Fantasy Basketball

2019-20 Fantasy Basketball Point Guard Preview

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Point Guard is an important position in Fantasy Basketball, perhaps the most important position. In this 2019-20 Fantasy Basketball Point Guard Preview, I’m going to help answer some of the most important questions leading up to the season, go over my draft strategy and give a couple steals and reaches for the point guard position.

Why is the point guard position so important? They are often the catalyst for a team’s offense, the primary ball-handler. This leads to usage rates for point guards being very high.

We saw a few top-notch point guards move teams this offseason. In fact, many of the players in this post are players on new teams. So with that said, let’s get to it!

2019-20 Fantasy Basketball Point Guard Preview

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Can Chris Paul thrive as the top player in OKC?

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Last season, we saw Chris Paul have his worst season statistically. He scored 15.6 points per game, dished out 8.2 assists with a field goal percentage of just .419. I don’t think he is going to be nearly that bad shooting the ball again. However, it is a concern now that he is entering his 15th season.

Moving from Houston, where he had to share the ball with James Harden, to Oklahoma City without Russell Westbrook will be interesting. I think there are two ways to look at it. One is his points per game should climb as he expected to be one of, if not, the primary scorers on the team. However, with a lack of other legit scoring options surrounding him his assist numbers will suffer once again.

Now he has always been one of the best players in the assist category, so he will still be good, just instead of 8+ per game. Expect something more in the 6+ range. This in combination with a less than stellar shooting percentage decreases his overall value. Careful not to draft Paul based off named value.

How do James Harden and Russell Westbrook Co-Exist?

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Seeing superstars pair up is not uncommon any more. However, it is not as common to see two ball-dominant players be on the same team. Both Harden and Westbrook were in the top 10 for usage rates last season and have ranked in the top 5 for the four years prior.

I think both do take a minor hit, with Westbook taking the most. When both are on the floor together, I expect Harden to handle the ball more. However, just as D’Antoni did with Paul and Harden, he will make sure they have plenty of times where just one is on the court.

Both Harden and Westbrook should finish in the top-20 overall, with a potential for both being top-10. We have seen this happen just recently with Kevin Durant and Steph Curry. Both of them are super-efficient players, so it will take Westbrook and Harden to improve on that to make top-10 possible for both. For now, expect top-20 with Harden being higher.

Will Kemba Walker be a top fantasy asset in the Celtics system?

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Boston is a great landing spot for Walker as career move. For Fantasy I think he will struggle to replicate the numbers that he put up in Charlotte, primarily in the scoring department.

The reason for this is Boston has a better roster than Charlotte did. Instead of a supporting cast of Malik Monk, Jeremy Lamb and Nicolas Batum, he will be working with Gordon Hayward, Jason Tatum and Enes Kanter. With that, his assists might increase, shot selection improves which leads to higher field goal percentage, but his points, rebounds and other counting stats are likely to drop, due to his usage dropping.

Draft Strategy

I tend to target point guards early in my drafts. Say one in the first couple of rounds and another no more than a few rounds later. The main reason for this is getting those guards who give you elite assist numbers, who can also score and hit threes is critical for success in Fantasy Basketball.

This allows me to do a couple of things. One is draft players at other positions who can make a big difference in rebounds, steals, blocks, etc, at the positions that they should. What happens if you have to take players at other positions who are good with assists, you suffer in those other categories that you likely need them to help in more because point guards are not as useful for say blocks. Of course, there are always the Lebron’s of the NBA, but they will be gone by Round 2.

The second thing is it means you don’t have to load up on below-average point guards later who are really only good for assists later in the draft. They wind up not being very helpful with points, threes or field-goal percentage.

Reaches

Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers

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I don’t get the love for Ben Simmons. The daily triple-double threat is very nice, but he returns negative value in three-pointers and free-throw percentage. Those are two categories I like to rely on from my guards, per my draft strategy.

Until he develops a shot, which at this point I won’t hold my breath for, he is not a target of mine at his current draft price. If you do draft him, you will need to make sure you select a bunch of players who can hit the three and have a high free-throw percentage to balance out what Ben does not give you.

Mike Conley, Utah Jazz

Mike Conley had a career year in 2018-19 before he got injured. His points per game were the highest of his career, while his assists were the second-highest. Being on the dreadful Grizzlies and the only true good offensive player for much of the reason was why.

Now with the Utah Jazz, he won’t have to do as much on offense since he will be able to share the load with Donovan Mitchell among other more quality players.

If you take him at his current ADP you’re drafting him off last year’s stats and that is a mistake.

Steals

Ish Smith, Washington Wizards

A starting point guard in the NBA basically going undrafted. Ish Smith isn’t great, but he can easily outperform his draft stock.


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His per 36-minute stats over the last couple of years put him around 15 points per game and 6.5 assists. He is a solid rebounder for a guard, as well, with his per 36 at near four a game. If we were sure he would get full starter minutes, he should be a middle-round pick, so since the chance is there it is definitely worth the pick where he is going now.


Visit the F6P Fantasy Basketball Page for more advice to get you prepared for the 2019-20 season.

About Joe Bond

Not just another "Average Joe" when it comes to Fantasy Sports, he is the fantasy brain trust behind the FantasySixPack.net website. Joe is one of the Experts included in the FantasyPros Consensus Rankings for Football, Baseball and Basketball and finished well each year, including a top-5 in-season ranking for Football in 2019. You can find him on Twitter, @F6P_Joe, where he is waiting by the keyboard for your question.

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