Player Rankings: Power Forwards (31-45)
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31. P.J. Brown - Chicago Bulls
Every year P.J. Brown is underrated in fantasy drafts, and every year he produces close to 10 points and 8 rebounds and good percentages. Brown is also a tough defender who has averaged 0.9 steals and 1.1 blocks a game for his career. Last season his numbers slipped a bit with reduced minutes (31.7). He also once again played out of position at center. This year, he should see most of his minutes at the four. Expect similar or a little less playing time as last year as rookie Tyrus Thomas will push him for minutes. Still, he will once again post solid numbers for your fantasy squad after being available late in your draft.
Bottom Line: Brown always goes later than he should. Pick him up in the later rounds and enjoy the near double-doubles almost every night.
32. Vladimir Radmanovic - Los Angeles Lakers
Whether he is lined up at small or power forward, Radmanovic is good for one thing: three-point shooting. Last year, he drained 1.8 threes in just 25.6 minutes per game. He is a weak rebounder at power forward and won't be asked to crash the boards in the Staples Center. Radmanovic is a good add if you are in need of threes. Given how many of his shots come from international waters, it isn't surprising that his career field goal percentage stands at .414. He will grab about a steal a game but don't look for many blocks despite his 6'10" frame.
Bottom Line: One trick ponies have value in fantasy. Look for about 10 points, a steal and two made threes a game. Beyond that everything else is gravy.
33. Kenny Thomas - Sacramento Kings
Thomas had a great run last year after Shareef Abdur-Rahim went down with a broken jaw, averaging a double-double in January and February. Once Abdur-Rahim returned and his minutes went down, Thomas's value plunged. This year, he will be the back-up. When he is on the floor, Thomas is a blue-collar banger doing most of his damage inside. He shoots a great percentage from the field (.505 last season) and is an aggressive rebounder. However, when his minutes hang around 25 or so per game, his numbers slide considerably.
Bottom Line: Since he’ll see only around 25 minutes a game, Thomas warrants no more than a late round fantasy selection. That said, he has always had fantasy value when given the playing time so be ready to make a move if Abdur-Rahim should go down with an injury again.
34. Sean May - Charlotte Bobcats
May never really showed what he was capable of last season because of playing time and injury issues. He will be backing up Emeka Okafor again but is coming into the season with a clean bill of health. May has very good footwork and the strength to score inside. He's not a great leaper but can use his size to establish and hold position inside. With Okafor having injury issues of his own, there is a chance that May will see meaningful minutes this year.
Bottom Line: May could turn into a quality NBA power forward but may not see enough time on the court to make an impact in fantasy leagues this season. Keep an eye on him and be ready to add him if he can carve out 25 or minutes per game for himself.
35. Juwan Howard - Houston Rockets
Juwan will not give you anything fancy. He is a long way removed from his days as 17 point per game scorer. He will still get 10 to 12 points per game with a solid post game. His rebounding is passable at about seven a game, but Juwan will not be a good source of defensive stats. He does shoot well from the line for a big man, but Juwan is essentially back-up fantasy material to protect against injury. In deeper leagues, he's worth a look at the end of drafts.
Bottom Line: Howard's not what he once was but is useful in deeper leagues and for teams bitten by the injury bug. You'll get modest scoring and decent percentages but not much else.
36. Nenę - Denver Nuggets
If you are especially cautious and find yourself with Marcus Camby on your team, Nenę makes for a decent handcuff. After missing all of last season with a torn ACL, Nenę has been largely forgotten. Indeed, if not for the big contract he signed this summer, he would've garnered no headlines at all. There is talent here, however. He is very athletic and has the ability to average a steal and block per game—provided he gets the minutes. Given that he is backing up two brittle players in Camby and Kenyon Martin, Nenę could see those minutes this year.
Bottom Line: If he can stay healthy this year, Nene will have good fantasy value especially for his ability to nab steals out of the PF spot. He’ll have even more value if Camby goes down with an injury and should be drafted in the later rounds for his upside.
37. Tyrus Thomas - Chicago Bulls
A lot of people see the LSU string bean power forward with jumping bean hops and think, "another Stromile Swift." Thomas shares a similar body type and similar explosiveness, but has an intensity all his own. He needs to add a mid-range game to get to the next level, but for next year you can expect a lot of highlight reel dunks and blocks from the rookie. His defensive intensity should earn him minutes from Scott Skiles, but he will have to show some offense to get time on fantasy teams.
Bottom Line: He is a raw talent who will block shots. He needs to add some weight and develop an offensive game. He could be special in a few years.
38. Antonio McDyess - Detroit Pistons
McDyess has evolved into a solid backup power forward for the Pistons. He averaged just 21.1 minutes per game and his fantasy value was limited last year. However, this year with Ben Wallace gone, there is a very good chance that McDyess will earn more minutes. Last year after the All-Star break, McDyess' minutes went up to 23.3 per game and he averaged 9.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, 0.7 blocks and 0.7 steals on 53.9 percent shooting from the field and 51.5 from the line. He should put up similar numbers in similar minutes this year.
