (7): Griffin is dealing with some off court issues now (the alleged Las Vegas nightclub episode), but that hasn’t stopped him from rolling off five straight games of at least 21 points. Last season, Griffin enjoyed his finest campaign yet, as he stayed healthy for the second straight campaign, sunk more buckets on more touches and even morphed into a decent FT shooter. This season, he’s regressed a tad, although his bucket count remains up and he’s never shot better from outside. However, he’s not getting to the charity stripe nearly as often and his rebounding is down a shocking two per game. — RR

6. Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks (4): Nowitzki has dealt with a back injury recently that led to some uncharacteristically poor shooting games, but he seems to be getting back on track now. Last season, Disco Dirk had a renaissance thanks to good health, but his rebounding work continued to decline and he had more turnovers. This season, he’s resting more thanks to an improved Maverick bench, so his field goals have dipped. Nowitzki is attempting more treys this season, but not sinking as many — his percentage from downtown is at its worst since his rookie effort. He’s also been prone to the odd crap game, as evidenced by a recent 4-for-17 debacle. — RR

7. Paul Millsap, Atlanta Hawks (8): Millsap’s been on a nice scoring roll lately, notwithstanding the occasional stinker. But even in games when his shot isn’t falling, he’s capable of helping out in other categories. Last season — his first in Atlanta — was the best of his NBA career as Millsap got more PT, sunk more buckets and turned into a force from beyond the arc, averaging a trey per game for the first time. His rebounding was better as well. This season, Millsap has regressed slightly although he’s been completely healthy so far. His PT is up once again, but his boards and blocks have slipped. On the plus side, out of nowhere, he’s leading the league in steals per game. — RR

8. Pau Gasol, Chicago Bulls (11): Gasol missed some time last month, but he is back now and rolling — especially on the glass. He recently enjoyed a vintage 20-20 game, proving he’s discovered the fountain of youth. Last season, Gasol had a nice bounce back effort despite missing a quarter of the schedule. His shooting touch rebounded and his blocks were up. This season, Gasol is playing nearly as well as he ever has with the best rebounding numbers of his career — especially defending his own bucket. He’s been one of the top players on the Bulls this season, but bear in mind that in the second half, he will likely require a game off here and there to remain fresh. — RR

9. Thaddeus Young, PF/SF, Minnesota Timberwolves (10 at SF): One of our preseason Sleepers, Young has yet to deliver on our expectations and now there’s talk he may be on the trade block. Last season was his best yet despite less boards and blocks. This season, however, Young has already missed some time for personal issues, and it’s taking him some time to get back to his usual production. He’s not getting as many touches and his three-pointers are way down. Young’s rebounding has also dipped, and as Minny’s youth movement kicks in, it’s going to make more sense to deal the eight-year veteran. — RR

10. Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs (9): As usual, Duncan will garner plenty of rest, and he’s already received a few such games off this season. Last season, he regressed substantially, sinking fewer buckets and experiencing a decline in his shooting touch, but he did manage more dimes. This season, The Big Fundamental has bounced back somewhat, shooting better from the line, doing a better job on the glass and reducing his turnovers. — RR

11. Greg Monroe, Detroit Pistons (11 at C): As we’ve discussed, Detroit had a surplus of big men, which made it tough for them to all get their numbers. However, now that Josh Smith has been waived, that situation should improve. The Pistons surprised many when they didn’t move Monroe in a sign-and-trade deal in the summer, so he’s back to try to eke out enough PT to have value. He’s spent most of the time starting this season, but also has come off the bench in over a third of the games so far. Now that J-Smoov is gone, that will likely change. Last season, Monroe regressed despite staying completely healthy. He didn’t get to the line as often and got into more foul trouble, but did do a better job of protecting the ball. This season, the decline has continued as Monroe is playing less for the second straight season, although he is getting more points for the charity stripe. There’s talk the Knicks may make a run at the unrestricted free agent in the offseason — assuming he’s not dealt before that. — RR

12. Kenneth Faried, Denver Nuggets (17): Faried just returned from a back injury scare, and he looked very productive coming off the bench. He’s been pretty durable the past couple of seasons as he continues to improve his game. Last season, Faried’s shooting touch continued to regress, but he accumulated more points at the line, and also saw his FT percentage bounce back. This season, he’s off to a slow start, and is not blocking as many shots as usual. Faried has been involved in some trade rumours, but remains a career long Nugget at this stage. — RR

13. Zach Randolph, Memphis Grizzlies (15): Randolph has made a career out of owning the right block and then overpowering opponents on his way to 20-10 games. Yes, he’s slowed down over the years, but is off to a nice start this season. Last season, Z-Bo experienced a bit of a renaissance, shooting better from downtown (not that he does this often) and setting a career high in assists per game, This season, he’s slipped slightly as his PT has dipped for the second straight season, but he’s canned his only trey attempt so far. Randolph is also getting to the line more often and doing an amazing job on the glass. Paired with Marc Gasol, he’s become a major handful for opponents to combat in the post, although right now Z-Bo is dealing with a knee problem.

