Point Guards

All rankings are for 9-cat H2H leagues unless otherwise noted. All player positions are from Yahoo Fantasy Basketball. 

1) Stephen Curry (PG/SG) – A completely reasonable first-overall pick for those not willing to gamble their season on AD’s health. Steph’s playoff schedule is superior to Davis’ and is coming off a year in which he was significantly more valuable on a cumulative basis than Davis. With the Spurs, Clippers, and Rockets all significantly improved, it’s unlikely that the Warriors’ run away with West once again. This could lead to an increase in the MVP’s relatively low 32.7 MPG. 4.0 3PG is not out of question this season. Curry averaged 4.0 3PG over the last three months of the regular season and 4.7 3PG during the Warriors’ championship run.

2) Chris Paul (PG) – Unless you play in a league that doesn’t count assists or steals, there is no reason for Chris Paul to ever fall out of the top 5. Paul had his worst per game finish in eight years in 2014-2015. That would be worrisome if the Clippers’ engine didn’t finish fourth-overall. Despite the huge ceiling and excellent consistency, Paul is ranked 7th in ESPN’s preseason rankings and 8th in Yahoo’s. Both rankings are indefensible. Russell Westbrook’s run at the end of the season deserved all the hype that is received. However, from February 21st (OKC’s first game after Durant re-injured his foot) to the end of the season, Chris Paul was the second-best player in 9-cat leagues while Westbrook, due to his sky-high turnovers and terrible shooting, was only the sixth-best player. Westbrook vs Paul isn’t close.

3) Russell Westbrook (PG) – Last season was a lot of fun for Westbrook owners but don’t expect a repeat unless Durant’s foot acts up. The league’s most explosive player has never posted first-round value in 9-cat leagues in any year in which Durant has been healthy. He’s counting stats will continue to be spectacular but Westbrook looks like he’ll be drafted too high in the majority of standard league drafts. Those who do want to invest in the mercurial point guard should punt FG%.

4) Kyle Lowry (PG) – Kyle O’Quinn posted a picture on Instagram earlier in the summer that shocked the fantasy world. Kyle Lowry is in shape. The formerly plus-sized point guard started the season looking like a mix of Chris Paul and Steph Curry. He finished the year looking like Smush Parker. Neither form is the real Lowry but this is a player, who when healthy, has been top-20 play since being given the reins in Toronto. He comes with more risk than most players in this range but his improved fitness should allow the All-Star starter to last longer this season. I was skeptical of Lowry at the beginning of the summer, but his newfound dedication and dominant preseason has me hopeful. Lowry, as always, is an excellent fit for the punt FG% build.

5) Damian Lillard (PG) – The counting stats will be very, very pretty. The efficiency…well let’s just say 40% from the field will be an accomplishment for Lillard this season. As the only returning starter on a team that is now devoid of offensive talent, Lillard should see his already stellar averages of 21.0 PPG and 6.2 APG rise. Of course, what will determine if he will be able to come close to the second-round value that he posted in 2014-2015 is his FG%. Lillard shot 43.4% from the floor last season but that already shaky number was inflated by a red-hot start. Over the last three months of season, the All-Star lead guard’s FG% was only 41.6%. With the additional defensive attention that he will be receiving, owning Lilllard will likely necessitate a FG% punt. What worries me most about Lillard is his propensity to fade over the course of the season. In both 2013-2104 and 2014-2015, Lillard only posted fourth-round value over the second half of the year. With all the additional heavy lifting that he’ll have to do this season, expect Lillard’s late-season struggles to continue.

6) John Wall (PG) – Wall has never posted second-round value in 9-cat leagues, yet he continues to be ranked around the turn in most preseason rankings. Wall’s popcorn stats are very useful (17.5 PPG, 10.0 APG, and 1.7 SPG) but what stops Wall from becoming elite is that he hurts you in areas where a PG should not hurt you. Wall is about to enter his sixth year in the league but the Wizards’ franchise player still can’t shoot. Wall only made 0.8 3PG last season and shot a disappointing 30.0% from deep. Next to Westbrook, Wall is perhaps the best athlete in the league, but until he learns to shoot his efficiency will continue to be a drag on fantasy teams. Wall shouldn’t be considered until the late-second-round but will likely be gone well before then.

