2012-2013 Fantasy Basketball Draft – Point Guard Sleeper Picks

Training camps will open up next week which means fantasy basketball drafts are right around the corner.  I’ve been looking at some of the the ESPN and Yahoo rankings and there are some really good sleeper picks out there that both sites seem to have mis-ranked.  I’m going to break down my sleeper picks by position over the next week so that you guys can keep an eye on them when camp starts.  Most of these guys will probably fluctuate in ranking depending on how their roles are defined in camp.   I’ll be updating the sleepers in future daily articles as things develop in camp.

Point Guard Sleepers

Damian Lillard (POR) - ESPN Rank:  124, Yahoo Rank:  96 - Lillard probably won’t be much of a sleeper once camps open and everyone figures out that he’ll be the starting PG for the Blazers, but you can definitely get the jump on other owners with Lillard if your league drafts before camp opens.  Many owners simply won’t believe the rookie is for real and many just won’t draft a rookie no matter what.   Lillard played great during the NBA Summer league and was named co-MVP putting up 26.5 points per game.  He really doesn’t have much competition for minutes in Portland after the Blazers let Raymond Felton walk.   He should be able to post something around 17 points, 6 assists, 3 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game.

Brandon Knight (DET) – ESPN Rank:  106,  Yahoo Rank:  94 – Knight had a solid rookie season and should step up his production in 2012.  He posted 13 points and 4 assists per game and could bump that to 16 and 6 this year.   He has no real competion for his starting spot and should be a safe pick with some credible upside potential.

Jeff Teague (ATL) – ESPN Rank:  121,  Yahoo Rank:  62 – Teague is a much better sleeper in ESPN leagues, as the guys at Yahoo probably have him ranked more correctly.  The Hawks lost Joe Johnson and will now look to Teague to step up his game and takeover the backcourt pairing with Lou Williams.  Somebody has to replace Johnson’s scoring and playmaking ability, and a good portion of that duty will fall to Teague.  Teague really improved his shooting last season posting a 47.7 FG% and a 34.2 3PT%.  He posted 13 points and 5 assists and could bump that to 16 and 7 this year.

George Hill (IND) - ESPN Rank:  92,  Yahoo Rank:  116 -  Hill is a combo type guard and both sites have him qualifying at both point guard and shooting guard.  The Pacers recently brought in D.J. Augustin at the point guard position and there should be a pretty good battle in camp to determine the starter.  Even if Hill doesn’t start, he’s going to be a very valuable sixth man, getting backup minutes at point guard and shooting guard.  Paul George will be the starting shooting guard, but Hill’s scoring ability could make a backcourt pairing with Augustin a very attractive option.

DJ Augustin (IND) - ESPN Rank: 171,  Yahoo Rank:  184 – Augustin is the other half of the PG postion battle with George Hill in Indiana.   If Augustin doesn’t win the starting job, then he’s probably not worth drafting since he only has potential at PG, as compared to Hill who has the ability to play PG and SG.   Augustin’s 12 points, 6 assist type numbers from last season are probably what you could expect from him if he wins the job in Indiana.  Hill has the better upside potential.

Kirk Hinrich (CHI) - ESPN Rank:  184, Yahoo Rank:  138 – Derrick Rose is going to be out for quite some time with his ACL injury and Hinrich should find himself as the starting PG for the Bulls.  The only other option for Chicago is Nate Robinson, so keep an eye on this position battle.  Hinrich has evolved into pretty much just a spot up jumpshooter, but his shot is decent and he has good three point abilility, as well as the potential to feed Deng, Boozer and Noah for about 7-8 assists per game.  He’ll also grab you a steal per game on the defensive side of the ball.

Greivis Vasquez (NOR) – ESPN Rank:  140,  Yahoo Rank:  123 – All the hype in New Orleans has been for Austin Rivers, but Vasquez was solid last season filling in for Jarrett Jack.  Rivers is more of a combo type guard who might be better suited for shooting guard and learning how to play point guard might take some time for him.  If he can’t make the adjustment, then Vasquez has the ability to take the starting job.  If you examine  Vasquez` shot charts, he spread his shots equally around the floor, which makes defending him very difficult.  The biggest factor that could get him on the floor for major minutes is his defense.  His Synergy points-per-play defensive rating was .79 ppp.  The only player with a better number was Jrue Holiday.  By comparison, Chris Paul was rated at .80.

Aaron Brooks (SAC) – ESPN Rank: 248,  Yahoo Rank:  368 – Brooks is a high risk, high reward player this season after playing overseas last year.  Brooks would have been in the NBA in 2012 but he decided to play in China due to the lockout and got stuck in that contract and couldn’t return until the Chinese season was over.  He was quietly picked up by the Kings over the summer and could challenge Isaiah Smith for the starting spot.  If  he somehow wins the positon battle, then he has the ability to post some good fantasy stats feeding Marcus Thornton and DeMarcus Cousins.  As recently as the 2009-2010 season, he posted 19.6 points and 5.3 assists per game while playing for the Rockets.

 

Sleeper Possibilities That Need an Impressive Training Camp:

Raymond Felton (NYK) – Felton and Jason Kidd will battle it out for the starting PG spot in New York and Felton could win this one.   The only problem with drafting Felton is that we just don’t know how many minutes Kidd will get, so it’s a situation that will have to become more clear in camp before I could recommend Felton.

Ramon Sessions (CHA) – I’m sure the Bobcats would love to just hand Kemba Walker the PG spot and run with him, but his 36.6 FG% and 4.4 assists per game just weren’t that impressive.  If Walker doesn’t improve his shooting and playmaking, Sessions could sneak in and steal the starting PG spot, or at worst earn himself 30 MPG in a timeshare situation.

Luke Ridnour (MIN) – Ricky Rubio is still out rehabbing his knee and might not return for the first couple of months of the season, which leaves Ridnour as the likely starting PG.  Ridnour can do a decent job, but just don’t plan on depending on him past Christmas in deeper leagues.

Austin Rivers (NOR) – The Hornets are going nowhere this season and should probably throw Rivers on the court with Anthony Davis and just let them start playing together.  If they decide to do this, then Rivers could be a huge sleeper.  We’ll find out in training camp if Rivers is cut out to handle the point guard position and just how aggressive New Orleans will be in developing him.

Jose Calderon (TOR) – The Raptors signed Kyle Lowry to play PG which leaves Caleron on the bench.  It might be a really high reward gamble to draft Calderon and hope that he gets a trade into a starting job before the season opens, especially if there is any unexpected injury to a starter in the NBA.  Calderon is an assist machine with good shooting percentages.

Jarrett Jack (GSW) – Check Stephen Curry’s ankle health in camp and if it looks like he’s still having problems, then Jack becomes worth a late round flier.  Jack put up some nice stats last season going for 16 points and 6 assists while starting for New Orleans.

Eric Bledsoe (LAC) – This is a keeper league sleeper suggestion since Chris Paul could be on the move next summer.  Billups is also aging and Crawford might simply be a one year rental.  Bledsoe has some talent but didn’t get to show it last season because of an injury.  With Chauncey Billups still hobbled with an injury, Bledsoe could get an opportunity for significant minutes and if he shows the ability to handle them he could keep his rotation spot even when Billups returns.

2012-2013 NBA Fantasy Basketball Rookie Draft Rankings

NBA Rookies are definitely the hardest group of players to rank, especially before they have even attended their first camp.  These rankings will probably change a good bit before the season starts, but there are a few good fantasy bets here.

Our 2012-2013 NBA Fantasy Basketball Rookie Draft Rankings will be updated throughout the offseason and training camp, so check back for updated rankings.

The following rankings are based on the FBD scoring system, which you can find HERE.

I also use these rankings for all of my cash game play at FANDUEL.  Daily cash games and tournaments at Fanduel are highly addictive for guys who like daily fantasy action.  Registration at Fanduel is free and you can deposit with Paypal or a credit card.

Anthony Davis (NOR) - Davis got some great exposure and experience this summer playing in the Olympics.  From what I watched, he didn’t look overmatched at all and actually held his own quite well.  The Hornets are probably going to give him some run at power forward and center to see where he fits best.  They just brought in Robin Lopez to play some center and Ryan Anderson to get some minutes at power forward.  There’s a good chance Anderson slides down to small forward, leaving the power forward minutes for Davis.  Wherever he plays, he should get 30-32 minutes a game and grab rookie of the year honors.  His scoring might take some time to develop, but he has the potential to grab 10+ rebounds a game and put up great shot blocking totals as well.

Damian Lillard (POR) – The Blazers parted ways with Raymond Felton, which leaves the starting point guard spot open for Lillard.  He had a great summer league, being voted co-MVP, and should be able to log 32-24 minutes per game this season making him the best rookie point guard on the board.   Lillard is a great pick and roll player and should have some big games with LaMarcus Aldridge.  I’m projecting him at 14 points and 6 assists per game.

