Tier 1 ג The Fantasy Basketball All-Stars
1 Derrick Rose (CHI) ג It seems like everyone is going with Chris Paul at the top of the board this year, but give me Derrick Rose anytime. Rose is clearly the better scorer putting up 25.0 a game compared to Paulגs 15.9. Rose really overtook the top spot with his huge improvement with the three point shot, taking nearly 5 per game and hitting 33.2%. Hopefully he can continue to improve and approach the 36-37% range. Even with the 33.2% on threes, he still held his overall FG% to a very respectable 46.8%. Rose will only get better from here.
2 Chris Paul (NOR) - Paul is an easy choice at number 2, even though there is some concern about the possibility of a trade and concern over the knee still lingers in the back of my mind. He did play in 80 games last season but his scoring was way down to a career low of 15.9 PPG. Assists (9.8 per game) and Steals (2.4 per game) are his strong points.
3 Russell Westbrook (OKC) ג Much like Rose, Westbrook continues to improve his game. He raised his scoring to 21.9 per game while increasing his assist numbers to 8.2 per game. His steals figure increased to 1.9 per game and he increased his FG%, 3PT% and FT% in 2010. One important stat for Westbrook is the increase of field goal attempts to 17.1 per game, heגs a big part of the Thunder offense and will continue to be heavily involved.
4 Stephen Curry (GSW) ג Curry is a very consistent player, but his only drawback is his susceptibility to injury. He only missed 8 games last season, but it seemed like he was limping for about 25 games, which caused his MPG to slip to 33.6 per game in 2010, down from 36.2 in 2009. His biggest advantage is the fast paced Warriors system he plays in, which provides him with big offensive opportunities. Heגs also a rock in FG% (47.0% career), 3PT% (43.9% career) and FT% (91.1% career).
5 Deron Williams (NJN) ג Williams is in NJ for at least this season and there is some speculation that the Nets might land Dwight Howard. If they do, look for Williams to have a huge year feeding the big guy. Even if he doesnגt pair with Howard, heגs still got Brook Lopez. Williams had a bit of difficulty adjusting to NJ in his 12 games there last season, but he should bounce back with a strong 20 Point/10 Assist per game performance this year.
Tier 2 ג All-Star Potential
6 Rajon Rondo (BOS) ג This could be Rondoגs final run this high on the list if the Celticsג big three start to collapse physically. Heגs a steady performer whoגs strengths are in the assists (11.2 per game in 2010) and steals (2.3 per game in 2010) categories. Heגs lacking in the points (10.2 per game) and three point attempts (.6 per game) categories. Heגs also a hindrance in the FT% category with a career 62.2 FT%.
7 John Wall (WAS) ג Wall had an incredible rookie season and those numbers should take a leap forward in 2011. Rondo only gets the nod over Wall due to the quality of teammates. Wallגs strengths are points (16.4 per game), steals (1.8 per game) and assists (8.3 per game). Heגs a little weak in FG% at 40.9% and hasnגt really mastered the three point shot only taking 1.7 per game and hitting just 29.6%.
8 Tyreke Evans (SAC) ג Evans is just one of those guys I want to rank a lot higher, but just canגt. Heגs going to be at PG this year with Marcus Thornton at SG, but Evans is probably better suited to play SG. He only managed 5.6 assists per game last season and turned it over 3.2 times per game. Heגs solid in the points category with 17.8 per game, but hurts you in the FG% (40.9%) category.
9 Jrue Holiday (PHI) ג Jrue is only 21 years old, but Iגm betting this is going to be a breakout year for him. His fantasy game is solid all around with 14.0 PPG, 6.5 APG, 1.5SPG and 2.7 three pointers attempted per game. The career percentages are solid at 44.5 FG%, 37.5 3PT% and 80.3 FT%. All these are great numbers for a 21 year old and they should only get better with more experience.
Tier 3 ג Solid Consistency and Upside Potential
10 Tony Parker (SAS) ג Parker seems to never get any respect in fantasy circles, but heגs a consistent performer every season. At only 29 years old, heגs put up career numbers of 16.7 PPG, 5.6 APG and 1.0 SPG with last seasonגs numbers all higher than his career averages. Heגs also a great boost for your FG% with a career mark of 49.3%. He doesnגt shoot the three as much as he used to, but heגs a great PG for your team if you want dependability.
