Culture of Hoops

Fantasy Basketball: Top 10 Shooting Guards in 2014

Image courtesy of Shinya Suzuki/Flickr.

Image courtesy of Shinya Suzuki/Flickr.

2014 has come to an end and we at Baller Mind Frame took a quick look at the top fantasy basketball players by position. How did we determine who the top players are? We used our Player Rater, filtered by position and set to “cumulative wins,” then checked to see which players had the best WARP scores.

For those of you who are new to the site and are using our Player Rater for the first time, WARP stands for “wins above replacement player” and is a measure of the number of wins better (or worse) a player is compared to the average replacement—or waiver wire—player in head-to-head fantasy leagues. By setting the filter to “cumulative wins” we can see the total wins contributed by the players we’re ranking, and not just based on their per-game averages. This allows us to see their impact for the period set, which in this case is year-to-date, and excludes players who may have played a couple of good games and then disappeared.

Here are the top 10 shooting guards in 2014:

  1. James Harden (11.00)
  2. Jimmy Butler (7.75)
  3. Klay Thompson (6.57)
  4. Danny Green (5.89)
  5. Gordon Hayward (4.98)
  6. Wesley Matthews (4.23)
  7. Joe Johnson (3.19)
  8. Kobe Bryant (3.16)
  9. Dwyane Wade (2.54)
  10. Bradley Beal (2.27)

In recent seasons shooting guards and centers have produced the lowest values in fantasy basketball. As you can see, the there’s a steep drop after James Harden, who, by the way, has been just spectacular in an MVP-level 2014-15 campaign thus far.

Notable Inclusions

Three words: Jimmy “freaking” Butler! He’s been amazing filling the current void left by the underwhelming Derrick Rose. Butler is having a career season and from all indications he looks like he’ll be able to sustain it. Worst case is he’ll drop a few slots on this list, but should still remain a top-10 caliber guy moving forward.

Klay Thompson is knocking down those shots like there’s no tomorrow. I predicted he’d be an excellent shooting guard in fantasy basketball this season, but the other half of the “Splash Brothers” has exceeded my expectations.

Why is Danny Green on this list and why is ranked so high? The quick and dirty answers to those questions are that every night he makes a lot of threes (2.6) and doesn’t turn the ball much (1.4). He’s still mainly a three-point specialist, though, but should continue to see a lot of burn while Kawhi Leonard is out due to injury.

Both aging and injured, Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade are closer to the bottom of the list than the top. It’s a clear sign that their decline is in full swing and they retain very little upside. Expect more missed games and on-and-off performances from these two former studs.

Notably Absent

DeMar DeRozan (0.77) has only logged 16 games in 2014-15 and it obviously has affected his value. He’ll be making his return soon enough and still has a chance to break into the list assuming he doesn’t suffer any setbacks in his rehab and recovery.

Lance Stephenson (-0.26) has been a total bust so far and it might take a trade for him to salvage his horrible season.

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