The following rankings are based on a nine-category, head-to-head league format (PTS, REB, AST, STL, BLK, 3FG, FG%, FT%, TO). We break down players into tiers as well to help you organize them within your overall cheat sheets. These rankings take into account not just stat projections, but injury risk, competition for minutes and other intangibles.
ROTOEXPERTS.COM POWER FORWARD RANKINGS
1. Kevin Love, MIN
Projected Stats: 20.9 PPG, 15.3 RPG, 2.6 APG, 1.2 3FG, 0.7 SPG, 0.5 BPG, 2.0 TO, 46.7 FG%, 85.2 FT%
Yes, believe it or not, Love is the top power forward in the NBA. Not only will he most likely lead the league in rebounding, but he’ll score north of 20 points per game, hit over one 3-pointer and make 85 percent of his free throws. You’d like to see him put up better numbers on the defensive side of the ball, but if he were a big-time defender we’d be talking about him as the No. 1 overall pick, not just the top power forward.
2. Pau Gasol, LAL
Projected Stats: 18.6 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 3.3 APG, 0.0 3FG, 0.6 SPG, 1.7 BPG, 1.8 TO, 52.5 FG%, 80.3 FT%
Gasol is a first-round talent and about as steady of a Fantasy performer as they come. He’s close to 20-10 with over 1.5 blocks and plus percentages. With Gasol you aren’t getting a top-5 player, but you can be sure that when healthy he’s among the best Fantasy players in the league.
3. Amar’e Stoudemire, NYK
Projected Stats: 23.6 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 2.3 APG, 0.1 3FG, 0.8 SPG, 1.8 BPG, 3.0 TO, 51.2 FG%, 78.7 FT%
There are some concerns that with Tyson Chandler now in New York it’s likely we’ll see Stoudemire’s big-man stats decrease, but I don’t see it. Stoudemire is the only other rebounder the Knicks have, so there’ll be plenty of boards to go around. Believe it or not, two bigs can co-exist on the same team.
4. Dirk Nowitzki, DAL
Projected Stats: 23.7 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 2.5 APG, 1.0 3FG, 0.4 SPG, 0.7 BPG, 1.9 TO, 49.9 FG%, 90.0 FT%
This is the first time in nearly a decade where we aren’t talking about Dirk as a first-rounder. It’s not because he isn’t still a top-tier talent, it’s just that some of the younger studs are coming into their own (Love, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook etc.) and deserve to be selected ahead of Dirk. As for where you take him, Nowitzki only slightly gets pushed out of the first round in H2H leagues, though he should be in the first-round discussion in roto leagues.
5. Josh Smith, ATL
Projected Stats: 16.0 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 3.5 APG, 0.7 3FG, 1.4 SPG, 1.7 BPG, 2.5 TO, 48.3 FG%, 71.9 FT%
This is where you start to see high-upside talent with category deficiencies, like Smith, who isn’t a very good free-throw shooter and whose rebounding and scoring are mediocre for a big-time power forward. On the defensive side of the ball, though, he’s tremendous.
6. Blake Griffin, LAC
Projected Stats: 23.2 PPG, 12.3 RPG, 3.7 APG, 0.0 3FG, 1.1 SPG, 0.8 BPG, 2.8 TO, 51.4 FG%, 69.2 FT%
Griffin is certainly one of the most intriguing and dynamic players in the game, but he does have some Fantasy deficiencies. He’s not a great defender. He should get you close to two steals-plus-blocks, but not much more. He also isn’t a very good free-throw shooter. So, yes, while he’ll “wow” you with his high-flying dunks, he’s just not quite in the top Fantasy tier, especially in roto leagues.
7. LaMarcus Aldridge, POR
Projected Stats: 21.5 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 2.2 APG, 0.0 3FG, 1.0 SPG, 1.2 BPG, 1.8 TO, 50.4 FG%, 78.7 FT%
Aldridge really stepped up his game last season to the point where he was among the most valuable players in the game. The big boosts came with Aldridge’s improved play on the defensive side of the ball, plus his increase in FT%. There is some concern about Aldridge’s heart condition, but the latest reports indicate that it’s not all that serious of a health issue.
8. Zach Randolph, MEM
Projected Stats: 19.8 PPG, 11.5 RPG, 2.0 APG, 0.1 3FG, 0.8 SPG, 0.4 BPG, 2.1 TO, 50.0 FG%, 75.1 FT%
It was tough for me to bump Randolph down a tier, but I think there’s probably a slight regression in order this season. With Marc Gasol continuing to improve and the Grizzlies getting Rudy Gay back in the mix, the boards and touches are going to go down slightly. Still, he’s a monster off the glass and pretty solid when it comes to his efficiency.