11 Steve Nash (PHO) ג I keep waiting for age to catch up with Nash at nearly 38 years old, but he just continues to produce. Nash did wear down after the all-star break last season and that could be a red flag. If you need assists though, thereגs nobody better and thatגs what keeps him in tier three of my rankings. He averaged 11.4 assists per game last season and kept his shooting averages solid at 49.2 FG%, 39.5 3P% and 91.2 FT%.
12 Raymond Felton (POR) ג Felton is another guy who doesnגt get much hype, but the numbers are there. At just 26 years old, Felton had his best fantasy season in 2010 putting up 15.5 PPG, 8.3 APG, 1.7 SPG and 1.5 3PM per game, all career highs. Heגs out in Portland now and heגs got the starting PG spot all to himself with all the minutes he can handle. Even if he just holds last seasonגs numbers, heגs still a great value in the middle rounds.
13 Brandon Jennings (MIL) - Jennings is an incredible guy to watch play, but his fantasy numbers just donגt quite live up to his real world talent. Heגs had difficulty with his shot, posting a 37.9 FG% over his short career and that has to improve to allow him to move up the draft board. He also took a step back in the assist category dropping from 5.7 to 4.8 assist per game. You just have to get more than that from your PG spot. Heגs still strong with 16.2 PPG, 1.5 SPG and nearly 5 three point attempts per game if you can stomach the percentages.
14 Mike Conley (MEM) ג If you put Conleyגs stats side by side with Jrue Holiday, there isnגt much difference. At 24, Conley is only three years older than Holiday and thereגs a real possibility that heגs just a little slower to develop than Holiday. Conley doesnגt have as high a ceiling as Holiday, but he definitely belongs in this tier if he can keep improving his game this season. At 13.7 PPG, 6.5 APG, 1.8 SPG and 2.7 3PA per game heגs solid middle round value.
15 Kyle Lowry (HOU) ג Lowry has to be one of the most underrated PG in the entire league. He had a breakout season in 2010 putting up 13.5 PPG, 6.7 APG, 1.4 SPG and 4.6 three point attempts per game. Iגm curious to see if Lowry can duplicate the numbers and hold his spot as the last player in tier 3, but Iגve got a feeling that he can.
Tier 4 - Flaws and Risks With Some Upside
16 Devin Harris (UTA) ג Harris has great talent, but fantasy value requires that you actually stay on the court. The last four seasons Harris has only played 64, 69, 64 and 71 games. His ranking here depends on him playing full time this year and missing minimal games. Harris has career stats of only 13.5 PPG and 5.0 APG, but heגs had stats as high as 21.3 PPG and 6.9 APG back in 2008. Maybe the new scenery in Utah can jumpstart Harris.
17 Jameer Nelson (ORL) ג Nelson is very similar to Harris, heגs had flashes of brilliance in the past, but has problems staying on the court. Last season he was pretty average posting 13.1 PPG, 6.0 APG, 1.0 SPG and 3.9 three point attempts. His minutes per game have been limited over the past four season with 28.4, 31.2, 28.6 and 30.5 minutes per game.
18 Ty Lawson (DEN) ג If Lawson doesnגt have to share minutes with Andre Miller, then this ranking might be a bit too low. George Karl has stated that Lawson should play 30-35 MPG this season, but with trusted ironman and veteran Miller lurking, Lawson could be on a short leash. Lawson is a scorer for sure with a deadly shot, posting a career FG% of 50.7 over his two NBA season with a career 40.6 percentage from three point range. Keep an eye on the battle between Miller and Lawson in camp and adjust his ranking accordingly.
19 Jason Kidd (DAL) ג I hate to rank the starting point guard from last seasonגs NBA champs this low, but Kidd definitely has some problems with his fantasy game. The biggest problem with Kidd is his scoring, where he dipped to a career low of 7.9 PPG last season, and thatגs just a killer. He still puts up decent assists (8.2 per game) and steals (1.7 per game). He also used to be a sneaky source of rebounds from the PG spot, but even that has disappeared as he managed only a career low of 4.4 RPG in 2010.
20 Darren Collison (IND) ג Collison is a difficult player to rank. His numbers didnגt really show anything special with 13.2 PPG, 5.1 APG, 1.1 SPG, but heגs still just 24 years old and he could take a big step forward this year. Heגs a gamble, but there could be some upside there.
21 Mo Williams (LAC) ג It looks like Williams is going to stick as the starting PG for the much improved Clippers. He was solid after arriving in LA, posting 15.2 PPG, 5.6 APG and 4.9 three point attempts. Eric Bledsoe is out for 6-8 weeks, so Mo is going to have to put in some big minutes, which really helps his fantasy outlook, unless the Clips bring in a big free agent.
