A look at the top 50 fantasy basketball power forwards (PF) for the 2015-2016 NBA season.
Moxyball experts put their fantasy basketball minds together to share their thoughts on the top 50 power forwards to consider for rotisserie NBA leagues in 2015-16.
This year, Zach and I are going to compile our individual ranks and consolidate to bring you a consensus look at the top options at each position.
Today’s feature focuses on the power forward position.
This is where you really want to focus on adding depth for the field goal percentage and rebounds categories. Getting shot blockers is critical, too. Make sure you leave the draft with at least 2 guys that block 1.5 shots per game on average, or more.
From a strategy perspective, it’s very important to make sure you leave your auction or snake draft with at least 2 solid options at the PF position. You’ll often have players who are also eligible at C when it comes to PF, too.
Important note as you read through these rankings:
Keep in mind that these rankings are being shared through the lens of a standard rotisserie league, including turnovers as a category.
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- Anthony Davis really is in a class of his own. He’s my #1 overall pick in fantasy this year, without a doubt. He contributes at great rate in some very important categories that not many players can. He hits over 53% of his shots, has a FT% that will help and not hurt you (80.5% last year), rebounds like crazy, gets a bunch of assists, and happens to be one of the most incredible shot-blockers in the game, averaging 2.9 per game last year. There really is nobody with a more well-rounded game than him. Imagine if he starts hitting threes…
- LeBron continues to do his usual LeBron thing. He is primarily a SF, so I won’t touch on him too much here. However, he qualifies on many sites at PF as well, so he’s worth speaking to. He’s an asset in FG%, 3PTM, REB, AST, STL and PTS. However, he kills you with turnovers and FT%. A lot more good than bad, but he isn’t without his warts.
- Blake Griffin’s stock took a big jump last year as he really was able to give himself an even more well-rounded game. That mostly comes from the 5.3 assists he was able to average, in addition to the 21.9 points and 7.6 rebounds per contest on 50.2% shooting. He’ll get you almost a steal a game, but not very much from a blocks perspective.
- Cousins is more suited for the C rankings conversation, as that’s his primary fantasy position, so I’ll leave him for then.
- Aldridge is a tricky one. Going to San Antonio in the offseason suggests his production will decline from the gaudy 23.4 PPG, 10.2 REB numbers he put up in Portland. However, even a 10-15% drop in those numbers still leaves him as an elite option and clear top 10 guy at the PF position. His elite FT% is a major boost here, where he shot 84.5% last season. He gives you a block per game and also keeps control of the ball (only 1.7 TOs) which may actually get better with less offensive pressure this year. I’m not dropping his stock too much this year, but I know many are.
- Pau Gasol had an incredible resurgence last year. I actually spoke about him here as someone to make sure you nab in your drafts as the value was just too good to pass up. Needless to say, he made me look good, finishing with 49.4% GF%, 80.3% from the line, 11.8 REB, 2.7 AST and 1.9 blocks to go along with 18.5 points per game. I expect his numbers to fall a decent amount this year, likely due to some time spent on the injured list, so I am not reaching for him at his current ADP. That said, he’s a very well-rounded option that deserves love once again this year. Just beware not to overpay.
- Paul Millsap gets a boost from me in 15-16, and I’m drafting him ahead of guys like Gasol, Gay and Love who are often taken ahead of him. All he does is produce – and he does so right across the board. He helps you everywhere, and with some extra pressure to score in Atlanta this year with the departure of DeMarre Carroll, I think there’s an outside chance he averages 20 PPG (16.7 last year).
- Ibaka is another elite option at the position, and we can’t forget about him this year as a second or third round fantasy pick. If you aren’t able to land Anthony Davis for example, getting Ibaka a round or two later will really help make sure you have a bonafide shot-blocker who doesn’t hurt you in any category like many do. He averaged 2.4 per game to go along with 1.2 3PTM, 7.8 REB and 14.3 PPG. He’s the third scoring option in OKC with everyone healthy, but he’s still a major fantasy asset.
- Kenneth Faried is someone I really can’t buy into the fantasy hype with. He’s been teasing us for a couple years now with his double-double abilities, but he really hasn’t shown that true multifaceted type of upside for fantasy purposes. Last year he finished with 50.7% FG%, 8.9 REB and 12.6 PPG. He’s being taken far too early in my books, as I really don’t see a ton of growth here. Even with a bit more production, he’s not going to give us much in assists, steals, blocks or FT%. I’m leaving him for others to take in drafts this year.
