We’re resuming our look at the projected top 10 fantasy players at each position. Yesterday we went through the top 10 fantasy point guards. Today we’ll look at the top 10 fantasy shooting guards. Judging from yesterday’s comments, our readers aren’t afraid to speak up, which is peachy keen. The more varied the perspectives, the better the discussion, so keep the reactions coming. Remember that these rankings are based on a nine-category scoring system.
1. Kobe Bryant: He’s about to embark on the sad decline that all players must eventually face, but don’t let that dampen your fantasy crush on No. 24 too much yet. The fact of the matter is that the man is still a walking 25/5/5, and after a summer filled with rest, recovery and plenty of motivation (i.e., Shaq in Celtic green and the trio in South Beach), Bryant should be on his way to one of his last great hurrahs.
2. Dwyane Wade: Despite the much-improved help he has in Miami, Wade remains a solid all-around stud. It’s easy to conceive of a season that sees his scoring, rebounding and assists dip a bit, but that also sees his field-goal percentage break the 50 percent mark for the first time in his career, and his turnovers dip below 3.0 for the first time since his rookie season.
3. Joe Johnson: Mr. Predictable is back in ATL, where his seasonal averages have been uncannily steady. There’s a small cloud of concern that he’ll suffer the typical post-contract slump, but Johnson doesn’t have any seriously flawed statistical categories, and even if he experiences a slight dip in production, it’s hard to imagine anything lower than 20/4/4 along with 1.5+ threes as his statistical floor.
4. Brandon Roy: He’s very similar to Johnson, but his shaky health continues to hamper Roy from being a true, reliable fantasy star. It also doesn’t help that his scoring, rebounding, assists, steals and shooting percentages all took a small step back last season. Nevertheless, his great all-around value can’t be denied. Just have a vomit bag at hand if you choose to draft him.
5. Monta Ellis: Last season’s success was a bit of a surprise from Ellis, given his newfound competition in Stephen Curry. While his 3.8 turnovers a game and 18 DNPs certainly weighed down his fantasy appeal, Ellis’s solid overall numbers make him a good, albeit risky, fit here. Like Curry, Ellis should benefit from being on a Warriors squad that has lost a handful of its offensive weapons from 2009-10.
6. Stephen Jackson: Word is S-Jax is looking leaner, and his presence at the Bobcats’ voluntary practice sessions for its summer-league team is a great sign for his priorities heading into this season. His weaknesses are his field-goal percentage and turnovers, but that’s about all that keeps him from being a couple spots higher on this list.
7. Tyreke Evans: I can hear the haters now. Bear in mind that Evans only hit 0.5 threes per game last season, which limits his fantasy value. Sure, his work on his jumpshot this offseason might pay off, but like Derrick Rose, it’s hard to imagine Evans making significantly more threes in his second season. Add to this the additions of DeMarcus Cousins and Samuel Dalembert, along with a roster that has similarly maturing prospects like Omri Casspi and Donte Greene, not to mention a healthier Francisco Garcia, and it’s easy to see that Evans’ ceiling might be lower than many think.
8. Manu Ginobili: He’s an animal when playing enough minutes, but that only happens when Tony Parker gets hurt. Make no mistake – Ginobili will have his shining streaks this season, but he’s a talented player whose fantasy appeal is notoriously limited by his paltry minutes. This season, he’ll have to contend with a blossoming George Hill for minutes as well.
9. Jason Richardson: J-Rich shot a career-low 12.6 shots per game last season, but with Amar’e Stoudemire out of Phoenix, he’ll likely see an uptick in that number and, consequently, the number of points he scores and the number of threes he hits.
10. Kevin Martin: Though his rebounds and assists aren’t too impressive, Martin already scores in bunches, hits a good load of threes and is especially helpful at the free-throw line. Yao Ming’s presence and Trevor Ariza’s departure should open the door for K-Mart a bit wider than it was last season. Add to this his declaration that he’s ready to “take off” for the Rockets this season and there’s plenty to like about Martin in 2010-11.
On the cusp: Marcus Thornton, O.J. Mayo, Jamal Crawford, Gilbert Arenas, Eric Gordon
Throughout the season, be sure to leave your questions, comments, concerns, trade offers, roster problems and more in the comments below.
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