Bradley Beal (WAS) – Beal will get every opportunity to earn the starting shooting guard spot and play alongside John Wall.  Beal has an excellent jumper and has been compared to Ray Allen in his effectiveness.  He’s still got to compete with Jordan Crawford for minutes, but Crawford’s horrible shooting percentage should keep Beal on the court to spread the floor for Wall.  Beal also has excellent defensive skills and could easily pick 1.5 steals per game.  If you are building around points, threes and steals, then Beal is probably the best rookie candidate for those categories.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (CHA) – The Bobcats got rid of Corey Maggette, which opens the starting small forward spot for Gilchrist.  MGK is a great defensive player and that should get him on the court for 30+ minutes a game in his rookie season.  He’s going to be a hard working energy guy for Charlotte on the defensive end, but he might have some problems developing his offensive game.  He’s not a great jumpshooter, but instead prefers to take it to the basket.  He’ll definitely need to work on his shot to open himself up some space to drive.  He should be able to put up 10 points, 5 rebounds and a couple of steals a game.

Dion Waiters (CLE) – The Cavaliers drafted Waiters to pair with Kyrie Irving in the backcourt and he could get some significant minutes this season to develop chemistry with Irving.  Waiters has a good shooting touch as evidenced by his numbers at Syracuse where he hit threes at a 36.7% rate and shot 47.6% overall.  He’s also a very active defensive player, picking up 1.8 steals per game in just 24 minutes of action at Syracuse.  He’s going to have some competition for minutes with Daniel Gibson and the newly acquired C.J. Miles, but if Miles starts getting minutes at small forward, Waiters could get the bulk of the shooting guard minutes.

Jonas Valanciunas (TOR) – Toronto drafted Valanciunas fifth overall in the 2011 NBA Draft and stashed him over in Europe for some much needed development.  He’s back, and he’s developed.  There is a good chance the Raptors will insert him into the starting lineup at center this season and move Andrea Bargnani to power forward (which would be a big help to his stats as well).

Meyers Leonard (POR) – The Blazers have absolutely nobody on their roster to play center, so they used the number 11 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft on Meyers Leonard.  He’s got as much chance as anyone to grab a starting NBA job, which makes him fantasy worthy, especially at center.

Austin Rivers (NOR) – The Hornets grabbed Rivers with the tenth pick in the 2012 NBA Draft and will try to plug him in at point guard.  They recently traded away Jarrett Jack, which leaves only Greivis Vasquez at point guard.  Rivers isn’t a natural point guard and would be better suited at shooting guard, but the Hornets already have that spot covered with Eric Gordon.  There’s a good chance that they work Rivers in slowly at point guard and also give him minutes backing up Gordon at shooting guard.  New Orleans really has no shot at the playoffs this season and they might as well develop some chemistry between Anthony Davis and Rivers if they have any hope of competing in the future.  If Rivers grabs the starting point guard spot, his ranking will rise sharply.

Donatas Motiejunas (HOU) – The Rockets let Luis Scola walk and now have an opening at power forward.  Motiejunas should battle it out with Patrick Patterson for the starting spot, and could easily win that battle.  Motiejunas is a 21 year old seven-footer who was drafted with the 20th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.  He’s got excellent offensive potential and a nice shooting touch.  He’s a little thin, which could give him some problems on defense, but he’s a great fantasy asset for points, rebounds and blocks.  There’s also a chance that he could pickup some minutes at center if newly acquired Omer Asik doesn’t perform well or gets hurt.  His final ranking will depend a lot on how his camp goes, with a starting spot he’s a top five rookie.

Harrison Barnes (GSW) – The Warriors got rid of Dorell Wright and only Richard Jefferson remains between Barnes and a starting job.  I expect that Jefferson will get first shot at the starting small forward spot, but Barnes could easily take that job by Christmas.  Even if Jefferson grabs the starting spot, look for Barnes to pick up 25 minutes a game as the primary sixth man offensive option off the bench. His final ranking will depend greatly on his battle with Jefferson and how quickly the Warriors want to develop him.

Tomas Robinson (SAC) – Sacramento currently has Jason Thompson at power forward, but they desperately need to improve their team rebounding, which is exactly why they drafted Robinson.  Although he probably won’t score much, he should pile up huge rebound numbers that could really help your fantasy team.  Keep an eye on how many minutes he’s getting in camp and adjust his ranking accordingly.

Jeremy Lamb (HOU) – Lamb is just one Kevin Martin injury away from being a huge fantasy asset, and you know that Martin injury is inevitable, right?  Lamb is a pure scorer and averaged 17.7 points per game for Connecticut on 47.8% shooting.  When Houston finally realizes they have no shot at the playoffs, look for Martin to be shopped and the starting shooting guard spot handed to Lamb.

Moe Harkless (ORL) – Harkless was drafted by Philadelphia but was recently traded to Orlando as part of the Dwight Howard deal.  The Magic are definitely in rebuilding mode and currenly have Hedo Turkoglu manning the small forward spot.  Turkoglu could be a trade candidate, which would leave a starting job for Harkless.  If the trade doesn’t happen, then Harkless probably isn’t draftable.

 

Guys who need some luck to become fantasy relevant:

Terrence Ross (TOR) – Ross is an excellent offensive player, but right now he’s solidly behind DeMar DeRozan.  He’s going to need a DeRozan trade to have enough value to draft him in one year fantasy leagues.  If DeRozan doesn’t get traded, Ross will be lucky to get 20 minutes a night.

Alexy Shved (MIN) – Shved is a Russian combo guard that really got some attention during this year’s Olympics.  The Timberwolves have him slotted at shooting guard, but he’s also going to get some time at point guard while Ricky Rubio continues to rehab.  He’s got a pretty good jumpshot and can hit the corner three when needed.  The danger with drafting Shved is that the Wolves also have Brandon Roy.  Roy will probably get most of the minutes, so Shved will likely start off as the backup.

Royce White (HOU) – White is a ‘point forward’ type of player who will competing with Patrick Patterson, Donatas Motiejunas and maybe some of the small forward candidates for minutes.  If the Rockets choose to go with his skillset at power forward, he could gain fantasy value.

John Henson (MIL) – Henson has size and offensive ability, unfortunately he’s buried on the depth chart behind Drew Gooden, Samuel Dalembert and Ersan Ilyasova.  He’s going to need a few injuries to the guys in front of him to become fantasy relevant.

Perry Jones, III (OKC) – Jones has offensive skills, but he’s stuck behind Kevin Durant.  He could get some run with the second team.

Terrence Jones (HOU) – Jones has the ability to play either small forward or power forward for the Rockets, but his best bet is probably at small forward.  He’s got too much competition for minutes right now to be draftable.

John Jenkins (ATL) – Jenkins is a sharpshooter who is currently stuck behind Jeff Teague, Devin Harris and Lou Williams.   He’s primarily a jumpshooter and will likely come off the bench, but not really have enough value to be draftable.

Andrew Nicholson (ORL) – Nicholson was hoping to grab a backup spot behind Glen Davis, but the Magic recently brought in Al Harrington, which could kill Nicholson’s chance at fantasy relevancy.

Kendall Marshall (PHO) – Marshall had a shot at the starting point guard spot when Steve Nash left, but the Suns brought in Goran Dragic.  Marshall averaged nearly 10 assists per game for North Carolina and could pickup some backup minutes.  He’s going to have to improve his shot though.

Jared Sullinger (BOS) – He’s behind some guy named Kevin Garnett.  Enough said.

Tyler Zeller (CLE) – Zeller should pickup some backup minutes, but the Cavs are likely going all-in with Tristan Thompson at power forward and Anderson Varejao at center.

Andre Drummond (DET) – I’ve seen several sites hyping Drummond, but don’t fall for the hype.  He’s definitely a project and has no offensive game at all.  His only contributions would be rebounding and maybe some blocks, that’s if he can get with the system and keep his fouls under control.

2012-2013 NBA Fantasy Basketball Point Guard Draft Rankings

PG Rankings Updated Oct. 7.   Our 2012-2013 NBA Fantasy Basketball Point Guard Draft Rankings will be updated throughout the offseason and training camp, so check back weekly for updated rankings.

The following rankings are based on the FBD scoring system, which you can find HERE.

I also use these rankings for all of my cash game play at FANDUEL.  Daily cash games and tournaments at Fanduel are highly addictive for guys who like daily fantasy action.  Registration at Fanduel is free and you can deposit with Paypal or a credit card.

Chris Paul (LAC, 35.6 FPS) – I had a tough decision with last season’s rankings for the top PG spot between Paul and Derrick Rose, but with Rose out with an ACL injury, Paul gets the top spot by default.  Paul really has no weaknesses from a fantasy standpoint and the move out of New Orleans definitely helped his value as he returned to taking 15 FGA per game, led the league in steals and kept up his great shooting percentages.  He’ll be surrounded by Chauncey Billups, Jamal Crawford, Caron Butler, Lamar Odom and Blake Griffin, so he’s got plenty of weapons to feed to pad the assists category.

