Player Rankings: Small Forwards (31-45)
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31. Danny Granger - Indiana Pacers
As a fantasy prospect, Danny Granger has it all. He can score, rebound, steal, block and hit threes. The big question coming into this season is playing time. Will he start or come off the bench for the Pacers? If he starts, you can expect Matrix-like production. If not and his minutes are in the mid-20s, he may disappoint owners hoping for a breakout season. In 17 games as a starter last year, Granger averaged 10.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.2 steals, 1.0 blocks and 0.6 threes on 47.4 percent shooting from the field and 75.5 from the line, giving us a hint of the bright future of this talented forward. It's just a matter of time before this kid becomes a third or fourth round pick.
Bottom Line: With his incredible upside, Granger should be taken as a flier in the later rounds of fantasy drafts, especially keeper leagues. Eventually, he will land a starting job in Indiana.
32. Grant Hill - Orlando Magic
It was another season lost to injury for Grant Hill, whose body won't to let him do what he was once capable of. The famously feeble ankle held up, but Hill fell with a sports hernia and appeared in just 21 games. The numbers were solid in those games: 15.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.1 steals on Hill's typically excellent 49 percent shooting from the field and 76.5 percent from the line. Hill is no longer the future of the Magic—that belongs to Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson and now Darko Milicic—but if he can stay healthy, he will contribute.
Bottom Line: Take Hill late in your drafts as you fill out your bench. Set your expectations low, and whatever he gives you will be a bonus. If he can play north of 60 games, you will have great value with that pick.
33. Jalen Rose - New York Knicks
Jalen's best years are behind him, but he can still score when called upon. After joining the Knicks last season, he averaged 12.7 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.1 threes on 46 percent shooting from the field and 81.2 percent from the line. That was under Larry Brown. Now he will be coached by Isiah Thomas, who added Jared Jeffries to an already crowded position at small forward. Rose will likely see his minutes drop from 28.7 per game to the mid to low 20s unless Thomas initiates some trades to free up the logjam at small forward. Rose himself could be dealt but is more likely to play a backup role than garner big minutes with whatever team he is on.
Bottom Line: Jalen will get some points, threes and good percentages for his owners but is of little use elsewhere. Deeper leagues will look to pick him up late in drafts while mid-size leagues and smaller can wait to see what kind of minutes Rose gets before adding him.
34. Jerry Stackhouse - Dallas Mavericks
Plagued by injuries and inconsistent playing time during the last three seasons, Jerry Stackhouse’s fantasy value is not what it once was. Still a prolific scorer, Stackhouse can put up points in limited minutes and has a knack for getting to the free throw line where he shoots a stellar 80 percent for his career. He averaged 13.0 points, 2.8 boards, 0.7 steals and 0.7 threes in just 55 games. He will continue to provide scoring from the bench for the Mavs but with the improvement of Josh Howard and the free agent acquisition of Devean George, Stack will be pressed for minutes.
Bottom Line: Stackhouse can be a decent fantasy commodity for points, steals, threes and free throw percentage, but injury concerns and inconsistent playing time makes him no better than a late round selection for deep leagues.
35. Desmond Mason - New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets
Desmond Mason will probably be the starting shooting guard for the Hornets after being their small forward last season. This could bode well for the natural slasher. He was hurt for part of the year, was asked to post up too often last year and at 6'5", he wasn't able to fully take advantage of his talents. His numbers reflect this: 10.8 points, 4.3 boards, 0.9 assists on an atrocious 39.9 percent from the field and career-low 68.2 percent from the line. The 2001 Dunk Champion has offensive talent and is entering a contract year. However, getting enough touches to return to his 14 PPG days could be tough.
Bottom Line: After most of a season plus training camp, look for Mason to be more integrated offensively. He will be motivated to improve on a down year and earn a good contract. Draft him late if you are in need of points and percentages.
36. Josh Childress - Atlanta Hawks
Childress is a very nice pick late in the draft for those of you in deeper leagues. He is eligible at both guard and forward and can contribute in several categories. He posted solid numbers last year: 10.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.2 steals, 0.4 threes and 0.5 blocks with excellent percentages. Childress will again use his extremely long arms to pick off passes and grab his share of rebounds. He won't get much more than the 30 minutes he averaged last season, so his numbers will only increase so much in his third year. He has the talent; time is the issue.
Bottom Line: For Childress to truly blossom, he needs to be in a situation where he plays 35+ minutes a game. He is a finesse payer but one who is driven. He should improve on most of his numbers this season but won't take a quantum leap without more minutes.
37. Gerald Green - Boston Celtics
Green is a player with all the talent in the world. He has three-point range and incredible hops. He is young and raw and is still learning the pro game, but there are good reasons to think he could break out this year. First, Wally Szczerbiak will have his minutes reduced to protect his knee. Second, the Celtics are looking to get more up-tempo, which will help create opportunities for dunks on the break and for transition threes. If he can play well enough on defense to keep himself off the bench, his owners could have a big-time sleeper on their hands.
Bottom Line: His stats from last year will keep Green un-drafted in most leagues outside the Boston area. The kid many compared to Tracy McGrady when the Cs drafted him may need a few years to establish himself just like T-Mac. Take a flyer on him late and hope that he matures enough to earn significant minutes.
