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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.



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. Continue reading


2011-12 Damn Mock I: Sixth Round

Teams are starting to take shape as we head to the sixth round. There looks like some pretty nice values flying off the board here, whether it be high-upside guys like DeMarcus Cousins and Ty Lawson, or old standbys like Tim Duncan. These middle rounds of the draft is where one grabs the players they feel most comfortable with, players they think will break out, or players that fit in snugly on their current squad. No matter how you analyze it, there’s no denying that drafting is a fluid exercise, especially if you pee with joy when someone you targeted falls to you. The Damn Lies editorial board recommends comfortable adult diapers. Email us for our favorite brands.

The rules: Jeff, Tom and Greg are taking four teams each in this 12-team league, which is a nine-category rotisserie league (FG%, FT%, PTS, REB, AST, STL, BLK, 3FG, TO) that will draft the following: 1 PG, 1 SG, 1 SF, 1 PF, 2 C, 1 F, 1 G, 2 U. We’ll be building each team ourselves based on this format. Hope you enjoy, and feel free to mock us in the Comments.



61. Team 12 (Tom) – Luis Scola – Now what I really need here is an efficient big man who posts a low turnover rate. That’s just who Scola is. He can rebound (8.2), score (18.3) and his percentages (50.4 FG%, 73.8 FT%) are what the Lorenzo ordered. His defense is soft, but with Josh Smith (blocks), Nene (steals and blocks) and Jennings/Evans (steals) already rostered, I can afford to add a talent like Scola.  Continue reading

I’ll Be Damned: Got MLK?

Unsurprisingly, Darren Collison has thrived since Jeff traded him to Tom a month ago.

Martin Luther King Day is typically a wonderful day in the NBA and Monday was no exception, featuring games all afternoon and into the night, several of them excellent or at the very least interesting. This feels like a good time to ponder where we stand in mid-January.

It’s typically time to take stock of your team and make some bold moves to get in position for the stretch run of the season. In fact, this next month will be one of the craziest of the season, leading up to the Feb. 24 NBA trade deadline. I guarantee you have dropped someone or will drop someone who will end up being amazing in the final two months. I usually have about three or four of those guys a year. Keep your eyes on the prize and don’t be afraid to be bold. In fact, it is perfectly acceptable to lose a trade if you have to. By that I mean giving up a little bit more than you get back to secure some categories. As long as you trade your good players to teams that can’t hurt you down the road, pull the trigger. It’s a harder strategy to follow in head-to-head formats, where the goal is to sneak into the playoffs somehow and hope to have a healthy team that gets lucky. Reminds me of fantasy football. That’s why I’m a rotisserie league guy. May the best team win, I say.

Let’s pore over the box scores from Monday and take a look at some of my favorite stat lines as well as the more bizarre or interesting ones from the 13-game slate. Continue reading

I’ll Be Damned: Damned if You Do…

Serge Ibaka is third in the league in blockahs.

Each week in this space, I like to take the time to marvel at the oddities that abound in the fantasy basketball universe. What’s more important than pure wonder, however, is useful knowledge. We can’t act so surprised that we turn to stone. This week I’m going to take a look at players off to surprising starts, and offer verdicts on whether or not they are destined to be this good all year.

When considering trading players, a lot of people get caught up in what someone has done in the recent past as opposed to the near future and beyond. Remember, you don’t ever get someone’s current stats in a deal.

I’m damned about the following players vastly out-performing their draft spot. It’s a worthy buy-low or sell-high exercise to do this regularly with any players who seem to be trending well below or above their norms. If the player seems to be here to stay and worth hanging on to, I’ll exclaim “Damn!” about how good they’ve become. If I feel you’d be better off moving one of these guys before it’s too late, or if you might be stuck with them, I’ll simply label them “Damned”. We good? If you have any questions, please wait until after the presentation. Continue reading

Fox Unbalanced: A Cacophony of Cockamamy Claptrap

Wes Craven's Scream was originally based on a screenplay about Greg Fox checking box scores.

Just when I thought I had this fantasy basketball thing all figured out, I’m thrown for another Froot Loop on Wednesday night. I hate starting these pieces by whining about my own team, but how can I not as the Unhappy Hairstons continue to get injured like its their job? A lot of this could have been avoided. I’ve had this awkward infatuation with Roy Hibbert since he left Georgetown for the bright lights of Indianapolis.  I so desperately wanted him this year and he was staring me in the face in the sixth round. So what did I do? I took Mo Williams, that’s what! Mo’s 2010-11 campaign has thus far been nothing short of a Wes Craven film. Tonight, he strained his groin, no doubt while lunging to strangle Byron Scott who benched him in the fourth quarter of Tuesday night’s win in New Jersey, and will probably have to wear a truss for the remainder of the season. Meanwhile, Hibbert and his 15.8 points, 9.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 3.3 blocks are the perfect reward for my jangled nerves.

