With the NBA season just around the corner it’s time to take a look at the best fantasy players for this season. With most fantasy drafts set to take place this week it’s important to dissect the players and break down the pre-season rankings for each position.
This particular article will explore the top small forwards that can help your fantasy team out this season. There’s no doubt that some of the best players in the entire NBA are on our small forward list, so landing one of these top players could be the difference between winning and losing for your fantasy team this season.
Another thing that is convenient about the small forward position is that many of these players can fill other holes on your roster as well. Small forward is one of the most versatile positions on the court, and often times players are used to plug other holes as well. That’s one thing to consider when drafting your small forwards this season. While it may be beneficial to pick a highly skilled player that is limited to small forward, towards the later stages of your draft you may be able to draft a more hybrid player that you can use in other positions as well when needed.
15. Danilo Gallinari: SF, PF, Denver Nuggets
2011-12 Projections: 15.7 PPG, 1.7 APG, 5.0 RPG, 0.9 SPG, 0.5 BPG
After being traded to the Nuggets from the New York Knicks last season Gallinari found his shooting touch and put up rather successful fantasy numbers. He averaged 15.6 points and 4.9 rebounds per game, but nagging injuries really limited him throughout the season. Now that he’s had an extended off-season to heal up and get ready to play, as well as study the Nuggets offense, he could have a breakout fantasy year in 2011-12. Gallinari will be a good mid to late round draft choice for your fantasy team this season.
14. Wesley Matthews: SG, SF, Portland Trail Blazers
2011-12 Projections: 14.3 PPG, 1.9 APG, 3.0 RPG, 1.1 SPG, 0.1 BPG
Heading into the season I was really high on Wesley Matthews as a fantasy prospect. With the retirement of Brandon Roy his stock raised even higher. But after the Blazers signed Jamal Crawford it seems that Matthews might not be quite as productive as we initially thought. Regardless, Matthews should still put up decent numbers on a Portland team that could make a splash in the Western Conference. While Matthews isn’t going to rack up a lot of assists or rebounds, he should still get plenty of open looks with the defense focused on players like LaMarcus Aldridge and Gerald Wallace.
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13. Stephen Jackson: SG, SF, Milwaukee Bucks
2011-12 Projections: 18.4 PPG, 3.8 APG, 5.1 RPG, 1.4 SPG, 0.3 BPG
Stephen Jackson is a bit on an anomaly in the NBA. He has played for six different NBA teams and will be joining his seventh when he takes the court for the Bucks this season. However, despite bouncing around the league Jackson has still been a valuable fantasy player for nearly a decade. He’s a fantasy owner’s dream because he contributes in nearly every category on the board. This allows him to be useful as both a small forward and a shooting guard for your team. As one of the top scoring options on the team Jackson should be able to put up another solid season for fantasy owners.
12. Luol Deng: SF, Chicago Bulls
2011-12 Projections: 17.4 PPG, 5.4 APG, 2.9 RPG, 1.0 SPG, 0.6 BPG
Last season the Chicago Bulls surprised everyone by finishing the regular season with the best record in the NBA. While a lot of the credit was given to league MVP Derrick Rose, the supporting cast in Chicago played a crucial role as well. Unfortunately, Luol Deng has missed ample time the last three seasons due to injury. This risk reduces his potential value as a fantasy player because owners simply haven’t been able to rely on him. Still, when Deng is healthy he is a very strong addition to any fantasy team. He puts up solid numbers across the board, and has even seen an increase in his 3-point attempts under head coach Tom Thibodeau. Deng is a draft-at-your-own-risk type of player.
11. Dorell Wright: SF, Golden State Warriors
2011-12 Projections: 15.5 PPG, 2.8 APG, 5.3 RPG, 1.4 SPG, 0.8 BPG
Dorell Wright was a fantasy breakout star during 2010-11, and very well could have been the biggest waiver pickup for hundreds of players. Wright capitalized on his first full-time starting gig and put up great numbers in the process. This season he won’t be sneaking up on anybody, but he still has the potential to be a successful fantasy contributor for your team. While he won’t shoot a very high percentage, Wright still offers a high amount of statistical versatility that is sure to entice fantasy owners.
Next Page: Top Fantasy Small Forwards 10-6