Culture of Hoops

Fantasy Basketball 2012: Shooting Guard rankings by tier

Welcome to our shooting guards rankings by tier where we will cover the top 20 two guards who primarily give fantasy basketball owners points and treys with assists and other fringe production on the periphery.

Tier One

Dwayne Wade, Miami Heat

The “decision” to have Wade at the top of the heap was fairly an easy one after looking at his across the board monster numbers, which include blocks! Here you have one of the premier players in the game. While we would like to have more three balls from this position, one cannot be upset with all the other goodies Flash provides. Draft him in the first round.

Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers

Arguably the greatest two guard of all time. What is not up for discussion is Kobe being the best shooting guard since some guy named Michael Jordan. Bryant doesn’t get blocks like Mr. Wade, but he provides the long ball and plenty of them. It will be interesting to see what kind of impact the arrival of another Hall of Fame guard in Steve Nash means to the Black Mamba, but this writer believes it allows him extra energy on the defensive end which should mean an uptick in steals. First round material right here.

Tier Two

Joe Johnson, Brooklyn Nets

After many successful seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, this smooth shooting guard teams up with an amazing point guard named Deron Williams in Brooklyn. While Joe has never had a problem getting his, we think not only will he get his this year, he will be getting 2nd and 3rd helpings. Playing with the aforementioned D-Will and a low post/good passing big man in Brook Lopez will only add to the appeal. Could possibly lead the league in three balls this year. Barclays Center is going to rock this year! Grab (no longer?) Iso Joe in the third.

Monta Ellis, Milwaukee Bucks

While we really like this player’s game, his backcourt playing mate and his head coach makes us a little weary and skeptical. It’s not that Monta was bad upon his arrival to the Milwaukee Bucks. Ellis’ quickness and explosiveness are undeniable. He makes plays and can go off on any given night, but I’m just not crazy about this pairing with Brandon Jennings and definitely turned off by the temperamental Scott Skiles. I am passing, but would understand if you didn’t somewhere in the third or fourth rounds.

James Harden, Oklahoma City Thunder

Harden is as solid a shooter as you will find at this position. Either starting or coming off the bench, the Thunder count on him to score and score often. Harden has a good chance to lead the league from downtown playing in a wide open offense. We really like this player who will be playing for a contract this season and we all know that contract motivation has done wonders for players far less talented than The Beard. Draft and own with confidence starting in the third or fourth rounds.

Tier Three

Paul George, Indiana Pacers

Talk about being a copy cat. The mini Danny Granger could end up being better than his counterpart. George’s game has seemingly mirrored Granger’s to include being a stat-stuffing delight. Unfortunately, those stats include a dreadful field goal percentage. If he somehow gets his shot to be more efficient, we could be looking at a future first round selection. He has that potential and upside. Look to take a chance in the fifth, possibly sixth round.

Manu Ginobilli, San Antonio Spurs

We keep waiting and waiting and waiting for Manu to fall off. The guy just seems to not want to go away. His coach limits his minutes, trying to spot-rest him for games. Though nothing seems to slow him down, nagging injuries are a concern for his upside, but this lefty just produces solid numbers whenever he laces them up. He always seems to outproduce his average draft position, but our thoughts are, “Is this the year for the drop?” I’m passing on calling his name out, but wouldn’t be mad if you decided to own him beginning in the sixth round,

Tier Four

What is interesting in this tier is that all the players could basically provide the same type of production.

Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors

After participating in a few “expert” mock drafts, in every one of them, the selection of Thompson has caused an immediate chat room discussion, mostly consisting of owners groaning and stating they wanted him. Bottom line is if you want him you will probably have to reach a round or two earlier. The son of an ex-NBA player, Mychal, this sharp, and I mean razor sharp, shooter could be exactly or even better than a player like James Harden who is being drafted many picks and rounds before him. With this being the case this is a player we would 100% be comfortable selecting in the sixth or seventh round, if available, as our starting shooting guard. The guy is Reggie Miller-like and we all know what that Hall of Fame player accomplished in his illustrious career.

Marcus Thornton, Sacramento Kings

Points and three balls is what you are drafting. The defensive stats are lacking as well as every other category. Don’t fret though since everyone else in this tier, around the sixth or seventh round in value, offer the same type of value.

Eric Gordon, New Orleans Hornets

EJ is injury prone. There you have it in a nutshell. If you told me he would play a full season, he would catapult two tiers and be lumped in tier two. If you are the drafting type that dares to defy the history of players and think he will stay healthy, by all means select this amazingly super duper value player and reap the rewards in the sixth or seventh round, but I am not sure I am one of those daring type of owners to take a chance on Gordon.

Wesley Matthews, Portland Trail Blazers

As stated in “special notes” it is very apparent that Matthews provides the same type of value as the others in this tier. High scoring, plenty of triples and not much else.

