Rick’s Tips: Top 10 Fantasy Fowards

We’re back with the Top 10 fantasy forwards (my Top 10 fantasy guards are here), and I’m here to clear up the debate between LeBron James and Kevin Durant as the No. 1 overall fantasy pick. (Again, my rankings and opinions — and much of my life, frankly — are based on the primary eight categories.)

1. LeBron James, Heat: I realize Durant topped LeBron — and everybody else — on the 8-charts last season, but sometimes overall rankings are overrated. Not always … or usually … but sometimes there’s a fantasy practicality that comes into play. For instance, Durant’s overall stat line is ridiculous, but he can’t match LeBron’s seven assists per game. Getting 7+ assists from your forward, who’s also netting 28 points and seven boards per game, makes him two players for the high price of one — as in, No. 1 overall.

2. Kevin Durant, Thunder: This might be KD’s first MVP season, and even with LeBron’s extra assists it’s still a very close call between the two. Durant plays hurt, he’s efficient, he flirts with one-one-and-one in blocks, steals and threes, and he’s explosive. If you draw the deuce and take KD, you will compete for a fantasy title.

3. Kevin Love, Timberwolves: Not only is Love my third overall forward and my first overall power forward, but he’s my fourth overall pick behind LeBron, Durant and Chris Paul. The reason? Well, there’s never been another person in NBA history who goes 25 and 15 while banging a boatload of threes. Never.

4. Pau Gasol, Lakers: Last year, Pau’s production was dragged down by the persistent trade rumors that distracted him, as well as being under-utilized in Mike Brown’s Bryant/Bynum-heavy offense. Despite the buzzkills, Pau still ranked fourth among power forwards. Now that he is no longer being dangled in a possible Dwight Howard deal, Pau’s focus will return to where it was during the Lakers’ repeat years of 2009 and ’10. And now that Andrew Bynum is in Philly, and with Steve Nash on board to QB the offense, Gasol’s touches will increase. So will his numbers.

5. Carmelo Anthony, Knicks: Raise your hand if you’re feeling a monster year from the Melo Man. Not only is he reportedly 15 pounds down from last year and not only was he the NBA’s top scorer last April (under Mike Woodson), but he dropped a U.S. Olympic single-game record 37 points in 14 minutes against Nigeria. This might be the year that Melo finally leads the league in scoring. You heard it here first.

6. Josh Smith, Hawks: With Joe Johnson jettisoned to Brooklyn for spare parts, the Hawks are Smith’s team. That means more leadership, more minutes, more shots, more everything. You can’t win in fantasy hoops without blocks and steals, which is Josh’s specialty.  He’s been fantastic for years, but he’s due for a spike in production, especially when you consider his contract-year status.

7. LaMarcus Aldridge, Trail Blazers: L.A. leaves me hanging with his relative lack of blocks and steals. That said, he ranked third among power forwards last year because he hovers around 20-10 with sparkling percentages. As the face of the franchise in Portland, he is guaranteed major minutes and major shots. Believe it or not, there’s still upside here.

8. Blake Griffin, Clippers: Speaking of upside, if Griffin can improve his free-throw shooting and shot-blocking, he could vault into the top 5 on this list. Last year, The Poster Child ranked 16th among power forwards, so I’m probably overrating him as my eighth overall forward. But if this is the year that he gets to 70 percent from the line and 1.5 blocks, then I’m a genius …

9. Paul Pierce, Celtics: Each fall there are people who expect Pierce to start tailing off, but last year he proved them wrong again, ranking third among small forwards — topped only by KD and LBJ. With the Celtics reloading in the offseason for another title push, expect Pierce to keep pushing himself to greatness.

10. Rudy Gay, Grizzlies: As many of you have read over the years, I am obsessed with fantasy gold (blocks, steals and threes). Not only does Rudy give you 18 and 6 every night, but he hovers around one block, one steal and one three every night. And don’t get it twisted that Gay is injury-prone. Save for the 2010-11 season when his season was cut short with a serious shoulder injury, Gay has been consistent and durable.

Rick Kamla is an anchor on NBA TV. You can follow him on Twitter at @NBATVRick.


  1. renz_garnett says:

    dirk and amare is way better than pau

  2. Kamote says:

    how about iguodala? sure he won’t shoot a lot in denver, but he’d be taking more effecient shots (fast break plays for denver). he is like mini-lebron in stats.

