Fantasy Basketball

Fantasy Basketball 2014-2015 Shooting Guard Preview

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The biggest questions marks when looking ahead to the shooting guard position in 2015 feature some of the most prominent names at the positions over the last decade. Kobe Bryant is returning after only seeing action in six total games last year with the Lakers, while LeBron went home and the focus once again turns to Dwayne Wade to carry a larger load in south beach. We will focus on those topics as we get into the article but as of now the best shooting guard in the league is none other than “The Beard” James Harden of the Houston Rockets. The reality is outside of the former six man of the year it’s hard to predict the outlook for guys like Kobe, Wade, Monte Ellis, and Golden States sharpshooter Klay Thompson. While I do believe Stephen Curry’s backcourt mate will lead the position in three point makes in 2015, his efficiency may also be improved after a successful summer with team USA. Possibly the most intriguing name heading into drafts this year at the two guard spot is Orlando’s sophomore dynamo Victor Oladipo, who is currently the 6th shooting guard being taken off the board. The Magic are young and full of talented players but lack the true elite talent to be a contender which could lead to offensive struggles for the second year guard as he looks to make the next step, I’m not all in on him as the 6th best SG in fantasy drafts this year. Below I will break down the return of Kobe, DWade’s 2015 value, and everyone’s favorite little brother Lance Stephenson, who now find himself in Charlotte under Michael Jordan’s looming eye. With the fantasy crop of shooting guards in 2015 likely much deeper than in years past lets start the discussion!

What are the realistic expectations for Kobe Bryant?
Kobe Bryant (LAL)No one ever has and ever will question the competitiveness of “The Black Mamba” but age is certainly a concern for the surefire hall of famer as he heads into his 19th NBA season at the tender age of 36. However based on a consistent high level of play for so many of those seasons it’s quite a challenge to write off Kobe despite the meager outlook for his LA Lakers this season. Pau Gasol is gone and the addition of Carlos Boozer should be an experiment in the works as we see how he will coexist with the ball dominant Bryant. Steve Nash will likely struggle to avoid lingering issues with his back and other ailments leaving the door open for Jeremy Lin to soak up minutes at the point guard spot. Nick Young, oh wait I’m sorry Swaggy P has a torn ligament in his thumb and will be out for eight weeks, which in turn helps Bryant because of the added shot attempts. All in all if he can stay healthy this season I fully expect Kobe to average anywhere from 23.0 to 26.0 points per game with suitable contributions in rebounds, assist, and three point baskets.

Will Dwayne Wade return to his pre LeBron form now that the king is in Cleveland?
If I were betting on who would return to there pervious form out of Wade and teammate Chris Bosh I would easily choose the former Raptors superstar. Dwayne has had the luxury of playing on a Miami Heat team that has dominated over the last four seasons allowing him to take it easy at times during the season in turn helping his playoff health. Well this year is going to be a bit different, the Heat are not the favorite to win the East after LeBron’s departure, which means more pressure is on Wade to stay healthy and try and get back to the level he was playing at pre King James. I do not think he will be able to return to those days however because of the wear and tear that his body has been through over the seasons and playing all the way into the finals each of the last four seasons. DWade is being taken as the 4th two guard of the board in 2015 drafts but he will not finish in the top ten of shooting guards in fantasy basketball this season, I’ll take a pass on the three time champion this year.


After a breakout season in Indiana how will Lance Stephenson fair in Charlotte playing alongside a scoring PG in Kemba Walker?
Oh man I bet that Bird and the Indiana Pacers wish they had brought back Lance after they saw there star Paul George go down with a gruesome injury this summer while with team USA, or do they? I’m going to go ahead and say Larry Legend wishes he had a little  Lance in his life right now because the Pacers are going to be hard pressed to find ways to put the ball in the basket in 2015. Enough about his old team, now the bigger question is how will Stephenson fair playing in Charlotte alongside Kemba Walker. In Indiana he had the ball in his hands quite a bit at the two guard spot, mainly do to the lack of play making ability George Hill has but Walker is a different story. Kemba enjoyed a successful season last year and will look to build on his success in 2015 while I think having Lance around will help take some pressure off of him. In terms of LeBron’s favorite ear whisperer’s production I think the numbers will be down a bit but cashing in on Lance in your draft certainly wont be a disappointment, just keep expectations in check.

Sleepers
Kevin Martin (SG – MIN) – Does anyone else remember when Kevin Martin was a scoring machine on the Houston Rockets for years at the two guard, well it happened. The other Kevin has left Minnesota to join “The Land” in Ohio which in turn boost Martins value quite a bit as he has the ability to lead a team in scoring while averaging 22.0-25.0 points per game. Martin will have plenty of shot opportunities with the flashy Ricky Rubio dishing him the orange as they Timberwolves look to scratch there way into the West top eight. While Rubio is a great passer his offensive game is limited and the new additions of Thaddeus Young and Andrew Wiggins are pretty unpredictable, there for if I’m drafting a TWolve with upside its going to be Kevin Martin.

Terrence Ross (SG – TOR) – Ross is in a good situation in Toronto as the 3rd scoring option on a team than has no trouble putting the ball in the basket. I think that Ross will elevate his game to a new level in 2015 after a solid season last year and with more experience under his belt he could be the breakout guard in the league this year. Ross has the ability to knock down the three point shot at a high rate while his ability to put the ball on the floor is still a bit of a work in progress he has all the tools to be a star. In later rounds in drafts Ross should be a steal with bigger upside than everyone outside of Victor Oladipo in drafts this year.

Bust
Jimmy Butler (CHI)Jimmy Butler (SG – CHI) – Last year I would have put Jimmy Butler in the category above, as he was all the rave to be the next big thing at the two spot around the league, well that wasn’t the case. He averaged a less than impressive 13.1 points 4.9 rebounds despite playing a ridiculous 38.7 minutes per game. This year Pau Gasol is in town and Derrick Rose is hoping to play of entire season further decreasing the chances Butlers breaks out this year. I will not be reaching for the athletic wingman in drafts this year, as he is a more valuable player in real life than in fantasy.



Wesley Matthews (SG – POR) – The Portland swingman is one of the best three point marksmen in the NBA but his other tools remain a question mark. With Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge in town also the scoring opportunities are going to be a bit limited for Matthews. However it’s not the attempts I’m worried about with Wes, it’s his health that has me a bit apprehensive. I do not think Matthews will contribute enough in the games he plays this season o make him worth being the 7th shooting guard taken off the board.

You can follow me on Twitter @Greg_Benson24 for more fantasy football news and advice. Also be sure to like us on FacebookGoogle+ and Instagram for all updates from Fantasy Six Pack.

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About Greg Benson

Follow me on Twitter at @Greg_Benson24. For all the latest news and best advice out there, like us on Facebook, Google+ and Instagram.

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