RotoExperts Draft Kit: Top 25 Point Guards

"That's where I'm going to jump. Just throw it to me."

From the RotoExperts 2011-12 NBA Draft Kit

These rankings were written on Dec. 15 and published a day later. If written today I would jump Kyrie Irving into the fourth tier, have Jarrett Jack in the sixth tier (since the Hornets haven’t procured another point guard), drop Toney Douglas a few spots (thanks to Baron Davis signing in New York) and take D.J. Augustin down a few notches in fear of a Kemba Walker coup d’etat. 

In the midst of a wild NBA offseason and uncertainty as far as the eye can see, Fantasy owners need the steady hand of a point guard to guide their team. The best NBA point guards are also some of the best Fantasy players, and no championship team is complete without at least a few of the top options on this list. The top Fantasy point guards anchor your team in assists and are often positive contributors in several other categories.

The following rankings are based on a nine-category, head-to-head league format (PTS, REB, AST, STL, BLK, 3FG, FG%, FT%, TO), using Yahoo!’s positional eligibility. We break down players into tiers as well to help you organize them within your overall cheat sheets. Finally: this is a list of true point guards expected to play the majority of their minutes at this position this season. There are several combo guards, such as Dwyane Wade, who are eligible at point guard in some leagues but ranked on the shooting guard list for our purposes.In tumultuous times like these, it is best to write your own cheat sheets in pencil and be prepared to move things around as needed based on roles changing and injuries sprouting up. The Chris Paul trade is a great example of this. Luckily, CP3 doesn’t move much as he’s the top Fantasy point guard in the game.

These rankings take into account not just stat projections, but injury risk, competition for minutes and other intangibles.

ROTOEXPERTS.COM POINT GUARD RANKINGS

TIER 1

1. Chris Paul, LAC

Projected Stats: 17.8 PPG,  4.1 RPG, 10.9 APG, 1.0 3FG, 2.3 SPG, 0.1 BPG, 2.7 TO, 46.9 FG%, 85.5 FT%

Paul has finally been traded, and visions of CP3 setting up Blake Griffin for breathtaking alley-oops are dancing in the heads of everyone who is now claiming they’ve been a diehard Clippers fan all along. Paul should be thrilled to land in this spot where he has a pair of top-notch finishers underneath in Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, and talent at other positions as well. In all the drama over where he was going to get traded, it’s easy to forget that he carries with him some risk due to his questionable knees. If he plays a full season at close to 100 percent, Paul is the top point guard and easy No. 3 pick in all formats.

2. Derrick Rose, CHI

Projected Stats: 24.4 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 8.1 APG, 1.5 3FG, 1.1 SPG, 0.5 BPG, 3.4 TO, 44.9 FG%, 84.8 FT%

Rose was everything Fantasy owners asked him to be last year and more, turning in an MVP season in real life, and, more importantly, in Fantasy. He hit threes, started stealing the ball, and shot free throws at a tremendous percentage and volume. If you wanted to take Rose as high as the No. 4 pick in drafts, we wouldn’t say you were crazy.

3. Deron Williams, NJN

Projected Stats: 19.0 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 10.8 APG, 1.4 3PG, 1.2 SPG, 0.2 BPG, 3.5 TO, 46.6 FG%, 81.0 FT%

Williams wasn’t himself last year as he battled a wrist injury and was shipped out of town by Utah. Make no mistake: this is one of the very best players in the game, and if he’s healthy a first-tier Fantasy point guard. Williams is also in a contract year and playing for a team that could be bringing in Dwight Howard at the trade deadline, if not earlier. Draft with confidence in the second half of the first round.

4. Russell Westbrook, OKC

Projected Stats: 21.8 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 8.4 APG, 0.5 3FG, 1.8 SPG, 0.4 BPG, 3.8 TO, 44.4 FG%, 83.3 FT%

Westbrook has officially arrived in Fantasy basketball. While he doesn’t hit a ton of threes and he turns it over a lot, he is the best scoring-assist combination in the game outside of Rose. The hope is that Westbrook will continue maturing as a playmaker, raising his field goal percentage and lowering his turnovers in the process. Regardless, sit back and enjoy the box scores.