Update 8/24:  Paul underwent surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb.  He’s expected to be out for 8 weeks which puts him dangerously close to missing the first week or two of the season, or at best making him really rusty the first couple of weeks.  He’s still number one on the board, but keep an eye on how the injury heals.

Russell Westbrook (OKC, 34.1 FPS) – The Thunder made it to the NBA Finals and Westbrook was a huge part of that success.  Oklahoma City has everyone returning from last season’s team, so Westbrook should be able to easily match last season’s production.  The only red flag was the decrease in assists to 5.5 per game, well below his previous two seasons of averaging 8.2 and 8.0.  The tradeoff came with an increase in points and a big jump in three pointers made.  He was also a little high in turnovers with 3.7 per game.

Deron Williams (BN, 32.2 FPS) – The Nets will move to Brooklyn this season and they are building a pretty solid squad here in July with Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez.   Williams had a great season in 2012, but I fear that he could fall back in the points category since Brooklyn has brought in Johnson.   Williams took 17.5 shots a game last year and I doubt he gets that many this season.  He should still average 9-10 assists per game and 4-5 three pointers attempted.  His downside last season was the high turnover rate of 4.0 per game, along with a 40.7 FG%.

Rajon Rondo (BOS, 28.6 FPS) – Rondo was an absolute beast down the stretch and in the playoffs and the Celtics have most of their 2012 squad returning this season.  If you want to build around the assists category, Rondo is the player to do it with as he averaged 11.7 assists last year.  He still only takes 10-11 shots per game and he turns it over 3.6 times, but the nearly 2.0 steals per game and the above average rebounding make up for that.  Rondo is still just 26 years old and he has plenty of room to keep growing his game.

Kyrie Irving (CLE, 27.5 FPS) – Irving had an incredible rookie season from a purely statistical standpoint.  He only averaged 30.5 minutes per game, but he still maintained a 27.5 FPS.  Look for his minutes to increase to around 35 per game this year, which should provide a huge boost to his fantasy production.  Irving managed 18.5 points on just 14.6 FGA with a 46.9 FG%.  What is even more impressive is that he took 3.6 threes per game and hit them at a 39.9% clip.  With only 5.4 assists per game, he’s going to have to get a little better at his playmaking, but at just 20 years old he’s got plenty of time to increase that category.

UP – Oct. 7 – Irving’s hand has completely healed and he’s back on the court.  He should be in line for a great sophomore season and is climbing up everyone’s draft board.  I’ve seen him going in the late first round in several drafts.

Tony Parker (SAS, 28.5 FPS) – Somehow the Spurs just keep on winning with the aging core of Ginobili, Duncan and Parker.  All three are back this upcoming season and Parker doesn’t look to be slowing down at all.  Parker put up a career high in assists with 7.7 per game while maintaining his 49.2 career FG%.  His only drawback is the lack of a three point shot.

Brandon Jennings (MIL, 29.6 FPS) – Jennings is a tough rank this early and he could be moved by the Bucks before the season starts.  If he remains with Milwaukee, his draft ranking should hold here.  Jennings put up career highs with 35.3 MPG, 17.0 FGA, 19.1 points, 1.6 steals and 5.9 threes attempted.  His downside though is still his 39.3 FG%.   He’s a solid free throw shooter with an 81.1 career FT% and he kept his turnovers to an excellent 2.2 per game last season.

Ty Lawson (DEN, 27.1 FPS) – Lawson made a huge leap last season increasing his playing time to 34.8 minutes per game and putting up 16.4 points, 6.6 assists and 1.3 steals.  He owns a career 49.9 FG%, 78.5 FT% and 38.8 3PT%.  Lawson is a very efficient player and keeps the turnovers to a minimum, with just 2.4 per game.  He’s still just 24 years old, so look for him to keep improving.

Tyreke Evans (SAC, 26.5 FPS) – Evans is no longer really a PG, but I’m going to put him here until I see where the major fantasy sites are going to list him for 2012-2013.  The knock on Evans has always been his lack of playmaking ability, as evidenced by his career 5.3 assists number.  He seems much better suited to the SG or SF spot where he can simply look to score, rebound and play defense.  This will be a make or break season for Evans in that he’s either going to finally step up or he’s going to plateau in his NBA development.

Stephen Curry (GSW, 24.5 FPS) – Curry’s entire draft ranking and value depends on whether or not his ankles can hold up.  I personally can’t draft him as my lead PG with that much risk, unless I can get him at a steal, and I don’t think most other fantasy owners are going to allow that.  Let someone else take the risk.  Along with the injuries, Curry just didn’t play that well in his shortened season.  He only managed 14.7 points and 5.3 assists.  He was still solid in three pointers, taking 4.7 per game and hitting them at a 45.5% rate.  I just don’t think that production/risk ratio is worthy of a top 10 ranking anymore.

Update 8/24:  Curry has been cleared for 5 on 5 drills.  He’s been rehabbing from ankle surgery and says he’ll be ready for the season.  He’s going to have to show me that he’s 100% before I can recommend drafting him early.

John Wall (WAS, 29.5 FPS) – Wall has been remarkably consistent in his first two NBA seasons and he’ll be looking to make a leap forward with a fairly new team playing around him.  The Wizards have brought in Bradley Beal in the draft and Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor through trades, as well as Nene through a trade late last season.  The Wizards could slow their game down a little, but that might not be such a bad thing for Wall as it would help him to cut down on his 3.9 turnovers per game.  He’s also got to keep working on his 41.1 career FG%.  He should easily average 17pts/8ast/4reb/1.5stl this season.

DOWN – Oct. 7 – Wall is out for all of camp and probably the first month of the season with a patella tendon knee injury.  The injury didn’t require surgery and it’s unknown how complete Wall’s recovery will be.  If he aggravates the injury again during the season, he could miss significant time.

Steve Nash (LAL, 23.9 FPS) – Steve Nash on the Lakers?  It’s a situation that’s probably better in the real world than it is in fantasyland.  In Phoenix, Nash was a primary offensive weapon.  With Kobe, Pau and Bynum, he’s probably the number 4 option.  It’s also a situation where the hype is going to make him so expensive in the fantasy world that his production just won’t justify the high draft pick you have to use on him.  Nash can singlehandedly win the assists category for you and he’ll probably average nearly 12.0 a game this year, but his FGA could be something like the 9.0 per game he got last season.  I’m thinking that Nash follows the career pattern of Jason Kidd, where his playmaking becomes his redeeming feature, while his scoring just isn’t needed anymore outside of a handful of threes.

Jrue Holiday (PHI, 23.0 FPS)I like Holiday, but honestly his game was pretty bad last season.  The Sixers traded away Lou Williams, so I guess they are comfortable with Holiday this year.   I’m starting to question his playmaking ability, especially given his 4.5 assist per game average last season.   Most guys with that type of ability have another benefit to offer fantasy owners, however Holiday is pretty average in most other categories with 13.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and a 43.2 FG%.  He does provide about 1.5 steals and 1.0 threes, but that production isn’t really enough to make up for the lack of assists from your PG slot.

UP – Oct. 7 – The arrival of Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson really changes my outlook on Holiday.  The Sixers have a setup that much resembles what Jameer Nelson had in Orlando which enabled him to put up a consistent 13 and 6.  Jrue is eight years younger than Nelson and has a lot more athletic ability.  Holiday’s assist totals should  climb to the 7-8 range feeding Bynum down low and kicking out to Richardson or Nick Young when defenses collapse and double team Bynum.  At only 22 years old, Holiday also has the potential to increase his scoring to the 15-17 point range.

Goran Dragic (PHO, 20.1 FPS) - The Suns brought in Dragic to replace Steve Nash.  Dragic is a pretty decent playmaker, as evidenced by his 7.2 assist per/36 number he posted last season as Kyle Lowry’s backup in Houston.  Dragic should log something around 33-36 MPG this season and post 15 and 4 with 6 assists and 1.7 steals.  He’s a career 36.4% three point shooter and should attempt 3-4 threes per game.  The Suns don’t have much to back him up with, so he’s clearly the man at point guard for them this season.

UP – Oct. 7 – The Suns have managed to put a much better team around Dragic than I thought they would.  They picked up Michael Beasley and Luis Scola, two solid scorers,  which should really help Dragic pile up the assists.  Kendall  Marshall hasn’t been any competition, so Dragic looks set for heavy minutes.

Kyle Lowry (TOR, 26.5) – Lowry just got shipped off to Toronto where he’ll have to develop some chemistry on a team that just isn’t very good.  This could either go one of two ways, either Lowry becomes completely miserable and frustrated or he becomes the focal point of the Toronto offense and has a huge fantasy season.  At this point, he’s also got Jose Calderon to contend with, but I think Calderon will likely be gone before the season starts.  It’s still July, and Lowry is a guy whose ranking will definitely change a lot depending on the remainder of free agency and training camp.

Update 8/24:  Jose Calderon is still with the Raptors and may not be traded after all.  If he remains with the Raptors, then I’m going to have to bump Lowry down a few notches.