As Tom and Jeff have said repeatedly, it is still early and ground can be made up. It is in my nature to panic, as my fingernails can attest. It’s in my genes. My father panicked, his father panicked and his father before him was a noted ‘fraidy cat’ in the old country, so what chance did I have, really?

All I can do at this point is help you, my loyal readers, by looking at a few guys to target as well as a few to thank for their contributions before bidding adieu. Continue reading

Damn Lies Fantasy Preview: Memphis Grizzlies


Zach Randolph made a favorable impression on the young Grizz team.


I’ve spent most of the summer trying to apologize to Zach Randolph for my comments made during the 2009 offseason. I believe I said things like, “I would take Elton Brand over Randolph, and I’m not taking Brand” and “Draft Randolph? Who do I look like, Isiah Thomas?” And of course, Randolph ‘quietly’ (and I mean that in the nicest way possible) had the best statistical season of his career. To be fair, most people had the Grizzlies on their “do not touch” list last season once they decided to add Randolph and Allen Iverson to their young, impressionable roster. Both players were among the league leaders in usage rate. Who else was gonna get touches? Iverson, however, was sent packing early and Randolph, as I mentioned, tore it up. He averaged 20.8 points, 11.7 rebounds, 1.0 steals while shooting 77.9% from the line and a career-high 48.8% from the field. He was second in the league in double-doubles, just behind Dwight Howard, and played in all but one regular season game. This year he’s going early in the 4th round in mock drafts, and rightfully so. I can see him taking a bit of a step back this season, but then again he’s playing for a contract and we know what that means — OK, I’m sorry, that was another slight! Give credit to Randolph and maybe more importantly Lionel Hollins for turning what could have been a disastrous season into a prosperous one for fantasy owners. Once again, Mr. Randolph, I apologize.

Soon, ladies and gentlemen, Rudy Gay is going to bust out and become a fantasy hoops superstar. Soon. Maybe this year? Oh, who knows. For four seasons now we fantasy owners have been waiting to exhale, yet Gay has asked us to continue to hold our breath. The past three seasons have been promising, but just when you think he’s going to turn into a Andre Iguodala-lite he seems to just remain stagnant. Three years ago he made a career best 1.7 threes, stole 1.4 balls and blocked 1.0 shots per game. Those numbers didn’t go onward and upward, they went downward and downward-er. Last season he made just 0.8 threes per game. He did steal 1.5 balls, but managed to block just 0.8 shots. I only really am focusing on these three particular stats because over the past three years he’s put up nearly identical numbers in the remaining five categories. You can count on 19 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 75% shooting from the line, and 45% shooting from the floor. Nothing more, nothing less. So if he can’t get those “peripheral” stats back to his 2008-09 levels, then you’re simply looking at a 5th round talent who has the potential to be a top 20 player. Now that’s frustrating.

What about Mike Conley? He’s been the other Grizzly who many thought would have a breakout season in 2009-10 — after, of course, Iverson left the team. Let’s take a voyage back to the 2008-09 season for a moment. Remember his post All-Star break performance that season? Here are the numbers: 30 games, 14.5 points, 5.6 assists, 3.7 rebounds, 1.7 steals, 1.7 threes, 46.4% from the field, and 84.0% from the free-throw line. What I would give to get those numbers from Conley over a full season. Here is the good news. His backup is rookie Greivis Vasquez, who is an energy player, but not necessarily someone who can steal Conley’s starting gig. There’s also that sense of urgency for Conley. How long will the Grizz give him before they decide to go another direction at point guard? Not much longer, is my guess. Still, I feel comfortable taking him as my third point guard for the assists and steals. Also, to his credit, he’s only averaging 1.9 turnovers per game in his first three seasons. No harm, no foul.

How about baby brother Marc Gasol! He continued to grow last season regardless of having to play in the frontcourt with the black-hole known as Zach Randolph. (Sorry! It’s a habit!). Gasol is easily one of the top centers in the fantasy game, averaging 14.6 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, 1.0 steals, and 58.1% shooting from the field. The downside is that he made just 67.0% of his free throws on 5.5 attempts. Not awful, but still tough to live with in Roto leagues. Hasheem Thabeet has been tha-bust for the Grizz. Sure he blocked 1.3 shots in 13 minutes per game, but he also was the highest draft pick ever to spend time in the D-League. Ouch. The problem here is that you have no reason to slot him into center when you have Gasol patrolling the paint. Does Thabeet get more than 13 minutes per game this year? Hard to see it. People seem to be sleeping on O.J. Mayo this season. I picked him up in the 7th round of a Roto league last week. He can steal 1.5 balls, hit 1.5 threes, and score 18 points per game. His percentages aren’t great, but they also aren’t a liability. I would be happy to get him again in the 7th round if I can. Aside from the starters on this team, though, there is not much useful fantasy talent. Sam Young, maybe? Tony Allen could help with steals. But no one worth drafting.

