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Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been using this space to do a positional analysis of the best players in fantasy basketball. As an owner, I am typically looking for three things in a player–stats (duh), flexibility (ability to play multiple positions), and keeper potential (salary/ ceiling). These are the same guidelines I’m using this week, the previous weeks, and in the weeks to come. Next up, the four best fantasy small forwards in the game today.

I’ll get the obvious ones out of the way first. Lebron James is still the King. Sure, his numbers are down, but subpar numbers for Lebron are still MVP-like for other players. And get this–he’s only 30 (even if he has been in the league forever), so you can count on at least 4-5 more years of production barring injury.

The other obvious choice is Kevin Durant. Durant is enjoying a typical season, which means he’s one of the top, if not the top player in most fantasy leagues. At 27, he’s got many, many good years ahead of him, which gives him the slight edge over KIng James.

My personal favorite small forward is Kawhi Leonard, who is finally putting it all together in San Antonio. He’s a two-way stud who is finally putting up consistent numbers. I think in a year or two, he might be one of the better players in all of fantasy basketball (and just to make you even more jealous of the guy in your league who owns him, Leonard is only 24).

The last guy on my list, definitely brings flexibility (as well as numbers). In many leagues (including my own), Paul George is listed as both a SF and PF, something that fantasy owners can only hope will last after this season. And speaking of this season, George is having one of the very best of his young career. At just 25, he has a chance for many more.

Week 10 Fantasy Basketball Preview

TeamNumber of GamesSchedule FavorabilityMust StartConsider Sitting
Atlanta0 home
3 away
NeutralPaul Millsap, Al HorfordDennis Schroder, Kent Bazemore, Jeff Teague
Boston2 home
0 away
PoorIsaiah ThomasEvan Turner, Jared Sullinger, Avery Bradley
Brooklyn0 home
3 away
UnfavorableBrook LopezJarrett Jack, Thaddeus Young
Charlotte3 home
1 away
NeutralKemba Walker, Nicolas BatumAl Jefferson
Chicago3 home
1 away
NeutralPau Gasol, Jimmy ButlerDerrick Rose, Nikola Mirotic
Cleveland1 home
2 away
NeutralLebron James, Kevin LoveMo Williams, Tristan Thompson
Dallas3 home
1 away
NeutralDirk Nowitzki, Deron WilliamsChandler Parsons, Deron Williams
Denver2 home
2 away
NeutralDanilo GallinariEmmanuel Mudiay, Kenneth Faried
Detroit1 home
2 away
NeutralAndre Drummond, Reggie JacksonMarcus Morris, Ersan Ilyasova
Golden State2 home
2 away
Highly FavorableStephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay ThompsonAndre Iguodala
Houston2 home
1 away
FavorableJames Harden, Dwight HowardTy Lawson, Trevor Ariza
Indiana3 home
1 away
NeutralPaul GeorgeMonta Ellis, George Hill, Ian Mahinmi
Los Angeles Clippers1 home
3 away
FavorableBlake Griffin, Deandre Jordan, Chris PaulNone
Los Angeles Lakers2 home
2 away
FavorableNoneKobe Bryant, Roy Hibbert, Julius Randle
Memphis1 home
1 away
PoorMarc GasolMike Conley, Zach Randolph
Miami2 home
2 away
FavorableHassan Whitehead, Chris BoshDwayne Wade, Goran Dragic
Milwaukee0 home
4 away
FavorableGreg MonroeMichael Carter Williams, Jabri Parker, Giannis Antekokounmpo
Minnesota2 home
2 away
UnfavorableKarl-Anthony Towns Ricky Rubio, Andre Wiggins
New Orleans1 home
2 away
NeutralAnthony Davis, Tyreke EvansEric Gordon, Ryan Anderson
New York2 home
1 away
PoorCarmelo Anthony, Kristaps PorzingisRobin Lopez
Oklahoma City2 home
1 away
FavorableRussel Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Serge IbakaNone
Orlando2 home
2 away
NeutralVictor Oladipo, Nikola VucevicElfrid Payton, Tobias Harris
Philadelphia0 home
4 away
NeutralJahlil Okafor, Robert CovingtonNerlens Noel
Phoenix1 home
4 away
Highly FavorableEric Bledsoe, Brandon KnightTyson Chandler, TJ Warren
Portland1 home
2 away
NeutralDamian Lillard, CJ McCollumMason Plumlee
Sacramento2 home
1 away
NeutralDemarcus Cousins, Rajon RondoRudy Gay
San Antonio3 home
0 away
FavorableKawhi Leonard, LaMarcus AldridgeTony Parker, Tim Duncan
Toronto3 home
1 away
NeutralKyle Lowery, DeMar DeRozan, Bismack BiyomboJonas Valanciunas
Utah3 home
1 away
Highly FavorableDerrick Favors, Gordon HaywardRudy Gobert
Washington3 home
1 away
FavorableJohn Wall, Bradley BealMarcin Gortat, Otto Porter

 

Starts

 

Bismack Biyombo, C, Toronto Raptors

Jonas Valanciunas is set to return to action Monday night, but I still think Biyombo is a must start. During Valanciunas’s absence, Biyombo looked like a revelation, not only blocking shots (which we knew he could do), but also grabbing rebounds at an astounding rate. I personally believe he’ll still get enough minutes this week to merit starting. 

Anthony Davis, C, New Orleans Pelicans

Okay, this one is a no-brainer. If you have him on your team, you’ve probably been starting him anyway. But I decided to include him because he’s been playing like a man possessed lately. On Christmas day, Davis 20 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 blocks. Over the last seven days, Davis has been the best player in my keeper league. Don’t you dare leave him on the bench.

Brandon Knight, SG, Phoenix Suns

The Suns have the best schedule in the NBA for the coming week. Add Eric Bledsoe’s absence due to a knee injury, and you have a recipe for a huge week from Knight. He’s been streaky this year, but it’s hard for me to imagining him not catching fire this week.

Sits

Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF, Milwaukee Bucks

I can’t figure Antetokounmpo out. Some games, he looks absolutely unstoppable, and then the there are some games where he appears afraid to even look at the basket. If I were Jason Kidd, I’d tell him to attack the rim hard and quit settling for jump shots. Of course, I’m not Kidd, just the idiot fantasy owner who’s been starting Antetokounmpo every week. If you’ve got any other options, Sure, the Bucks’ schedule is favorable, but I wouldn’t let that stop you from playing somebody else.

Avery Bradley, SG, Boston Celtics

I like Bradley’s game, and I think he’s a really good young player, but the Celtics only play twice in the coming week. Throw in Marcus Smart’s imminent return, and I think it’s a good week to keep Bradley on the bench.

 

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