By Tom Lorenzo and Jeff Andriesse
For Tom and Jeff’s point guard rankings, they decided to do away with positional problems such as the hybrid tags many websites place on, say, Dwyane Wade, and stick to point guards who are going to start at the ‘1’ position this year for their respective teams. We can quibble about who should be here, and there will probably be much quibbling for future positions, but this is a solid list for fantasy purposes. These are the players you should consider as the true point guards any fantasy team can’t do without. Tom and Jeff each provide their Top 25 point guards, then dissect the position with pertinent questions that will help you sort everything out.
2009-10 Point Guard Rankings
|Tom’s Top 25||Jeff’s Top 25|
|1. Chris Paul||1. Chris Paul|
|2. Deron Williams||2. Deron Williams|
|3. Jose Calderon||3. Devin Harris|
|4. Steve Nash||4. Steve Nash|
|5. Devin Harris||5. Jose Calderon|
|6. Chauncey Billups||6. Chauncey Billups|
|7. Derrick Rose||7. Jason Kidd|
|8. Jason Kidd||8. Gilbert Arenas|
|9. Rajon Rondo||9. Derrick Rose|
|10. Gilbert Arenas||10. Rajon Rondo|
|11. Jameer Nelson||11. Monta Ellis|
|12. Russell Westbrook||12. Tony Parker|
|13. Mike Conley||13. Russell Westbrook|
|14. Monta Ellis||14. Mike Bibby|
|15. Tony Parker||15. Mike Conley|
|16. Andre Miller||16. Baron Davis|
|17. Baron Davis||17. Raymond Felton|
|18. Raymond Felton||18. Mo Williams|
|19. Mike Bibby||19. Andre Miller|
|20. Lou Williams||20. Jameer Nelson|
|21. Mo Williams||21. T.J. Ford|
|22. T.J. Ford||22. Lou Williams|
|23. Ramon Sessions||23. Aaron Brooks|
|24. Mario Chalmers||24. Ramon Sessions|
|25. Rodney Stuckey||25. Rodney Stuckey|
BREAKING DOWN THE POINT GUARD POSITION
Three Questions for Tom
Jeff: There are several point guards on our lists who are actually more like scorers who play the ‘1’, like Devin Harris, Monta Ellis, both Lou and Mo Williams and Rodney Stuckey. Should fantasy owners try to get at least one pure point guard, or can you build a team around guards who average 5-6 assists and sometimes less?
Tom: I prefer not to have to compile assists with two guys who dish the ball 5-6 times per game, and would rather look for a guy who I know will give me 8+ assists and try to bolster where that point guard lacks (scoring, three-pointers, etc.) with one of the more scoring point guards. We talked about this with Jason Kidd, who is no lock to score 10 points per game, however you know you can rely on 8-10 assists from him. If you can pair up Kidd with Ellis, who scores but doesn’t dish, you can build off of Kidd’s pure point skills and add in Ellis’ 20+ points per game. In the case of drafting a guy like Harris, who I think might take a little bit of a hit in his assist totals, you can wait until later rounds and grab T.J. Ford, who I think is in line for a nice year and could touch 7-8 assists if healthy, to bring your assist total to 13-14 per game from your PG position. Basically, Jeff, I need a true point on my team to be able to sleep well at night!
Jeff: You have Mike Conley at No. 13. Are you at all worried about the potential addition of Allen Iverson to the young, gelling backcourt of Conley and O.J. Mayo?
Tom: I’m not worried about Iverson coming in and stalling Conley’s progression. Conley had a spectacular second-half of the season and you know that coach Lionel Hollins took notice. He’s going all-in with Conley this season and I imagine that Iverson is going to be on a short leash. The one thing the Grizz do not want to do is slow down the progression of Conley and Mayo. I would be surprised to see Iverson play a major role and I assume this signing is more about getting butts in the seats and less about trotting Iverson out on the court to make sure he gets his touches. We’ll see how it plays out this summer, but if you get second-half ’08-09 Conley this year than you’re looking at a huge steal in the draft.
