For me, an SG in Fantasy Basketball is the equivalent of those crappy sweaters my mother buys me for Christmas every year. (I gave the last one to my cat. True story.)
But a PG?
(Insert the image of God here.)
PGs are LITERALLY the most valuable commodity in the electronic game.
It's simple math: One ball, 5 players. One guy's job is to initiate the offense. That guy will naturally have a monopoly on assists, and even get way more chances to score.
Enter usage. If you've been following my Fake Teams articles, you'll know I refer to this statistic with almost religious fervour.
For the uninitiated, usage is the term that dictates how many possessions a player on a basketball team uses during the course of a game. As stated above, because a point guard generally is the first person to have the ball, he can make decisions on whether or not to pass or shoot. While highly efficient, pass-first PGs like Jose Calderon are quick to make that first pass, others like Kyle Lowry are just as likely to shoot as to pass.
It's precisely this unique monopoly of ball possession that makes them so valuable.
Many PGs can do everything typical SGs can do, but they also generate most of the assists for their basketball team. (Because they're so valuable, a ballsy strategy in Fantasy Basketball is to punt assists - and draft bigs in the upper levels of your Fantasy draft. For leagues with turnovers as a cat, you're almost guaranteed to win the TO cat every week in this scenario.)
Anyway, since you basically have 1 guy on every team in the league that has a realistic chance of getting you those valuable assists you need (PGs also tend to hit 3s and get steals), you'll rarely (if ever) find a meaningful PG on the waiver wire mid-season. So if you want assists, you basically have to draft them. And that is why PGs are the most valuable players in Fantasy Basketball. (For all the vets out there, I know you already know all this.)
So without further ado, here are my top rankings for PGs this year. Learn these names. Because if you don't draft them, you're probably not going to find any of these guys in FA during the year...
Sleep with me:
1. Chris Paul, LAC
2. Steph Curry, GSW
3. Russell Westbrook, OKC
4. John Wall, WAS
These are the beasts. Multi-cat, assist-heavy game-changers. Want any of these guys? They'll cost you a 1st round pick.
On the cusp of greatness:
5. Kyle Lowry, TOR
6. Damian Lillard, POR
7. Kyrie Irving, CLE
Lowry and Lillard are heavy-usage guys with the keys to the offense for their respective teams. Both have 1st round potential next year. Kyrie Irving is one of the most talented players in the league, but his usage situation is not clear with the additions of LeBron and K-Love. Still worthy of a 2nd round pick, but his Fantasy upside is unclear until we see how the stats add up in New Cleveland...
8. Dwyane Wade, MIA
9. Goran Dragic, PHX
10. Derrick Rose, CHI
11. Rajon Rondo, BOS
Do you trust D-Wade's health? Or Dragic's role in the offense? Or D-Rose's reckless abandon? Or Rondo's team of nobodys? (I'll even give Kobe a shout-out in this section, since Yahoo curiously lists him as a PG/SG in their position rankings this year.) I'm firmly behind my first 7, but #8 - 11 have too much risk for me to actively pursue. The upside is huge, but so is the bust potential. There are less volatile options at more economically efficient draft positions.
12. Ty Lawson, DEN
13. Mike Conley, MEM
14. Deron Williams, BKN
I've got these 3 guys ranked in order from #34 - 36 overall in my Top 100. As late 3rd rounders/early 4th rounders, I'd be perfectly happy not snagging a PG until this section. There are better options available, but the value at the 3rd round turn couldn't be higher than right here...
15. Jrue Holiday, NO
16. Eric Bledsoe, PHX
17. Monta Ellis, DAL
18. Kemba Walker, CHA
19. Ricky Rubio, MIN
All the PGs in this section contribute in many different categories, but all have asterisks beside them. Jrue Holiday basically missed all of last year. What kind of shape is he in, and how many touches are left for him in Anthony Davis' house? Will Bledsoe sign? Approaching 30, when does the decline start for Monta? Kemba and Rubio are multi-cat beasts, but could lose you the FG% cat every week by themselves.
20. Victor Oladipo, ORL
21. Tony Parker, SAS
22. Jeff Teague, ATL
23. Michael Carter-Williams, PHI
24. Isaiah Thomas, PHX
Parker and Teague are proven vets, but unspectacular Fantasy performers. The other 3 all broke out last year, maybe. Rational thinking would posit that Oladipo and MCW will only build on their stellar rookie campaigns, but that's not always true... As for guards in PHX, I don't trust any of 'em.
Bent, but not broken:
25. Jose Calderon, NY
26. Brandon Jennings, DET
27. Jamal Crawford, LAC
28. Trey Burke, UTA
29. George Hill, IND
30. Darren Collison, SAC
Not the best options out there, but useful if you need a PG. An assist is an assist... Burke and Hill have good situations this year though.
Brandon Knight, MIL
Kendall Marshall, MIL
Jeremy Lin, LAL
Dante Exum, UTA
Shabazz Napier, MIA
Take Knight & Marshall as handcuffs if you can. (Jason Kidd's PGs are gonna get stats.) Linsanity's value is contingent on The Black Mamba's health. I keep hearing rave reviews about Exum's ball skills, and that Utah rotation is far from solidified... As for Shabazz, he was my favourite player in the NCAA last year. He's a late round flier, but could pay off big time. A guy with his heart could find a way into that starting rotation at some point. If that happens, watch out...
So that's what I got, e-ballers. If you're ever choosing between a point guard and another position in your draft, I say take the PG. EVERY team will want a PG, so you can always trade them for other team needs later in the year. But if you end up as the only team without any good ones, you're basically screwed on the trade market: In the supply/demand world of Fantasy Basketball economics, PGs are as close to a fixed price as exists in the fake management world...