Mike Conley (MEM, 24.5 FPS) – Conley is in the exact opposite situation as Lowry.  He’s a constant and consistent player in a guaranteed starting spot with a developed chemistry with the team around him.  Conley isn’t flashy and there isn’t much ceiling beyond what he did last year, but if you want dependable, he’s your man.   Conley will get you 14 points, 7 assists,  2 steals and a three every night.  This will be Conley’s sixth NBA season, yet he’ll just turn 25 years old this season.

Jeremy Lin (HOU, 24.1 FPS) - The Houston Rockets offered Lin a deal and the Knicks decided not to match, so Lin will now start for the Rockets.  The guy was a great story last season, but I’m still not sure if the hype will match the production.  I’ve seen many people ranking him in the top 10 PG’s, but I just can’t place him that high yet.  The most disturbing thing about Lin is the fact that he only managed 26.9 MPG last season, but turned the ball over 3.6 times a game.  How high is his turnover rate going to climb if he’s on the floor for 35 minutes a night and can his team tolerate that many miscues before he’s benched?

Kemba Walker (CHA, 20.6 FPS) – Walker had a great rookie season and he should have done enough to hold on to the starting job over the recently signed Ramon Sessions, however Sessions could steal some valuable minutes.  Walker played 27.2 MPG, putting up 12 and 4 with 4.4 assists and .9 steals.  His three point shooting needs some work as he attempted 3.4 per game, but only hit at a 30.5% rate.

Isaiah Thomas (SAC, 18.4 FPS) – Thomas had an amazing rookie season grabbing the starting point guard spot late in the season for the Kings.  He showed enough talent to force the Kings to move Tyreke Evans to small forward, so that’s got to say something about his ability.  He only got 25.3 MPG, but his per/36 numbers were pretty impressive at 16.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 1.2 steals.  He’s a pretty good three point shooter, attempting 3.4 per game and making 37.9% of them.

Down – Oct 7 – Thomas still appears to be the favorite to start at PG, but Aaron Brooks is getting some serious consideration for the job and there have even been some reports of Tyreke Evans getting PG minutes.  Thomas is a solid player, but his minutes are starting to get a little crunched.

Mo Williams (UTA, 18.7 FPS) – Devin Harris is out and Mo Williams is in as the starting point guard for the Jazz.  Williams was stuck behind Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups last season and now finds himself with new life and a starting job.  If he can log 34-36 MPG, he should be able to post 16 and 3 with 6 assists and a steal per game.  He’s an excellent three point shooter with a career 37.3% mark and could get 4-5 attempts per game this year.

Damian Lillard (POR, Rookie) – The Blazers let Raymond Felton walk and will hand the starting PG spot over to Lillard.  He was a four year player at Weber State and he’s got a game that reminds me a little of Chris Paul.  If he’s the clear cut starter at point guard, then he’s a guy that could give you a huge upside at a bargain price, especially if a lot of other owners shy away from rookies or don’t do their research.

UP – Oct. 7 – It’s official, Lillard is the starting PG for the Blazers and they don’t appear to be bringing in any veteran talent to steal any minutes.  I’m not expecting Kyrie Irving type rookie numbers, but Lillard’s path to playing time is clear and the guy has talent, as evidenced by his college and summer league performance.

Brandon Knight (DET, 19.0 FPS) – Knight had a very encouraging rookie season posting 12.8 points, 3.8 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.6 threes.  He’s going to have to work on his playmaking ability and get that assist figure up, especially in relation to the 2.6 turnovers a game.  He also needs to work on his 41.5 FG%.   He’s got the ability, as evidenced by his 4.2 three point attempts where he hit 38.0% of them.  He just needs to work on his short game, but there’s still plenty of time for the 20 year old to accomplish that.

UP – Oct. 7 – Knight is locked in as the starting point guard for the Pistons and seems to be making some progress developing his game.  Knight was a victim of the strike shortened season, which really hurt his development as a rookie.  Look for a jump in stats this season.

Jameer Nelson (ORL, 20.0 FPS) – Nelson will be back in Orlando this upcoming season, but the real question is who will be joining him there.  Ryan Anderson has been traded to New Orleans and who knows whether Dwight Howard will be back.  Nelson is always an injury risk, but he gets this ranking based on his experience.  His final position will depend a lot on the guys who end up sharing the court with him.

Jose Calderon (TOR, 22.3 FPS) – Calderon has skills, but right now he doesn’t really have a team or starting position due to the addition of Kyle Lowry.  I expect that Calderon will get traded soon, which should allow a much more appropriate draft ranking analysis.  No matter where Calderon lands, he’s got the ability to average 8-9 assists a night while keeping the turnovers to a bare minimum.  He’ll help all your shooting percentages.

Rodney Stuckey (DET, 21.3 FPS) – Moved to Shooting Guard.

Jeff Teague (ATL, 22.3 FPS) - Atlanta is a mess right now after trading Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams and losing Kirk Hinrich.  The guy who stands to benefit though is Teague. Without Johnson, Teague will be depended on more for scoring and playmaking.  The only red flag is that he now has Devin Harris to compete with for minutes, although Harris isn’t much of a point guard these days. His final ranking will depend a lot on how he splits minutes with Harris, as well as any other trades that occur before training camp.

Darren Collison (DAL, 18.4 FPS) – Jason Kidd left Dallas for New York, which left an open starting point guard postion that the Mavs decided to fill with Collison.  He wasn’t that good with the Pacers last season logging 31.3 MPG and posting 10.4 points, 4.8 assists, 3.1 rebounds and .8 steals.  He’s not much of a three point threat, attempting just 1.6 per game, making 36.2%.  He’ll have some competition from Delonte West for minutes.

 

Other Point Guards looking to break into the Top 25

Raymond Felton (NYK, 20.6 FPS)
Ricky Rubio (MIN, Injured)
Derrick Rose (CHI, Injured)
Luke Ridnour (MIN)
Ramon Sessions (CHA, 21.7 FPS)
DJ Augustin (IND, 19.1 FPS)
Jason Kidd (NYK, 17.7 FPS)
CJ Watson (BN)
Kirk Hinrich (CHI)
Austin Rivers (NOR)
Greivis Vazquez (NOR)
Devin Harris (ATL)
Mario Chalmers (MIA)
Norris Cole (MIA)
Delonte West (DAL)
Andre Miller (DEN)
Jarrett Jack (GSW)
Nate Robinson (CHI)

 

 

 

2012-2013 NBA Fantasy Basketball Shooting Guard Draft Rankings

SG Rankings Updated Oct. 8.   Our 2012-2013 NBA Fantasy Basketball Shooting Guard Draft Rankings will be updated throughout the offseason and training camp, so check back weekly for updated rankings.

The following rankings are based on the FBD scoring system, which you can find HERE.

I also use these rankings for all of my cash game play at FANDUEL.  Daily cash games and tournaments at Fanduel are highly addictive for guys who like daily fantasy action.  Registration at Fanduel is free and you can deposit with Paypal or a credit card.

Kobe Bryant (LAL, 37.4 FPS) – Kobe bounced back nicely last season and got his minutes back to 38.5 per game, up from the 33.9 MPG he played in 2011.  His stats followed as he posted 27.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.2 steals.  He attempted 4.9 threes per game, but his three point percentage was weak at just 30.3%.  This season should be a big one for Bryant now that he has Steve Nash running the point.  Expect some prime feeds from Nash and maybe a scoring title for Kobe this season.

Oct. 8 – Kobe is having some early foot problems, but at least it isn’t his knee or his finger.  He should be good to go for the regular season and maybe it’s a good thing that he’s getting some rest this preseason.

Dwyane Wade (MIA, 34.9 FPS) - Wade played through a knee injury in 2012 and it really hurt his stats and also caused him to play a career low 33.2 MPG.  He recently underwent a quick 20 minute surgery to clean the knee up and doctors reported that everything looked fine.  He should be completely healed by mid-September.  When Wade is healthy, he’s the best shooting guard in the league, the question is whether he’ll be healthy enough to get his minutes back to the 35-37 MPG ange, much like Kobe did last season.  Another thing to consider is that the Heat brought in Ray Allen, who also plays shooting guard, which may cut into Wade’s minutes.  If Wade’s minutes remain in the 33-35 range, then I’ve got to list him second to Kobe.

Oct. 8 – Wade’s knee is starting to concern me a little.  He’s back at practice, but I keep seeing reports on how the Heat intend on limiting him this season and having Ray Allen take a portion of Wade’s minutes.  Wade is still number two on the SG board, but not as strongly as in seasons past.

Monta Ellis (MIL, 30.3 FPS) – Ellis was traded to the Bucks last season and his fantasy stats declined from his days in Golden State.  The biggest drop was in the number of shot attempts from 19 in Golden State to just 16 in Milwaukee.  His scoring dropped from 21.9 in Golden State to 17.6 in Milwaukee.  The main culprit in the drop was that he cut his three point shots to 2.1 per game, down from 4.2.  That was probably a wise move considering that Ellis is just a 32.7% three point shooter.  Ellis put up 18 and 4 with 6 assists and 1.4 steals in Milwaukee and he should be able to keep those stats, with possibly a bump back above 20 points per game.

