Steve Alexander

Offseason Beat

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Top 25 Fantasy Small Forwards

Friday, July 08, 2011



14. Omri Casspi – Cavaliers

Casspi was traded to the Cavs on draft day and while I'm not a huge fan, all signs are that he will start over Antawn Jamison, who missed the last two months of the season with a broken finger. Casspi averaged just 8 points, 4 boards and 1.3 3-pointers per game in Sacramento last year, but was getting just 24 minutes per game. Jamison should come off the bench, which is not a big deal, as he won a Sixth Man of the Year Award in Dallas seven years ago. I won't necessarily be targeting Casspi, but he is going to get a nice opportunity in Cleveland.

15. Derrick Williams – Timberwolves

Obviously, I'm not sure how Williams is going to play in Minnesota, as they still don't even have a coach, while David Kahn pulls the strings behind the giant curtain. Mike Beasley just got busted for weed (again) and Williams might have been the best player taken in this year's draft. If the Wolves give him run (and they should start him), he could be a beast, but the lockout, and lost time to learn the system, etc. is not going to help his cause. He will excel at scoring, rebounding and hitting threes, but I'd only draft him prior to the last couple rounds if he looks like a starter.

16. Boris Diaw – Bobcats

Diaw played 82 games again last season, but averaged just 11 points, five boards and four assists, with less than a steal and a block. And he's posted nearly identical numbers over the last two seasons, so there's not a big chance they will get better. He should be a guy you can start on a regular basis, but the upside that was once so prevalent is now gone.

17. Michael Beasley – Timberwolves

Beasley got busted for weed recently and the Wolves are probably looking to move him in order to clear a spot for Derrick Williams to be thrown into the mix. Without knowing where Beasley is going to be, it's tough to say what he'll do. He clearly had value for the Wolves last season, breaking out early and then fading down the stretch. He should have value wherever he lands, but is far from being worth an early draft pick – unless something crazy happens in Minnesota between now and the start of the season.

18. Trevor Ariza – Hornets

Ariza has proven to be one of the worst shooters in the league and has failed to impress since leaving the Lakers for the Rockets and then Hornets. The best thing going in his favor is there isn't much of a threat to his job in New Orleans. He shot less than 40 percent for the second straight season last year, and saw his scoring drop to 11 points per game. He does get steals and hits a three per game, but his shooting has been a fantasy killer. But again, he deserves a look simply because there is no one else to start at SF for the Hornets, and it's not out of the question that his shooting improves this year.

19. Antawn Jamison – Cavaliers

Jamison's finger should be good to go by the time we see NBA games again, but the guy is 35 years old and could/should be relegated to a role off the bench. He'll still be a source of points, boards and threes, but his upside is very limited, and injuries may be a concern.

20. Rashard Lewis – Wizards

Lewis is commonly known as the most overpaid player in the league and struggled through knee problems last year, making it through just 57 games between his time in Orlando and Washington. I'm not ready to close the book on him just yet, but his age (33 in August) and knee are very concerning, along with the arrival of rookies Jan Vesely and Chris Singleton, and the fact Josh Howard is still in Washington. Lewis could bounce back, but I'm not holding my breath. If he does, he'll score, board and hit threes.

21. Shawn Marion – Mavericks

Matrix and Caron Butler are going to battle for the starting job, while Peja Stojakovic and Corey Brewer are also going to get some minutes. Just like at shooting guard, the Mavs have a logjam at small forward. I will be drafting Butler in front of Marion, but Marion deserves a look late in drafts. He averaged 12 points and seven boards last season, but the days of him being a fantasy stud have clearly passed.

22. Hedo Turkoglu – Magic

Simply put, Turkoglu is a mess, and a return to the Magic last season didn't do fantasy owners any big favors. However, he did average about 11 points, 5 boards and 5 dimes for the Magic last year, while shooting right at 40 percent. When it gets to be late in your draft, Turkoglu may fill a need at SF, but don't expect him to do much more than the above numbers.