7) Kyrie Irving (PG/SG) – I’m putting Kyrie here until we learn more about his timetable. There were rumors that we may not see Irving on the court until January. However, those rumors were quickly shot down by the Cavaliers. Either way, Kyire is looking at an extended absence to start the season. The Cavaliers have already stated that they plan on cutting both Kyrie and LeBron’s minutes. Kyrie is an excellent per minute player (11th best per minute player in 2014-2015), so a drop in minutes is not a death blow but it does likely drop him from the late-first round to the late-second round on a per game basis.

8) Eric Bledsoe (PG/SG) – Since coming to the Suns, Bledsoe hasn’t been the per minute beast that he was with the Clippers’ but has still be very good. Bledsoe gives you out-of-position blocks (0.6 BPG) and is a very strong rebounder for a point guard (5.2 RPG). His numbers didn’t change much after the Dragic trade but he did see a small uptick in minutes from 33.9 MPG before the trade to 35.8 MPG. Even small increases in minutes can lead to solid bumps in value. Bledsoe should return at least top-50 value for the third season in a row.

9) Mike Conley (PG) – Conley has taken on an expanded role on offense since the departure of Rudy Gay and it has actually hurt his fantasy value. After looking like he was about to reach elite status, Conley has seen his value decline four years in a row, bottoming out last season with a 52nd-overall finish. The additional offensive responsibility has lead to a sharp decline in his defensive play and swipes (1.3 SPG). It’s unlikely that Conley returns to close to two steals a night and that means Conley is no more than a fourth-round target with third-round upside.

10) Victor Oladipo (PG/SG) – Oladipo is the opposite of Dirk. The young Magic shooting guard has been a poor per-minute player in his two years in the league, failing to crack the top-110 players on a per game basis since entering the league. Luckily for Oladipo, per minute numbers don’t matter much when you play 35.7 MPG. The former Hoosier posted top-60 per game numbers last season with averages that included 17.9 PPG, 4.1 APG, and 1.7 SPG. New coach Scott Skiles can be difficult to read and fantasy managers will want to play close attention to the Magic’s rotations in preseason. The addition of rookie Mario Hezonja puts some of Oladipo’s minutes at risk.

11) Jeff Teague (PG) – The 2014-2015 All-Star finished 26th-overall in 9-cat leagues last year but owning the point guard was a roller coaster ride. After an impossibly hot start, Teague only posted top-60 value over the last three months of the season. Teague had similar issues in 2013-2014 when he played very poorly for half the season. Clearly there is upside here but his inconsistency and Atlanta’s poor playoff schedule makes me vary of grabbing Teague early.

12) Goran Dragic (PG/SG) – It’s too bad all the rumors surrounding Dwyane Wade turned out to be bogus. If Wade had left South Beach, we’d be looking at a top-30 option. Now that Wade and his absurd 34.7% usage are back with the Heat, Dragic is no more than a run-of-the-mill, mid-round point guard. Dragic just won’t have the ball in his hands enough to produce early-round value. While his upside is capped by his teammates, solid point guard stats that come with 50.1% shooting from the field are always useful.

13) Monta Ellis (PG/SG) – Ellis has been extremely consistent over the past four years. Over that span the newest Pacer has never been better than a top-50 play but has also never been worse than a top-65 play. His floor is higher than most players in this range, but his upside is also lower. His line is fairly limited and Monta only provides positive value in points, assists, and steals. Expect his previously decent FG% (44.5%) to drop now that he is in Indiana. He’s a decent mid-round target for those punting FG%.

14) Kemba Walker (PG) – Midway through the season Kemba went down with a torn lateral meniscus and never fully recovered. Walker returned to the court in mid-March but didn’t look like himself and was only a top-120 play over the final stretch of the season. Things get a little murky for Kemba this year as the Bobcats added both Jeremy Lin and Nicolas Batum. Batum worries me more than Lin. Charlotte has been lacking a secondary ballhandler in recent seasons and the Frenchman’s arrival means Walker will be playing off the ball more. This is probably a good thing for his efficiency (38.5 FG%) but is bad news for his counting stats. His ceiling is lower than usual in 2015-2016 but the undersized lead guard should still be targeted aggressively by those punting FG%.