Oct. 8 – The only concern I’ve run across with Ellis is his contract status.  He’s more than likely gone from Milwaukee after this season and the danger is that he gets traded to a bad situation before this season’s trade deadline.  He’s still a solid number three on the SG board.

Joe Johnson (BN, 26.5 FPS) – Johnson is going to be fun to watch this season in Brooklyn alongside Deron Williams.  Much like the bump Kobe will see with Nash, Johnson should see the same with Williams.  Johnson was able to put up 19 and 4 with 4 assists per game in 2012.  He was great with the three ball, attempting 5.4 per game and hitting them at a 38.8% rate.  He should get just as many chances for threes in Brooklyn, although his assist numbers could drop a little with Williams running the show.

Eric Gordon (NOR, 27.7 FPS) – Gordon suffered a right knee injury in 2012 and missed all but nine games.  He’s back in New Orleans with a $58 million dollar contract, but I’m not convinced that he’s too happy to be there.  He had signed with the Suns, but New Orleans matched the offer, forcing Gordon to return.  The key for Gordon’s ranking will be the health of the knee, which we won’t really know until camp gets started.  If healthy, he has the ability to match his 2011 stats of 22.3 points, 2.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.1 three pointers.  The Hornets are young and will likely be rolling out a starting lineup with two rookies, so Gordon could really take hold of the offense if New Orleans hopes to stay in many games this season, and that could benefit fantasy owners.

DOWN – Oct. 8 – I was really liking Gordon a month ago, but it doesn’t seem like his knee is healing up as expected and you have to wonder how much of that is simply a bad attitude given the way the Hornets treated him this offseason.  Gordon was set to join the Suns and was good as gone when the Hornets matched their offer and pulled Gordon back into a situation that he really didn’t want to be in.  If this knee situation drags out for another couple of weeks, then I’ll have no choice but to start dropping him down the rankings.

Paul George (IND, 22.7 FPS) – George is one of my favorite up and coming young players.   He logged 29.7 minutes a game in his sophomore NBA season, putting up 12 and 6 with 2.4 assists and 1.6 steals.  He attempted 3.5 threes per game, hitting 38.5% of them.  George is a solid 6’8, 210 pounds and plays good defense against some of the better shooting guards in the league, so that in itself should keep him on the floor.  Hopefully, he can make the jump to the 34-36 MPG range and his stats should continue to develop.   He’s not a known quantity yet, so you might be able to get a bargain on him come draft day.

UP – Oct. 8 – I looks like the Pacers intend on keeping George Hill as strictly a point guard and not working him in at SG to compete with George.  Right now Lance Stephenson appears to be the backup to SG, which means George could be in line for bigger minutes than expected.

Marcus Thornton (SAC, 25.9 FPS) – Thornton quietly had another solid season in 2012 going for 19 and 4 with 1.9 assists and 1.4 steals.  His biggest fantasy attribute was the 6.1 three point attempts per game that he hit at a 34.5% rate.   His 18.7 points per game was the best on the Kings roster.  Thornton could find himself in a sixth man type role this season if the Kings are concerned about playing Tyreke Evans at small forward.  They recently brought in James Johnson and John Salmons is also still on the roster.  Even if he ends up in a sixth man role, he’s still going to get 32-35 minutes a game, which should allow him to put up some solid stats.

Down – Oct. 8 – Thornton is getting squeezed out of the starting lineup and looks to be coming off the bench this season.  There are a lot of guys who have good value as sixth men and Thornton should be one of them, but it’s way nicer to be guaranteed starters minutes when using a high draft pick, and it will still take a high pick to nab Thornton.

James Harden (OKC, 24.8 FPS) – Harden has been stuck in a platoon with Thabo Sefolosha for the past couple of seasons, but that should end this year.  Harden  logged 31.4 MPG in 2012 and it wouldn’t surprise me to see that total climb to the 33-35 range this season.   He had a great season shooting the ball increasing his FG% to 49.3%, up from the 43.6% he posted in 2011.  The scoring also improved to a solid 16.7 points with 3.7 assists and 4.1 rebounds.    He was deadly accurate with the three ball, putting up 4.7 per game and hitting them at a 39.0% rate.  Harden should be a solid pick, especially if the Thunder do away with the shooting guard platoon situation.

Klay Thompson (GSW, 17.3 FPS) – Thompson had a great rookie season and now looks to be the starting shooting guard after the Warriors traded away Monta Ellis.  Thompson logged 24.3 MPG game, putting up 13 and 3 with a couple assists per game.  He is really strong with the three ball, attempting 4.1 per game and hitting 41.4% of them.  If he can work up to 32-34 MPG, he should be good for 17 and 4 with 3.0 assists and 1.0 steals.  He could also work his three point shooting up to the 5-6 attempts per game range.  I’m ranking him this high based on the potential for a huge jump in stats this season.

UP – Oct. 8 – Thompson has the starting SG spot locked up and he might be getting more minutes than originally expected.  The Warriors will play Brandon Rush at SF this season, which leaves no real competition for minutes at the SG spot.  Thompson could easiliy be looking at 35 minutes a game.

Kevin Martin (HOU, 22.4 FPS) – As usual, Kevin Martin suffered another injury that took away about a third of his season.  He only logged 31.3 MPG, which was his lowest total in the last 8 seasons.  His scoring was down to 17.1 per game, with a very weak shooting percentage of 41.3%.  He’s still taking threes, firing up 5.6 per game and hitting 34.7%.  The Rockets are a mess right now and really don’t have much to play for this season, but Martin should be their leading scorer and you can count on him for fantasy threes.  Unfortunately, Martin is one of the better known shooting guards and most owners will overrate him on draft day which will probably make him more expensive than you will want to pay.

Down – Oct. 8 – Houston is a mess and I’m guessing his days in Houston are numbered.  There’s a good chance that the Rockets will want to work in their youth and that means a decrease in minutes for Martin.  He’s also a yearly injury risk.

Lou Williams (ATL, 21.9 FPS) – Williams finally escaped Philadelphia and landed with the Hawks in the starting shooting guard spot abandoned by Joe Johnson.  This should be a great opportunity for Williams and make him a top 10 option at shooting guard in most fantasy leagues.   His game is much like Joe Johnson’s in that he provides you points and assists with good steals and threes.  Williams only got 26.3 MPG last season, but if you project his stats out to 36 MPG you get 20.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.1 steals and 4.9 threes attempted.  His only fantasy weakness is his career 42.1 FG%, but his career free throw percentage is solid at 79.8%.  Keep an eye on how the Hawks structure their rotation to determine how much sleeper value there is with Williams.

Manu Ginobili (SAS, 21.0 FPS) – Ginobili will be 35 years old this season and he was only able to log 23.3 minutes a game last season.  I’ve got him ranked on about 28-30 MPG this season, so if he can’t reach that mark, his ranking will fall.  2012 was clearly a down season for Manu as he posted lows across the board including 12.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, 4.4 assists, .7 steals and 3.7 three pointers attempted.  If he can return to 30 minutes a game, he should be able to post something close to 2011′s stats of 17 and 4 with 5 assists and 1.5 steals.  This could be San Antonio’s last real shot at a title, so look for Ginobili to give it his best.

O.J Mayo (DAL, 19.3 FPS) – Mayo recently signed with the Dallas Mavericks to replace Jason Terry and could see a role much like the one Terry played off the bench as sixth man.  The Mavs still have Vince Carter and Delonte West, so minutes could be a concern until things shake out in training camp.  Mayo has the talent, he just needs starter’s minutes.   Mayo got 26.8 MPG last season and put up 13 and 3 with 2.6 assists and 1.1 steals.  He’s a solid three point shooter, taking 4.2 per game and hitting 36.4% of them.  His final ranking will depend on his playing time.

UP – Oct. 8 – It’s official, Mayo has earned the starting SG spot for the Mavericks.  His minutes look secure and there’s a good chance he returns to the level of production that he had in his first two NBA seasons.

Rodney Stuckey (DET, 21.3 FPS) – Stuckey should probably be listed as a shooting guard, but I’m going to keep him at point guard until I see where the major fantasy sites list him.  Stuckey’s 42.4 FG% has always been the one factor holding him back from becoming a valuable fantasy contributor.  He’s a combo type guard who saw the floor for 29.9 MPG last season, putting up 15 and 3 with 3.8 assists and .8 steals.  He isn’t a very good three point shooter, attempting just 1.9 per game and hitting them at a weak 31.7% rate.  The Pistons traded away Ben Gordon, so Stuckey should be able to secure the starting shooting guard spot and log some big minutes.  If he can get 33-35 MPG, then his ranking will be justified.

UP – Oct. 7 – I moved Stuckey from the point guard rankings board to the shooting guard board.  It looks like Brandon Knight is locked in at PG, with Stuckey set at shooting guard.