22 Rodney Stuckey (DET) ג Stuckey just canגt seem to translate his talent into solid fantasy PG numbers and now heגs got Will Bynum and a decent rookie in Brandon Knight breathing down his neck for playing time. Stuckey could possibly duplicate last seasonגs 15.5 PPG, 5.2 APG and 1.1 SPG, but thatגs probably the ceiling for his fantasy contribution. The downside is that he drops into the 25 minute per game range or loses the starting job altogether when the Pistons run into their yearly coaching chaos.
23 D.J. Augustin (CHA) - Augustin had a solid season in 2010 putting up 14.4 PPG, 6.1 APG and 4.1 three point attempts per game, but his low ranking has more to do with the fact that he lost Gerald Wallace and Stephen Jackson as teammates. Theyגve been replaced with Gerald Henderson and ballhog Corey Maggette. His assists and shot attempts could decrease significantly. Not to mention the fact that the Bobcats will probably be horrible and could give Kemba Walker his shot at PG at some point this season. Augustin is also a little low in the steals category with just .7 per game and also hurts you in the FG% category with a 41.4% career mark.
24 Jose Calderon (TOR) ג Iגd rank Calderon higher, but news out of Toronto about Calderonגs future with the team has been hard to find. Calderon is a good souce of assists with 8.9 per game in 2010, but his PPG dipped to 9.8 on just 44.0% shooting. Heגs also weak on defense which will eventually start costing him minutes. Jerryd Bayless should push Calderon for the starting job, so keep an eye on the situation. Calderonגs ranking will probably have to be adjusted as the preseason progresses.
Tier 5 ג Unknowns
25 Ricky Rubio (MIN) ג Everyone knows the guy can pass, but the real question for fantasy owners is how polished the rest of his offensive game is. If heגs strictly a distributor, then your looking at a Jason Kidd, Jose Calderon type player. If Rubio shows a scoring touch to go along with his passing, then you could be looking at a Steve Nash type player.
26 Kyrie Irving (CLE) ג Baron Davis is still hanging around training camp so thereגs no guarantee that Irving is going to get the starting PG spot. Itגs also risky to pin too much hope on a rookie jumping right in and contributing at the NBA level, especially with the group of slugs Cleveland will surround him with. Heגs a definite keeper league draft, but I wouldnגt overreach for him in one year leagues.
27 Jeff Teague (ATL) ג Mike Bibby is gone and Teague moves into the starting PG spot by default. Teague had a good run for a brief stretch last season, but who knows if he can hold that kind of intensity for an entire season. The Hawks also have Kirk Hinrich and Tracy McGrady who need minutes and I doubt they are going to take Joe Johnsonגs minutes, so that leaves Teague vulnerable.
28 Mike Bibby/Toney Douglas (NYK)- One of these guys will get the job and move up in the rankings while the other drops completly out of fantasy relevancy. Iגm thinking that Bibby will get first crack at the job since heגs got experience and the Knicks want to win this year. If things go sour as the season progresses, Douglas could earn more playing time.
29 Mario Chalmers (MIA) ג Looks like heגs going to be in the position that is labeled PG in Miami, although heגs pretty much just on the court to play defense and fire up the occasional three. Not really draftable.
30 Derek Fisher (LAL) - Just No. Winner of the Bruce Bowen גLeast Amount of Production with the Most Amount of Minutesג award.
Tier 6 -Wildcards
Baron Davis ג Heגs probably going to get amnestied by the Cavs. Heגs going to play somewhere this season and his value depends on the location. Check back on his ranking when his landing spot is known.
Gilbert Arenas ג Heגs been amnestied by the Magic and there doesnגt seem to be much interest in his declining skills and eccentric trouble making personality.
Chauncey Billups ג Billups got screwed over by the Knicks and heגs fairly pissed about it. He could actually hang up his sneakers and walk away, so be careful drafting him.
Waiver Wire PGגs: Kirk Hinrich, Keyon Dooling, Ramon Sessions, Beno Udrih, Lou Williams, Jerryd Bayless, Andre Miller, Goran Dragic, Eric Bledsoe, Steve Blake, Luke Ridnour, Jarrett Jack, Aaron Brooks, TJ Ford, Earl Watson
Hey, by the way who's Curt?