5. Stephen Curry, GSW

Projected Stats: 18.1 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 6.4 APG, 2.0 3FG, 1.5 SPG, 0.2 BPG, 3.2 TO, 47.2 FG%, 91.3 FT%

When healthy, there are few players who do more for a Fantasy team than Curry. He can score, pass the ball, hit threes, grab steals, shoot a high percentage from the field and sink free throws at a 90-percent-plus clip. He’s also had a lot of nagging injuries in his young career, knocking him a hair below his peers in this tier. Golden State could also play a more deliberate style of basketball under new head coach Mark Jackson, keeping Curry’s stats in check.

TIER 2

 6. Rajon Rondo, BOS

Projected Stats: 11.7 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 10.6 APG, 0.1 3FG, 2.3 SPG, 0.2 BPG, 3.3 TO, 47.7 FG%, 56.5 FT%

Rondo is one of the only point guards who can match Paul’s combo of assists and steals, and both players will angle for the league lead in those categories. Where Rondo falls off, obviously, is offensively. He is a poor free throw shooter (hurting him a bit more in rotisserie formats) and jump shooter. While Boston may need him to pick up some of the scoring slack on nights their veterans are being rested, don’t expect Rondo to significantly improve his points per game. What he will give you is a solid field goal percentage and a nice rebounding average for a point guard.

7. John Wall, WAS

Projected Stats: 17.7 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 8.5 APG, 0.6 3FG, 1.9 SPG, 0.5 BPG, 3.9 TO, 41.4 FG%, 76.0 FT%

Wall is a tough player to predict, so it might be best to just throw out the stats and grab him for his upside only. He will be much better this year, and downright spectacular most nights. But he’s still too young not to have plenty of poor performances scattered across his game log. Until he drastically improves his field goal percentage and brings the turnovers down, Wall is a second-tier point guard, albeit an exciting one to consider grabbing in the early third round of H2H drafts.

8. Steve Nash, PHX

Projected Stats: 15.2 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 11.1 APG, 1.2 3FG, 0.6 SPG, 0.1 BPG, 3.5 TO, 50.0 FG%, 90.6 FT%

Steady, ageless and eminently professional. You know what you are going to get with Nash, and what you get is pretty good: a sublimely-efficient point guard who will average around 11 assists while hitting a smattering of threes. He won’t get steals, and he’ll turn it over a lot. He’s more of a force in rotisserie formats where his strong percentages mean more to your team.

TIER 3

 9. Tyreke Evans, SAC

Projected Stats: 19.2 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 4.9 APG, 0.9 3FG, 1.5 SPG, 0.4 BPG, 3.1 TO, 43.5 FG%, 75.6 FT%

Evans isn’t great enough at any one thing to justify a really high pick, especially considering his injury risk. He battle plantar fasciitis last year, an injury that tends to linger. He’s also playing “point” on a mess of a roster, “point” being in quotes because Evans is more of a two-guard who brings the ball up the court as opposed to a distributor in the mold of Nash or Rondo. As you can see, his assist projection is below 5.0, rather unacceptable for a No. 1 Fantasy point guard. His overall numbers are nice, but you have to wonder if he will play close to 66 games this year.

10. Kyle Lowry, HOU

Projected Stats: 14.8 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 7.4 APG, 1.6 3FG, 1.4 SPG, 0.2 BPG, 2.2 TO, 42.2 FG%, 77.8 FT%

Lowry was one of the nice surprises in Fantasy last year, as he was a multi-category stud after taking over the point guard duties from Aaron Brooks. The Rockets believe in Lowry, so he’ll continue to provide across-the-board solid value. We’d like him a little more if Kevin Martin were traded out of town, but regardless a player capable of averaging 15 points, 7.5 assists, 1.5 threes and 1.5 steals isn’t easy to find.

11. Ty Lawson, DEN

Projected Stats: 15.6 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 7.2 APG, 1.0 3FG, 1.2 SPG, 0.1 BPG, 2.2 TO, 49.0 FG%, 77.3 FT%

Is this the year Lawson gets a consistent 35-40 minutes a game? The answer is: probably yes. Not defnitely, as veteran Andre Miller is in town, but probably. And Lawson’s per-36 stats suggest a stat line worthy of a Top 50 player. If you miss out on a No. 1 point guard in the top two tiers, Lawson is a fine backup plan in the fourth round.

