NBA fantasy: Top 50 small forwards for 2019-20
Andrew D. Bernstein / National Basketball Association / Getty

These rankings reflect standard scoring formats, taking into account a player's expected production in the following categories: points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, 3-point shots made, field-goal percentage, free-throw percentage, and turnovers.

Position Rankings
PG | SG | SF | PF | C | Top 150

Tier 1 - Fantasy superstars

RANK PLAYER TEAM
1 Giannis Antetokounmpo MIL
2 LeBron James LAL
3 Kawhi Leonard LAC
4 Paul George LAC

After leading the league in minutes per game in both 2016-17 and 2017-18, LeBron James' epic durability faltered last season. He logged fewer than 60 contests for the first time in his career, only his second non-lockout season with fewer than 70 games.

So is that the new reality for King James as he enters ... Year 17!? Tough to say. In joining a Lakers team without a clear-cut No. 2 superstar, expectations heading into last season were relatively muted. James' late-December injury all but ended the team's hopes of competing for a playoff slot in a jam-packed Western Conference - a big reason why he ultimately missed nine games between March and April.

Still, James' per game statistics were essentially identical to his previous two seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers: 27.4 points, 8.5 rebounds, 8.3 assists, two made 3-pointers, and 1.3 steals per game with 51% shooting from the field. With Anthony Davis now by his side, expect James' total games played to bounce back into the 70s as L.A. will certainly be hunting for a decent playoff seed.

Nathaniel S. Butler / National Basketball Association / Getty

Tier 2 - Starters

RANK PLAYER TEAM
5 Jimmy Butler MIA
6 Ben Simmons PHI
7 Tobias Harris PHI
8 Khris Middleton MIL
9 DeMar DeRozan SAS
10 Aaron Gordon ORL

There's a pretty quick drop-off from starting-caliber small forwards to depth options as far as fantasy is concerned. In a 10-team league, you should ideally end up with at least one of the players in Tier 1 or 2 through the first five rounds.

With that said, don't force it. If there isn't an obvious small forward target at your draft slot, you're better off taking a best-on-the-board approach rather than reaching. You'll have an opportunity to stock up on wings and forwards - role players who excel in secondary fantasy categories like made 3-pointers, blocks, and steals - in the middle rounds of the draft.

Basically, if you end up reaching for Khris Middleton or DeMar DeRozan with your third-round pick, you've made a mistake.

Zach Beeker / National Basketball Association / Getty

Tier 3 - Depth

RANK PLAYER TEAM
11 Robert Covington MIN
12 Jayson Tatum BOS
13 Otto Porter Jr. CHI
14 Josh Richardson PHI
15 TJ Warren IND
16 Brandon Ingram NOR
17 Andrew Wiggins MIN
18 Justise Winslow MIA
19 Danilo Gallinari OKC
20 Gordon Hayward BOS
21 Caris LeVert BKN
22 Kelly Oubre Jr. PHO
23 Eric Gordon HOU

Now two years and a healthy 2018-19 season removed from 2017's gruesome ankle injury, it's time for Gordon Hayward to show us what sort of player he is moving forward. There is clearly a risk that Hayward never re-establishes his pre-injury standard. If you've managed to build a balanced, high-floor roster through your first six or seven draft picks, you can afford to take a gamble around the No. 80 overall pick that Hayward bounces back.

You can chalk it up to the Timberwolves' general state of instability, but Andrew Wiggins has been a far more effective fantasy player than a real-life contributor through five seasons. To date, he's averaged 19.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.6 made 3-pointers, and a steal per game. If he can improve just one aspect of his game - his long-range scoring efficiency, playmaking ability, or defensive contributions - he'll justify his draft slot.

Garrett Ellwood / National Basketball Association / Getty

Tier 4 - Bench

RANK PLAYER TEAM
24 Kyle Kuzma LAL
25 Jonathan Isaac ORL
26 Tim Hardaway Jr. DAL
27 Terrence Ross ORL
28 Gary Harris DEN
29 Jerami Grant DEN
30 Evan Fournier ORL
31 Jeremy Lamb IND
32 Landry Shamet LAC
33 Joe Ingles UTA
34 Cedi Osman CLE
35 Nicolas Batum CHO
36 Miles Bridges CHO
37 Jaylen Brown BOS
38 Bojan Bogdanovic UTA
39 Mikal Bridges PHO
40 Thaddeus Young CHI
41 Bogdan Bogdanovic SAC
42 Harrison Barnes SAC
43 RJ Barrett NYK
44 Taurean Prince BKN
45 Rudy Gay SAS
46 Joe Harris BKN
47 Kevin Knox NYK
48 Trevor Ariza SAC
49 Jabari Parker ATL
50 Will Barton DEN

It's easy to get caught up in the hype, but it would be wise to temper expectations for RJ Barrett, 2019's No. 3 overall pick. The Knicks' brain trust seems to have constructed a roster comprised almost entirely of point guards and power forwards. Barrett will likely start the year shoehorned in at shooting guard in a lineup with poor spacing and a lot of veteran mouths to feed. On this team, elite fantasy production is far too much to ask from the 19-year-old.

Honorable mentions: Marcus Morris (NYK), Danny Green (LAL), Kent Bazemore (POR), Dillon Brooks (MEM), Rodney Hood (POR),

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NBA fantasy: Top 50 small forwards for 2019-20
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