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Fantasy Basketball Tiered Rankings: NBA Point Guards

The 2015-16 NBA season is almost here, and around the fantasy basketball world there's a whole lot of ranking going on. RotoBaller is here to help not only with ranking players, but also with key sleepers, busts, and draft strategies.

Today we'll start our tiered positional rankings, and there is no deeper position than point guard. Making sure you have a top point guard is as important in fantasy as it is in real life. Assuming you're in a 8-12+ person league, everyone will have a decent to good point guard because the position is genuinely that deep.

Let's get to it...


Ranking NBA Point Guards

Stephen Curry took over the league last season, winning the MVP award and leading his team to a championship.  He is well worth an early pick.  But if you miss out on Steph, huys like Ty Lawson, Kemba Walker, and Goran Dragic all will be available in middle to later rounds but should put up more than solid enough averages across the board. Younger players like Eric Bledsoe and Reggie Jackson will be starting a season as the number one guy and should see a bump up in draft position and season stats.

Point guard has more guys than ever who can score points and hit threes. The real trick is to make sure you couple a good scorer with a good assist guy, and a decent defender/shot maker. All of this is a lot easier said than done, but this is the one position where it is possible to stack up on some categories and ensure long term roto victories or make sure you have an edge week to week in H2H.

Winning your league, no matter the format, will depend on having two or three solid guys at the guard position that fill up PTS, AST, STLs, 3s, and every kind of shooting percentage. The following tiers of point guards will help you navigate the deepest position in the league to make sure you get at least two of these guys to help lead your team to a chip:


Tier 1: Superstars

These are the no-brainer, you already know them, just click the draft button and move on guys. If you can get one of these guys early on in your draft, it lets you not worry about backing up things like ASTs and STLs till a lot later.  All five of these guys contribute big time in those and other categories.

1. Stephen Curry (GSW)
Curry led the league in threes, STLs, and almost hit the holy trinity for NBA shooters (.500 FG%, .400 3P%, .900 FT%). He is the best point guard, his team is healthy, and he is at the point in his career where there is simply nothing teams can do to stop him--they can only hope to slow him down, and most teams will fail.

2. Russell Westbrook (OKC)
The second half of the 2014-15 season saw Russell Westbrook do things on a basketball court that haven't been seen since Oscar Robertson. The last three months of the season he averaged 31.5 pts, 8.5 rbs, 9.5 asts, and 2 stls per game. Yes, Durant is back--but Westbrook is a monster and no one is stopping that.

3. Damian Lillard (POR)
LaMarcus Aldridge ran out of town the first second he could, leaving Lillard as the number 1, 2, 3 and 4 option for the Trailblazers. This guy has all of the talent and skill to win an MVP award and now he's going to have all of the shots, too. The team may still be playing for one of the final spots in the Western Conference playoffs, so every game is going to matter and Lillard has the character of someone that wants to show the world he is the best point guard. Everyone is expecting big things from him this year for good reason.

4. John Wall (WAS)
Wall was one of two players (see the guy below as well) to average over 10.0 assists last season. His points dipped down because Wall made a concerted effort to do everything he could to help his team win. This year there should be no restrictions on him and he is determined to step up. Wall and Lillard are both concerned with letting everyone know they can be the top guy.  This bodes well for fantasy owners because they've already shown that they have all the tools to do it.

5. Chris Paul (LAC)
These rankings are projections, so this isn't to say Paul will fall off in anyway, rather that the two younger guys ahead of him will have special seasons and can't be overlooked. Chris Paul doesn't need to wow in the regular season for his team to win games. He is as steady as it comes when getting a high amount of asts, stls, and great shooting percentages. Chris Paul has won many fantasy basketball leagues over the years with his consistency.  That won't change in 2015.


Tier 2: All Stars

This tier of players are the guys you want to target after taking a big man or wing with your first pick. Only Kyrie Irving hasn't proven to be consistent and capable of carrying a fantasy team. Conley and Teague have both averaged around or more than 15 pts, 6 asts, and 1 stl for the last three years. They should improve on those numbers as the team around them ages and they are expected to pick up more of the scoring and playmaking options. Dragic will be running the Heat and with D-Wade on his usual 60 games or less package he should put up great averages. Any of these five guys could break out and have an almost superstar type of season, and all of their backgrounds suggest they should at least be key contributors to winning squads.

6. Ty Lawson (HOU)
Lawson averaged 9.6 asts last season with a Denver team that just was awful and under a coach that didn't seem to like him. Houston was one of the top 3 point makers and takers last season, so hopefully Lawson will add that to his already decent numbers.

7. Mike Conley (MEM)
8. Jeff Teague (ATL)
9. Kyrie Irving (CLE)
Irving will start the season injured and may not be used as much with the addition of Mo Williams.  But Irving, aka "Uncle Drew," averaged 20+ pts for three straight seasons and last year showed some improvement in his playmaking ability.  That's not bad for someone who is all of 23 years old and is seriously still learning how to play.

10. Kyle Lowry (TOR)
Lowry has over 17.5 pts and 7.0 asts the last two seasons. This might be his plateau as a player but thats a pretty good ceiling to have.


Tier 3: Rising Stars

11. Jrue Holiday (NOP)
12. Derrick Rose (CHI)
13. Eric Bledsoe (PHO)
14. Reggie Jackson (DET)
15. Kemba Walker (CHA)
16. Brandon Knight (PHO)
17. Isaiah Thomas (BOS)
18. Ricky Rubio (MIN)
19. Tony Parker (SAS)
20. George Hill (IND)

This tier consists of players that are must-adds as your second or third guard.  They have the skill, history, and opportunity to put up consistent and solid numbers.  Bledsoe and Jackson who have been given the keys to the car for basically the first time and should see career highs across the board.

Holiday and Walker are known commodities that are coming back to stable situations and should continue to put up the solid numbers they've already shown capable of.  Parker and Rose are somewhat "unknown" just because of their potential injury and playing time risks.  But anyone who has followed basketball knows that if either veteran point guard is healthy and playing to their ability, they are must draft options. I wouldn't wait too long on either one. 

The last three "rising stars" are all specialists in some way and should be taken with consideration to their strengths (asts for Rubio) and weaknesses (asts for Thomas).  Hill is mainly a concern because of the unknowns in Indiana and how that team plans to shake out, but his last two years have been above average production-wise.


Tier 4: Potential Stars

21. Jeremy Lin (CHA)
22. Michael Carter-Williams (MIL)
23. Elfrid Payton (ORL)
24. Jarrett Jack (BKN)
25. Rajon Rondo (SAC)
26. Jordan Clarkson (LAL)
27. Marcus Smart (BOS)
28. Trey Burke (UTA)
29. Dennis Schroder (ATL)
30. Deron Williams (DAL)
31. D'Angelo Russell (LAL)
32. Jerian Grant (NYK)

They may blow up and shoot up the rankings, or they may just blow up and destroy your team. These are the make-or-break options who could veer one way or the other.  Picking the right one can greatly increase your chances of winning.  Separating these guys is difficult because one of them will surely break out and do something this year based on the fact that they'll be playing plenty of minutes at point guard for their team and will get the opportunity to do so.  Hopefully you'll be the lucky one to draft the right one.


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