Sep 18, 2009 News
Drafts are coming up soon and I’ve put together an early ranking of the Top 25 Fantasy Shooting Guards with an analysis on each to get your draft preparation started. This is a rough list since training camps don’t start for another two weeks. I’m sure these rankings will change as the season approaches, so check back. I’ll put a link to this post in the ‘Shooting Guard Rankings and News Page’.
Kobe Bryant (L.A. Lakers, #24, 6’6-220, 31yo) It is a coin flip for the top 2 spots, but I’m going with Kobe based on fact that his situation is a little more stable than Dwyane Wade’s. We know what to expect with the Lakers and we know Bryant has his contract. In Miami we have a rookie PG, Beasley in Rehab, no real SF and Wade playing for 2010. As far as statistics go, Kobe played 36.1 min a game putting up 26.8 pts, 4.9 ast, 5.2 reb, 1.4 stl with 2.56 TOV. He is a good 3 PT Shooter making 118 at a 35.1% rate. His FG% is solid at 46.7% and his FT% is 85.6%. Look for Bryant’s stats to be almost identical this season.
Dwyane Wade (Miami, #3, 6’4-216, 27yo) I don’t mind getting stuck with Wade as my SG. He played 38.6 min a game putting up 30.2 pts, 7.5 ast, 5.0 reb, 2.19 stl and 1.34 blk. His weakness is turnovers-he had 3.44 per game last year. He also doesn’t shoot the 3 quite as well as Kobe, only making 88 at a 31.7 % rate (however expect a regression as his previous career high in any year was 22 made in ’08). He had a 49.1 FG% and a 76.5 FT%. Wade’s stats seemed to explode last season simply because he had to do it all on a somewhat weak team. His team is also weak this year and if defenses gear to stop Wade his stats might suffer.
Brandon Roy (Portland, #7, 6’6-229, 25yo) Roy is a solid #3 in the rankings. The arrival of Andre Miller should take a little pressure off Roy, but hopefully won’t take any of his opportunities. Roy is an excellent shooter with 48.0 FG%, 82.4 FT% and 37.7 3PT% last season. He put up 22.6 pts, 5.1 ast, 4.7 reb 1.13 stl while keeping his turnovers low at 1.95/game. He made 83 3-pointers last year to go with 416 free throws. Expect similar stats this season.
Joe Johnson (Atlanta, #2, 6’7-235, 28yo) Johnson is one of the more underrated players at SG and is incredibly consistent and very durable, playing 39.5 minutes a game last season. He might see a dip in minutes though since Atlanta brought in a very capable backup in Jamal Crawford. Johnson has good shooting range, making 149 3′s last season at a 36.0% rate. He also had a 43.7 FG% and 82.6 FT%. His stats from last season were 21.4 pts, 5.8 ast, 4.4 reb, 1.1 stl, and 2.47 TOV. The Hawks should make a run this season and I think Johnson will lead them, although his minutes might dip just a little.
Vince Carter (Orlando, #15, 6’6-220, 32yo) Vince is getting up there at 32 years old, but I think he still has plenty in the tank, especially since he may get a shot at a ring this year in Orlando. Carter put up 20.8 pts, 4.7 ast, 5.1 reb, 1.03 stl and 2.08 TOV last season. His percentages were 43.7 FG%, 81.7 FT% and 38.5 3P%. Carter should get plenty of chances to score this season when defenses collapse on Dwight Howard and I think he will perform on an all star level.
Jason Richardson (Phoenix, #23, 6’6-225) Suspended first 2 games of the season. There is definitely a dropoff after the top 5 shooting guards, mainly because the next couple of guys are not across the board category helpers, they are mainly just scorers. Richardson can kill it from anywhere on the court as evidenced by his 243 (40.6%) 3-pointers that he made in the 07-08 season. His stats from last season were 16.8 pts, 2.0 ast, 4.4 reb, 1.06 stl and 1.32 TOV. His assists are low, but so is his turnover rate since he doesn’t handle the ball as much as those guys ranked above him. Look for Richardson to post numbers a little better this season since he has settled in Phoenix.
