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2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Rankings – Forwards

A list of the top forwards to draft for the 2014-15 fantasy basketball season.

Rankings:

Expert

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By Position:

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PG

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C

G

F

1. Kevin Durant  Oklahoma City Thunder

2014-15 Projected Stats (per game)
G Min Pts Reb Ast Stl Blk 3PM TO FG% FT%
View Kevin Durant's 2014-15 projected stats.

Fresh off winning his first MVP award, Durant enters his eighth year in the league as a superstar in every sense of the word. Durant played 39 minutes per game in 2013-14 and had his best scoring season (32.0 points per game) ever, while also dishing out a career-best 5.5 assists per contest. He also averaged 7.4 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 0.7 blocks per game and shot 50 percent from the floor, 39 percent from beyond the arc (while recording a career-best 2.4 three-pointers per game), and 89 percent from the charity stripe. Still only 25-years-old, the best may be yet to come from Durant. That's a scary thought for the rest of the league, and Durant should also be well-rested after withdrawing from Team USA for the FIBA Basketball World Cup this summer. The five-time NBA All-Star enters the 2014-15 season as the consensus number one overall fantasy player yet again, and with his ability to stuff the box score in practically every way imaginable, Durant will justifiably be the first player taken in a majority of drafts.

2. LeBron James  Cleveland Cavaliers

2014-15 Projected Stats (per game)
G Min Pts Reb Ast Stl Blk 3PM TO FG% FT%
View LeBron James's 2014-15 projected stats.

It's common knowledge that James is the best player in the league, and has been for several seasons, which makes it a little scary that he set career bests in rebounds (8.0 per game), field-goal percentage (57 percent) and three-point shooting percentage (41 percent) in 2012-13. His improvement in rebounding was marginal, but he took great leaps in his shooting efficiency, up from 53 percent from the floor and 36 percent from downtown in 2011-12. Considering he has basically never regressed, an optimist could expect further improvement this season, as crazy as those numbers would theoretically be. But it should also be noted that his counting stats are unlikely to increase, considering that the Heat will have no reason to play James as much as his talent dictates. Miami's 27-game winning streak required the stars to play more than they otherwise would have last season, and assuming the No. 1 seed will be all but in the bag at some point in the second half, coach Erik Spoelstra could start resting guys in a Popovich-esque manner. If the only knock on a guy is that his team might be too good, then we're clearly nit-picking, but it is worth noting that James only played in four of Miami's final 10 games last season, which could prove disastrous in weekly leagues if it happens again.

3. James Harden  Houston Rockets

2014-15 Projected Stats (per game)
G Min Pts Reb Ast Stl Blk 3PM TO FG% FT%
View James Harden's 2014-15 projected stats.

During the 2013-14 season, James Harden was able to reward the fantasy owners who drafted him and posted impressive numbers in his second season with the Rockets. He finished the year averaging 25.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 1.6 steals, and 2.4 three-pointers made, while playing 38 minutes per game. Although the loss of Chandler Parsons in free agency initially felt like it might sting a bit, the Rockets bounced back with the signing of Trevor Ariza, so the starting lineup didn't take as big of a hit as originally thought, and the team will still have a decent shooter to open the lane for Harden to drive to the hoop. Harden also continued his consistent shooting last season by slightly improving his field goal percentage from 44 percent in the 2012-13 season, to 46 percent last season. While his field goal percentage increased, it stayed the same from behind the arc, as he shot 37 percent from deep for the second season in a row. Look for Harden to continue to get plenty of shots up again this season, and post scoring averages in the mid to upper 20's, as most of the roster is pretty similar to last year, and the Rockets will be in the playoff hunt once again. While it seems strange to say, Harden could carry an even larger load on offense this season with Jeremy Lin having been traded to the Lakers this offseason.

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