DeMar DeRozan (TOR, 22.2 FPS) - The Toronto Raptors haven’t been too thrilled with DeRozan and they proceeded to pickup Terrence Ross in the 2012 NBA Draft.  DeRozan is still just 22 years old, but he’s going to have to take the next step this season, especially since he’ll be gunning for a new contract next summer.  DeRozan’s biggest weakness is his shooting ability.  He posted a 42.2 FG% last season, down from the 46.7% he shot in 2011.  The primary reason for this is that the Raptors asked him to start shooting the three, which he did 1.5 times a game, and he could only manage 26.1% on them.  Toronto is asking him to be something that he’s just not.  DeRozan does much better when he takes it strongly to the basket.  He’s great at drawing fouls, as evidenced by his 5.3 free throw attempts per game, which he hit at an excellent 81.0%.  If the Raptors will just let him play his game, he should bounce back with 17 and 4 with a couple of assists and and a steal per game.

Update 8/24:  There appears to be a position battle brewing between DeRozan and newly drafted Terrence Ross.  If Ross starts cutting into DeRozan’s minutes, then I’m going to have to adjust DeRozan down a few spots.

Jason Terry (BOS, 21.9 FPS) – Terry joined the Celtics this summer to replace the departed Ray Allen.  The Celtics are high on Avery Bradley, but there is some concern that Bradley might not be ready for the season due to shoulder issues.  Even if Bradley is ready, I still think Terry gets 31-33 MPG as the Celtics try to make a final run before age catches up with them.  At worst, Terry remains a sixth man getting 30 MPG.  Jet played 31.7 MPG in 2012, putting up 15 and 3 with 3.6 assists and 1.2 steals.  He’s a valuable fantasy asset with the three ball taking 5.8 per game and hitting 38.0% over his career.  That’s a pretty good replacement for Ray Allen.

Arron Afflalo (ORL, 21.0 FPS) – Afflalo has turned in a couple of good seasons, but he’s 26 years old so there probably isn’t much room for improvement.  He posted 15 and 3 with 2.4 assists and 3.6 threes attempted.  He’s got excellent shooting percentages with a career 46.6 FG% and 80.0 FT%.  Afflalo should be the starting shooting guard for the Nuggets and get 33-35 MPG this season.  He should be able to easily match last season’s stats, but probably not much more.

Update 8/24:  Now that Afflalo has been shipped to Orlando as part of the Dwight Howard trade, he’s going to get a little competition from J.J. Redick.  I still think that Afflalo has the opportunity to be the primary scoring option for the rebuilding Magic, but having someone like Redick cutting into your playing time doesn’t help your fantasy value.  Keep an eye on the distribution of minutes during camp.

Ray Allen (MIA, 20.8 FPS) – Allen’s ranking could change a lot depending on how the Heat set up their rotation.  In an ideal fantasy situation, they would play Dwyane Wade at point guard and give Allen the starting shooting guard spot.  However, more likely is that Allen plays a sixth man type role but still gets around 30 minutes per game.  If he can log 30-32 minutes, he should be good for 14 and 3 with 2.5 assists and 1.0 steal.

Wesley Matthews (POR, 21.1 FPS) – Matthews turned in his second consecutive season with 33 MPG, but his stats declined in 2012 due to poor shooting.  He posted 14 and 3 with 1.7 assists and 1.4 steals.  Matthews was an odd case last season with a 41.2 overall FG% on 11.6 shot attempts per game, however 5.1 of those attempts were from three point range and he just nailed them at a 38.3% rate.  He’s got a career three point percentage of 39.3%, so he just needs a little work on the two point shot and his FG% should bounce back.

Jamal Crawford (LAC, 19.5 FPS) – Crawford signed with the Clippers for the upcoming season where he’ll fill his usual role of sixth man.  Crawford has excelled in this role over the last three seasons and has averaged about 30 minutes per game, which is what he’ll probably get in LA.  There is the chance that Chauncey Billups doesn’t recover completely and Crawford gets more minutes to start the season.  He’s primarily a scorer and doesn’t offer much outside that other than about 3.0 assists per game.  He’ll probably put up 4 threes a game and hit them somewhere around his career 34.8% mark.  If you are looking for scoring, assists and threes late in the draft, he’s a good pick, just don’t expect much outside those categories.

Update 8/24:  Chauncey Billups is not recovering well from his achilles injury and the Clippers expect him to miss the start of the season.  Crawford will see his role and fantasy value increase without Billups on the court.

Evan Turner (PHI, 18.2 FPS) – The Sixers let Lou Williams walk, so it looks like Turner is the man now at shooting guard for Philly.  He got 26.4 MPG last season and could possibly bump that up to 30-32 a game if he can beat out Jodie Meeks for the spot.  Turner averaged 9.4 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists.  The 5.8 rebounds is a pretty big number for a shooting guard.  Unfortunately, he doesn’t offer much in steals or three point shooting, and his 44.6 FG% and 67.6 FT% weren’t that great either.  Keep an eye on him in camp to determine what his exact role will be.

Update 8/24:  The Sixers are moving Turner into the starting small forward spot after the trade of Andre Iguodala.  It’s probably a good move for his fantasy value, but keep an eye on how many minutes he actually gets before determining his final draft ranking.

Bradley Beal (WAS, Rookie) – I’m not exactly sure what to make of Beal or know if he’s even going to have a starting spot this year, but if he does get a starting job, his ranking will rise quickly.  He’s a great shooter and can spread the floor for the Wizards, which should help John Wall greatly.  He’s got to contend with Jordan Crawford for minutes at the shooting guard spot, but if he can outshoot Crawford’s career 39.4 FG% number, then he’s going to play.  He’s a must draft in keeper leagues.

Gerald Henderson (CHA, 22.3 FPS) – Henderson had a great season for the Bobcats playing 33.3 MPG and putting up 15 and 4 with 2.3 assists and .9 steals.  I would have ranked him higher except for the fact that Charlotte brought in Ben Gordon.  Henderson has no three point shot at all and Gordon is a career 40.6% shooter from that range.  If the Bobcats want three point shooting from the SG spot, Gordon is going to get the minutes and kill Henderson’s fantasy value.  It’s a position battle that we’ll have to keep an eye on in camp.

Jason Richardson (ORL, 18.9 FPS) – Richardson is only 31 years old, but it kind of felt like he was slipping due to age issues last season.  He only logged 29.5 MPG, posting 12 and 4 with 2 assists and a steal per game.  You will probably only be drafting Richardson for his threes this season.  He attempted 5.1 per game and has a career 37.2% mark from three point range.  Keep an eye on the battle between Richardson and JJ Redick in camp.

Brandon Roy (MIN) – I have to give Roy a spot in the top 25, even with the fact that he’s been out of basketball for a long time.  I’ve seen some reports that he’s looking pretty good and that his knees are holding up well, but I’m not totally convinced.  However, I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and give him a spot on the list based on the potential for huge upside if he can maintain his health.  I’ll be keeping an eye on him in training camp.

Update 8/24:  The Wolves have signed Alexey Shved to compete with Roy for minutes at shooting guard.  Shved looks like a pretty good player with excellent playmaking skills and could definitely steal some of Roy’s minutes.  Definitely an interesting position battle developing.

Chauncey Billups (LAC, 21.0 FPS) – Billups is trying to recover from a left achilles injury and may not be ready for the start of the season.  Even more detrimental is the fact that the Clippers brought in Jamal Crawford.  Crawford should get 30-32 minutes per game and most of those minutes will come at the expense of the 35 year old Billups.  If Billups becomes a 26-28 minutes player, then he just isn’t going to be that big of a fantasy asset, especially if he isn’t 100% healthy.  See how his achilles injury heals up and then adjust the ranking accordingly.

Update 8/24:  Billups isn’t recovering well from his achilles injury and is now expected  to miss the start of the season.  Billups will be 36 this season and injuries just don’t heal as quickly, or as completely, at that age.  Be careful drafting him.

Richard Hamilton (CHI) – Hamilton is a new add to the SG board after seeing good reports on his health.  He’s locked in as the starting shooting guard on a Bulls team that needs scoring.  Hamilton is a scorer, but he also has solid assist totals over his career and he might be making more this year with Rose out.  He’s worth a look if you are desperate for a shooting guard.

Added Oct. 8.

Jordan Crawford (WAS) – John Wall’s knee injury should give Crawford some short term value, but just don’t expect that value to last once Wall returns.  Once Wall is healthy, the Wizards should start to work Bradley Beal into the rotation at shooting guard due to his superior FG%.

Added Oct. 8.

 

Other Shooting Guards looking to break into the Top 25:

J.R. Smith
Avery Bradley (Injured)
Dion Waiters
Courtney Lee

George Hill
Landry Fields
JJ Redick
Jodie Meeks
Vince Carter
Ben Gordon
Marshon Brooks
Mike Dunleavy
CJ Miles
Alec Burks
Randy Foye
Wesley Johnson
Jared Dudley
Shannon Brown
Gary Neal
Daniel Gibson
Iman Shumpert
Leandro Barbosa

 

2012-2013 NBA Fantasy Basketball Small Forward Draft Rankings

SF Rankings Updated Oct. 8.  Our 2012-2013 NBA Fantasy Basketball Small Forward Draft Rankings will be updated throughout the offseason and training camp, so check back weekly for updated rankings.