38. Matt Harpring - Utah Jazz
Everyone's favorite backup, Matt Harpring, always seems to step up and provide good numbers when Andrei Kirilenko or Carlos Boozer sit with an injury. Last year he averaged 12.5 points, 5.2 rebounds and 0.8 steals on an excellent 47.5 percent from the field and 72.5 from the line. Harpring is quite strong for a small forward and finishes well close to the bucket, leading to his solid shooting from the field. He is a good player to add at the end of your draft for points, rebounds and field goal percentage.
Bottom Line: He’s not going to blow you away with statistics, but Harpring is a solid option to have at the end of your fantasy roster. And if injuries strike the Jazz again this season, Harpring will step up to fill in the gaps.
39. Adam Morrison - Charlotte Bobcats
Adam Morrison's name recognition and his reputation as a great three-point shooter will probably lead him to be selected too soon in most drafts. Last year's numbers at Gonzaga are flashy: 28.1 points, 5.5 boards, 2.2 threes, 1.1 steals, a .496 field goal percentage and .772 from the line. Morrison can score from the three point line all the way to the rim. He is very creative in getting his shot off and is fiercely competitive. He will find ways to score his rookie season, but his defense and lack of physical strength could land him on the bench for long stretches.
Bottom Line: Morrison will have a harder time getting clean looks in the pros, and his field goal percentage will drop considerably from college. He will become a solid player in the league and should score this year, but he'll need to add some muscle and work on his defense to become a fantasy force.
40. Jumaine Jones - Charlotte Bobcats
Jones proved to be a quality pickup in fantasy leagues after Gerald Wallace went down last season. As a starter, he put up 13.3 points, 5.7 boards, 1.0 steals and 2.0 threes a game. As a bench player, Jones will have the occasional big game but can’t be counted on to get consistent production. He is a player who has proven he can score and get decent numbers if given the time. Keep an eye on his situation and if he starts, don't hesitate to pick him up.
Bottom Line: He should be a solid in-season pickup candidate if he moves into the starting rotation for his points, threes, steals and rebounds.
41. James Posey - Miami Heat
James Posey is a good defensive player who uses his long arms to pick off passes and frustrate shooters. He won’t impress you anywhere but is capable from deep and will get his share of steals. Last year, he averaged 7.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 1.8 threes on 40.3 percent shooting from the field and 78.7 percent from the line. Posey is best used on head-to-head teams as a substitute who comes in to provide threes and a few boards.
Bottom Line: Posey will be a good option for threes and steals but will have a hard time scoring more than 10 points a game in a stacked Heat lineup.
42. Quentin Richardson - New York Knicks
If he stays with the Knicks all season, it will be hard for Q to get the minutes he needs to be the fantasy force he was just a few years ago. Richardson averaged 8.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 0.7 steals and 1.2 threes on a career-low 35.5 percent shooting from the field last year. Richardson was buried on the bench and was not able to exploit his talents. If the Knicks trade him or reassert him as a three-point threat, Q could be very valuable again. Keep an eye on Isiah's rotations to see how Q fits in.
Bottom Line: Steals and threes are what you can expect when Q is on. The question is how much time will he see and how effectively will he be used.
43. Ruben Patterson - Milwaukee Bucks
Patterson is a bench player who is capable of double-digit scoring even in limited minutes. He does most of his damage close to the rim, where his imposing strength makes him hard to stop. Last year, between Portland and Denver, he averaged 12.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.1 steals on 51.5 percent shooting from the field and 60.1 percent from the line. he will back up Bobby Simmons this season, but should earn similar minutes to last year (25.2) with his strong defense. Expect scoring in the low double-digits, some steals and a high shooting percentage.
Bottom Line: Patterson is valuable for points, steals and field goal shooting but always has a hard time hitting shots from the free throw line.
44. Mickael Pietrus - Golden State Warriors
Pietrus got some starts last year at small forward and averaged 11.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.1 threes and 1.1 steals in 14 games. The downside is that his shot selection is often poor (.404) and he is not good from the line (.608). Pietrus is very athletic and a good defender but still needs to refine his offensive game to become a fantasy threat. Pietrus has the flexibility to fill in at both SG and SF and will be the primary backup to Jason Richardson and Mike Dunleavy. Needless to say, he’ll have value if either of those two go down with an injury.
Bottom Line: Pietrus’ upside makes him a good late round gamble in case he takes the starting job from a struggling Mike Dunleavy.
45. Bruce Bowen - San Antonio Spurs
As one of the league’s best one-on-one defenders, Bruce Bowen is not asked to participate much on the offensive end: just to spot up for that corner three he loves so well. He still has some value in the fantasy world, but not as much as he does in the real world. Bowen is a pillar of health and has started in all 82 games for the Spurs in each of the last four years. Bowen averaged 7.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.4 blocks and 1.3 threes a game last year. That's decent production in threes and steals and worth a look in deep leagues.
Bottom Line: Bowen is one of those players that is more valuable to the Spurs than he is to your fantasy team. He’s a decent option as a three-point specialist and picks up some steals but doesn’t have the all-around game to be anything more than a late round pick in deeper leagues.
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