9. David Lee, GSW
Projected Stats: 15.6 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 3.3 APG, 0.0 3FG, 1.0 SPG, 0.5 BPG, 2.2 TO, 51.9 FG%, 80.0 FT%
Lee is coming off a tough season, failing to pull down 10 boards per game for the first time in three seasons along with a drop from being a 54-percent shooter from the field to just over 50 percent. This season, with Mark Jackson calling the shots, Lee should see some more consistency. Jackson has gone on record as wanting to get Lee more involved in the offense. In a roto league, given his percentages, he probably moves up a few slots on the overall rankings chart.
10. Chris Bosh, MIA
Projected Stats: 19.1 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 2.0 APG, 0.1 3FG, 0.8 SPG, 0.7 BPG, 1.8 TO, 50.2 FG%, 80.8 FT%
Bosh yet again posted a “soft” line, doing almost exactly as predicted as the third best player on his own team. There’s nothing in Bosh’s game that “wows” you, but at the very least you know he’ll post 18-8-2 with less than a block and steal per game. Nothing great, but enough to be a nice Fantasy contributor.
11. Paul Millsap, UTA
Projected Stats: 17.0 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 2.4 APG, 0.1 3FG, 1.4 SPG, 0.9 BPG, 2.0 TO, 52.2 FG%, 74.7 FT%
Millsap had a fantastic season last year, posting career highs in points, steals, FT% and assists. The only concern this season is that the Jazz have two high-upside bigs in Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter, who are just waiting to take some extra minutes away from Millsap and Al Jefferson. It wouldn’t surprise me if Millsap gets moved, which might be a good thing for his value.
12. Serge Ibaka, OKC
Projected Stats: 10.8 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 0.5 APG, 0.0 3FG, 0.5 SPG, 2.4 BPG, 1.0 TO, 55.0 FG%, 75.6 FT%
Ibaka was one of the top breakout players last season, posting nearly a double-double as a starter and a highly impressive 2.4 blocks per game. Ibaka has tremendous upside, but he’s also limited in what he can do offensively, putting him potentially alongside the likes of Josh Smith and keeping him from being a top-tier talent.
13. David West, IND
Projected Stats: 17.6 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 2.4 APG, 0.0 3FG, 0.9 SPG, 0.9 BPG, 1.9 TO, 50.0 FG%, 81.5 FT%
This will be an interesting season for West, seeing as he’ll no longer play alongside Chris Paul. Typically, West provides better roto value, since he doesn’t hurt you in any categories, so move him up your draft board slightly if you’re in a 9-cateogry roto league. The best thing I can say about West is that he’s steady. He won’t give you 20 and 10, but he won’t dip much below 18 and 8 either.
14. Luis Scola, HOU
Projected Stats: 18.7 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 2.4 APG, 0.0 3FG, 0.7 SPG, 0.6 BPG, 2.0 TO, 50.8 FG%, 74.7 FT%
The main issue with Scola is that he doesn’t give you much value on the defensive side of the ball. Still, he’s got the ability to post close to 20 points per game and work the glass well enough to be among the Top 20 rebounders in the game.
15. Carlos Boozer, CHI
Projected Stats: 17.7 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 2.5 APG, 0.0 3FG, 0.8 SPG, 0.4 BPG, 2.5 APG, 51.1 FG%, 71.7 FT%
Boozer is another big who doesn’t play much defense. He’s also someone who has a hard time staying on the basketball court. Over two of the last three seasons Boozer failed to play in 60 games. He’ll score, pull down boards and shoot a high percentage from the field, but there’s little help elsewhere.
16. Andray Blatche, WAS
Projected Stats: 15.7 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 2.1 APG, 0.1 3FG, 1.2 SPG, 0.8 BPG, 2.6 TO, 44.3 FG%, 76.5 FT%
Blatche has tremendous upside, but he also carries a ton of baggage. He’s one of those players who can go off and score north of 25 points per game over a 3-game span, but then come back down to earth and post single-digit scoring totals in each of the next 2-3 games.
