As expected there are a ton of points and three points made in the shooting guard tiers. The key is to look past the points and find the scorers that will also fill in some holes you may have in the other categories. Overall it is a pretty thin position so grabbing elite shooting guards early is preferred and the sleeper potential late in drafts is also extremely thin compared to other positions. Let’s take a look at our shooting guard tiers for the upcoming 2013-2014 fantasy basketball season.
James Harden, Dwyane Wade
Harden really came into his own last year with the move to Houston and filled up the stat sheet across the board. With Howard now in the mix some believe Harden might take a step backwards but I do not believe so. Having Howard commanding double teams will only open up things for Harden. The only other player in this tier is Wade. Some believe he is past his prime but last season he was a 20 point, five board, and five assist player. To me that is still fantasy gold.
Klay Thompson, Monta Ellis, Kobe Bryant, O.J. Mayo, DeMar DeRozan
This tier has a ton of scoring in it. Thompson is a sharp shooter, Ellis, Mayo, DeRozan just love to shoot the ball, and of course we have an injured Bryant, who, when he comes back, will have no issues throwing up over 20 shots a game. I do want to highlight O.J. Mayo as many other sites have him ranked fairly low which we feel is crazy. Often fantasy is as much about opportunity as it is about talent and Mayo should be asked to do the majority of scoring for the Bucks. With Jennings gone Mayo shots per game might creep up to close to 20 which will only increase his scoring potential.
Eric Bledsoe, Evan Turner, Bradley Beal, Wesley Matthews
Tier three is our young gun upside tier. Bledsoe has found a new home with the Suns and his all-around game should provide fantasy greatness as he will finally get the chance to play 30+ minutes a game. Turner has steadily improved over his first few seasons and last year really started to come into his own. Beal played much better once Wall returned to the Bullets’ (cannot call them the W word still) line-up and could take a big step this season. Matthews was solid all last season and one of the most underrated fantasy players in the NBA. The one guy to really highlight is Jimmy Butler, it is great he should be starting and he did blow up in the playoffs last year but remember Rose is coming back so temper expectations. We have seen him going as high as the third round in early drafts which is just too much of a reach for us with the return of Rose.
J.R. Smith, Eric Gordon, Joe Johnson, Dion Waiters, Kevin Martin, Danny Granger
Lots so threes and scoring in this tier but also a lot of injury risks. Gordon and Granger are both coming back from major injuries, if they can return to their old forms; both can provide high value for your team. Out of the two I do prefer Gordon because he will be asked to do much more for his team. Granger is no longer the best player on the Pacers, it is George’s team now so he must adapt to a complimentary role.
Ben McLemore, Danny Green, J.J. Redick, Jamal Crawford, Gerald Henderson, Lou Williams
Other than Henderson this tier provides all sharp shooters but I must highlight the Clippers situation here. In the off-season the Clippers spent a ton of money to get J.J. Redick so he is starting and expecting to play 30+ minutes a game. The Clippers are hoping that Paul will create open looks for the knock down shooter from Duke. Crawford on the other hand does not need anyone to create open looks for him, he does that all on his own. Crawford is the instant offense coming off the bench and even with the signing of Redick, I do not think his role changes at all. Always undervalued since he is a sixth man Crawford is a great later round pick to help a team bolster their threes made.
Arron Affalo, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Alec Burks, Jordan Crawford, Manu Ginobili, Jeremy Lamb
Clearly, there is one name that stands out in this tier and that is Ginobili. Sure, his skill set is much higher than the rest of this tier but we believe he comes close to playing the same amount of games that he did last year, which is only 60. Taking older guys that misses games is not something we recommend, hence Manu being in this tier. Two interesting players are Caldwell-Pope and Lamb. Both will start the year coming off the bench but I could see either of these shooters moving into the starting line-up should they adapt the NBA game quickly. (I know Lamb is not a rookie but he barely played last year)
Randy Foye, C.J. McCollum, Gary Neal, Marcus Thornton, Rodney Stuckey
Hopefully, even in deeper leagues you are not looking at anyone in tier 7 as your starting shooting guard. Many of these players should be asked to do little for their team however; the upside of Gary Neal is interesting. The Bucks let Jennings walk this off-season and signed Neal, O.J. Mayo, and Knight to fill the void left behind. Neal has shown flashes in the past with his shooting abilities so he is certainly someone I will target extremely late in my deeper drafts.
Iman Shumpert, John Jenkins, Courtney Lee, Tony Allen
Well, they are starters so they have to be ranked somewhere. Let the Knicks fan in your league overdraft Shumpert whose real life play far exceeds his fantasy value. Tony Allen is a similar player to Shumpert as he is also a lock down defenders with limited offensive abilities. Both Shumpert and Allen always seem to get over drafted so let them slip right past you in all your drafts this year.