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Towers of Power

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - We continue our analysis of 2010-11 by position with this week's installment. Last week we evaluated the center position from a fantasy point of view, this week it's the power forwards turn.

It's a good thing for our winners that defense plays such a small role in determining the top fantasy player at each position. Because our winner, Zach Randolph and our runner-up Amar'e Stoudemire don't play as much of it.

Randolph is the only 20-10 guy at the position, but at 6'9" you would think he could produce more than 0.3 blocks-per-game. His three-point shooting also took a nosedive again this season. Randolph shot at a 34.2-percent clip in 2008-09, but that number dropped to 28.8 in 2009-10 and just 18.6 this season on 43 attempts.

Still, 20.1 ppg on 50.3-percent shooting and 12.2 rebounds-per-game are tough to beat.

Stoudemire benefits from his coach's love for the up tempo game, and his statistics show it. He has averaged 23.5 ppg with head coach Mike D'Antoni and 19.1 ppg under all other NBA coaches. The up tempo game also adds to his rebounding, assists and even defensive totals as well.

Consider that despite being a mediocre-at-best defensive player, Stoudemire has averaged a solid 1.9 blocks-per-game.

The best defensive player in the top-five is Pau Gasol. But the former TSN NBA Fantasy Player of the Year, lost some stats as center Andrew Bynum began to assert himself. Bynum's 9.4 rebounds and 2.0 blocks-per-contest have stolen some of Gasol's thunder. So while we still think Gasol is the best power forward in the game, he finishes third in the fantasy rankings which are purely stats-driven.

Finishing fourth overall is Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki. Nowitzki is a solid overall player and the best three-point shooter at the position, but struggled to come back from an early January injury. In the two-week period after being sidelined by knee problems, Nowitzki averaged just 19.6 ppg and 4.9 rpg and the "mini-slump" took him out of the race to be the top fantasy power forward.

LaMarcus Aldridge was a candidate for most improved fantasy player, raising his numbers in scoring (21.8), rebounding (8.8), steals (1.0), blocks (1.2) and both field goal percentage (50.0) and free throw percentage (79.1). With Brandon Roy sidelined for most of the season, Aldridge put the Blazers on his back and carried them to the playoffs. His reward is a top-five finish on this list.

Chris Bosh, Paul Millsap, Josh Smith, Kevin Garnett and David West complete the top-10 at the power forward position.

2010-11 Power Forward Statistics
Player, TeamGmsPPGRPGAPGSPGBPGFG%3PT%FT%
Zach Randolph, MEM7520.112.22.20.80.350.318.675.8
Amare Stoudemire, NYK7825.38.22.60.91.950.243.579.2
Pau Gasol, LAL8218.810.23.30.61.652.933.382.3
Dirk Nowitzki, DAL7323.07.72.60.50.651.739.389.2
LaMarcus Aldridge, POR8121.88.82.11.01.250.017.479.1
Chris Bosh, MIA7718.78.31.90.80.649.624.081.5
Paul Millsap, UTA7617.37.62.51.40.953.139.175.7
Josh Smith, ATL7716.58.53.31.31.647.733.172.5
Kevin Garnett, BOS7114.98.92.41.30.852.820.086.2
David West, NO7018.97.62.31.00.950.822.280.7


Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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