May 3, 2016, 2:30 am
This is the fourth issue in a series of Dynasty focused articles. If you missed the first issue (and the whole premise behind this series), feel free to check it out here.
For those not willing to look back at past articles, the idea behind the series is to pick out keepers that I think are ‘buy’ or ‘sell’ types of players at this point in their careers. Power forward seems to be a deep position as more dynamic big men fall into this position, rather than playing center. However, a lot of power forwards have center eligibility, providing fantasy owners with roster flexibility. At this position, we have players in various stages of their careers and I will factor age heavily in to this list.
Here are some names to consider buying or selling as keepers in your dynasty league:
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Draymond Green, 26
I believe Green is the most valuable power forward in dynasty leagues at this point in time. After crushing his ADP and putting up early second round value, it will probably be impossible to buy him at a discount. Green has so many things going for him: he is just not entering his prime, he is locked in to his current team and role for four more seasons at least, he has a diverse skill set and he only has one category where he really needs to improve to reach first round value (FT%). He posts an elite level of assists at the position and has shown no signs of injury risk. While I am not a huge fan of him in the real world, I do respect his fantasy value and would consider paying up for his stat set.
Kristaps Porzingis, 20
Fantasy players that took a shot on Porzingis this past season were rewarded in the best way. He was generally drafted somewhere between the 10th and 12th rounds, but was able to post 4th round value on the season. He did this in only 28 minutes a game, while still adjusting to the NBA style of play. If Porzingis is able to improve his field goal percentage, there is no reason he cannot return 2nd-4th round value for the next 8-10 years. Just look at this big man move:
Derrick Favors, 24
It appears that Favors will be a long-term fixture in Utah and was second in average scoring for the Jazz last season. While he did miss a significant number of games last season, Favors is closing in on his prime and offers a boost in scoring, rebounds, steals, blocks and field goal percentage to any fantasy team. He offers very few turnovers and his minutes are generally kept in check by the rotation to prevent overuse. The Jazz have one of the lower payrolls in the league and could make some big changes with a salary cap spike, but I expect Hayward and Favors to lead this team for the foreseeable future.
Gorgui Dieng, 26
Dieng is not a flashy or big name player, but he offers sneaky good value and has so much upside as a player just now entering his prime. While he doesn’t have any stat categories that jump off the page at you, he offers an efficient stat set for a big man. He took a little while to figure out how he would fit next to KAT this past season, but posted 5th round value over the course of the season after getting things figured out. Dieng is a big man that hits almost 83% of his free throws and contributes in both defensive categories. The significance to this defensive value is that the Timberwolves will now be led by Tom Thibodeau, who is known for his defensive expertise and will surely optimize Dieng’s abilities. Just think, Joakim Noah (who was not worth rostering last season) posted second round value under Thibodeau in 2013-2014. Dieng has the potential to post similar stats to Noah that season sans the elite assists from a big man. There was even speculation that Dieng would be drafted by the Bulls in 2013 because the pair seemed like a perfect match.
2013 NBA Draft: Gorgui Dieng is a 6'11 Defensive Center out of Louisville who is a "System" Player and should work well with Tom Thibodeau
— Chicago Bulls Rumors (@chicagobullsbot) November 25, 2012
Serge Ibaka, 26
Of all the players on my power forward sell list, Ibaka is the one that I’m least confident in as a buy candidate. Ibaka is just now entering his prime, but there are simply too many question marks surrounding Ibaka’s future that make me uncomfortable. First, the Oklahoma City roster could look extremely different over the course of the next two offseasons, making his future team role a little murky. Durant, Westbrook and Ibaka could all be on different teams at the start of the 2017-2018 season. In addition, last season was probably Ibaka’s worst season of the past 3-4 seasons. However, this may actually serve as a buy low point. Ibaka held an ADP in the middle of the second round and returned 5th round value on the season. This leads me to believe that owners will be impatient and want to move him. Jump on him at a discount now and enjoy a big man with early round upside as he enters his prime.
Side Note: Readers may be surprised that I did not include Blake Griffin or Anthony Davis on this list. My opinion is that both players carry too much name value to get a good fantasy deal done while taking their risks or downsides in to account. If you own these players, ride them until the wheels fall off (which will be a consistent mindset for Davis each season). If an opposing fantasy owner is shopping these players, I’d avoid unless I can get them at a discount.