Jeff: Derrick Rose is hyped up in basketball circles these days and rightly so. But will he go too high in fantasy drafts? Do you see him improving in peripheral categories such as steals and threes, enough to become an elite No. 1 point guard as soon as this year? Or is his fantasy ceiling is more along the lines of, say, Tony Parker?
Tom: Three-point shooting and defense are what will hold Rose back from being one of the elite point guards this season. I agree with you 100 percent that Rose is going to be over-valued in fantasy drafts. Remember, though, that Chris Paul averaged 16.1 PTS, 7.8 AST, and 5.1 REB on 43 percent shooting from the floor in his rookie season. Of course he also had 2.2 STL and, like Rose, struggled to hit even one three-pointer per game. Rose wasn’t too far off with his 16.8 PTS, 6.8 AST, and 3.9 REB on 47 percent shooting from the floor. The issue, again, is with his defense. I won’t suggest that he’ll steal two balls per game this year or take the leap that Paul took in his second season, but I also don’t want to limit him to Tony Parker status just yet. If you want to argue that in 2009-10 he’ll put up Parker-like numbers with 20 PTS, 6 AST, and limited defense I would argue that he’s got a higher ceiling than that. Rose could reach double-digit assists (not this season), which is something Parker has never come close to. Parker, in fact, has never dished more than seven assists per game in a single season. Rose is much better than that. Be careful about reaching for him this season, but I expect he’s well on his way toward being one of the top point guards in the game.
Three Questions for Jeff
Tom: The biggest disparity we have on our list is Jameer Nelson. You have him listed at No. 20, while I have him sitting at No. 11 on my list. Is it the injury that concerns you about Nelson or is it that there are just 19 point guards in this league better than him?
Jeff: I just think that Nelson’s injury, then his awkward and at times embarrassing return during the postseason will leave him a little disjointed. Combine those things with the turnover of the Magic’s roster and I’m just not that bullish on the little guy. I’m not necessarily saying last year was fluky, I’m just saying that this year is going to be a little more difficult for Nelson with new teammates to adjust to. 14-15 PPG, 5-6 assists sounds about right, and I’m also not thrilled that Nelson has played in less than 70 games in three of his five seasons. I’m not sure there’s a huge difference between many of the guys we both have between 11-20 on our lists, anyways. I just give a slight edge to the guys ahead of him.
Tom: There are no rookies on either of our lists, yet it seems like three rookie point guards are going to get some minutes for their respective teams (Brandon Jennings, Tyreke Evans, and Jonny Flynn). Can any of these rookies have a Mario Chalmers-type of fantasy impact this season?
Jeff: Rookie point guards? Gross. Chalmers was a unique case in that the ball was very often in his backcourt mate’s hands (some fellow named Wade) and Mario didn’t have to be super (pause for audience groan), just solid. Of the three rookies you mention, Evans is going to be the best fantasy play, as Flynn just saw his minutes cut with the signing of Ramon Sessions and Jennings is just not even close to ready despite what he boasts. Evans has an NBA-ready body and skill set, but I’m not sure he has the brains (yet) to run the point. Fortunately he is the future on a young team, and the Kings backcourt of Beno Udrih and Kevin Martin is no sure thing to last either due to injury potential (the brittle Martin) or not being very good (the not very good Udrih).
Tom: Where do you start to get uncomfortable on this list? Meaning, where is the divide between point guards who you are comfortable running out there on your lineup and point guards who start to worry you a little?
Jeff: I don’t know how anyone can be comfortable with the name Gilbert Arenas anymore. I don’t know what to make of the guy, and am tired of trying. I rank Arenas that high simply because he could potentially be much better than eighth. I’m comfortable with many of the guys below him as my No. 1 point guard, probably up to and including Russell Westbrook. Arenas and Baron Davis make me shiver, and the guys after Westbrook are either too aging or too deficient in too many categories. I think that’s where the options dwindle to the point where I’d be much more comfortable taking the remainder as No. 2 point guards on my roster.
Tom Lorenzo and Jeff Andriesse will break down the Shooting Guard position next. If you have comments, questions or suggestions, drop ’em in the Comments Section. Also, be sure to follow Tom and Jeff on Twitter and check out RotoExperts.com for the most comprehensive fantasy sports coverage on the web.