2009-10 NBA Fantasy Preview: Top 15 Shooting Guards
This year it's an extremely weak class for shooting guards so if you want to play it smart you'll use a high pick on one of the top five guys on the list. After the top five on this list, fantasy production gets more narrowed as some players can only bring one or two categories to the table.
Still if you manage to snag any of the top tier SG, it's just one more headache throughout the season you won't have to think of.
15. Eric Gordon (LAC)—2008/09 Stats: 16.1 PPG/ 2.8 APG/ 85.4 FT%
It was a tough decision on the last SG spot on the list between Tracy McGrady or Eric Gordon but going with youth and offensive potential here beat out skill decline and injury propensity.
In an extremely disappoint season for the Clippers in 2008-09 one of the few bright spots and fantasy revelations was the emergence of Eric Gordon as a fast rising SG option. Gordon is a very good shooter with good instincts on the offensive end and should be a big part of the Clipper’s new youth movement.
As a rookie Gordon went through growing pains but improved his long range shooting over the course of the season and should be even better next year as he gets an added year of comfort in the league.
14. Josh Howard (DAL)—2008/09 Stats: 18.0 PPG/ 5.1 RPG/ 1.1 Stls
Though Howard only played 52 games last year he should bounce back strong as he has been relatively healthy over the course of his career.
Though Howard may lack the flash of some of the other guards on this list, he has quietly become one of the most consistent fantasy players in the SG slot due to his effective slashing ability combined with a solid mid range.
Look for Howard’s rebounding numbers to take a slight hit next year with the addition of Marion but his all around numbers should still be solid as ever.
13. JR Smith (DEN)—2008/09 Stats: 15.2 PPG/ 3.7 RPG/ 1.0 Stls/ 2.2 3PM
J.R. Smith exploded in the second half last year especially in the final couple months where he averaged close to 21 PPG but more importantly almost single-handedly won three point shooting categories by himself week after week.
JR Smith is one of the most dangerous players behind the arc with almost unlimited range and is athletic enough to become a potent scorer when he wants to be.
Though Smith won’t provide too much production on the defensive he should be an excellent source of any shooting cats for next year while all his numbers should improve all over the board having a full year to play beside Chauncey Billups.
12. Ben Gordon (DET)—2008/09 Stats: 20.7 PPG/ 3.5 RPG/ 3.4 APG/ 41.0 3P%
Ben Gordon has always been one of the most dangerous players in the NBA from behind the arc and in the new offensive system in Detroit Gordon will benefit from the spacing the Pistons provide on the court.
Though Gordon joins a somewhat crowded back-court in Detroit with Hamilton and Stuckey, Gordon will get the opportunity to show fantasy owners how good of a scorer he is.
Expect Gordon to have a slow start as he tries to learn a new offense but he should be a good source of points as the season wears on along with slightly above average complementary numbers.
11. John Salmons (CHI)—2008/09 Stats: 18.3 PPG/ 4.2 RPG/ 3.2 APG/ 47.2 FG%
Owners got excellent value when they drafted Salmons 2008-09 as he became one of the most underrated fantasy players by quietly putting together a top breakout season.
Salmons is a savvy scorer who much like Josh Howard may seem quiet but always ends the night filling the box-score in some way. Salmons also proved he was more than just a scorer as he had good rebounding numbers in addition to solid assist totals.
With Ben Gordon leaving town look for Salmons to improve all over the board as he becomes the primary benefactor of Derrick Rose’s passes and a top scoring option in Chicago.
10. Jason Richardson (PHO)—2008/09 Stats: 16.8 PPG/ 4.4 RPG/ 1.8 3PM
Richardson must have thanked his lucky stars when he found out he got traded to the Suns as he went from one of the worst offenses in the NBA to one of the best.
Though Richardson’s three point totals slightly decreased he became a more efficient scorer playing beside Steve Nash and his above average rebounding totals represent were a bonus at the SG slot.
Look for Richardson’s points to increase slightly with another year of added comfort in the Sun’s system and the return to a fast paced offense under Alvin Gentry won’t hurt either.
9. Ray Allen (BOS)—2008/09 Stats: 18.2 PPG/ 95.2 FT %/ 2.5 3PM
Last year Ray Allen finished the season second overall for most three pointers scored and though Allen’s minutes could decrease slightly his value as a shooter is unquestionable.
Allen’s sweet stroke from long range will reward owners in both the scoring and three point category and his quality free throw percentages will never hurt owners. Though Allen may lack the defensive and play-making production as some of his peers his three-cat status is as consistent as they get at the SG slot.