The following rankings are based on the FBD scoring system, which you can find HERE.

I also use these rankings for all of my cash game play at FANDUEL.  Daily cash games and tournaments at Fanduel are highly addictive for guys who like daily fantasy action.  Registration at Fanduel is free and you can deposit with Paypal or a credit card.

Lebron James (MIA, 43.2 FPS) - The top two spots on the small forward draft board are fairly close this season, but I’m going with LeBron for the sole reason that he gives you 6.2 assists per game, which is like having an extra point guard on your roster.   James went for 27 and 8, with 6.2 assists, 1.9 steals and .8 blocks.  His free throw shooting was solid at 77.1%, but his three pointers attempted declined to a career low 2.4 per game.  The turnovers are also a little high at 3.4 per game.   He’s always a top 5 pick and will be again this season.

UP – Oct. 8 - It isn’t possible to move LeBron above number one, but the gap between Durant and James could get bigger depending on the health of Dwyane Wade.  Several reports have Coach Spoelstra resting Dwyane Wade this season and possibly limiting his minutes, which should leave James on the court for more minutes to take up the slack.  If Dwyane Wade ever has to shut it down, James might have to be a complete fantasy beast like he was in Cleveland.

Kevin Durant (OKC, 40.7 FPS) – Durant is closing the gap with LeBron, but I’m keeping him at number two for now.  Depending on how you like to build your team, I could definitely understand if someone wanted to take Durant over LeBron.  Durant attempted 5.2 threes compared to just 2.4 for James.  Durant was also the better shotblocker (1.2 to .8) and better free throw shooter (86.0% compared to LeBron’s 77.1%).  If you are building your team around three point shooting, blocks and solid percentages, Durant might be the pick.

Carmelo Anthony (NYK, 32.9 FPS) – It’s a big drop to number three on the small forward board and Melo is probably best deserving of the spot.  His 23 and 6 was solid and the 1.1 steals and 3.6 assists were a big benefit.  The only red flags on Anthony were his career low 34.1 MPG and the 43.0 FG%, which was the lowest since his rookie year.  I think both of those stats should improve this year and I feel comfortable with him at number three.

Down – Oct. 8 – I can’t really justify dropping Anthony out of the number three spot, but I’m definitely starting to cool on his prospects this season.  He’s made some comments lately that he’d much rather start facilitating the offense rather than doing the scoring himself.  If his scoring drops, then so does his ranking.  Keep an eye on his relationship with Felton and Stoudemire in camp.

Paul Pierce (BOS, 29.3 FPS) – Pierce is going to be 35 years old when the season tips off, but he hasn’t shown any signs of falling off yet.  He went for 19 and 5 with 4.5 assists, 1.1 steals and 4.5 threes attempted.  His 44.3 FG% was a little light, but the 85.2 FT% was excellent.  His game is very well rounded and he helps in just about every category.  I’d expect that he’ll once again carry the Celtics on his back, but this might be the last premium season that Pierce turns in before age, and possibly a Celtics rebuilding, catches up with him.

Rudy Gay (MEM, 29.8) – Gay has turned in just about the same stat line in each of the last five seasons and he’s a lock to do so again this year.  You can pencil in 19 and 6 with 1.5 steals, 1.0 blocks and 2.5 threes attempted.  He’ll also fall very close to his career 45.6 FG% and 77.1 FT%.  I could make the case for putting Gay a notch above Pierce, but there’s the small chance that Pierce outproduces while Gay remains at his consistent level.  There’s also the age difference and injury possibility with the older player too.

Andre Iguodala (DEN, 26.5 FPS) – Iguodala is such a tease.  He’s got way more real world talent that what he produces for fantasy owners, but hopefully he’ll surprise this season.  He’s an incredibly multitalented player with 5.5 assists, 6.1 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 3.1 threes attempted.  The problem with Iguodala is his scoring and shot selection.  He’s dropped from 17.1 points per game in 2010, to 14.1 per game in 2011 to a career low 12.4 last season.   He’s quit taking it to the basket, which can mostly be seen in his decreasing free throw attempts.  He’s gone from 5.2 FTA in 2010, to 4.5 FTA in 2011 to a career low 3.2 last season.  He needs to start using his athletic ability more rather than always settling for the jumpshot.  If he can just get his scoring back above 15 a game, the rest of his stat categories will make him a very valuable player.

Danny Granger (IND, 26.9 FPS) – While Iguodala has a well rounded game, Granger is more of a one trick pony, and that one trick is three point shooting.  Granger put up 19 and 5, but the 1.8 assists, 1.0 steals and .6 blocks were kind of weak.  Another problem for Granger’s owners is the 41.6 FG% that results from most of his shot attempts being three pointers.  If you are building around points and threes though, Granger is the pick with 5.2 thees attempted per game, which he hits at a career 38.4% rate.  The red flag on Granger was the near career low 33.3 minutes per game, which was mostly caused by injury.  While he never seems to really miss a lot of games, it seems he’s always dealing with some kind of nagging injury.

Down – Oct. 8 – Granger is dealing with a knee problem that should have been cleared up by now.  He’s never been the toughest guy, but this lingering injury is really starting to hurt his fantasy appeal.  His final ranking really depends on how much time he gets in camp and how the knee heals up.  Keep an eye on his health.

Luol Deng (CHI, 26.3 FPS) – Two things scare me about Deng.  First is the wrist injury that he chose not to have surgery on this offseason.  I have no idea how well this has healed or if it’s going to be a problem this season.  Second, he played a whopping 39.4 MPG last season and that just can’t continue if he wants to stay healthy.  The Bulls will be without Derrick Rose for awhile, so I would expect that they will once again lean heavily on Deng for minutes and scoring.   The red flag on Deng is the wrist injury which caused him to shoot a career low 41.2% last season, well below his 46.5 % career average.  Oddly enough, it didn’t seem to hurt his three point shooting where he posted a solid 36.7% rate.  I’ll keep an eye on Deng’s wrist injury in camp and adjust his ranking accordingly.

UP – Oct. 8 – I was recently offered a trade in a keeper league of Monta Ellis in exchange for Deng and I turned it down, although to be fair most of it had to do with salary cap and positional issues, however I’m starting to like Deng more and more this season and think he could really have a monster year with Derrick Rose out of the lineup.  Deng is motivated to play and is even willing to play through his wrist pain to get on the court.  While the wrist might scare some owners off, Deng shows no indication of sitting anytime soon because of it.  The Bulls will run him out there 37-39 minutes a game and he should put up good numbers in a very top heavy small forward draft board.

Gerald Wallace (BN, 27.6 FPS) – Wallace was a late season trade to the Nets, but the move seemed to energize him a little as he put up increased stats with New Jersey.  The Nets have locked him up for four years and $40 million, so he’s going to be a big part of the team for the foreseeable future.  Wallace posted his usual 14 and 7 with 1.4 steals and 3.4 assists.  For his career, he’s got a 47.3 FG% and 72.3 FT%.  The only red flag that seems to follow Wallace is the ‘injury prone’ label due to the way he plays the game all out.  Even though the Nets have way more than enough scoring power, I still think Wallace can put up his usual 14 and 7 and hang on to a Top 10 small forward ranking.

Nicolas Batum (POR, 22.4 FPS) – Batum is still haggling out a huge contract, but I think that he’s definitely going to be overpaid no matter what happens.  He’s still young at 23, but in 30.4 MPG he only managed 14 and 5 with 1.0 block and 1.0 steal.  He was able to knock down the three, taking 4.6 per game and hitting them at a 39.1% clip, but I’m not absolutely sure he can keep up that pace.  The other thing that leads me to believe he may be a disappointment is that he’s played around 30 minutes per game over the last two seasons, but he hasn’t shown much progression in his development.  What you see the last two seasons is probably what you are going to get this year.  Unless his minutes jump to 35+, you’re probably going to have to overpay to get him, and you might well be disappointed with his production for that expensive price.

This is where the small foward group really falls of a cliff.  If you don’t get one of the top 10 players, then there isn’t really that much difference in what’s left on the board.

Danilo Gallinari (DEN, 23.4 FPS) – It seems like Gallinari is constantly hurt, missing 75 games over the last three seasons.  Last season he could only log 31.4 MPG, but he did manage to put up 15 and 5 with 2.7 assists and 1.0 steal.  He’s going to kill your FG% though, as he’s just a 42.0% shooter.   His real fantasy asset is his three point shooting, but even that was suspect last season as he took 4.3 per game, but only hit them at a 32.8% rate.   He’s going to be a fantasy gamble this year.

Oct. 8 – The real issue to keep an eye on in camp is how the Nuggets use Wilson Chandler.  If Chandler looks to get most of his minutes at SF, then Gallinari has to be downgraded just a bit.