23. Andrei Kirilenko – Jazz

Kirilenko's fantasy ship has come very close to sailing, as he's averaged less than 12 points per game in three straight seasons, while playing in an average of just 63 games per. When healthy, he's still capable of racking up points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks, but might be ready to lose his starting gig to C.J. Miles, as well as playing time to Gordon Hayward.

24. C.J. Miles – Jazz

Miles re-upped with the Jazz before the lockout and could be given the starting SF job. Either way, you have to figure that Miles and Kirilenko will be locked ino a timeshare, while Miles' 32 percent shooting from downtown, and 41 percent from the field, leave something to be desired. He could average 14 points and two 3-pointers per game, but should only be targeted in the later rounds of fantasy drafts.

25. Kawhi Leonard – Spurs

Two words: Richard Jefferson. The Spurs pulled off a big-time draft-day deal to get Leonard from the Pacers, and Jefferson appears to be on his last legs. I wouldn't waste a high pick on Leonard, but as far as sleepers go, he looks like a great way to use a late pick. It's hard telling how Gregg Popovich will use him, but if he ends up replacing Jefferson in the starting role, 13 points, 5 boards, 3 assists, 2 steals and a 3-pointer are not out of the question. Jefferson could start over the rookie, but the two should at least split time, and I simply no longer trust Jefferson. And I'm pretty sure Popovich doesn't, either.

The Rest

Chase Budinger – Rockets – Looks like the starter again, will hit threes.
Al-Farouq Aminu – Clippers – Tough to star surrounded by budding studs.
Marvin Williams – Hawks – Hasn't lived up to the hype yet, probably never will.
James Johnson – Raptors – Sneaky way to use your final draft pick, Weems in Europe?
Thaddeus Young – Sixers RFA – Underrated, but depends on what Sixers do.
Corey Maggette – Bobcats – Injuries and new team a fairly big concern.
Grant Hill- Suns UFA – We'll have to see where he ends up before valuing him.
Jan Vesely – Wizards – Should be a solid rook, but role/FT% a concern.
Mike Dunleavy – Pacers UFA – Knee problems derailed his career.
Shane Battier – Grizzlies UFA – Welcome back, Rudy Gay.
Travis Outlaw – Nets – Terrible season after getting paid. Not an NBA starter.
Damion James – Nets – Has competition for minutes.
Sasha Vujacic – Nets – Too many SFs in Jersey.
Sonny Weems – Raptors RFA – Heading to Europe, future uncertain.
Linas Kleiza – Raptors – Coming off dreaded microfracture surgery.
James Jones – Heat UFA – We'll have to see where he lands.
Andres Nocioni – Sixers – Best days are behind him.
Josh Childress – Suns – With Grant Hill leaving, a possible sleeper pick.
Nicolas Batum – Blazers – Gerald Wallace crushes Batum's value.
Jeff Green – Celtics – Will get more run, but still a year or two away.
Jared Dudley – Suns – Someone has to play SF in PHO, could be Dudley.
Francisco Garcia – Kings – Arrival of Salmons really hurts him.
Matt Barnes – Lakers – Ron Artest is in the way. Really in the way.
Sam Young – Grizzlies – Welcome back, Rudy Gay.
Wilson Chandler – Nuggets RFA – Tough to get run with Gallinari around.
Richard Jefferson – Spurs - Awful last year. Just awful.
Ron Artest – Lakers – Better player in reality than fantasy. Maybe.
Reggie Williams – Warriors RFA – Dorell Wright is the man.
Al Thornton – Warriors UFA – Best days behind him.
Terrence Williams – Rockets – Possible head case, but worth keeping an eye on.
Brandon Rush – Pacers – Granger, Paul George and Dunleavy all hurt him.
Anthony Morrow – Nets – Sleeper worth keeping an eye on.
Tayshaun Prince – Pistons UFA – Regardless of where he lands, role reduced.
Dante Cunningham – Bobcats – Will battle Maggette for minutes.


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Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for Rotoworld.com and a contributor to NBCSports.com. The 2014-15 NBA season marks his 13th year of covering fantasy hoops for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.
Email :Steve Alexander



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