12. Raymond Felton, POR

Projected Stats: 14.3 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 7.3 APG, 1.4 3FG, 1.5 SPG, 0.1 BPG, 2.5 TO, 44.0 FG%, 78.0 FT%

Portland is a sweet landing spot for Felton’s Fantasy prospects. The presence of LaMarcus Aldridge and the talent on the wing the Blazers possess will keep Felton’s scoring in check, he should provide solid assist numbers, not to mention enough threes and steals to help you. If the Blazers indeed play a more up-tempo style this season, even better for Felton’s prospects.

13. Jrue Holliday, PHI

Projected Stats: 14.5 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 7.1 APG, 1.1 3FG, 1.5 SPG, 0.3 BPG, 2.8 TO, 44.9 FG%, 82.8 FT%

Holliday is annually a popular breakout candidate, but with so little turnover on the Sixers roster we don’t expect him to make a huge leap. He’s right on the level of a Lowry, Lawson or Felton with maybe a slightly higher proclivity for turnovers. Holliday should solidify himself as one of the more trustworthy point guards in Fantasy this season.

TIER 4

14. Brandon Jennings, MIL

Projected Stats: 15.6 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 5.9 APG, 1.6 3FG, 1.5 SPG, 0.2 BPG, 2.4 TO, 41.1 FG%, 81.2 FT%

In Tier 4, we start seeing more wild cards, players with pronounced weaknesses or uncertainty surrounding them. Jennings is a gifted player who happens to kill Fantasy teams with his terrible field goal percentage (he’s a career 37.9 percent shooter). We’re gambling that he’ll take less bad shots with Stephen Jackson in town to steal some of them from him, and that he’ll take another step towards being a more efficient player. Jennings is tempting because of his threes and steals, but he has a ways to go before we consider him before anyone in Tier 3.

15. Jason Kidd, DAL

Projected Stats: 7.5 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 8.0 APG, 1.6 3FG, 1.6 SPG, 0.3 BPG, 2.1 TO, 38.8 FG%, 86.3 FT%

Kidd is a great player and he’s now a champion. He’s also turning 39 in March. Since the Mavericks went to the Finals, the longer offseason enjoyed by most is shorter for him. And with a 66-game slate upcoming with tons of back-to-back nights, all signs are pointing south for Kidd. That’s not to say he can’t help a Fantasy squad, but it is hard to put up with that noxious field goal percentage and miniscule scoring average as he gradually regresses.

TIER 5

16. Mike Conley, MEM

Projected Stats: 13.1 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 7.0 APG, 1.1 3FG, 1.6 SPG, 0.1 BPG, 2.4 APG, 45.7 FG%, 76.1 FT%

Conley is a very good point guard, but he has probably reached his ceiling considering he’s at best the fourth option in the Memphis offense. Expect 13 points, around seven assists, solid threes and steals, and tolerable percentages for a lead guard. We rank Conley in the fifth tier because of the absence of Fantasy upside in his future.

17. Toney Douglas, NYK

Projected Stats: 15.6 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 4.7 APG, 2.2 3FG, 1.5 SPG, 0.0 BPG, 2.4 APG, 42.4 FG%, 79.0 FT%

While Conley’s lack of upside holds him back, Douglas is all upside. The potential point guard in Mike D’Antoni’s offense needs to be on everyone’s radar. He could be a real steal in the middle rounds of any draft this year. Of course, the Knicks are still looking at ways to upgrade their roster, and bringing in another point guard isn’t out of the question. As currently constituted, however, he should be the man and the No. 3 scorer on the team. He’ll take and make a lot of threes, provide quality steal numbers and shoot a decent percentage from the line. Douglas is looking like a great value pick right now.

18. Tony Parker, SAS

Projected Stats: 18.6 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 6.5 APG, 0.3 3FG, 1.1 SPG, 0.0 BPG, 2.6 TO, 51.5 FG%, 75.6 FT%

Things are shaping up nicely for Parker to have a great season. There’s a distinct likelihood that Gregg Popovich will chose to rest his veterans often, particularly Tim Duncan. Popovich has proven in the past that he isn’t afraid to limit Manu Ginobili either. Parker will probably be called up on to score a little more this season, and he could have some huge stat lines in games Duncan doesn’t play. His Fantasy limitations are predictable, so it is best to hold off until the middle rounds to snag Parker if your team needs a boost in scoring and field goal percentage.