Trevor Ariza (WAS, 22.0 FPS) – Ariza was recently traded to the Washington Wizards, along with Emeka Okafor, where he should step right into the starting small forward spot.  Ariza is never going to be much of a scorer, especially on a Wizards team that may be looking to slow things down this season, but he is a well rounded player putting up 1.7 steals, 3.3 assists, 5.2 rebounds and taking 2.1 threes per game last year.  His biggest drawbacks are his career 43.1 FG% and 67.4 FT%.

UP – Oct. 8 – Ariza was already going to be shouldering some of the offensive load, but now that John Wall is out for at least 8 weeks, Ariza will have to pick it up even more.  He should get a small bump up with a higher usage number.

Gordon Hayward (UTA, 19.5 FPS) – Hayward is probably better suited for shooting guard rather than small forward, but I’m going to list him here to start the season and see what happens during training camp.  The drawback to playing small forward is that the Jazz just brought in Marvin Williams, so any platoon between Hayward and Williams will kill both of their fantasy values.  On the other hand, the Jazz really want to give Alec Burks the shooting guard spot.  Hayward had a solid season going for 12 and 5 with 3.1 assists and .8 steals.  He attempted 2.4 threes, but his 34.6 3P% was a lot lower than his rookie year number of 47.3%.  He’ll probably fall somewhere between those two numbers this season.

UP – Oct. 8 – I’ve seen many people sleeping on Hayward and I have to admit that I was one of them in my initial small forward rankings.  I was expecting there to be small forward battle between Hayward and Josh Howard, but it doesn’t even appear that Howard will return to the team.  It also doesn’t look like the Jazz have any intention of playing Derrick Favors at small forward, which leaves all the minutes for Hayward.  The guy could be a serious breakout candidate and I may move him up even further as camp progresses.

Kawhi Leonard (SAS, 16.8 FPS) – Leonard was a nice surprise in his rookie year, putting up 8 and 5 in 24.0 minutes of action.   He’s an energy guy and goes all out on the court, which is something Coach Popovich likes.  Leonard managed to pickup 1.3 steals and 1.7 three point attempts in his 24 minutes, which translates to 2.0 steals and 2.6 3PA per/36.   He kept up a 49.3 FG% and a 77.3 FT%.  I think there’s a good chance he gets tabbed for more minutes this season, and if he does, his ranking will climb.

UP – Oct. 8 – I guess the biggest thing to say about Leonard is that Coach Popovich likes him, which really means a lot to his playing time.  Reports have Leonard making big improvements in his game over the summer and the Spurs intend on starting him at small forward for big minutes.

Michael Beasley (PHO, 16.0 FPS) – I’ve probably got Beasley on my rankings for the same reason that real teams keep taking chances on him, simply for the fact that he has so much talent, but just can’t quite get it harnessed.  The Wolves recently traded Beasley to Phoenix where he’s going to have to learn to play small forward if he hopes to see the court for any meaningful minutes.  The Suns already have Channing Frye and the recently acquired Luis Scola to man the power forward spot.  Beasley is a great fantasy asset in head to head and points leagues, but no so much in roto leagues.  He’s strictly a points and rebounds guy, but he did that very well in 2011 posting 19 and 6.  If he gets minutes, he has the ability to repeat that.  If he doesn’t get a starting spot, then he’s waiver wire material.

UP – Oct. 8 – Yes, the guy is a headcase, but it looks like he definitely has a starting spot on a fast paced Suns team.  There doesn’t appear to be much of a battle between Beasley and Marvin Williams and if Beasley has finally got his mental condition right, he could have a big year.  Of course, he is still Michael Beasley and could totally flop, but I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt just one more time.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (CHA, Rookie) – Charlotte traded away Corey Maggette, which opens up a starting spot for Kidd-Gilchirst at small forward.  He was the second player picked in the 2012 NBA Draft and he’s got a chance to be an immediate impact player.  I’m going to have to see what the Bobcats choose to do with him during training camp to get a feel for his final ranking.  He’s a good one year league pick and a must pick in keeper leagues.

UP – Oct. 8 – I’ve had a few days to examine the Bobcats camp and Kidd-Gilchrist is definitely going to have a starting spot and the team seems really high on him.  He’ll get every chance to play and I doubt the Bobcats would sit him even if he makes tons of mistakes over the first couple of months.  Charlotte isn’t going anywhere and they will get Kidd-Gilchrist as much experience as they can.

Chandler Parsons (HOU, 18.5 FPS) – Parsons had to deal with being the other half of a Chase Budinger platoon, but Budinger has been shipped out of Houston, which leaves Parsons with a chance to get more than the 28.6 minutes per game he got in 2012.  If Parsons could work up to 34-36 minutes, he could put up 13 and 6 with 1.5 steals and nearly 4 threes attempted.  However, if he ends up in another platoon, he’s probably looking at identical stats to last season and his ranking will suffer.

Oct. 8 – Keep an eye on how the Rockets distribute the minutes between Parsons and Carlos Delfino, as well as any of the many rookies on the squad.

Shawn Marion (DAL, 21.9 FPS) – Marion is just about at the end of his career and he won’t get you much more than the 11 and 7 he put up last season.  He used to be a monster in the defensive categories, but with just 1.1 steals and .6 blocks, those days are gone.  There doesn’t appear to be much upside with Marion, only downside risk.  It’s amazing that he’s ranked this high, but that’s just how weak the small forward position is this year.

Tayshaun Prince (DET, 20.2 FPS) – About the only thing that can be said of Prince at this point in his career is that he’s fairly consistent.  His stats really haven’t changed much over the last three seasons and probably won’t be much different this season.  He’ll get you 12 and 5 with a couple of assists and a couple of three point attempts.  His defensive stats have dwindled to just .4 steals and .5 blocks.  The only red flag I could find on him from last season was a career low 42.1 FG%.

Lamar Odom (LAC, 27.0 FPS) – I’m pretty much going to scrap last season’s performance and give Odom a free pass on that one.  While he’s more suited for the power forward position, I doubt he’s going to get many minutes there with Blake Griffin manning the spot.  Odom is going to have to slide down and play some small forward.  He’s definitely an upgrade over Caron Butler at that spot.  Since Odom’s 2012 was so bad, I’ll use his 14 and 9 from 2011 as a better representation of what he can do, and he managed to do that in just 32.2 minutes.  There’s a good chance that he’ll see the court for that much time at small forward and backup power forward and hopefully he can put up something close to that.  However, if he ends up in a platoon, his final ranking will suffer.

Hedo Turkoglu (ORL, 18.6 FPS) – Turkoglu is an attractive fantasy asset due to his ability to handle the ‘point forward’ duties.  He’s averaged 5.1 and 4.4 assists the past two seasons while putting up 11 and 4 last year.  You are probably looking at the same 11 and 4 this season, but if you like the extra assists, he’s not a a bad late round flier.

Harrison Barnes (GSW, Rookie) – The Warriors selected Barnes with the seventh pick in the 2012 NBA Draft to fill a need a small forward.  Golden State recently traded away Dorell Wright and the only competion that remains is Richard Jefferson.  Barnes may not find himself in the starting lineup immediately, and there’s a good chance that he platoons with Jefferson for awhile, but I could see him winning the spot outright by Christmas.  He’s a risky pick in one year leagues, but a definite must pick in keeper leagues.

Caron Butler (LAC, 17.5 FPS) – Yeah, I know, I’m struggling here to even come up with 25 guys to rank for the small forward board.  Butler had a mediocre year in 2012 going for 12 and 4, and this year doesn’t look to be much better for him now that the Clippers have brought in Lamar Odom.  Look for Butler to get 25-27 minutes, which isn’t going to make him draftable.

Down – Oct. 8 – Lamar Odom is in camp and wants a bigger role this season, which may come at Butler’s expense.  Keep an eye on how the small forward minutes get distributed in camp.

24. Chase Budinger (MIN, 14.9 FPS) – If you are in the last couple of rounds of your draft and you are looking for threes, Budinger is a nice target.  He was recently traded from Houston to the Wolves and could be a great source of offense off the bench for them.  He won’t offer much outside of threes and points though.

25. Derrick Williams (MIN, 13.9 FPS) – Since I’m having a hard time finding someone who really stands out for the last spot on the board, I’m going to go with a guy who might be a real sleeper this season.  Williams has trimmed down and could get an opportunity to win the starting small forward spot for the Timberwolves.  If he doesn’t get it, then he’s not really draftable.

 

Others looking to break into the Top 25:

Grant Hill
Wilson Chandler
Metta World Peace

Omri Casspi
Richard Jefferson
Corey Maggette
James Johnson
Quentin Richardson
Carlos Delfino
Ryan Gomes
Matt Barnes
Al-Farouq Aminu
Josh Howard
Alonzo Gee
Shane Battier
James Jones
Corey Brewer
Rashard Lewis
Dorell Wright
Stephen Jackson