PG: Mike Conley, Greivis Vasquez
SG: O.J. Mayo, Tony Allen
SF: Rudy Gay, Sam Young
PF: Zach Randolph, Darrell Arthur
C: Marc Gasol, Hasheem Thabeet

Up Next: Los Angeles Lakers

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Daily Lies & Statistics: 18 and life to go..

It really was the night of a thousand blowouts (music by Il Divo) in the NBA. At one point there were five of them going on at once. Let me see, where do we start??

The Dallas Mavericks went 49 points on 17-of-19 shooting in the 2nd quarter against the Nets. Nuff said. They handed the Nets their 18th loss on the season, setting a record with their 0-18 start. True story, my girlfriend (who does watch some basketball with me) asked what the odds are that the Nets could lose all 82 games. Obviously, that’s not possible, but I did actually take an extra second to answer that question. They have the Bobcats at home and the Knicks on the road. How about that 0-20 start?

The Hawks dropped 149 points on the Raptors. Toronto has allowed 100-plus points in 11 straight games and have now joined the Warriors, Knicks and Suns as must-start-against-defensive-matchups.

I’m having a hard time talking about the players in the Hawks-Raptors, Knicks-Magic, Mavs-Nets, and Suns-Cavs games. Really these were ALL done and over with early on in the third quarter. Chris Bosh played 15 minutes and scored 2 points with 5 rebounds. How often will you see that? Sonny Weems played 28 minutes and DeMar DeRozan scored a team-high 21 points in 30 minutes — the only game this season in which he played in more than 25 minutes. For the Hawks, 10 players scored nine or more points, with only Al Horford topping the 20-point mark. Sometimes blowouts aren’t as favorable as one would expect. On both ends.

Allen Iverson signed!!! Oh, yeah, I forgot… Check it — he is an instant add in all formats. He’s supposed to make his debut on Monday night. This means the end of the like for Jrue Holiday (scored a career-high 16 points last night) and Willie Green (14 points in 40 minutes last night). Both might have limited value while Louis Williams is out for the next seven weeks, but Iverson is going to do his damage by time L-Will returns. It seems to me that Williams is about to go back to last year’s value — 11 points and 3 assists. Nothing you can do now, though, since he has no value while he’s injured. So it’s sink or tread water until he returns.

Luke Ridnour played last night and dropped 20 points and 6 assists on the Wizards. But, as usual, it was Earl Boykins who owned the night. After Brandon Jennings hit a three-pointer with 10 seconds to go tying the game up, Boykins came down the court, much to the surprise off all League Pass viewers, and clinched the game by hitting two free throws in the final second. Boykins? Really? His teammate Nick Young got all up in our business with his 21-point performance on 7-of-12 shooting. All this dude does is score. Though he doesn’t do it consistent enough. But man, if he catches fire… and they Wiz get rid of Gilbert Arenas… he can be a nice fantasy option for those in need of some scoring.

Mike Conley got something to say (Last Caress? Anyone?) — he’s no longer afraid of Jamaal Tinsley. Strippers, heed his advice. He scored a season-high 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting. Tinsley had a big fat ZERO. Nah, Conley isn’t back, but he sure looked good last night. He fought through a shoulder strain in order to make sure that Tinsley knew what’s up.

If you watched the Bulls-Pistons game last night, I’m sorry. Ben Gordon came back to score 18 points off the bench. Nice to have him back. Charlie Villanueva sat out with a runny broken nose. He is day-to-day and should return this weekend.

Luis Scola got fingered on Saturday and managed to play last evening despite getting fingered. Tee-hee. He scored 8 points and pulled down 7 rebounds. Not bad considering he was up against Marcus Camby and his 19 rebounds. Please Camby, don’t hurt ’em.

Time to drop Brandon Rush. He played just 8 minutes last night and scored merely a single point. With Dahntay Jones playing so well (16 points in the start) and Mike Dunleavy back, this modern-day warrior with a mean, mean stride has no value right now.

Russell Westbrook gave (15 assists) and took (1-of-11 FGA) from his fantasy owners last night. At least you got something out of him. I am sick of guys not being able to shoot, by the way. After watching Trevor Ariza, Chris Duhon, Gilbert Arenas, etc. it’s a bit disheartening to see these guys throw brick after brick. Somebody get them that J.J. Redick Better Basketball shooting dvd. Hey, Christmas is coming. I think I know what I’m getting some very special basketball players…  shhhhhhh!

Three games tonight — BOS @ SAS, MIA @ DEN, and HOU @ GSW.

Roger Mason is expected back — who care.

Don Nelson is expected back — beware.

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