17. DeMarcus Cousins, SAC
Projected Stats: 15.5 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 2.4 APG, 0.0 3FG, 1.0 SPG, 1.0 BPG, 3.2 TO, 45.1 FG%, 69.4 FT%
Cousins is one of my favorite value bigs this year. He’s not the kind of guy who’ll wow you with his numbers, yet he does provide nice value in five out of nine categories. The turnovers hurt in a 9-cat league, and the FT% could use a little help, but Cousins still hasn’t come close to reaching his potential. That’s what you like to hear when you’re calling his name in the 8th or 9th rounds.
18. Tim Duncan, SAS
Projected Stats: 13.2 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 2.7 APG, 0.0 3FG, 0.6 SPG, 1.5 BPG, 1.7 TO, 50.5 FG%, 70.9 FT%
Wow. When was the last time you saw Duncan listed as the 18th most valuable power forward? Of course the issue here is age, which has finally caught up with Duncan. I can guarantee we’re going to see him sit during some of those back-to-back and back-to-back-to-back nights. With a short, compact season, it’s hard to see Duncan play more than 55-plus games, and it’s even harder to see him average more than 26 minutes per game, which would be a career-low.
19. Elton Brand, PHI
Projected Stats: 14.6 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 1.5 APG, 0.0 3FG, 1.0 SPG, 1.2 BPG, 1.4 TO, 49.8 FG%, 76.7 FT%
Brand has missed just seven games over the last two seasons, which is impressive given his injury history. Still, Brand will always be a shaky Fantasy player mainly because of his health, but also partly because the 76ers are moving toward a more up-tempo offensive philosophy.
20. Channing Frye, PHX
Projected Stats: 13.7 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 1.2 APG, 2.3 3FG, 0.6 SPG, 1.1 BPG, 1.0 TO, 44.0 FG%, 82.6 FT%
Frye makes most of his noise from beyond the arc, which is great for Fantasy owners. It’s not often you can grab 2.3 threes per game at the power forward or center position. He also provides help in blocks and rebounds, and doesn’t hurt you in any categories. Still, the reason why you’re drafting Frye is to benefit from his outside shooting.
21. Kevin Garnett, BOS
Projected Stats: 13.9 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 2.7 APG, 0.0 3FG, 1.2 SPG, 0.9 BPG, 1.4 TO, 52.5 FG%, 84.5 FT%
Garnett continues to put up good Fantasy numbers, even as he continues to put mileage on those fragile knees. What you love about KG is his efficiency: low turnovers, high FG% and FT%, and 2-plus steals and blocks.
22. Lamar Odom, DAL
Projected Stats: 13.0 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 3.0 APG, 0.7 3FG, 0.8 SPG, 0.7 BPG, 1.9 TO, 52.1 FG%, 65.8 FT%
The move to Dallas might actually help Odom’s value. He should be able to really clean up the glass on a Mavs team that is in dire need for a rebounder. Expect to give Odom a look in the 10th or 11th round.
23. Michael Beasley, MIN
Projected Stats: 16.1 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 2.0 APG, 0.6 3FG, 0.7 SPG, 0.5 BPG, 2.4 TO, 45.8 FG%, 74.7 FT%
The frustrating thing with Beasley is that he has the ability to be among the Top 12 power forwards in the game, but he just doesn’t have a favorable situation in Minnesota nor does he have the will to want to be among the best at his position. He might find himself playing elsewhere this season, which will help his value, but while he remains blocked by Derrick Williams he’s no better than a late-round UTIL selection.
24. Kris Humphries, TBA
Projected Stats: 9.8 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 1.4 APG, 0.0 3FG, 0.6 SPG, 1.3 BPG, 1.6 TO, 54.9 FG%, 68.1 FT%
The Nets and Humprhies are more than likely to reunite this season, which could mean great things for his Fantasy value. If he does return to New Jersey to play alongside Brook Lopez, Humphries could actually rebound enough to where he’s among the top 3-4 rebounders in the game.
25. Antawn Jamison, CLE
Projected Stats: 16.1 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 1.8 APG, 1.6 3FG, 1.1 SPG, 0.5 BPG, 1.6 TO, 43.1 FG%, 74.6 FT%
Really, at this point, figuring out who to put at No. 25 is a tossup. We went with Jamison here because of the opportunity the leading scorer on his own team. There’s definitely something to be said about the opportunity Jamison has this season. He’s not a “wow” guy, but when healthy he’s a steady Fantasy contributor.
On the bubble: Amir Johnson TOR; Thaddeus Young PHI; Ed Davis TOR; Tyrus Thomas CHA; Boris Diaw CHA; J.J. Hickson SAC; Ryan Anderson ORL; Carl Landry NOR; Charlie Villanueva DET; Jonas Jerebko DET