The 2015-2016 NBA season ended on June 19th and the start of the 2016-2017 NBA regular season is a decent ways away on October 25th. Since the end of the NBA season rookies have been drafted, newcomers squared off and competed for roster spots in the NBA Summer League, and there was a mad dash to sign valuable free agents by every single team in the league.
So here we stand, looking at the beginning of a new Fantasy Basketball season on the distant horizon, wondering what to make of all the roster changes and power shifts. To make sure that none of us are caught off guard and unprepared because of distractions in the sports world like the NFL and the World Series, let's rank the top 20 players for Fantasy Basketball by all five positions and break down the top 20 by tiers of value.
Today, we focus on our 2016-17 tiered fantasy basketball rankings for NBA power forwards.
Editor's Note: All players on this list are eligible at PF in Yahoo! leagues. Many may be eligible at other positions, but they are only ranked here in the tiered rankings.
First Tier Power Forwards - Fantasy Basketball Rankings
1. Paul Millsap, ATL
2. Anthony Davis, NOR
Now that players are growing up focusing on athleticism, shooting, and ball handling, we are seeing a very diverse skill set throughout the upper echelon of NBA power forwards. Paul Millsap and Anthony Davis are clearly the best of the best at PF, and they offer different kinds of production along with their own risks/rewards.
Millsap has been an All-Star the last three seasons, has hit big peaks in assists; steals; blocks; and rebounds, has continued to score 17 per night even at 31 years old, and has shot 34.4% from distance in his time as a Hawk. Since his rookie season Anthony Davis has averaged 23.1 points, 2.6 blocks, 1.4 steals, and 10.2 boards per game. He also shot 32.4% for 3PT shots last year after shooting just 11% total for his first three seasons.
The only drawback to Davis is health. He averages 65 games per year and last year had a career low 61. Though if there is a candidate for a quadruple-double in the NBA, my money is on him. With his young age and still-budding skill set, he offers a far higher ceiling than Millsap does, especially since Millsap is 31. However with Al Horford now a Boston Celtic, there may be a really wide-open gap for rebounds in Atlanta.
Second Tier Power Forwards - Fantasy Basketball Rankings
3. Pau Gasol, SAS
4. Blake Griffin, LAC
5. Derrick Favors, UTA
6. LaMarcus Aldridge, SAS
Maybe Blake Griffin could even stay in the top five all season as long as he doesn't get in anymore equipment related altercations. The power forwards in this 4-7 range are more traditional type players, in that, they mostly prefer to score from inside, they rebound aggressively, and they all are pretty effective on defense in one way or another.
Gasol is a safer bet because of his track record, but any of these guys should make any Fantasy Basketball Manager happy to have.
Third Tier Power Forwards - Fantasy Basketball Rankings
7. Kevin Love, CLE
8. Kristaps Porzingis, NYK
9. Greg Monroe, MIL
10. Serge Ibaka, ORL
11. Tobias Harris, DET
12. Nerlens Noel, PHI
13. Kenneth Faried, DEN
If the players in the 8-13 range just had one more category that stuck out, then they would all have a case for the top five. Unfortunately, while these players demonstrate a lot of talent in their areas of expertise, they have some glaring gaps that make them less desirable for Fantasy Basketball Managers.
Love can rebound, score, and shoot. Ibaka can block, rebound, and has improved his shooting. Faried is a rebounding monster, Greg Monroe is a quiet double-double guy, and Tobias Harris is sneaky well-rounded. Guys like this can be hard to own because of their high ADP but they have the gaps that the immediate tier above them do not have. I would love to keep believing in Nerlens Noel, but there are just so many young big guys on the 76ers roster that it brings up a lot of uncertainty as to what his future role is.
Fourth Tier Power Forwards - Fantasy Basketball Rankings
14. Dirk Nowitzki, DAL
15. Myles Turner, IND
16. Robert Covington, PHI
There is really no theme for this tier, they just aren't able to do what the 13 guys above them can do, or at least not anymore in Dirk's case. Dirk is getting old but he is still one of the best shooters in basketball history. That means he should continue to score at an efficient rate. He is also still tall, so an adequate rate of rebounds should continue. Myles Turner averaged 10.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks in his rookie year in a meager 22.3 minutes each game.
Per 36 minutes that is equivalent to 16.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks. He probably won't be on the floor for 36 minutes each game, but after his successful rookie campaign his playing time should increase by a big margin. Robert Covington has been a versatile defensive specialist the past two years in Philly and shot 36.3% from distance. The big problem is that the 76ers drafted Ben Simmons and have a big slew of talented young players to kick start their rebuild. That might mean Covington's days of ample playing time are cooked.
Fifth Tier Power Forwards - Fantasy Basketball Rankings
18. Chris Bosh, MIA
19. Aaron Gordon, ORL
20. Julius Randle, LAL
This fifth tier is actually a little more well-rounded than the fourth tier, they just have more question marks. For instance, how much more valuable would Julius Randle be if he could block at least a shot a game and could pop out to hit three pointers more often and at a better rate than 27.8%? We all can see that Aaron Gordon would have more statistical production with more playing time, but will he get more playing time this year? And will it be enough? At 32 years old, when will Chris Bosh's play start to steeply diminish?