15) George Hill (PG/SG) – Hill is another player who struggled with injuries last season but was phenomenal when he was on the court. Hill posted top-35 per game numbers in 2014-2015 but only managed to suit up 43 times. Even if he remains healthy this year, he’s extremely unlikely to come anywhere near last season’s averages of 16.1 PPG, 1.6 3PG, and 5.1 APG. With Paul George returning and Monta Ellis joining the Pacers, there won’t be enough ball to go around. The last time Hill played beside George and another high usage player was 2013-2014 with Lance Stephenson. That season Hill only barely cracked the top 100 on a per-game basis. He’s improved as a player so he should be much better than that, but his teammates limit his upside.

16) Ty Lawson (PG) – The newest Rocket is one of the more difficult players to rank this year. Usually we get excited when an above-average point guard is surrounded by as many topflight options as Lawson is. However, with Harden being such a usage hog (31.3% usage), Lawson’s counting stats are guaranteed to take a hit. The inevitable drop in points and assists should be at least partially offset by an increase in 3PM and a decrease in turnovers, but it’s difficult to say by how much. There’s not a ton of upside here and the league’s most dangerous driver has a much lower floor than he did in Denver.

17) Isaiah Thomas (PG) – It doesn’t matter whether Thomas starts or comes off the bench, the diminutive point guard gets his in any situation. The less-famous Isaiah Thomas managed to produce top-75 numbers last season despite only playing 25.8 MPG. His upside is capped due to the low minutes but Thomas’ elite per minute production (18th best in 2014-2015) means IT should be able to match last season’s 16.4 PPG, 1.9 3PG, and 4.2 APG.

18) Deron Williams (PG) – Deron is hard to trust after so many disappointing seasons in a Nets uniform, but his stock has dropped to the point where he could actually provide fantasy owners with some decent value. Williams is moving from a below-average offense to one of the best offenses in the league and now has one of the best pick-and-roll partners of all-time in Dirk. The newest Maverick is a huge injury risk but has a very good shot at equaling his top-55 2013-2014 finish. Expect over 1.5 3PG and 6.5 APG in 2015-2016.

19) Ricky Rubio (PG) – 2014-2015 was a lost season for Rubio as the Wolves milked his ankle injury all season long for the sake of their successful tank. The flashy Spaniard is an injury risk but is still brimming with upside, especially when you consider the weapons around him. Rubio posted top-60 value in 2013-2014 and has a good shot at repeating that season’s averages that included 8.6 APG and 2.3 SPG. Ricky is a tricky player to build around but those punting points or FG% should pay close attention during their drafts.

20) Reggie Jackson (PG/SG) – Jackson is the type of player that casual players overrate. While his popcorn stats are often excellent (17.6 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 9.2 APG after the trade to the Pistons) he has a number of holes in his line that limit his usefulness. Despite those impressive popcorn stats, Jackson was only able to post top-90 value in his time with the Pistons due to his average threes (1.0 3PG), low steals (0.7 SPG), poor shooting (43.6 FG%), and high turnovers (3.5 TOPG). With Brandon Jennings returning at some point this season, Jackson’s ceiling is much lower than most assume.

21) Tyreke Evans (PG/SG) – Tyreke posted top-80 numbers last season but that was mostly due to Jrue Holiday missing over half the year with a stress fracture in his leg. Fortunately for Evans,  Jrue is still recovering from his stress fracture and is only expected to play 15 MPG until January. As long as Jrue is limited, Evans should be able to approach his 2014-2015 averages of 16.6 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 6.6 APG, 1.3 SPG, and 0.5 BPG. Those are very useful counting stats, but due to his below-average efficiency (44.7 FG%, 69.4 FT%, 3.1 TOPG) and lack of threes (0.9 3PG), his ceiling is only a top-70 play.

