These rankings were written on Dec. 15 and published a day later. Stephen Jackson should probably be dropped as he’s dealing with a troublesome back issue. O.J. Mayo should be a few spots lower as well until his role is more clear. Feel free to reach a little higher for Tony Allen as long as he remains the starting shooting guard in Memphis.
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 shooting guards expected to play the majority of their minutes at the 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.
These rankings take into account not just stat projections, but injury risk, competition for minutes and other intangibles.
ROTOEXPERTS.COM SHOOTING GUARDS
1. Dwyane Wade, MIA
Projected Stats: 24.3 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 4.7 APG, 0.8 3FG, 1.6 SPG, 1.2 BPG, 3.2 TO, 49.6 FG%, 75.0 FT%
Yes, Wade is in a tier all by himself. In fact, of all the shooting guards on this list, he’s the only one worthy of a first-round draft pick. Sure, there’s always the injury concern when it comes to Wade, but when he’s healthy he’s all but a lock to be among the top 5-7 players in the game.
2. Kobe Bryant, LAL
Projected Stats: 25.0 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 4.7 APG, 1.3 3FG, 1.2 SPG, 0.1 BPG, 3.1 TO, 44.9 FG%, 83.0 FT%
Despite the fact that the inevitable decline is right around the corner, Bryant still remains one of the game’s top scorers. His peripherals are fairly average, but that doesn’t keep him from providing high-end value. The good news, if you want to call it that, is that you no longer have to take a first-round shot on Bryant. But, if you want him, be mindful that he’s not going to slip out of the second round.
3. Monta Ellis, GSW
Projected Stats: 24.1 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 5.3 APG, 1.5 3PG, 2.0 SPG, 0.3 BPG, 3.3 TO, 45.0 FG%, 77.6 FT%
Ellis has all the talent in the world to be a top-tier performer, but there are still a few concerns. Namely, his attitude. With Mark Jackson calling the shots, it’s now time for Ellis to prove that he’s the leader of this young Warriors team. Love his upside, but what drops him to the second tier are the questions as to whether or not he can match his mental with his physical.
4. Eric Gordon, NOR
Projected Stats: 22.6 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 4.0 APG, 2.1 3FG, 1.3 SPG, 0.3 BPG, 2.8 TO, 43.6 FG%, 81.1 FT%
Gordon is one of the tougher guys to project, now that he’s been traded to a depleted New Orleans Hornets team. The skill set is there, and so too are the touches, but the question remains whether or not he’ll adjust well to the change in scenery. That said, there’s no way he falls out of the second, maybe third round.
5. Kevin Martin, HOU
Projected Stats: 23.5 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 2.5 APG, 2.2 3FG, 1.3 SPG, 0.1 BPG, 2.2 TO, 43.3 FG%, 87.7 FT%
Martin is coming off one of his best seasons, statistically speaking, staying healthy enough to play in 80 games for the Rockets and posting strong numbers at the ‘2’ guard position. The problem here is, of course, his health. Seeing as Martin has only played north of 61 games just once since 2006, you can’t help but proceed with caution in drafting him. Still, he’s among the top scorers and shooters in the game, and if he does get moved out of Houston he may even find himself in a better situation.
6. Manu Ginobili, SAS
Projected Stats: 15.7 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 4.8 APG, 1.8 3FG, 1.5 SPG, 0.3 BPG, 2.2 TO, 43.6 FG%, 87.5 FT%
The fear with Ginobili is, as always: will this be the year he finally breaks down? The truth is, we don’t know, but it’s hard to imagine any considerable decline, especially after he just got finished carrying the Spurs on his back during the 2010-11 season and playoffs. I don’t think Ginobili is anywhere near being “done.” The shortened season works slightly in his favor, since he’s had longer to rest, but the compact schedule might mean a few missed games for the Argentinean. In the long run, though, that may not be a bad thing.
7. Joe Johnson, ATL
Projected Stats: 18.8 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 4.8 APG, 1.3 3FG, 0.7 SPG, 0.1 BPG, 2.0 TO, 44.9 FG%, 81.3 FT%
Johnson is coming off one of his worst seasons as a pro, but there might be some daylight ahead. With Jamal Crawford no longer in Atlanta, Johnson only has Tracy McGrady to compete with and, well, you know how that should go. I don’t see a major statistical climb for JJ, but at the very least you can expect him to remain steady and not hurt you in any categories.