14. David West, Indiana Pacers (16): West (ankle) missed the first month of the season, but seems to be getting back to speed now, recently playing in a season-high 33 minutes. Last season, he stayed healthy enough to reach 80 games for the first time since 2009-10, but his overall play really declined as he managed fewer points at the line, his rebounding — especially on the offensive end — declined, and his scoring dipped substantially. This season, West has continued to regress, although he’s not turning the ball over as often. — RR

15. Ryan Anderson, New Orleans Pelicans (13): Three-point specialist Anderson was only able to play in 22 games last season because of injury, but he’s back and healthy now. Although he’s mostly coming off the bench behind Omer Asik (who the Pelicans acquired in a offseason trade), Anderson should still be able to score points and really help out your three-point game. Last season, Anderson made three treys per game while shooting almost 44 per cent; this season, those numbers have dipped slightly. — MP

16. David Lee, Golden State Warriors (6): Lee is not the player he once was, however, he still looks like someone that can make a big impact for the Warriors this season. He was once a 20-10 guy, but you won’t be able to expect those kind of numbers from him anymore. Lee will remain strong in both areas, though, and playing on the Warriors fast paced offense, he’ll get a lot of room in the post. And with so many shots going up, he’ll have to pull some down. The volume of work will outweigh the efficiency. If you go out and nail every other position, Lee is the worst we’d go as far as being a consistent starter. — MP

17. Nene Hilario, Washington Wizards (18 at C): Nene, now a 12-year veteran, is certainty on his way downhill. However, he still has something to give and he proved that this summer in the FIBA World Cup. Nene’s never been the strongest rebounder, but he gets the job done. One of the things that you like about him is his consistency as he’s a player that scored between 10 and 19 points in 70 per cent of his games. Nene doesn’t have huge games but he limits the stinkers. He’s a great backup to have if you are weak at Power Forward as he’s a guy you can play once or twice a week and feel confident he isn’t going to leave you with nothing. — MP

18. Nerlens Noel, PF/C, Philadelphia 76ers (NR): Noel is a second year rookie from Kentucky and an interesting prospect moving forward. A 6’11” big man with insane athletic ability (we will have to see how he responds from his torn ACL), he is a possible double-double threat. Noel should get a lot of minutes as Philadelphia will struggle this season, and that’s one of the reasons he was on our Sleepers list. Noel could join Larry Bird, David Robinson and Blake Griffin as players to win rookie of the year in a different draft class than their own. — MP

19. Jared Sullinger, Boston Celtics (NR): Sullinger is one of the most undervalued players in the league. Last season, he made a major sophomore jump into a great role player. You’d like to see him take less threes as shooting just 27 per cent on 208 attempts isn’t helping his overall percentages. But you’ve got to love Sullinger’s rebounding as hit double digits 25 times last season. Throughout college, he was overhyped, now in the NBA he is undervalued. Sullinger is great guy to draft and given that he was on our Sleepers list, he is worth a bit of reach. — MP

20. Enes Kanter, PF/C, Utah Jazz (20 at C): Kanter had been on a serious roll for a few games, but seems to have slowed down recently. Last season, he took a massive step forward, staying healthy and doing a way better job on the glass, although his FT shooting regressed. This season, Kanter has improved again, seeing a bit more PT as a full-time starter, and sinking more buckets on more touches. He’s even started taking shots from downtown, while his FT shooting has bounced back. At this stage, Kanter has become a must-own player in leagues with 14 teams or more. — RR

Others to Consider

21. Taj Gibson, Chicago Bulls (29)
22. Draymond Green, SF/PF, Golden Stater Warriors (NR)
23. Amir Johnson, Toronto Raptors (22)
24. Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers (20)
25. Cody Zeller, PF/C, Charlotte Hornets (24)
26. Channing Frye, Orlando Magic (NR)
27. Shawne Williams, PF/SF, Miami Heat (NR)
28. Markieff Morris, Phoenix Suns (31)
29. Amar’e Stoudemire, New York Knicks (25)
30. John Henson, PF/C, Milwaukee Bucks (27)
31. Carlos Boozer, Los Angeles Lakers (19)
32. Ersan Ilyasova, Milwaukee Bucks (10)
33. Kris Humphries, Washington Wizards (NR)
34. Terrence Jones, Houston Rockets (NR) (currently out with no timetable for return)
35. Kevin Garnett, Brooklyn Nets (21)
36. Luis Scola, Indiana Pacers (26)
37. Aaron Gordon, Orlando Magic (NR) (out until February)
38. Patrick Patterson, Toronto Raptors (28)
39. Boris Diaw, San Antonio Spurs (NR)
40. Mirza Teletovic, Brooklyn Nets (NR)
41. Reggie Evans, Sacramento Kings (32)
42. Anthony Bennett, Minnesota Timberwolves (21 at SF)
43. Brandon Bass, Boston Celtics (30)

Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who should be higher or lower and who is missing.

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