- This is a big year for Markieff Morris. He had a very solid 2014-15 season for the Suns, averaging 15.3 PPG, 6.2 REB, 2.3 AST, 1.2 STL on 46.5% shooting and 76.3% at the line. Very solid numbers for someone in the first 5 or 6 rounds. He’ll get some more court time this year, and has all the talent in the world to add to these numbers. If he can take a step forward to a 17 PPG, 7 REB, 3 AST, 1.5 STL guy, we’re talking 1-2 rounds of profit depending on where you get him. He has the ‘buy’ tag for me.
- If Terrence Jones could get 30+ minutes consistently, he’d be an absolute fantasy beast. He battled injuries last year and was often in a timeshare with a number of other Houston PFs for playing time, which limited him to 11.7 PPG, 6.7 REB, 1.8 BLK on 52.8% shooting. The blocks are what really put him on the map, as he’s looking like a bit of a poor man’s Ibaka when you look closer at his full line. I’m buying him this year thanks to the skill set and likelihood for increased minutes as he comes into the year healthy, as well as the fact that Dwight Howard is the opposite. Plenty of profit here, folks.
- Robert Covington needs some more love than he’s getting in the early going. He’s a great asset for roto leagues, considering his downtown prowess (averaged 2.4 treys per game last year). He also averaged 1.4 steals per game to go along with 13.5 PTS and 82% from the line. Just to put those steals in perspective, that ranked 8th amongst PF-eligible players on ESPN last year. Don’t overlook this part of his game. He’s a very nice value based on where he’s going in drafts so far (101.1 overall on ESPN through October 12, 2015).
- Noah Vonleh’s minutes are likely to be on the rise with Portland this season. Court time has definitely opened up for big men with Aldridge’s departure, and he could turn into someone who can potentially average 15 PPG, 1+ 3PTM, 6+ REB and very strong percentages in approx. 30 minutes of action. Don’t sleep on him in the later rounds (look for him in the 8th or 9th in 12 team leagues).
- Myles Turner is a rookie that’s going right about where Vonleh is, who has even more fantasy potential. It’s hard to compare the two, as they really have different skills as Turner is more of a true big man who can score and block shots, while Vonleh has deeper-range shooting abilities. If he can find a way to get 25-30 minutes a game this year, he’s going to be a major asset in fantasy leagues. Another guy to target around 100-110 overall in drafts.
- David West’s value takes a big hit thanks to age (now 35) and minutes outlook (behind Duncan and Aldridge in San Antonio this year). However, he’s not someone to completely write off. When healthy, he is able to help in many different categories that are important for fantasy titles. He makes 47% of his shots, rebounds (6.8 last year), passes well (3.4 assists – a key thing to note at the position) and can score around a dozen points per game. If Duncan or Aldridge happen to get injured, which could certainly happen, his value will really be nice and high as a WW pickup or late round bench piece. Remember his name late in drafts and throughout the year.
- For cheap blocks, stash John Henson. Minutes will be limited this year with the likes of Greg Monroe and Jabari Parker (now healthy) in Milwaukee, but he’ll have a 15-20 minute role off the bench at minimum and should still be able to give you 2 blocks a game (which he did in 18.3 minutes last year).
- The Brow or Anthony Davis for those of you new to the NBA is the hands down top pick in fantasy drafts this season. There really is no debate in my opinion. If you have the first pick and do not pick him you blew it and are going to regret it all season. He is the best player in the NBA and only getting better. He is elite at almost every level and has even added a three point shot this year.
- Power Forward is by far the deepest position this year but there are several players I will be avoiding in early rounds. Players like Duncan, Gasol, Ibaka all could have their numbers drop. Gasol and Duncan are likely to have their minutes drastically decreased. Ibaka will not be a focal point on offense with Durant back and the addition of Enes Kanter.
- David Lee is in for a big bounce back year. He should get big minutes for a young Celtics team and fits their system perfectly. I am hearing that he is going to start and if that is a case he will be a steal in the later rounds. I would not be surprised to see him go back to his double-double days.
- I am going to be taking a flier on young players Aaron Gordon and Willie Thrill Cauley-Stein (yes that is his legal full name). Both players are hustle players that will be able to get you stats in the categories that are often forgot about steals, rebounds and blocks.
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