8. Stephen Jackson, MIL
Projected Stats: 16.8 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 3.5 APG, 1.6 3FG, 1.3 SPG, 0.4 BPG, 2.9 TO, 42.0 FG%, 81.7 FT%
Where Jackson hurts you is in his FG%. It’s no secret that this guy likes to shoot the rock, but the problem is he doesn’t carry a high efficiency rating. Couple that with his bulk shooting and, well, you’re looking at taking a big hit in the category. The situation in Milwaukee is a bit of a curious one, but the one thing we know about Jackson is that no matter where he is he’ll make sure he gets his.
9. Ray Allen, BOS
Projected Stats: 15.3 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 2.8 APG, 2.0 3FG, 0.9 SPG, 0.2 BPG, 1.5 TO, 48.0 FG%, 90.1 FT%
As Allen is one of the top shooters in the game, you know you’re getting high value in threes and FT%. His scoring has dipped slightly as he continues to put more mileage on his legs, but there’s no real concern for a major breakdown in the immediate future.
10. James Harden, OKC
Projected Stats: 15.2 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 2.4 APG, 1.7 3FG, 1.2 SPG, 0.3 BPG, 1.3 TO, 44.7 FG%, 85.7 FT%
Harden is one of the more intriguing players on this list, mainly because his numbers project him to be a young Ray Allen. He doesn’t quite have the ceiling that Allen does, at least not this season, but he’s more durable and less likely to see his minutes decrease toward the end of the season.
11. Wesley Matthews, POR
Projected Stats: 15.1 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 2.1 APG, 2.1 3FG, 1.2 SPG, 0.1 BPG, 1.7 TO, 44.9 FG%, 84.4 FT%
Matthews has a real opportunity this season to break out, especially now that Brandon Roy has retired. I know the Blazers bringing in Jamal Crawford hurts his value slightly, but I don’t see him losing enough minutes or touches to push him out of the fourth tier. He’s just too good of a shooter.
12. Marcus Thornton, SAC
Projected Stats: 16.9 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 2.7 APG, 1.9 3FG, 1.0 SPG, 0.1 BPG, 1.6 TO, 43.9 FG%, 81.1 FT%
Thornton is another interesting ‘2’ guard. He has the ability to be a 20-point-per-game scorer, but the problem is we still have to see how he fares playing alongside a shoot-first point guard in Tyreke Evans. That’s not to say they can’t co-exist, but Evans at the point keeps Thornton from being that 20-point scorer over the entire season.
13. DeMar DeRozan, TOR
Projected Stats: 19.2 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 1.9 APG, 0.2 3FG, 1.1 SPG, 0.3 BPG, 2.1 TO, 46.5 FG%, 80.0 FT%
Have you spotted the trend? This tier belongs to the young scorers in the league who are starting to really come into their own. With DeRozan, he probably has the highest ceiling among the guys in this tier as far as PTS is concerned. For the rest, however, he lags a bit behind. What hurts the most is his inability to knock down threes. If he can somehow improve on his range, he could provide high-end value at shooting guard.
14. Jason Terry, DAL
Projected Stats: 16.1 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 3.9 APG, 1.6 3FG, 1.3 SPG, 0.2 BPG, 2.3 TO, 44.7 FG%, 86.9 FT%
This is about where you start to see the tried-but-true veterans, like Terry, who provide nice category fillers in the shooting department. He’s still a sixth man, but really no one—except for maybe Manu Ginobili–has done more coming off the bench for their respective team than Terry. He may not have a huge upside, but at least you know what you’re getting when you draft him.
15. Jason Richardson, ORL
Projected Stats: 15.5 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 2.1 APG, 2.1 3FG, 1.3 SPG, 0.3 BPG, 1.3 TO, 45.1 FG%, 75.1 FT%
Richardson is another guy who doesn’t have a tremendous upside, but what he does have is a nice stroke from downtown. He’s the type of shooter you draft to give you threes, points and a steal-plus. You can look at him probably around the eighth round.
16. Arron Afflalo, DEN
Projected Stats: 13.1 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.6 3FG, 0.6 SPG, 0.4 BPG, 1.3 TO, 48.1 FG%, 83.3 FT%
Afflalo is tough to project, simply because he’s yet to either re-sign with the Nuggets or not. If he does re-up with the Nuggets, you might even see him tick up slightly in the scoring and shooting categories. He’s not the most dynamic scorer out there, but he does have enough skill to hover around the 14-15 point range.
