Fantasy Basketball: Top Power Forwards/Centers Who Can Shoot From Downtown
Anyone who wants Kevin Love, but ends up missing out on him should definitely consider taking Dirk. He just had arthroscopic knee surgery and is expected to return in three-to-six weeks, but he will be selected later than Kevin Love, so drafting him could be considered an even better deal since you can get him for cheaper, and he’s supposed to be able to play again sooner.
He actually had a major drop-off in his stats last year, including his accuracy from behind the arc, which fell from 39.3 percent to 36.8 percent, but it would be a surprise if his numbers didn’t improve this year.
Overall, the Dallas Mavericks came out flat at the beginning of the season last year, having won the championship in 2011 and not having time to prepare once the lockout immediately ended.
Everyone had the latter problem, so it’s not an excuse, but as a team full of veteran players, the Mavs were hit as hard as anyone with last year’s condensed schedule, and Dirk was clearly affected. You can tell that he got better as the season progressed though because he averaged just 15.1 points a game in December, but then averaged 25.2 in February and 23.2 in March.
As for 2012-13, while he will be out for the first month or so, you can expect Dirk to come back strong to lead this sort-of-rebuilt Mavericks team back to the playoffs.
3. Ryan Anderson (New Orleans Hornets)
While Kevin Love and Dirk Nowitzki are All-Star level talents, Ryan Anderson led the league in three-pointers made last year with 166, leading the second-place man Jason Terry by 28.
However, there is a strong chance that Anderson’s numbers will go down this season because he clearly benefitted from the system in Orlando where Dwight Howard would sit in the post, defenders would double team him, and Anderson, Jason Richardson, JJ. Redick etc. would be wide open to drain three-pointers.
In New Orleans, it will be a lot different because even if Anderson does get plenty of looks from three, they probably won’t be as wide open since Anthony Davis and Robin Lopez aren’t as respected as Dwight Howard is in the post.
Further, even though Anderson did make the most 3’s in the NBA last year, he also took the most three-point shots by far. He took 422 shots from behind the three-point line, and the player closest to achieving that mark was Brandon Jennings, who attempted 34 fewer three-pointers.
On the other hand, New Orleans was second to last in the league last year in points scored, which means coach Monty Williams is probably going to give Anderson the green light to shoot as much as possible when he’s in the game.
Ultimately, what will be interesting to see is where New Orleans is ranked at the end of the year in terms of three-pointers attempted and made. Last season, the Hornets were dead last in those categories, and that could because coach Williams hates the three-ball, but it is more likely that he wanted his team to trade for Anderson in order to bring New Orleans up in those areas.
Hopefully, for fantasy owners who draft Anderson, the latter is the case.