With the top 20 and top 10 for 2011 fantasy basketball in the can, it’s time delve into the top 20 point guards for 2011 fantasy basketball. Grab a croissant and dip it in a seltzer drink, or don’t. I’ve decided to eschew (gazundheit!) all drama and went with the floor generals first. You can’t mess this position up on draft day or else you’re sunk. These guys have the ball in their hand more than 80 percent of the rest of the league and the elite among them often make up for the shortcomings of two or three other players on your team. No other position has as many players that can do that.
I’ve listed 2011 projections below. As always, I’ve ranked them according to 9-category, H2H/Roto hybrid. It’s like Frankenstein’s monster, with fewer neck bolts. Well, accept for Raymond Felton. He needs the neck bolts. If you want top 20 lists for the other positions, come back here tomorrow. Or if you can’t wait until tomorrow, just stay here until night turns into morning again. If you don’t fall asleep, it still counts as one long day.
Here are the top 20 point guards for 2011 fantasy basketball:
6. John Wall – I’m seeing a few ‘perts slip John Wall’s name in on their lists of players who should surprise this season. I say bunk. John Wall surprised everyone last year. There are only two rookies in NBA history to average at least 16.4 pts/8.3 ast/ 1.4 steals and that’s Damon Stoudamire and Wall. Such rare company should tell you that the kid is special and he’s got room to improve. He turned the ball over 3.5 times a game and carried a shooting percentage that suggested he was doing it with both eyes closed. If he opens his eyes this year, he’ll open everyone else’s eyes, too.
Season Projections: .440/.770/0.5 3pt/19.5 pts/4.5 rbd/8 ast/1 stl/1 blk/3 tov
7. Tyreke Evans – Speaking of special rookies, Evans was one too in 2009. Last year, however, he came back down to Earth, regressing in almost every major stat category – especially his FG%. But he missed 25 games with injury. Injury, in this case, was plantar fasciitis and other nagging foot injuries, not the name of a woman he ran off into the desert to smoke opiates with. Nagging foot injuries tend to, well, nag; otherwise they’d be called “gently suggestive injuries” or “constructively critical injuries.” Still, Evans has had eight months off and should be healed. I’m giving him a passed on those 25 games and assuming he not only bounces back, but improves on his rookie season.
Season Projections: .449/.779/0.5 3pt/19.5 pts/5.5 rbd/7 ast/1.5 stl/0.5 blk/3 tov
8. Steve Nash – On the one hand, Nash has a bad back and will turn 38 in February. On the other hand, he’s the led the league in assists two years running and maintains one of the best sets of percentages of any player in fantasy basketball. And then on the third hand that you hide by wearing loose sweatshirts, the Suns are a bit of a wildcard that makes drafting anyone on that roster somewhat risky. If you draft Nash, I’d suggest drafting your second PG fairly quickly after him just to cover yourself. (Especially that gross third hand!)
Season Projections: .480/.935/1 3pt/14.5 pts/3 rbd/10 ast/0.5 stl/0 blk/3.5 tov
9. Rajon Rondo – Rondo reminds me of the girl you’re interested in until you hear all your friends talk about her big nose. Then that nose becomes your entire focus to the point where you’re almost not interested anymore. Then, after being stupid about the nose for a little while, you realize you can live with it and the upshot is that you’re not as intimidated by her as you once were. Rondo’s scoring is his nose, which is why you’re not drafting him in the top 5. Drop him down and peg and he’s beautiful.
Season Projections: .515/.600/0 3ptm/12 pts/5 rbd/10.5 ast/2.5 stl/0 blk/3 tov
10. Jrue Holiday – The Sixers made a respectable run at the Heat in the playoffs and much of the credit went to Elton Brand and Doug Collins’ hugs. And while the power of love is a curious thing, Huey Lewis, it’s not as curious as the general silence surrounding Holiday’s huge improvement between his rookie and sophomore seasons. He started in all 82 games, averegd 35 minutes in each of those contests and improved his per minute stats in almost every stat category. He’s 21. Don’t make me beg.
Season Projections: .460/.815/1 3pt/18 pts/3.5 rbd/7.5 ast/2 stl/0 blk/2.5 tov
11. Tony Parker – There’s not much to say about Monsieur Parker. He’s the youngest of San Antonio’s big three, he had a rebound year least season (his healthiest in his last four), George Hill is no longer an issue for either Spurs guard, he doesn’t shoot threes and only Derrick Rose has a teardrop layup on par with his own. I guess there was a little to say about Parker, after all. Still, you kinda know hat you’re getting with Parker. He’s exciting like vanilla ice cream and Adam Sandler movies. Hey, 50 million Americans love Adam Sandler and vanilla ice cream! Yes, which means 260 million don’t.