Bottom Line: His value is limited but if injuries should strike the Pistons' frontline he could turn into a great pickup.
39. Tim Thomas - Los Angeles Clippers
Tim Thomas will probably go higher than he should in this year's drafts because of his spectacular showing in last year's playoffs (15.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.4 threes on 49.1 percent shooting from the field and 77.6 percent from the line). It goes to show that Steve Nash can help anyone's fantasy value. Now the question is whether Thomas can deliver similar production off the bench for the Clippers. Expecting his career averages is probably safer. Thomas should score about 12 points, grab four boards and hit 1.1 three per game.
Bottom Line: Take him late as Thomas could be a useful fantasy option for points and threes. He will not rebound, and his defense has never been a strength.
40. LaMarcus Aldridge - Portland Trail Blazers
Aldridge is big, mobile, can block shots and has a sweet jump hook. He runs the floor well and has good hands. He will be a good scorer in the NBA. But probably not next year. It is doubtful that he ready to bang inside with the big boys. At this point, he is more of a finesse forward than a power forward. Once he realizes he has to get a little dirty to secure rebounds and score regularly inside, he will be a solid fantasy player. It is unlikely that he figures it all out this season.
Bottom Line: He has the size and skills to perform well in the NBA. Keeper league owners should check in on him late in the season to see how he is grasping the NBA game. If he demonstrates toughness inside, he could be good come his second season.
41. Michael Sweetney - Chicago Bulls
Many people anticipated something of a breakout season for Sweetney last year. It didn't happen. His poor conditioning and penchant for this quick foul—they are not unrelated—kept him off the court long enough to hurt his fantasy value. This year, he will see most of his minutes behind Ben Wallace at center as P.J. Brown, Tyrus Thomas and Malik Allen will take most of the power forward minutes. If he gets in better shape and the fouls come down, Sweetney could bulldog his way to eight points and five rebounds a game.
Bottom Line: He is a backup, but one with some ability, especially rebounding. He isn't worth drafting except in the deepest of leagues but keep an eye out for any injuries that could open up playing time.
42. Reggie Evans - Denver Nuggets
What Jeff Foster is to the center position, Reggie Evans is to power forward. He is a monster rebounder with limited offensive skills. He will get about 20 minutes per game because of his rebounding, but his offensive ineptitude will keep him from getting much more. Expect about eight rebounds a game to go with five points in limited minutes. His shot-blocking is nonexistent, and he is deadly from the line at 53.5 percent for his career. If Foster is gone and you need rebounding late in your draft, Evans might be the answer
Bottom Line: Draft him only if you are desperate for rebounds. He will not help in any other category but is capable of big nights on the glass.
43. Eddie Griffin - Minnesota Timberwolves
Eddie Griffin is the fantasy equivalent of a scratch ticket—you are excited at the moment of purchase, imagining all the possibilities of a payoff, then after you have seen him for what he is, you are filled with immediate remorse. What is so tempting about this perpetual underachiever? The rare ability to hit threes and block shots. Last year the threes were down (0.2 per game), but the blocks were up (2.1 per game). He shoots a terrible percentage (.379 for his career) and will not see much more than 20 minutes per game. So expect nothing and you will regret neither the scratch ticket nor Eddie Griffin.
Bottom Line: If you are hurting for blocks and like the potential of Griffin, scoop him up at the end of your draft or get him off the wire.
44. Anderson Varejao - Cleveland Cavaliers
Varejao's game is all about effort, and he gives 100 percent at all times. This translates to putbacks and rebounds. He runs the floor well and is a good leaper. He started to play himself into minutes at the end of last season and showed that he has fantasy potential. In April he averaged 7.9 points, 8.6 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 0.7 blocks on 56.9 percent shooting from the field in 25.3 minutes per game. He also grabbed 18 boards in the last game of the year. His value is contingent on minutes, but he could earn them with his hustle this season.
Bottom Line: Varejao is safe to leave un-drafted in most leagues, but he could well be worth a pickup if the Cavs give him 25 plus minutes per game.
45. Hakim Warrick - Memphis Grizzles
Warrick is a player one should look at once the season starts. On the offensive end, he’s a great dunker and has some post moves. On the defensive side, he’ll get pushed around a little bit due to his wiry frame but has the length and athleticism to create some steals and block some shots. He averaged 4.1 points and 2.1 rebounds last season. Warrick will be pressed to get minutes behind Pau Gasol, but it could happen, especially when Gasol shifts to center on certain sets.
Bottom Line: Warrick could have some fantasy value this season and should be grabbed off the waiver wire if he demonstrates that he will get minutes in Memphis.
Update: Hakim Warrick has found his minutes, and they will come courtesy of Pau Gasol’s foot injury. Pau is expected to be out for four months, giving Warrick ample opportunity to show what he’s got. When Gasol comes back, however, Warrick’s minutes will undoubtedly be reduced.
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