While all of America is gearing up for fantasy football, we here at Dime believe that it’s never too early for fantasy basketball draft preparation. Over the next couple weeks, we’ll be breaking down each position into tiers, starting with one of the deepest in today’s game.
The 2013-14 point guard class presents a perfect opportunity to roll with point guards and power forwards, one of the most popular fantasy basketball draft strategies. While there are only a handful of true fantasy studs this year, the upside of others could have that number into double-digits by next. Whether you scoop up Chris Paul in the first round or wait for a young talent like Damian Lillard later on, it will be hard to be disappointed in whoever is leading your backcourt this season.
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CHRIS PAUL, Los Angeles Clippers
STEPHEN CURRY, Golden State Warriors
RUSSELL WESTBROOK, Oklahoma City Thunder
These guys represent the cream of the crop as far as point guards go and will probably all be off the board anywhere from fourth to eighth overall. Although Paul is still the safest pick you can make of these three, he’s no longer the clear-cut fantasy king of point guards. Westbrook and Curry’s upside are through the roof, but is it worth taking the guy with the higher ceiling in the first round? That’s your decision to make. I’ll be going with the guarantee.
KYRIE IRVING, Cleveland Cavaliers
DERRICK ROSE, Chicago Bulls
Fear not if you missed out on the first tier of point guards. This second tier gives you the choice of taking a PG1 who may be equally effective despite being drafted slightly after. This means you can pair either Rose or Irving with a better player than the team’s taking a floor general from the previous tier. With the necessary pieces around Kyrie to help him succeed and Rose expected to be back with a vengeance, the only way these guys disappoint will be because of injury. Remember, anyone can be hurt on any given NBA play, and while there are certainly guys who get banged up more often than others, that’s no way to go about making a big time decision on draft day. Almost everyone is healthy in October, and if you’re that concerned, a few weeks of success equates to tons of sell-high opportunities.
DERON WILLIAMS, Brooklyn Nets
No, D-Will isn’t in the same fantasy class as Irving or Rose, but he produces more all around than the next set of point guards, so he’s stuck in his own tier. All of the new addition in Brooklyn will probably hinder his scoring output, but it can only help his assists per game and perhaps make him a more efficient shooter, something which has been holding his fantasy game back since leaving Utah.
RAJON RONDO, Boston Celtics
JOHN WALL, Washington Wizards
RICKY RUBIO, Minnesota Timberwolves
These guys are one important point guard category away from taking the next leap in the fantasy game. I compare all three to Russell Westbrook, who is only two seasons removed from averaging just 0.4 treys per game. All of the other stats are there, especially in the rebounding department, where these guys give you the biggest edge. Rondo, Wall and Rubio are triple-double threats every night and are the future of the fantasy game.
MONTA ELLIS, Dallas Mavericks
TY LAWSON, Denver Nuggets
DAMIAN LILLARD, Portland Trail Blazers
JRUE HOLIDAY, New Orleans Pelicans
At this point of the draft, most of the better passers are off the board, but that doesn’t render the point guard position totally useless. Finding players who get you categories that are different for their position are golden in fantasy basketball, so the fact that these guys won’t drop as many dimes as others doesn’t matter when they score better than a shooting guard. All of these guys should have plenty of opportunities with the ball in their hands this year, leading the show for their respective teams.
TONY PARKER, San Antonio Spurs
Another year closer to Tim Duncan’s retirement means another year closer to Parker totally taking over the Spurs fantasy. If he made more threes and had more of an impact on the defensive end, Parker would shoot up the Top 50, but when he’s healthy, he’s still a rock solid fantasy point guard.