Kevin Martin (Sacramento, #23, 6’7-185, 26yo) Martin probably could rank higher, but he just seems to be injury prone. His stats from last season: 24.6 pts, 2.7 ast, 3.6 reb, 1.2 stl and 2.86 TOV. Given his rep as a good shooter, be careful with his percentages. Martin only had a 42.0 FG% last season but managed to put up a 41.5 3P%. He will definitely have good nights when the matchups are advantageous, but can turn in some real duds when they aren’t.
Ray Allen (Boston, #20, 6’5-205, 34yo) Allen just keeps on going at 34 years old and depending on Garnett’s health he may be asked to do more than his share of the scoring again this season. Allen is a pure shooter putting up percentages of 48.0 FG%, 95.2 FT% and 40.9 3P%. His stats were 18.2 pts, 2.8 ast, .87 stl and 1.7 TOV. His assist numbers have declined with the emergence of Rajon Rondo, but his 199 3-pointers last seson helped ease the lack of assists. The Celtics will again lean on Allen’s shooting, especially if there are any significant injuries.
Manu Ginobili (San Antonio, #20, 6’6-205, 32yo) Like Martin, Ginobili also seems to have some injury problems and at 32 years old those problems only look to get bigger. San Antonio also brought in Richard Jefferson to take some of the scoring load. Ginobili only managed 26.8 min in just 44 games last year putting up 15.5 pts, 3.6 ast, 4.5 reb, 1.45 stl and 2.00 TOV. He is a solid 3PT threat and a good FT shooter. His final ranking will depend on his health as the season approaches.
Jason Terry (Dallas, #31, 6’2-180, 32yo) Give Terry some credit, he had a fine year with 19.6 pts, 3.4 ast, 2.4 reb, 1.31 stl and 1.61 TOV. His percentages were solid at 46.3 FG%, 88.0 FT% and 36.6 3P%. I like Terry this season, but I also expect that his stats will decline from last season.
O.J. Mayo (Memphis, #32, 6’4-210, 22yo) Mayo would have been higher on my list, but the Iverson signing has me worried about his fantasy stats. Mayo put up 18.5 pts, 3.2 ast, 3.8 reb, 1.1 stl and 2.76 TOV. His percentages were decent at 43.8FG%, 87.9 FT% and 38.4 3P%. I think there may be some serious chemistry problems in Memphis with Iverson and Zach Randolph looking to hog the shots, and Mayo may suffer because of it.
Eric Gordon (L.A. Clippers, #10, 6’3-222, 20yo) Gordon gets the #12 spot on the rankings with his high potential to improve on last season’s rookie stats. He put up 16.1 pts, 2.8 ast, 2.6 reb, 1.0 stl and 2.1 TOV. He is a good 3PT shooter making 131 at a 38.9% rate. He had a 45.6 FG% and 85.4 FT%. He is only 20 years old and he has a ton of upside.
Wilson Chandler (New York, #21, 6’8-230, 22yo) Some rankings will have Chandler at SF, but I have chosen to put him in the SG rankings because I think that is where he will see a majority of his minutes. Last season he had 14.4 pts, 2.1 ast, 5.4 reb, .87 stl and 1.7 TOV. His percentages weren’t great with a 43.2 FG%, 79.5 FT% and 32.8 3P%. He is only 22 and finds himself in one of the better running systems under D’Antoni. Plenty of upside here.
Richard Hamilton (Detroit, #32, 6’7-193, 31yo) Hamilton sinks this low on the list because his future is very uncertain. Ben Gordon is waiting in the wings to take his spot and there is no way to know what kind of situation Hamilton will end up getting traded into. Hamilton had a good year putting up 18.2 pts, 4.4 ast, 3.1 reb, .6 stl and 1.99 TOV. His percentages were 44.7 FG%, 84.8 FT% and 36.8 3P%. His ranking all season will depend on trade rumors.
John Salmons (Chicago, #15, 6’6-207, 29yo) It is tough to know if Salmons is a late bloomer or a one year wonder. His stats just exploded across the board last year, but Salmons is already 29 years old and hasn’t ever shown anything close to what he did last season. His line was 18.3 points, 3.2 ast, 4.2 reb, 1.05 stl and 2.09 TOV. The really scary risk, and maybe the clue that he was a one year wonder, are his percentages. Last year he put up a 47.2 FG%, 83.0 FT% and 41.7 3P%, quite a deviation from his career 44.8 FG%, 79.9 FT% and 36.2 3P%. Given his history and age, I don’t think last season’s stats are repeatable. Let someone else gamble on it.
