All-Star Break Fantasy Basketball Rankings: Guards
Without a doubt, the overriding theme of the guard rankings is injuries. An argument can be made that five of the top 10 guards are currently on the injury list and could miss time going forward. Derrick Rose is already out for the season while players like Eric Bledsoe, Jrue Holiday and Mike Conley remain without a firm timetable to return. Top five studs Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul are due back soon but lingering knee and shoulder injuries respectively remain a huge concern for the remainder of the season.
While there are a myriad of injured players, let’s focus on a few of the healthy players in the list. Of the players in the top 10, the one who came into the season with the least hype was certainly Goran Dragic. The Suns point guard is putting up the best numbers of his career with season averages of 20.1 points, 6.0 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game. Those numbers alone put him squarely at the top of many fantasy lists, but also consider on the season Dragic is shooting over 50% from the floor while making 1.4 three pointers a game and you have a dominant fantasy force. With Eric Bledsoe likely to miss more time, Phoenix is Dragic’s team to run, meaning his number should only go up the rest of the year.
When the All-Star rosters came out last week, nearly everyone was surprised that Pacers guard Lance Stephenson did not make the cut. The always emotional Stephenson is in the midst of a career season which includes the surprising stat that he leads all of the NBA in triple-doubles thus far. He does not score like most top fantasy players at just 14.1 a game, however he is averaging an amazing 5.3 assists and 7.2 rebounds on the year. Also, like Dragic, Stephenson is shooting over 50% from the floor on the year and is also throwing in 1.0 three pointers per game. The Pacers have been the best team in the first half of the season and that is due in large part to Stephenson who is likely to see his 35 minutes a game stay steady throughout the year, which make him a legit option throughout the remainder of the season.
After a disastorous start to the season, J.R. Smith has slowly begun to turn things around. After missing a game on January 14th, Smith has scored in double figures in every game since which has boosted his season scoring average to 13.1 a game. Most of this is due to his huge uptick in shooting as he has shot 50.5% over the past two weeks as opposed to just 39% on the year. In those last 14 days he is also making 3 three pointers a game which puts him amongst the league leaders. Smith is not a huge contributor in other stat categories but does chip in 3.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists a game. If he can manage to keep his shooting percentage up, Smith should be a good second half player in all fantasy formats.
In Brooklyn, the trio of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Shaun Livingston has taken over nearly all of the available minutes. Over the past month each is averaging over 29 minutes and 10 points a game. Williams has disappointed this year as the one time star has struggled with injuries and limited him to just 13.5 points a game on the year. Johnson has shown flashes of the ability that at one time made him one of the most sought after guards in all of fantasy basketball, but father time has also slowed him down. Of the group, Livingston might actually have the highest upside for the remainder of this season. His minutes have increased as the season has progressed and he has put together a number of big games including a 13 point, 8 assist, 6 rebound and 7 steal game on February 3rd. Even though none of them will blow you away with production, all three should be owned in all leagues. Here are RotoBaller's rankings for the top 50 guards in fantasy basketball at the all-star break.
Top 50 Guards for Fantasy Basketball