8. Michael Redd (MIL)—2008/09 Stats: 21.2 PPG/ 3.2 RPG/ 2.1 3PM
Michael Redd is one of the best shooters on this list and his value for fantasy owners lies in his ability to score especially from long range. Redd will return back to the unquestioned No. 1 scoring option on the Bucks with Richard Jefferson being shipped out and should benefit from the penetrating ability of new teammate Brandon Jennings.
Redd is an excellent mover without the ball, and much like Rip Hamilton, uses screens intelligently to set up open shots for himself. With the loss of both Jefferson and Villanueva look for Redd to have a banner year for Fantasy Owners.
7. Vince Carter (ORL)—2008/09 Stats: 20.8 PPG/ 5.1 RPG/ 4.7 APG/ 1.0 Stls
Vince Carter enjoyed a strong season in 2008-09 and has almost shed the injury label that scares off fantasy owners by averaging almost 80 games played for the last three years.
Though he may have lost a step Vince is still a supreme athlete and can dominate a game anytime he wants. When he is rolling Carter is very difficult to stop with a streaky jump-shot in addition to an explosive move to the bucket.
In his new home in Orlando Carter’s points will drop but look for his assist and FG percentage to rise. By going from the No. 1 option to arguably No. 3 Carter will become a more efficient fantasy player and represents great value in later rounds.
6. OJ Mayo (MEM)—2008/09 Stats: 18.5 PPG/ 3.8 RPG/ 1.1 Stls/ 1.8 3PTM
OJ Mayo exceeded all expectations last year as a rookie displaying a versatile offensive arsenal and became the No.1 option in the Memphis offense surpassing teammate Rudy Gay. Mayo possesses a strong and improving jump-shot in addition to an ability to penetrate into the lane and create.
Mayo has a great ability get to the basket and can often times take over a game offensively with a barrage of offensive moves.
Mayo is strong enough to become a much better re-bounder next year and look for his assist totals to increase slightly as he begins to shoulder more offensive responsibility for Memphis.
5. Kevin Martin (SAC)—2008/09 Stats: 24.6 PPG/ 3.6 RPG/ 41.5 3P %
As silky a shooter as there is on this list K-Mart’s production primarily relies on the fact that he is the top gun in one of the worst offenses in the NBA.
Martin rose to the challenge last year averaging a career high in points and securing his image as one of the game’s premier scorers. Fantasy owners will love the points and the high shooting percentages especially from long range.
Martin will be looked to shoulder a more balanced load next year in terms of assists and should continue to shed his title as one of the NBA’s best kept secrets.
4. Joe Johnson (ATL)—2008/09 Stats: 21.4 PPG/ 4.4 RPG/ 5.8 APG/ 1.1 Stls
As the leader of the fast rising Hawks Joe Johnson has become a household name in the fantasy community and is a great option if you miss out on the top tier of shooting guards.
Johnson is a versatile offensive player and uses a good mid range to provide owners with good point production. Johnson though has proved he isn’t just a scorer with solid rebounding assist totals to fill the box score.
Though Johnson’s scoring should take a slight dip with Jamal Crawford in the mix his FG percentage and assist totals should rise as a result of a greater emphasis on play-making.
3. Brandon Roy (POR)—2008/09 Stats: 22.6 PPG/ 4.7 RPG/ 5.1 APG/ 1.1 Stls
Brandon Roy took a huge step last year in his quest into the fantasy elite. Roy not only became known as Mr. Clutch but also transformed into one of the best offensive guards in the NBA.
Using a devastating penetration dribble in combination with almost limitless range Roy gave owners a top option for points with excellent complementary numbers.
Roy has improved every year of his career and should continue get better all over the board next year with another year of comfort in the Portland system.
2. Kobe Bryant (LAL)—2008/09 Stats: 26.8 PPG/ 5.2 RPG/ 4.9 APG/ 1.5 Stls
Though Kobe’s fantasy production has dipped slightly in recent years due to the winning oriented approach Bryant has taken with the revamped Lakers, his numbers are still as good as they get at the SG spot.
Arguably the most offensively talented player on this list, Kobe has unlimited range on his jumper as well as an uncanny ability to get to the rim. Bryant is an intelligent offensive player getting his teammates involved while his excellent defence will continue to provide owners with high rebounding and steal totals.
1. Dwayne Wade (MIA)—2008/09 Stats: 30.2 PPG/ 5.0 RPG/ 7.5 APG/ 2.2 Stls/ 1.3 Blocks
“Flash” is the cream of the crop in a weak Shooting Guard class and his all around production at the off guard slot should have owners salivating for next year.
Though Wade led the league in scoring last year, he is an excellent play-maker ranking eigth in the NBA in assists. What Wade makes truly special is the absurd production he brings on the defensive end.
Not only is he the best defensive player on this list but Wade is one of the best in the NBA averaging over two steals and one block a game. Wade will have another monster year and should not escape the first three picks.