Allen Iverson (Memphis, #3, 6’0-180, 34yo) Almost impossible to rank Iverson right now, but I’m going to stick him here simply based on his past history. I don’t know how many minutes he will get, but as the season approaches, his ranking will certainly change.
Courtney Lee (New Jersey, #6, 6’5-200, 24yo) Lee has fallen into the opportunity of a lifetime, now we just have to see if he can capitalize on it. The shooting guard spot is his to lose. Lee is an excellent shooter putting up percentages of 45.0 FG%, 83.0 FT% and 40.4 3P%. In 25 minutes a game he had 8.4 pts, 1.2 ast, 1.0 stl, .9 TOV. A risky pick, but a possible high reward.
J.R. Smith (Denver, #1, 6’6-220, 24yo) The ultimate immature headcase. If Smith would just play basketball, he would be way up this list. He is looking at a 7 game suspension to start the season. At 24 years old it seems like he might have another year or two to grow up before he becomes a dependable fantasy player. The guy can score though putting up 15.2 pts, 2.8 ast, 3.7 reb and 1.85 TOV in 27.7 minutes a game. His ranking this season will depend on how tight his head is screwed on.
Micheal Redd (Milwaukee, #22, 6’6-215, 30yo) I’m not sure what to do with Michael Redd since he is returning from a torn ACL and MCL in his left knee. And when he does return it is going to be to a disaster of a situation called the Milwaukee Bucks. Everyone knows about Redd’s offensive potential, but the condition of the knee will determine his draftability (not sure that is a word, but let’s just go with it)
Ronnie Brewer (Utah, #9, 6’7-227, 24yo) Ronnie Brewer was an underappreciated fantasy player last year and should be one of those guys you can pick up in the late rounds as insurance for your starting SGs. His percentages are suspect at 50.8 FG%, 70.2 FT% and 25.9 3P%. Brewer does his damage driving to the basket and he is definitely not a 3 point help. He did manage to put up 13.7 pts, 2.2 ast, 3.7 reb, 1.7 stl and 1.36 TOV. He should be the starter this season and make a nice late round pick.
Raja Bell (Charlotte, #19, 6’5-215, 33yo) We are getting down to the point on the list where many of these guys are interchangeable and pretty much rank the same. Bell is an average player who is primarily a 3 PT specialist. Last season he managed 11.9 pts, 2.1 ast, 3.6 reb, .75 stl, 1.28 TOV and at 33 years old, I don’t expect that those stats will get any better this season.
Delonte West (Cleveland, #13, 6’3-180, 26yo) I see where Delonte just got arrested for cutting off a cop on his motorcycle while carrying 2 pistols and a shotgun in a guitar case. Nice. I’m guessing he’s off his meds and in terrible mental shape right now. Let this sort itself out a little before considering him draftable.
Ben Gordon (Detroit, #7, 6’3-200, 26yo) Gordon is a player without a position, being stuck behind Rip Hamilton. If you can stash him on the bench, he could provide a nice payoff in the second half of the season.
Randy Foye (Washington, #15, 6’4-213, 26yo) Foye is in a competition with Mike Miller, DeShawn Stevenson and Nick Young for minutes. He could win the starting spot and might be a good gamble. Ranking will change as the season approaches.
James Harden (Oklahoma City, #13, 6’5-220, 20yo) A rookie who is going to be a gamble. Harden has great offensive potential and he has a spot waiting for him if he can show OKC coaches that he is worthy of a shot. Ranking will change as the season approaches.
Other players who could work their way into the Top 25 Shooting Guards as the season approaches:
LeAndro Barbosa (Phoenix), Mike Dunleavy (Indiana), Kirk Hinrich (Chicago), Rudy Fernandez (Portland), Larry Hughes (New York), Willie Green (Philadelphia), Deshawn Stevenson (Washington), DeMar DeRozan (Toronto), Nick Young (Washington), Antoine Wright (Toronto), Mike Miller (Washington), Brandon Rush (Indiana), Shane Battier (Houston), Mo Peterson (New Orleans), Anthony Morrow (Golden State), Kalenna Azubuike (Golden State), Thabo Sefolosha (Oklahoma City), Dahntay Jones (Indiana), Anthony Parker (Cleveland)