Top 10 Fantasy Basketball Point Guards For 2012
Fantasy Basketball is growing each year in popularity and with the NHL in a lockout at the moment; fantasy basketball will likely grow even more in 2012. The season is approaching quickly, so now is the time to start going over each position and building your cheat sheets.
Place-setters and players who rack up dimes have predominantly occupied the point guard position. However, in recent seasons there have become an increase in pure scoring point guards, who can finish around the hoop, as well distribute the ball.
Franchise players like Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, and Rajon Rondo have changed the way we look at the NBA, and thus changed the realm of fantasy basketball in the process.
Point guards can now score like shooting guards, and rebound like power forwards, all while still posting 10 assists per game. Point guards have quickly become the quarterback of the NBA and are the most important position in fantasy.
It is almost more valuable to have a team of point guards, than a team full of forwards. Guards can score more, post more assists and steals, plus shot around 25% better form the free throw line.
There are also a large number of young players that are looking to lead the next generation. Cleveland Cavaliers new franchise point guard, Kyrie Irving, looked amazing in his rookie campaign, while Milwaukee Bucks' Brandon Jennings and Philadelphia 76ers’ Jrue Holiday are both maturing quickly.
It is important to start your fantasy basketball roster from the top. To help you get ahead of your competition, here are my top ten fantasy basketball point guards for the 2012 NBA season:
Number 10: Jrue Holiday, Philadelphia 76ers
10. Jrue Holiday, Philadelphia 76ers – Holiday is another very young and very athletic point guard. He plays amazing defense, evident by his 1.6 steals per game, and shows amazing ability to score around the basket. Also with Andre Iguodala now with the Denver Nuggets, it will only give Holiday more control over the Philly backcourt. Look for J. Holiday to put critics to Bed, as he easily posts career highs in scoring in 2012.
Number 9: Brandon Jennings, Milwaukee Bucks
9. Brandon Jennings, Milwaukee Bucks – Jennings is one of the most popular sleeper point guards this year, as not many people have paid attention to the Bucks' backcourt since Michael Redd was going to All-Star games. However, Jennings averaged 19.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 3.4 assists in 2011 and established himself as one of the most aggressive point guards in the league. Jennings may be on the verge of a 20-point season, but his utter lack of assists will keep him out of the top players at the position.
Number 8: John Wall, Washington Wizards
8. John Wall, Washington Wizards – Wall will hold up the Wizards offense this year, but don’t expect much in the way of parlor tricks. The Wizards offense is pretty cut and dry, and the team will likely be at the bottom of the Southeast Division again. However, Wall is still strong enough to post 18 points and 8 assists a game and be a low-end starting point guard in fantasy this season.
Number 7: Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs
7. Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs – Parker had a career-high 7.7 assists in 2011 and his 18.3 points were his highest total since 2008. He is still a very dangerous scorer and knows the offense he is in better than anyone at the position. However, Parker is now 30 years old so it is only a matter of time until his numbers steadily start declining, i.e. Jason Kidd. Parker can still provide 17 points and 7 assists a game, but his days of 20 and 10 are far behind him.
Number 6: Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
6. Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers – Irving amazingly scored over 20 points in 26 games in his 51 rookie games and the 20-year old gave Cleveland’s offense some speed in their backcourt. Keep in mind that with Cleveland’s otherwise mundane offense, Irving is not going to average close to 10 assists in his sophomore season. However, it will give him full control of offense and allow the former Duke Blue Devil to take as many shots as he wants. Irving will easily average 20 a game in 2012, so grab him now in dynasty leagues while you still can.
Number 5: Steve Nash, Los Angeles Lakers
5. Steve Nash, Los Angeles Lakers – Nash is being severely undervalued this fantasy season, which is ironic considering that the 8-time NBA All Star has the best surrounding cast he has ever played with.
Nash will easily finish the year with double-digit assists, as him and Kobe Bryant in the same back-court will prove to be a fantasy godsend. Nash may not score much over 13 points a game, but his double-digit assists and near perfect free throw percentage keeps him among the top-5 point guards in fantasy.
Number 4: Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics
4. Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics – Rondo is easily one of most well-rounded point guards in the NBA, as he is on the one guard in the game that can come close to averaging a triple-double. Rondo led the league with an unthinkable 11.7 assists per game last year and also led his position in rebounds with a gaudy 4.9 per game. His ability to fill out the stat sheet is too hard to ignore, even if he does come with an injury label.
However, Rondo only played in 53 games last year and once again missed a good part of the season due to injury. Rondo’s 11.9 points last season tied him with Jameer Nelson for 16th best among point guards, and scoring seems to be the only facet of his game not improving each game. He is still an elite fantasy basketball point guard, but his lack of scoring and injury woes keeps him from cracking the top-three.
Number 3: Deron Williams, Brooklyn Nets
3. Deron Williams, Brooklyn Nets – Williams is another amazing offensive-minded point guard, as he averaged 21 points and 8.7 assists in 55 games last season. He has a career field goal percentage of 45.5% and will get all the opportunities in the world to shoot in Brooklyn. Williams was also hitting over 2 three-pointers a game last year and will bring a strong outside shot with him to the Brooklyn borough.
D-Will has always been a dangerous scorer, but his inability to finish a season has constantly caused his fantasy value to drop in recent years. Williams has only finished a full season once in his seven-year career and has missed a devastating 44 games in his last two seasons alone, so there is some injury concern with Jay Z’s new point guard. However, he is one of the only players at the position that can average over 20 points a game in 2012, so do not let him fall too far.
Number 2: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
2. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder – Westbrook led all point guards with 23.6 points per game and the 23-year old scores like he is a shooting guard. While Oklahoma City fans may not like the fact that Westbrook takes 40 shots a game, you won’t hear any fantasy fans complaining.
Westbrook’s 5.5 assists last year may not have been in the top-10 at the position, but his 4.6 rebounds really helps to round out his fantasy value. Westbrook will be able to carry you in scoring, which will more than make up for his timid assist numbers.
Number 1: Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
1. Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers – With MVP Derrick Rose still sidelined for an undetermined amount of time, Paul is hands down the best fantasy place-setter in the game. Paul scored just inside 20 points a game last year (19.8), and CP3 again led the NBA in steals with 2.53 per contest.
Paul’s 9.1 assists per game was his lowest total since 2006, but that is most likely a stat attributed to his new surroundings. Expect Paul to return to his glory days of averaging over 20 points and 10 dimes a game.