Fantasy Basketball: LeBron James Regains First Place in 2022-23 Small Forward Rankings

Fantasy Basketball: LeBron James Regains First Place in 2022-23 Small Forward Rankings

Fantasy Basketball: LeBron James Regains First Place in 2022-23 Small Forward Rankings

No fantasy basketball position is as deep as the point guard spot, but the modern NBA has developed some proficient wings in recent years. The best forwards in the game are often expected to score in groups, rebound and play for others without harming the defense.

Most of the top 10 minor attackers in this year’s list can do all that. Their skills can make them extremely valuable in roto competitions, especially if they can shoot the ball well from the charity line and from outside the arc. LeBron James reigned supreme with small forward for a long time and I expect no different in 2022-23.

Which players are worth taking in the first round? Which players seem likely to finish to the top despite injuries? And players can’t live up to expectations? Check out the rankings below for a brief explanation of the top five and a comprehensive top 50 list:

The top five

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James was a top-three minor striker last season, despite appearing in just 56 games. The King’s versatility and productivity in all aspects of the game isn’t going anywhere as he scored at least 25.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game for the sixth straight season. His scoring average (30.0) was the highest since 2005 in 2021-22. No small forward can match James’ position and his rebound should benefit from playing more power forward in 2022-23.

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Tatum has broken the top three in three consecutive seasons. Obviously, he’s on his way to becoming a perpetual All-Star as the face of the Celtics, and he’s still getting better. Whether he can reach new heights as a goalscorer remains to be seen, but his rebound and assist numbers have increased with each pro season. He’s highly unlikely to match James as a primary distributor, but his generally efficient shot and defense make him a shoo-in for second in the top five.

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Durant has played quite a bit of power forward with the Nets but looks poised to become a real wing again as Ben Simmons didn’t play for the Nets last season but is expected to start as a point forward in 2022-23 with Brooklyn. Durant will handle mismatches relentlessly as a small attacker with more length in the frontcourt. The scoring title will be well within reach for KD with a selfless and efficient playmaker like Simmons on the pitch. But Durant will only finish as high as his health allows him. He will lose some rebound and assist numbers to Simmons, but that won’t stop him from being a top option when he’s available. Durant can average 26.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists in his sleep.

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DeRozan operated more as a frontcourt in Chicago with Lonzo Ball as point guard and Zach LaVine as shooting guard. Nevertheless, he led his team in points and assists last season, while also coming in admirably on the glass. While he may not reach the same heights in 2022-23 with healthier seasons from Ball and Patrick Williams, his change in environment proved he can still be a first option for a playoff team brimming with talent.

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Butler has produced at a high level so far during his injury-plaguing run with Miami. The two-way wing numbers don’t jump off the stats when you look at them, but he’s a jack-of-all-trades who does whatever the Heat asks of him. He is a reliable 20-point scorer who has also consistently scored a total of 6.5 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game since bringing his talents to South Beach. He is a scourge on defense and his steal count makes up for what he lacks as a long range shooter. Butler should get down and dirty a bit more now that PJ Tucker is out of the picture, and that could result in a rebounding boost.

Small forward ranking

1. LeBron James, LAL
2. Jayson Tatum, BOS
3. Kevin Durant, BKNO
4. DeMar DeRozan, CHIA
5. Jimmy Butler, MIA
6. Brandon Ingram, NOP
7. Kawhi Leonard, LAC
8. Khris Middleton, MILI
9. Miles Bridges, CHA
10. Tobias Harris, PHIA
11. Andrew Wiggins, GSW
12. OG Anunoby, Birds of Prey
13. Bojan Bogdanovic, UTH
14. Keldon Johnson, SA
15. Michael Porter Jr., DEN
16. Saddiq Bey, DET
17. Gordon Hayward, CHA
18. Harrison Barnes, SAC
19. Dillon Brooks, MEM
20. Franz Wagner, ORL
21. De’Andre Hunter, ATL
22. Jae’Sean Tate, HOU
23. Mikal Bridges, PHO
24. Jaden McDaniels, MIN
25. Cameron Johnson, PHO
26. Kelly Oubre, CHA
27. Dorian Finney-Smith, Dal
28. Herb Jones, NOP
29. Otto Porter Jr., TOR
30. Herbert Jones, NOP
31. Doug McDermott, SAS
32. Jonathan Kuminga, GSW
33. Benedict Mathurin, IND
34. Tari Eason, HOU
35. Cam Reddish, NYKO
36. Juan Toscano-Anderson
37. Rudy Gay, UTH
38. Nassir Little, PORO
39. Trey Murphy, NOP
40. Ziaire Williams, MEM
41. Corey Kispert, WAS
42. Jeff Green, DEN
43. Torrey Craig, PHO
44. Georges Niang, PHIA
45. Isaac Okoro, CLE
46. ​​Joe Ingles, MIL
47. KJ Martin, HOU
48. Kyle Anderson, MIN
49. Royce O’Neale, UTH
50. Cedi Osman, CLE

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