17. Nick Young, WAS
Projected Stats: 18.2 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 1.4 APG, 1.8 3FG, 0.8 SPG, 0.3 BPG, 1.5 TO, 43.9 FG%, 80.9 FT%
Similarly to Afflalo, we still have to see where Young ends up. I like Young as a better scorer than Afflalo, but he’s not nearly as efficient. There’s also a chance that if he re-signs with Washington he’ll lose minutes to Jordan Crawford. Still, that shouldn’t deter you from grabbing him in the later rounds to shore up your scoring.
18. Ben Gordon, DET
Projected Stats: 14.7 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.6 3FG, 0.8 SPG, 0.1 BPG, 1.9 TO, 44.2 FG%, 85.6 FT%
The problem with Gordon is that while we know he’s one of the league’s top shooters, he’s yet to really display his talents while with the Pistons. Whether it was an issue with the system or being blocked by the likes of Richard Hamilton, Gordon just hasn’t been all that Fantasy-worthy. Now, though, he has a new coach, new system and no Rip Hamilton to contend with. You shouldn’t expect a major increase in production, but finally we can safely say that Gordon is worth owning in standard 10-team leagues.
19. Jamal Crawford, POR
Projected Stats: 14.6 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 3.1 APG, 1.8 3FG, 0.8 SPG, 0.1 BPG, 1.9 TO, 42.5 FG%, 86.1 FT%
The one thing I can say about Crawford is that this guy can score. But other than that, aside from threes and a nice FT%, you’re not getting much else. And now that he’s in Portland, he’s going to maintain his role on the second unit.
20. Tony Allen, MEM
Projected Stats: 10.9 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 1.8 APG, 0.1 3FG, 2.3 SPG, 0.8 BPG, 1.6 TO, 49.8 FG%, 74.1 FT%
This is where we start seeing the one-category guys, like Allen, who might just lead the league in steals this year. But aside from that he won’t provide plus-value anywhere else.
21. O.J. Mayo, MEM
Projected Stats: 12.1 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 2.4 APG, 1.4 3FG, 1.1 SPG, 0.3 BPG, 1.7 TO, 41.1 FG%, 77.8 FT%
Mayo is similar to Ben Gordon in that you would think he’d be much higher on this list, yet he’s found ways to disappoint his Fantasy owners with his underwhelming play. The good news here is that Mayo will come off the bench for the Grizzlies in a much-needed role as the second unit scorer. He’s not going to fill up the stat sheets on a nightly basis, but he can give you nice return in points and threes.
22. Landry Fields, NYK
Projected Stats: 9.7 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.2 3FG, 1.0 SPG, 0.2 BPG, 1.4 TO, 48.5 FG%, 78.0 FT%
Word is that Fields will start at shooting guard for the Knicks, which is good news from the perspective that opportunity will eventually lead to an increase in numbers. But the problem is, with Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire getting the bulk of the touches, the best Fields will see is clean up duty.
23. Jared Dudley, PHX
Projected Stats: 11.0 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 1.4 APG, 1.5 3FG, 1.1 SPG, 0.2 BPG, 1.0 TO, 46.8 FG%, 74.1 FT%
What you like from Dudley is that he has the ability to give you a combined total of three 3s-plus-steals, which is pretty good this late in the draft. With Vince Carter no longer in Phoenix, Dudley should be able to step in and see his numbers climb. Just don’t expect him to provide much help outside of steals, threes and some nice rebounding numbers for a ‘2’ guard.
24. Jordan Crawford, WAS
Projected Stats: 10.9 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 2.5 APG, 0.9 3FG, 0.9 SPG, 0.1 BPG, 1.8 TO, 40.4 FG%, 84.4 FT%
Crawford is an upside talent who has “breakout candidate” written all over him. The few concerns, though, are that if the Wizards bring back Nick Young then his minutes are going to be limited. Plus, when he does play, as gifted as a scorer as he is, he’s not necessarily an efficient one. Hovering at just over 40 percent from the floor is not Fantasy-friendly.
25. Anthony Morrow, NJN
Projected Stats: 13.4 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.3 APG, 1.9 3FG, 0.4 SPG, 0.1 BPG, 1.0 TO, 43.8 FG%, 88.9 FT%
Morrow is without a doubt one of the top pure shooters in the NBA. He can easily go out on a given night and knock down a handful of threes and wow you with his ability to put the ball in the basket. Problem is, he’s still inconsistent, which hurts his value. If you need a late shooter, though, Morrow is an excellent choice to fill the 3-point category.
On the bubble: Richard Hamilton, CHI; Gerald Henderson, CHA; Wesley Johnson, MIN; Leandro Barbosa, TOR; Shannon Brown, PHO.