Fantasy Basketball

Fantasy Basketball 2013-14 Shooting Guard Preview


By: Joe Bond

Shooting Guard in my opinion is very top heavy with guys like James Harden, Stephen Curry, Paul George and Nicolas Batum at the top. You can include a healthy Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Monta Ellis and even Klay Thompson with that group, but just slightly below. After that you have plenty of depth, but nobody that I would consider a game changer or much better than the rest. This is why I will draft one of the top five SGs, no worse than top eight, then wait to get my back up guy, because once you get past that, most of these guys are all the same. They can score and most can shoot the three. In fact, this is the position you want to look at late in the draft when you realize you don’t have enough three’s on your team. Guys you can pick up later in the draft are Kevin Martin,  J.J. Redick, Vince Carter and those types to get you your threes. I used this strategy last year and it worked just fine, on my way to winning the championship. The last thing I would suggest you do when you draft your SG is try to get one with a good shooting percentage, around .445 or higher in my opinion is good, most of the time these players shoot a lot so their percentages are key. Try to avoid players like Jordan Crawford, Nick Young, Nate Robinson and Iman Shumpert. Despite having nice three point averages, each of them shoot well below .440. If you must draft them, make sure you make up for the low field goal percentages elsewhere.
1. Can James Harden repeat his 2012 now that Dwight Howard is in town?
I think Harden will come close to repeating his 2012, but fall just short with Howard on the roster. He is still an elite talent, and will have a very good season, but I think the scoring will dip just a bit to maybe 22-23 points a game, down from almost 26. Now with that said, his assist numbers should increase slightly with him being able to dump the ball off to Howard down low. I still think Harden is going to be the best fantasy shooting guard of the season, so draft him early and with confidence.

2. Is Kobe Bryant worth an early round pick after his Achilles tear?
Kobe has proved me wrong again and again when it comes to him playing at elite levels through injuries and while being past his prime. This time though I think its going to be different. I tore my Achilles once, and I realize I didn’t get even near the same treatment as he is, but I still don’t see anyway I could have played basketball just 6.5 months later. Kobe is apparently well ahead of schedule and close to returning, but I can’t help but think there is going to be a long transition period with him before he becomes the Kobe we all are used to. Now because he is Kobe and there is always that potential of him dropping 27 points a game so you have to draft him no later than the third round, but be careful drafting him before that and ahead of guys you know you can count on.

3. Eric Gordon is one of the best when he plays, but can you trust him to stay healthy?
Injuries have plagued Gordon’s career the last couple of seasons and because of that he is risky to draft in leagues. When he does play he is one of the best scoring shooting guards out there, averaging over 20 points a game and hitting more than a three a game. The answer to the question however, is no you can’t trust him to stay healthy, but if he is hanging out there in your draft in the late rounds, say 10 or later, he is worth the pick if you need a SG.

4. What Rookie will make a fantasy impact at shooting guard?

Victor Oladipo, who has point guard eligibility as well, is the clear favorite here to perform. The only problem is he is actually in a crowded situation in Orlando, who have Arron Afflalo and Jameer Nelson ahead of him on the depth chart at each position. I think he will get plenty of minutes and eventually take over the starting role at SG, but if you’re drafting him, you’re taking him on potential later in the season, not expecting him to explode right out of the gate.

The other rookie I like, and actually a bit more right way than Oladipo, is Ben McLemore. Right now he is atop the depth chart in Sacramento and should start over the disappointing Marcus Thornton. In college he proved he was an elite shooter and very athletic, and that should translate to the NBA very well. I expect him to make an impact early on for the Kings and help fantasy teams with moderate scoring and three point totals.

Evan Turner (PHI) – Turner was a really late round pick last fantasy season, who turned into a very capable player averaging 13.3 points, 6.9 rebounds and 5 assists, while adding almost a steal and 3-pointer a game. This season the 76ers are very thin behind him at SG, so I expect his number to rise a bit. Only thing really holding his stock down is his poor shooting percentage, that and a bad team around him.

Kevin Martin (MIN) – He goes from being the third scoring option in Oklahoma,which was a distant third, to probably being the second behind only Kevin Love in Minnesota. He won’t do much except score and hit threes, but if you need that later in your draft he is one of the most underrated players you can find later in your drafts.

J.R. Smith (NY) – Well that is what were were all waiting for from J.R., who finally put together a full season scoring 18 points, hitting 1.9 threes a game. There are a few things that have me worried. One, last season was a contract year and its possible he was playing like that to get his money, which he did. Two, he had knee surgery this off-season and has just now started running on it. It doesn’t sound like he will be ready to go to start the season, which by the way will begin with a five game suspension. I’m staying away from him in my drafts.

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Kawhi Leonard (SA) – Oh what a good playoff run will do for your draft stock. Leonard is a good player, but not a great fantasy player. Let me remind you last season he only averaged 11 points and 6 rebounds and 1.1 threes. He is currently being ranked ahead of Kobe Bryant, Eric Bledsoe and Andre Iguodala. I know you’re probably saying AI is not great either, but last year he posted 13 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 1.1 3-pointers and 1.7 steals. He is clearly a better fantasy player than Leonard.

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About Joe Bond

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

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