  3. philip says:

    E-sy dont you know… please return to wherever universe u came from coz u dont belong in the earth to watch basketball.
    dirk is a champion … multiple allstar, all nba team…and if you say a weak pile of nonsense now whi is the nonsense>?

  4. Fantasyhoopster says:

    I see a lot of comments from people who don’t sound like they’re playing fantasy hoops. its not about who’s more clutch or who’s a future HOF. its all about who pushes the numbers. if you don’t play fantasy NBA, kindly leave your comments at the door please

  5. philip says:

    where in the hell is dirk in this list….

    • E-SY says:

      Who is Dirk? You mean the weak pile of nonsense from Dallas?!

      • Angelo says:

        yup. the one who took his team to the playoffs for 11 yrs, 11 times All-Star, 12 times All-NBA team, season MVP, Finals MVP, and an NBA Champ. and the only NBA player with 100 blocks and 150 3-pointers in a single season. yup, that dirk

      • the real king james says:

        just shut up E-sy

  6. GoMavz says:

    kamla is nothing but a frustrated basketball fan. Join a talkshow bro.. Josh over Dirk? He must be ayt least in top 4

  7. bob_buttons says:

    You like three pointers and FT%… and no Dirk? Rudy Gay over Dirk?

  8. cousins all day says:

    love is overrated

  9. GoMavz says:

    Pau will increase touches????

    Zack Randolph is a machine.

    Knicks will never win a title with a ball hog forwards

  10. AuusieCeltic says:

    And also, OF COURSE ‘MELO! He was the leading scorer under Mike Woodson and scored 37 points in 14 minutes at olympic level, did Luol Deng do that? I don’t think so. Get your facts straight NK.

    • W/E says:

      Deng is a hard worker.He might no be a scorer but he plays hard on BOTH ends of the floor much more than melo. His game is good for his team and he can play DEFENCE while melo is a one dimensional selfish player who spends energy only for his isolation plays on offense. MELO IS NOT top 10,at least not in this league and thats cause of his non existence defence that erases every point he scores on offence…

  11. AuusieCeltic says:

    Hey shut up NK, Pierce has still got it. Why do you think he’s the CAPTAIN of the Celtics, because he’s still one of the best. And as good as Luol Deng is, he’s not anything flash! He’s not proclaimed as highly as the other fowards for a reason.

  12. the real king james says:

    where is dirk?!?!?!?!??

    • E-SY says:

      Who is Dirk? Pfff…

      • Angelo says:

        i understand why Dirk didn’t make it on Kamla’s FANTASY list. it is because Dirk doesn’t get consistent rebounds and blocks a PF should. and the facts that he’s old and injury prone lately. but to disrespect Dirk Nowitzki? one of the best Power Forward all-time? i won’t be surprise if you tell us you are a fan of Superteams, not because you’ve been rooting for that certain team for a long time but because it is trendy to do so.

      • E-SY says:

        No, not because it’s trendy to do so… because it’s fun to watch! Yes, on paper, Dirk has all those numbers you mentioned a bit further, but he is a forward from the 60’s. He’s 7 foot, so the perimeter defenders can’t touch his 3’s. And his shots from any closer to the basket don’t look pretty at all! He happens to sink a lot of them, but 0 points for style or technique.

        By that means, you could call me naive, but we could turn that one around just as easy. Why is the NBA so popular? Because there are some athletes in there! There is some individual skill that you can’t find in any other sports or competition anywhere in the world! That makes the NBA an export product of true greatness. And it should be, because if it would be limited too much, for example by FIBA rules and regulations, the NBA would be in a buried and gone by now.

        And rooting for a team for a long time… well respect to all people who do so for many years, even (in periods) when their team has no stars, no numbers and a losing record. I’m not from the states, don’t have a home town to support, I just watch the sport because I love the game and the guys that put up the show! It’s no math’s or home town pride to me… I love to be supprised by what those athletes can come up with every single night.

  13. metti83 says:


  14. nbaspecter says:

    Sceptical about Blake, if he EVER puts up 1.5 blocks you will look like a genius. I agree that his FT% will go up, but not as dramatically as 70% by next season. His shooting motion is good, so all he really needs is tonnes of practice.

  15. NK says:

    Melo? Pierce? Why not Russel …….
    I prefer active players ..Like Lu Deng did u ever see him?

    • NoName says:

      Did you not read the title of the article? It says top FANTASY forwards. Not only is it Luol Deng, not Lu Deng, but on a fantasy team he’s not going to be very valuable. Don’t get me wrong he’s a great NBA player, but he doesn’t really put up great stats and fantasy is all about stats.