Jul 25, 2012 Fantasy 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.
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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)
Jul 5, 2012 Point Guard Updates
The Los Angeles Lakers acquired Steve Nash with a sign and trade deal for three years, $25 million.
Fantasy Advice: If Derek Fisher could lead the team to a championship, just think what Steve Nash might be able to do. Nash will step in at PG and with all the weapons LA has, he could lead the league in assists this season. He just moved sharply up the fantasy point guard rankings.
Nash saw his 2011-2012 stats sink to a near career low, but I expect that this move will give him new life and a chance at a title. I’m projecting him at:
33.0 MPG, 15.5 points, 12.0 assists, 3.5 turnovers, 2.0 threes with excellent percentages.
The move also signals the end for Ramon Sessions in LA. Sessions had an opportunity for fantasy relevance, but his opting out of the final year with the Lakers, combined with this move, will force him to seek a job elsewhere.
Jul 3, 2012 Point Guard Updates
The New Orleans Hornets selected guard Austin Rivers with the tenth pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.
Rivers’ career stats at Duke:
34 Games, 15.5 points, 2.1 assists, 3.4 rebounds, 1.0 steals, 43.3 FG%, 65.8 FT%
Fantasy Advice: Austin Rivers is the son of Celtics coach Doc Rivers and many people believe that much of his hype was based on name alone. While some of that may be true, the guy still has a pretty solid set of skills. He is a dynamic scorer who can create his own offense off the dribble and works best with the ball in his hands.
He’s primarily a shooting guard, but that spot is already covered in New Orleans by Eric Gordon. Rivers will either have to work hard at developing his playmaking skills to pick up minutes at point guard or he’s going to be more of a sixth man type player.
The book on Rivers is that he’s a mediocre jumpshooter and doesn’t play much defense. The Hornets eventually hope to convert him into a point guard, but he had more turnovers than assists in his year at Duke, so it remains to be seen if this will happen. Rivers does have a good handle and can take it to the basket with the best of them, but if defenses play off him and force him to rely on his jumpshot, he’s going to be in trouble. He’s also got a bit of a weakness with his free throw shooting, only managing about 65%.
Rivers’ fantasy value solely depends on what the Hornets decide to do with Jarrett Jack and whether or not they feel comfortable moving Rivers into the point guard spot. My guess is that he comes off the bench and has a hard time picking up the offense in his first year at the NBA level, which pretty much makes him a late round fantasy flier.
Jul 2, 2012 Point Guard Updates
The Portland Trail Blazers selected Damian Lillard with the sixth pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.
Lillard’s career stats at Weber State:
104 Games, 18.6 points, 3.5 assists, 4.3 rebounds, 1.2 steals, 44.5 FG%, 86.6 FT%
Fantasy Advice: Lillard was a four year player at Weber State and he’ll be 22 in a couple of weeks, so he’s got some experience and he’ll need it since Portland will likely ask him to be a starter this season. Raymond Felton probably isn’t going to be in Portland this year, so Lillard will get his shot.
Lillard is an extremely quick PG with a solid jumpshot. My first thought when I watched his tapes was ‘man, that really looks like a skinny Chris Paul’. I’m not saying he’s that good, but his game and mechanics look a little like Paul’s. He was the second leading scorer in the nation last year with 24.5 points per game, but it was admittedly for a second tier Weber State squad in the Big Sky Conference. It remains to be seen how he’ll do when the competion picks up.
Two stats jump out for Lillard:
He attempted 7.2 threes per game last season – and he hit 40.9% of them.
He attempted 8.0 free throws per game, hitting 88.7% of them.
Basically, what we are looking at is a scorer who can do it from beyond the arc and at the rim effectively. He’s the type of fantasy point guard that helps you in just about every category and can make his own offense without depending on his teammates. He’ll have some turnover problems early in his career, but the bonus he gives you with the threes and scoring will more than make up for that. He’s a great gamble in mid to late rounds and a probably a solid middle rounder in keeper leagues.
Dec 12, 2011 Blog
Below are the initial NBA Fantasy Basketball Point Guard (PG) rankings for all thirty teams this season. These might change a bit as players continue to move around. I’m going to post these under the 2011-2012 Draft Rankings Tab at the top of the homepage so they will be easy to check as fantasy drafts approach. Check back Tuesday for the Shooting Guard Rankings.
Tier 1 – The 2011-2012 Fantasy Basketball All-Stars
1 Derrick Rose (CHI) – It seems like everyone is going with Chris Paul at the top of the board this year, but give me Derrick Rose anytime. Rose is clearly the better scorer putting up 25.0 a game compared to Paul’s 15.9. Rose really overtook the top spot with his huge improvement with the three point shot, taking nearly 5 per game and hitting 33.2%. Hopefully he can continue to improve and approach the 36-37% range. Even with the 33.2% on threes, he still held his overall FG% to a very respectable 46.8%. Rose will only get better from here.
2 Chris Paul (NOR) - Paul is an easy choice at number 2, even though there is some concern about the possibility of a trade and concern over the knee still lingers in the back of my mind. He did play in 80 games last season but his scoring was way down to a career low of 15.9 PPG. Assists (9.8 per game) and Steals (2.4 per game) are his strong points.
3 Russell Westbrook (OKC) – Much like Rose, Westbrook continues to improve his game. He raised his scoring to 21.9 per game while increasing his assist numbers to 8.2 per game. His steals figure increased to 1.9 per game and he increased his FG%, 3PT% and FT% in 2010. One important stat for Westbrook is the increase of field goal attempts to 17.1 per game, he’s a big part of the Thunder offense and will continue to be heavily involved.
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