With just three weeks until the start of the 2021-22 NBA season, it’s time to dive head-first into draft prep for the upcoming fantasy basketball season! This means trying to figure out your rankings, so you know where you want to take certain players in the draft, and which players you value a lot higher or lower than the average person. With the power forward position in particular, it is crucial to determine who you like at the top of these rankings, as there are a handful of guys who could make a case for the number one overall player in fantasy hoops this year. And with so much to like about each of them, this could be a lot easier said than done. So to help you out, here are my 2021-22 preseason power forward rankings and insights heading into the season.
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Power Forward Rankings Breakdown
Top Tier Players
Giannis Antetokounmpo is my first power forward on the board, and he’s also my first overall pick entering the year. The man averaged 28.1 points, 11.0 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.1 threes, 1.2 steals, and 1.2 blocks per game on 56.9% shooting in what was somehow considered a down year. And then he went off and casually put up one of the greatest postseason performances in the history of the NBA, leading the Bucks to the NBA championship. But perhaps the scariest part is that he’s still just 26-years-old, and his shot is still a major work in progress. As in, he’s already the best player in the league and he hasn’t even learned how to shoot yet! There is no one I’d rather draft this year than Giannis.
If you disagree with me however, Nikola Jokic, Kevin Durant, and possibly even Jayson Tatum are all great options too, as all of them are almost guaranteed top-10 overall picks in fantasy this year. With either one of these first-tier options, you have a guy who will stuff the stat sheet on a nightly basis, contributing across every major category and doing it with efficiency. In fact, this is how I feel (to a slightly lesser extent) about every PF through Julius Randle at number 11. Every one of these players will put up elite production in multiple categories, and therefore make for great options with your first or second pick.
Players to Watch
Assuming you don’t get any of the top tier players discussed above, or even if you do, there are still a number of players who will be available later in your drafts who appear poised to drastically outproduce where they are typically being drafted. A few of these guys are young stretch fours who look ready to take another leap forward and have career years this season. Michael Porter Jr., Kyle Kuzma, and Keldon Johnson are three such individuals. Now, I already hyped up Porter and Kuzma while breaking down my small forward rankings, which you can find here if you missed that one, but let’s talk about Keldon Johnson.
The former first-round pick showed plenty of flashes last season, averaging 12.8 points and 6.0 rebounds per game in his first full NBA season. And while those numbers aren’t bad by any means, what excites me the most is what he did over the course of this offseason. This includes being a member of the gold-medal winning team at the Olympics, gaining incredible experience playing, working, and just being around that group of guys. On top of that, Johnson has spoken to the media about how hard he has worked on his game this offseason, especially prioritizing his outside shooting. For someone who is already a career 36% shooter from beyond the arc, any improvement from deep could make him an absolutely lethal weapon. Still just 21-years-old, and surrounded by a core of players that are also very young and athletic, the Spurs will be running more than in years past, and a stretch four with a plus three-point shot will naturally be a major part of the offense. This will undoubtedly be a breakout year for the young forward.
Another young player on the verge of a breakout is Isaiah Stewart. In a solid rookie year in which he showed clear improvement each month, Stewart averaged 12.7 points, 9.4 rebounds, 0.9 steals, and 2.1 blocks on 56.8% shooting in 14 starts. It’s unclear as to whether or not the youngster will earn the starting job, but he should play starter’s minutes either way, as Detroit looks to further develop their big man of the future. Still just 20-years-old, the sky is the limit for Isaiah Stewart this year, and I think he could be one of this year’s biggest steals in fantasy drafts.
2021-22 Power Forward Rankings
|18||Michael Porter Jr.||DEN|
|26||Jaren Jackson Jr.||MEM|
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