O.J. Mayo, Dallas Mavericks

The Mayo man joins a team where he will be looked upon to score and spread the court with his exquisite range. After having a personal conversation with coach Rick Carlisle, I came away certain that OJ will get all the run he can handle and will have the green light to shoot and shoot often. With the departure of Jason Terry, I would bank on a career and rejuvenating season here. With where he is being drafted he will end up on many championship fantasy teams. You can probably grab him in the seventh round, where Mayo would be an excellent pick.

Tier Five

Evan Turner, Philadelphia 76ers

With the departure of Andre Iguodola and Lou Williams, the Philadelphia 76ers are certainly going to need the ball handling and playmaking abilities that this Ohio State product showed in college. Evan showed glimpses of those glorious days, but disappeared for stretches of games. We fully predict those negative stretches to be packed away in the suitcases of Iggy and Lou Will’s and for this triple-double potential player to be a great pick anywhere starting with the eighth round. Just understand that his lack of threes is slightly concerning due to the rest of your league accumulating that precious category from their starting shooting guard.

Rodney Stuckey Detroit Pistons

Another shooting guard who has a lack of threes. Not normally the type of player we target, but there is no denying his explosiveness and propensity to score and get to the line. Also with the ball being in his hand relatively often, Stuckey’s assists are above average for a two-guard. Ben Gordon has departed, a player who stole a handful of minutes from Rodney, so expect an uptick in minutes and productivity. If he decides to shoot the three this is a player who will undoubtedly be a steal in each and every draft and would target him anywhere from the eight through tenth round.

Lou Williams, Atlanta Hawks

Departing from a bench situation with the 76ers and arriving with what looks like to be a starting position on the new look Atlanta Hawks, Sweet Lou is certainly on the rise. A player who is amazingly still young at 25, he finally gets his chance with the departure of Joe Johnson and a clear starting spot at the two. Another player here with a ton of upside who we know shoots the three-ball. It is hard to see him failing to outproduce his ADP in any and every format. Certainly this is a player we are targeting in all leagues somewhere between the eighth and tenth round.

Kevin Martin, Houston Rockets

The unorthodox shooting Martin was a great source of scoring and treys and not too long ago he was one of the higher ranked players, but injuries and a lack of durability is a cause for major concern. As many other shooting guards, a lack of anything else really puts a damper on us recommending him as a player to target. Plus those yearly injuries don’t seem to be going away anytime soon. You can take a chance in the eighth round, but don’t let him get past the tenth.

Aaron Afflalo, Orlando Magic

Joining a new sunny surrounding climate, Afflalo goes to the Magic who are in desperate need of scoring and, honestly, everything else. The former UCLA standout is a rather productive, yet modest player in all categories. He won’t win you any categories, but won’t hurt you anywhere either. There is some sleeper potential here with the certainty of him playing major minutes. Start to look his way in the eighth round.

DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors 

Could be the most boring player to own for fantasy purposes. His only contribution is points, so if you need that this is your man. If he were to develop some range on his shot to include long range bombs his value would be on the rise. We just don’t see that happening. I mention him in this tier only for the fact he will be drafted in this range (eighth to tenth round) though not by this expert.

Tier Six

This tier is basically interchangeable, with players again offering similar and inconsistent values. If one were to emerge with stable minutes we would definitely recommend scooping him up. They should all be considered for the later rounds.

J.R. Smith, New York Knicks

Has he ever met a shot he didn’t think he would make? Shot selection is certainly a cause for concern as much as consistent minutes are. Will probably accumulate the triples and a handful of steals. Asking for or wanting anything else would be quite foolish. Best I would suggest is use a late round pick and see if his role develops into anything other than a sparkplug off the bench.

J.J. Redick, Orlando Magic

Could he start? Quite possible and if he does he will be fun to own. His upside would still be limited to points and three-pointers with a great free throw percentage, but he does have the potential, if his minutes are consistent, to be a top-five player in the three-ball category. That makes him a close watch and very valuable. Will probably end up being a late round draft pick and on and off waivers, but again, if he gets a consistent role Redick can be safely plugged in and started on a regular basis.

I could not finish off a ranking of shooting guards without the mention of two of the all-time greats, Ray Allen and Vince Carter. Man, I get chills just thinking how insanely great those two were. Allen being the most consistent scorer and three-point shooter the league has ever seen. Each and every season he seemed to outproduce his ADP. Truly one of the most enjoyable players to own and watch. As fas as Vince goes, what can really be said? Sure he had his injury moments to deal with, but I am not sure there has ever been a more exciting player to own. One of, if not the all-time best dunker, Vinsanity produced sick across the board numbers that led many owners and teams to fantasy championships. Sadly these two are rapidly nearing the end of Hall of Fame careers. Lets recognize and always remember their respective greatness.

You can contact and find me on Twitter @aka_MR_FANTASY or e-mail me at [email protected].

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