Season Projections: .494/.777/0 3pt/19.5 pts/3.5 rbd/5.5 ast/1 stl/0 blk/3 tov
12. Ty Lawson – Lawson is like that kid in high school who passed his driver’s test on the first attempt, aced his written exam, and was given a Mustang for his 16th birthday by his parents on the condition that he only drive it around the block and never going faster than 20 mph. Lawson spent all that time on the bench, backing up Billups, waiting to get the keys to the Nuggets only to have them finally ship him out … and bring in Raymond Felton. So he waited out the remainder of the season sharing time with Felton, sometimes playing alongside him, under the impression that they’d make an offseason move using Felton. Then, before the Lockout, they manage to ship Felton … in exchange for Andre Miller. Let the dude drive his Mustang as fast as he wants on the damn highway already.
Season Projections: .490/.790/1 3pt/15.5 pts/3.5 rbd/7 ast/1 stl/0.5 blk/2.5 tov
13. Brandon Jennings – I’m hopeful for Jennings’ third season in the league (or if you’re hungry, “seasoning the league.” Because let’s face it, the Central Division is a little bland). He missed 19 games himself and when he was healthy was surrounded by guys like Bogut (injured), Ilyasova (injured), Delfino (injured) and Maggette (healthier than anyone wanted). Amidst all that, the kid still managed to improve. I like his chances of not regressing, even with the addition of a sturdy Beno Udrih. “We’ll see bout that! Unleash Stephen Jackson!” – The Gods.
Season Projections: .422/.795/1.5 3pt/15 pts/4 rbd/6.5 ast/1.5 stl/0 blk/2.5 tov
14. Devin Harris – Whoa. Harris is ranked higher than Kidd. Well, we all saw this coming, didn’t we? Everyone except the Mavericks, I guess. Take that, Dallas! You traded away a slightly underperforming draft pick for an aging veteran who eventually brought your franchise a Finals championship! Uh, take THAT! The fact that I have not yet mentioned the team Harris currently plays for in this blurb says more about Utah than Jazz fans would like to admit.
Season Projections: .456/.824/1 3pt/17 pts/3 rbd/6.5 ast/1.5 stl/0 blk/3 tov
15. Darren Collison – I’m convinced that DarCo’s stellar play during his rookie season came at the hands of Chris Paul, who coached his understudy from the bench while he was injured. That’s no small coincidence, especially when you consider how rudderless the Pacers were to start the season last year. Indy appears to be in a position to turn that around this season, so I’m projecting slight improvements to Collison’s final line, but nothing like the phenom stats we were seeing in 2009. That was more Paul than Collison.
Season Projections: .470/.875/0.5 3pt/14.5 pts/3.5 rbd/7.5 ast/1.5 stl/0 blk/2.5 tov
16. Raymond Felton – On paper, Felton looks like he might help Portland just as much as Andre Miller did three seasons ago. e’s not on the fast-paced Denver an New York teams from last year, which will help his counting stats, but he’s still surrounded by enough talent to make him ownable. His defense is above-average, Portland’s pace should help him find higher efficiency numbers, and his pass-first style will find many ready and willing hands to toss balls at. And for those of you just joining us from Google search: “hands+willing+toss balls at” – welcome. And, I’m sorry. And also, gross.
Season Projections: .440/.800/1 3pt/13 pts/3.5 rbd/7 ast/1.5 stl/0 blk/3 tov
17. D.J. Augustin – The people drafting Augustin hoping for more than 16/3/7 must agree right now not to ask me in February if they should drop him for Mo Williams. A) no you should not (probably) and B) what were you hoping for when you grabbed a Charlotte Bobcat?
Season Projections: .435/.910/1.5 3pt/16 pts/3 rbd/7 ast/0.5 stl/0 blk/2.5 tov
18. Chauncey Billups – Pardon me, but I don’t like players who were alive during the Ford administration. Disco is in Billups’ blood. It’s not his fault. He can’t help it, but I can’t be drafting point guards born into disco as my first option. I just can’t do it. I WON’T do it, dammit.
Season Projections: .429/.925/1.5 3pt/16 pts/2.5 rbd/5 ast/1 stl/0 blk/2.5 tov
19. Kyle Lowry – This concludes our triplet of “Bubble-Butt PGs Still Worth Owning in Most Fantasy Leagues.” We opened with Felton, continued on with Billups and now present you with Lowry: a 6’0″, 175 lb. 25-year-old, with five full seasons under his belt and a 10/3.5/5.5 career average. He’ll get similar minutes to the 34 per contest he saw last year, but you’ve sniffed too much Kool-Aid if you think he’s set for some kind of break-out season. Lowry broke out last season, as in “Aaron Brooks is broke, out goes Lowry, I guess! … Also, don’t look at me like that. You can absolutely sniff Kool-Aid. Just don’t mix it with water. Duh.
Season Projections: .435/.805/1 3pt/14.5 pts/4 rbd/6 ast/1 stl/0 blk/2 tov
20. Mike Conley – Conley Direct Messaged me on Twitter asking me to IM him for his phone number so that I could call him. My call went straight to voicemail, so I texted him “Whut Up, Bro?” He BBM’ed me asking that I write about Conley having improved almost across the board in three of his first four seasons. He then asked that I mention he wants everyone to get off his back. I told him I was nobody’s puppet and deleted his texts. Showed him.
Season Projections: .454/.750/1 3pt/14.5 pts/3.5 rbd/6.5 ast/2 stl/0 blk/2.5 tov