19. Devin Harris, UTA

Projected Stats: 14.8 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 6.8 APG, 0.8 3FG, 1.2 SPG, 0.1 BPG, 2.8 TO, 42.5 FG%, 84.1 FT%

A full season in Utah playing with Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson should be a great fit for Harris, and all indications are that he’s primed for a big year. But a condensed 66-game schedule doesn’t favor aging players who can’t seem to stay healthy, and if Harris starts missing games it could really sting this season. Consider him a No. 2 Fantasy point guard with both more upside than these projections and a significant amount of injury risk.

TIER 6

20. Kyrie Irving, CLE

Projected Stats: 14.2 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 4.9 APG, 1.3 3FG, 1.4 SPG, 0.1 BPG, 3.1 TO, 44.1 FG%, 88.7 FT%

With such a small sample size of games played in his college career, Irving is a bit of an unknown going into the season. We like the No. 1 pick even more with Baron Davis not in his way, but Ramon Sessions is still around to take minutes from him in case he isn’t ready. All indications are that Irving has what it takes to be an excellent Fantasy player; we’re just not sure he will do it consistently this year on a bad team.

21. D.J. Augustin, CHA

Projected Stats: 14.8 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 6.2 APG, 1.4 3FG, 0.7 SPG, 0.0 BPG, 2.1 TO, 42.3 FG%, 88.9 FT%

Augustin will have to hold off rookie Kemba Walker, but on a barren Bobcats team he could have a great year. Charlotte is banking on Corey Maggette (chuckling) and Boris Diaw (guffawing) to stay healthy and be major contributors. Forgive us if we aren’t convinced. Next in line would be Augustin, a young talent still finding his way but possessing enough potential to return No. 2 point guard value if things shake out for him.

TIER 7

 22. Chauncey Billups, LAC

Projected Stats: 14.7 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 4.3 APG, 2.2 3FG, 0.8 SPG, 0.1 BPG, 2.2 TO, 41.7 FG%, 90.7 FT%

Billups could play shooting guard next to Chris Paul, a new situation for the veteran and one that is tough to imagine, never mind predict. If Mo Williams is moved, Billups will see heavy minutes at both guard spots and continue to provide solid threes to Fantasy owners. His assists will be down, and he probably won’t get to the line at much, limiting the positives that come out of his great free throw percentage. We’re interested in watching Billups reinvent himself as a shooting guard, but we’re not going to reach for him in drafts.

23. Jameer Nelson, ORL

Projected Stats: 13.2 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 5.8 APG, 1.4 3FG, 1.1 SPG, 0.0 BPG, 2.5 TO, 46.7 FG%, 82.7 FT%

Nelson is a borderline Fantasy starter who will put up similar numbers, at least to start the season, as he has in the last several years. If and when Dwight Howard is traded, all bets are off. Nelson is a nice little player who unfortunately has never been a big assist guy. He does just enough in the other categories to warrant rostering, including good percentages.

24. Darren Collison, IND

Projected Stats: 13.1 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 5.6 APG, 0.7 3FG, 1.3 SPG, 0.1 BPG, 2.7 TO, 46.1 FG%, 86.1 FT%

Collison had a terrible season by all accounts, so he’ll be eager to show he’s not a bust this year. Still, the Pacers brought in George Hill, probably a better overall player than Collison who will push him for playing time. Collison is reunited with David West, and the two of them had statistical success playing with each other two years ago when Chris Paul was hurt. The Pacers don’t really need Collison to score much or dominate the ball, so his numbers will not be spectacular. He provides solid percentages and some assists and steals. You can do better.

25. Rodney Stuckey, TBA (Unsigned Restricted Free Agent)

Projected Stats: 15.7 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 4.6 APG, 0.4 3FG, 1.2 SPG, 0.1 BPG, 2.3 TO, 44.4 FG%, 85.7 FT%

Stuckey still hasn’t re-signed with Detroit, and there were reports that he’s looking to get paid much more than he’s worth. As a combo guard who presents matchup problems but isn’t really suited to be a natural ‘1’, Stuckey is probably better off as the sixth man on a contending team. On the Pistons he can certainly put up points and some other nice numbers. It’s just that his situation remains unresolved and he hasn’t been the most reliable guy to own in recent seasons.

On the bubble: Jeff Teague, ATL; Jarrett Jack, NOR; Jose Calderon, TOR; Mo Williams, LAC; George Hill, IND; Ricky Rubio, MIN

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