10. Joe Johnson: SG, SF, Atlanta Hawks
2011-12 Projections: 18.8 PPG, 4.9 APG, 4.2 RPG, 1.0 SPG, 0.2 BPG
After seeing his scoring drop significantly last season Johnson will be looking to rebound in 2011-12. Of course, the drop in numbers was more due to a new offensive system than diminishing skills. Johnson may have to score more this season with Jamal Crawford on his way to Portland, but with head coach Larry Drew’s system still in place we might see a continued depreciation of Johnson’s numbers. Johnson should be a decent pick up in the middle rounds of your draft, and could be a good spot filler and match-up start.
9. Andre Iguodala: SG, SF, Philadelphia 76ers
2011-12 Projections: 14.8 PPG, 6.6 APG, 5.7 RPG, 1.6 SPG, 0.6 BPG
Andre Iguodala has been a solid fantasy guard for several seasons at this point. However, coming off a season where he missed 15 games due to a sore Achilles. Also, with coach Doug Collins he has found himself as more of a facilitator than a scorer. With Eric Turner rising in status and skill, Iguodala’s numbers might continue to decrease this season. Still, Iggy has the chance to be a solid fantasy reserve for your team.
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8. Gerald Wallace: SF, PF, Portland Trail Blazers
2011-12 Projections: 16.1 PPG, 2.3 APG, 8.3 RPG, 1.5 SPG, 0.9 BPG
Gerald Wallace is one of those players that never has plays drawn up for him but always manages to get his numbers anyways. Wallace has struggled with injuries in the past, but has managed to remain healthy over the last few seasons. This will be his first full season in Portland, and he could certainly benefit from the talent he has around him. With the defense focused on players like LaMarcus Aldridge and Jamal Crawford, Wallace will find plenty of opportunities to crash the boards and get easy buckets. If he can stay healthy again this season, Wallace has the potential to be an elite fantasy forward.
7. Paul Pierce: SG, SF, Boston Celtics
2011-12 Projections: 18.4 PPG, 3.1 APG, 5.2 RPG, 1.0 SPG, 0.4 BPG
Pierce, much like the rest of the Celtics, has been aging rapidly over the last two seasons. While Pierce is certainly still a top 10 ranked player in the shooting guard hierarchy, he isn’t going to be able to put up the numbers that he has in the past. Pierce is also dealing with a nagging heel injury heading into the season that may slow him down. But, despite all the injury concerns and the questions surrounding his age, Pierce is still in a great position thanks to some of his teammates. Players like Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett are able to draw the attention of the defense, which leaves Pierce in a position to put up similar numbers to those he produced last season.
6. Danny Granger: SF, Indiana Pacers
2011-12 Projections: 20.8 PPG, 2.3 APG, 5.2 RPG, 1.2 SPG, 0.7 BPG
Three years ago Danny Granger was one of the best fantasy options in the NBA. However, since the Pacers roster has improved dramatically during these last few seasons he isn’t quite the statistical monster he once was. Still, Granger is one of the best small forwards in the league and should put up decent numbers again this season. Granger is the type of player that has a tendency to be picked too high in some drafts. If that’s the case, don’t sweat it. But, if he drops to the middle rounds and you have an opportunity to snag him as a strong value pick, do it.
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