22) Elfrid Payton (PG) –  Like his backcourt mate Oladipo, Payton’s value is heavily dependent on his minutes played. Payton posted top-85 value over the last two months of the year but that ranking was propped up by the his 35.4 MPG average. On the year, 278 players posted better per 36 numbers than Payton. With Scott Skiles now walking the sidelines and C.J. Watson now coming off the bench behind Payton, his minutes should be closer to 32 a night. His major weakness (0.1 3PG, 42.5 FG%, 55.1 FT%) make any minutes hit potentially very damaging. Payton will improve, but he’s terrible value at his current ranking of 48 on Yahoo.

23) Brandon Knight (PG/SG) – The newly re-signed Knight’s final ranking of 55th overall is inflated by his time in Milwaukee. In the 12 games that Knight did play with the Suns, he failed to post top-200 value. Normally I wouldn’t read too much into such a small sample size. It usually takes some time for a player to adjust to a new team, especially when he’s changing positions. However, when you look at Knight’s history, it’s hard not to be worried. Excluding his time with the Bucks last season, Knight has been a very poor per minute player and poor fantasy option in general since coming into the league. Only once in his first three years has the former Buck managed to crack the top 200 on a per minute basis. The move to shooting guard also complicates things as Knight will undoubtedly see his career high 25.9% usage drop. Last season could prove to be a fluke and I wouldn’t touch Knight until the last three or four rounds of the draft. With his ADP likely falling inside of the top 70, I highly doubt Knight will be on any of my teams next season.

24) Dwyane Wade (PG/SG) – It feels strange ranking a player who is coming off a season in which he averaged 21.5 PPG, 4.8 APG, and 1.2 SPG outside of the top 100, but this is Dwyane Wade we’re talking about. Even before his per game numbers began to slip (Wade finished 96th-overall on a per game basis in 2014-2015), it was hard to justify spending an early, or even a mid-round pick on a player who is a lock to miss around 20 games. His inability to stay healthy and fading athleticism has led to major decreases in both his efficiency (47.0 FG%) and defensive stats (1.2 SPG, 0.3 BPG). Those numbers aren’t terrible, but they no longer make up for the holes in Wade’s line (0.5 3PG, 76.8 FT%, 3.4 TOPG). Let someone else deal with this headache.

25) Darren Collison (PG) – I have no faith in Rajon Rondo and this ranking of Collison speaks volumes about how terrible Rondo was in Dallas. Placing Rondo in a situation as messy as Sacramento’s is just asking for trouble. Due to his lack of shooting, the former Celtic is a poor fit for the Kings and I expect that to be very evident early on. Even if Collison doesn’t eventually replace the Kings’ “prize” free agent in the starting lineup, he could hold late round value due to his all-around contributions (16.1 PPG, 1.3 3PG, 5.6 SPG, and 1.5 SPG). Not many players available this late have the upside Collison does.

26) Jarrett Jack (PG/SG) – The Nets giving up on Deron Williams was long overdue. With Deron now in Dallas, Jack steps into a starting role and immediately becomes a decent target for those who missed out on the inevitable point guard run that takes place in the middle rounds of every draft. In January, Williams had a stretch where he missed 12 of 13 games. Over that period, Jack stepped in and posted top-80 value. Top-80 may be a stretch due to some of the holes in line (0.5 3PG, 0.9 SPG), but the Nets’ new starting point guard should see major minutes and continue to be a sneaky source of FT% impact (88.1 FT%).

27) Lou Williams (PG/SG) – The reigning Sixth Man of the Year is a better bet for useful fantasy production than Jordan Clarkson and D’Angelo Russell as he’ll be the only one playing the majority of his minutes with Kobe on the bench. Don’t expect a repeat of 2014-2015’s top-75 finish as he won’t have the freedom to throw up as much junk as he did in Toronto, but the gunner should still provide above-average production in points (15.5 PPG), threes (1.9 3PG), and FT% impact (86.1 FT% on 4.9 FTA).

28) Michael Carter-Williams (PG) – MCW was beyond horrendous with the Sixers, failing to crack the top-230 in 9-cat. He turned things around after the trade to the Bucks and was able to post top-90 value over the two months he spent in Milwaukee. His value fluctuates wildly from team build to team build. In the punt FG% build, MCW was a top-60 player with the Bucks. In punt turnovers, MCW was a top-75 player with the Bucks. Those are the only two builds in which I would consider Carter-Williams. Pass on him in punt FT% as his lack of threes and high turnovers are not ideal.

29) Derrick Rose (PG) – When a player is coming off a season where he only played in 51 games and only posted top-185 value on a per game basis, he probably shouldn’t be considered until the end of the draft. Yahoo and ESPN apparently disagree and have the former MVP at 69 and 43 respectively. If you’re passionate enough about fantasy basketball to seek to out this site, you already know how ridiculous those rankings are. Easy pass.

30) Jordan Clarkson (PG) – Clarkson was awesome down the stretch of 2014-2015, posting top-50 value over the last two months of the season and top-30 value over the last month. While Clarkson clearly has a nice ceiling, the Lakers did the right thing in drafting potential superstar D’Angelo Russell. Clarkson will start at shooting guard and play most of his minutes next to Russell and Kobe. That’s very bad news for his fantasy production as the sophomore won’t approach his 2014-2015 23.0% usage rate. Clarkson will still provide owners with a reasonable amount of points (11.9 PPG) and assists (3.5 APG), but is more of a stash than a reliable weekly contributor as long as Kobe is health.

31) CJ McCollum (PG/SG) – McCollum is still ticketed for a bench role due to the arrival of Gerald Henderson but that doesn’t mean fantasy owners should shy away from taking a flier on the combo guard late. McCollum played heavy minutes over the final two weeks of the season and gave us a taste of what to expect in 2015-2016. Over that stretch, he posted top-40 value with averages of 16.0 PPG, 1.1 3PG, and 1.4 SPG on 51.1 FG%. That FG% is extremely unsustainable and it’s likely that McCollum will be a liability from the field (43.6 FG% on the year). There’s potential for a J.R. Smith-like line from the third-year pro.

32) Mo Williams (PG/SG) – Mo can play both guard positions and with Kyrie expected to start the season on the sideline, and Shumpert a good bet to miss some time at some point during the season, I expect Williams’ minutes to be high enough to allow him to flirt with top-100 value. Over the last two months of the season, despite coming off the bench for the majority of his games, Mo posted close to top-100 value with numbers that included 17.2 PPG, 2.2 3PG, and 6.0 APG. While he won’t come close to those scoring numbers and dimes in Cleveland, expect his poor efficiency (39.7 FG%) to rise due to the LeBron effect. Williams is an excellent grab at the end of the draft as he should be very valuable for the first month or so of the season.

33) Marcus Smart (PG) – Isaiah Thomas is the man in the Celtics’ backcourt but Smart is the likely starter and has shown flashes of being a useful fantasy asset. Smart failed to crack the top-150 in his rookie year but did average some interesting numbers including 1.4 3PG and 1.5 SPG. What held Smart back was his horrendous efficiency (36.7 FG%, 64.6 FT%). Both efficiency numbers will likely be terrible again but his even a small improvement in both categories would bump Smart into the top 120.

34) Jose Calderon (PG) – The entire Knicks roster struggled to adapt to the triangle but from a fantasy standpoint the switch to the Tex Winter’s system hurt Calderon the most. The formerly supremely efficient lead guard saw his averages drop almost across the board in 2014-2015 but should be rebound in 2015-2016 as he will now be setting players who can actually finish his passes. The Knicks drafted Jerian Grant but Jose should remain the starter as long as he plays well. Calderon is a more natural fit for the triangle than Grant due to his shooting. While the triangle limits Calderon’s assists (4.7 APG), he should still provide enough dimes and threes (1.4 3PG) to be useful to standard league managers, especially those punting points (9.1 PPG).

35) Avery Bradley (PG/SG) – The Celtics combo guard is a great target for the punt assists build (1.8 APG) as he has point guard eligibility and provides the stats that those punting dimes need (1.6 3PG, 1.1 SPG). He doesn’t have middle-round upside due to how few categories he contributes in, but Bradley did produce top-100 over the last three months of 2014-2015.

36) Patty Mills (PG) – With Corey Joseph in Toronto, Mills should monopolize the Spurs’ backup point guard minutes and has a chance to approach 24 MPG. That may not seem like much, but when a player is as good a per minute player as Patty, and is playing behind a declining player like Tony Parker, he’s worth a look late in drafts. In two of the past four seasons, Mills has posted top-15 per 36 numbers. He doesn’t post a traditional line (3.9 AP36), and like Bradley, is a good, cheap target for those punting assists. The takeover likely isn’t happening in 2015-2016 but it doesn’t have to for Mills to hold late-round value.

37) D’Angelo Russell (PG) – It’s a shame that Russell ended up in LA and not in Philadelphia. If he landed with the Sixers, he likely would have been worth a top-90 pick on draft day. Now that he’s in purple and gold, he’s no more than a late-round flier. Russell has a couple of major issues working against him. The first, and most obvious, is that Kobe and his 34.9% usage is going dominate the ball for the majority of the minutes that Russell is on the court. The list of point guards who have been strong fantasy assets playing beside Kobe is exactly zero players long. The second thing working against Russell is that he’s only 19-years-old. The second overall pick looked overmatched in summer league, and will likely struggle to start the season. He may not be worth a roster spot early in the season but the rookie’s potential is too high to ignore and should be drafted and stashed. His line projects to very varied. Not only did Russell provide exceptional traditional point guard stats at Ohio State (2.7 3PG on 41.4 3P%, 5.0 APG, and 1.6 SPG), he was also an excellent scorer (19.3 PPG) and a very good rebounder for his position (5.7 RPG).

38) Tony Parker (PG) – Parker hasn’t been very good for a couple years now and the Spurs have noticed, cutting his minutes to the lowest rate of his career (28.7 MPG). While I don’t think we’ll see a full takeover by Mills this season due to the Spurs’ loyalty, I expect Parker’s role to continue to be minimized. At this point in his career, Parker doesn’t give you exceptional production in any category. His averages in three categories are decent (14.4 PPG, 4.9 APG, and 48.6 FG%) but the holes that have always been there (0.6 3PG, 1.9 RPG, 0.6 SPG) are much less manageable now that his points, dimes, and FG% impact have declined. The Spurs know this may be their last chance and Parker is going to have to earn his minutes this time around. His floor is very low this season.

39) Emmanuel Mudiay (PG) – Mudiay is locked into a very large role with the Nuggets but that doesn’t necessarily mean he will provide much value to owners. Mudiay’s jumper is shaky and his free throw stroke is no better. He struggled from the line in summer league and shot 57% from the charity stripe in China. It’s hard for a guard to have much value when he has a large negative impact on your FG%, FT%, threes, and turnovers. He’ll post some flashy counting numbers but should be treated as no more than a dart throw at the end of your draft.

40) Rajon Rondo (PG) – Rondo was horrendous for the Mavericks last season and for fantasy owners. Despite playing just under 30 MPG, Rondo barely cracked the top-200 on a per game basis. His line is chalk full of holes (8.9 PPG, 0.4 3PG, 42.6 FG%, 39.7 FT%, 3.1 TOPG) making him a difficult pick even in the last round of the draft. While Rondo would be a question mark anywhere, Sacramento is an especially poor fit. The team lacks shooters and spacing in it’s starting lineup which will hinder his only above-average offensive skill. There’s a good chance that Darren Collison, a player who was significantly better than Rondo in 2014-2015, takes Rondo’s starting spot at some point this season.

41) Jrue Holiday (PG) – Jrue posted top-30 numbers last season but the injury risk outweighs the upside. For the second year in a row, Holiday had his season ended by a stress fracture in his leg. Alvin Gentry’s arrival should mean great things for Jrue whenever he is on the floor, but that may not be often. The Pelicans have already spoken about limiting his minutes to 15 a night until January so while Holiday will likely be an excellent per minute player, he won’t see enough minutes to repeat last season’s performance even if avoids another stress fracture.