Yarr, ahoy, mateys. September 19th is talk like a pirate day, and I will shiver ye timbers with more  2012-2013 fantasy basketball rankings. Today we be lookin’ at tha shootin’ guard. Reminds me of the time I shot a man for stealing me rum, or maybe I’m just remembering the time I drank too much rum and shot my urine all over the sidewalk. Yarr… Anyway, shooting guard is a pretty well balanced position, all things considered, but that’s partly because the best of the bunch isn’t that much better than the middle of the pack. You could go dip into the 5th or 6th round without a shooting guard and be fine. In fact, it’s kind of a boring position, unlike the pirate life. Don’t take this to mean you should draft DeMar DeRozan as your top shooting guard, of course (edit: DeRozan isn’t going to be a shooting guard this season, anyway).

1. Dwyane Wade – See top 10 for 2012 fantasy basketball for Dwyane Wade’s projections.

2. Kobe Bryant – See top 20 for 2012 fantasy basketball for Kobe Bryant’s projections.

3. Monta Ellis – See top 20 for 2012 fantasy basketball for Monta Ellis’ projections. This ends the first tier, which I call “Ahoy, look what’s floated to the surface.”

4. Joe Johnson – This is a new tier, aptly called “Surrender the booty,” which ends with Thornton. I would happily take anyone from this tier to be my #1 SG, which may work out as I have other higher positional priorities. Sockless Joe Johnson is paired up with Deron Williams, which makes a few people nervous, but I think it’s a happy pairing.  He should continue to take his threes and and collect his points. Projections: .452 fg/.839 ft/1.8 3pt/19.0 pts/4.2 rbd/4.3 ast/0.9 stl/0.1 blk/2.3 tov

5. Eric Gordon – Gordon may be spearheading the offense in Narlins, and could provide a better source of threes and points than Johnson. Gordon won’t offer as much with the peripheral stats, and I am expecting some pain with turnovers, but overall he easily fits into the top 5 for SG. Projections: .462 fg/.795 ft/2.0 3pt/23.2 pts/2.5 rbd/3.1 ast/1.2 stl/0.2 blk/3.0 tov

6. Marcus Thornton – I like Thornton quite a bit. He’s a prolific three point shooter who will also provide satisfactory results in assist and steals, not to mention a hefty PPG value. Projections: .460 fg/.864 ft/2.2 3pt/22.5 pts/4.6 rbd/2.3 ast/1.7 stl/0.2 blk/2.0 tov

7. Andre Iguodala –  This tier goes from here until Paul George. It’s called “…And a bottle of rum.” This group of players should be jolly good on your team, but may leave you with a headache some days.  A.I. is disappointing when it comes to threes, but I love the way he can provide rebounds, assists and steals As the starting shooting guard for the Denver Nuggets, it would be nice to see him up his three point game a bit. Projections: .444 fg/.702 ft/1.1 3pt/15.2 pts/6.2 rbd/5.9 ast/1.9 stl/0.5 blk/2.4 tov

8. James Harden –  If he’s out of the platoon, he’ll be giving ye gold doublons. Yarr, pirate puns. Harden’s stats have been on the rise, with great ratios and solid counting stat production. He can really nail the ball from anywhere, be it inside the paint, at the free throw line or beyond the arc. That offers real value, especially if you draft another player in an earlier round that’s going to hurt your ratios. Projections: .484 fg/.845 ft/1.4 3pt/19.8 pts/4.6 rbd/4.4 ast/1.2 stl/0.2 blk/2.4 tov

9. Paul George – John Ringo is ranked a little high for sleeper status, but I like what he brings to the table, specifically rebounds. He has room to grow and is only 22 years old, but his potential for dazzling numbers can also be hampered by inexperience and growing pains. I think he’s worth the pick here, but there’s no reward without some risk. Because I said so. Projections: .460 fg/.812 ft/1.5 3pt/13.5 pts/6.2 rbd/2.8 ast/2.2 stl/0.6 blk/2.2 tov

10.  Kevin Martin – This tier runs from here to Wesley Matthews, a group I dub “Sea Wenches.” K-Mart has been in decline in recent years, both the player and the store. Okay, well, the store has been in decline for decades, and we’re talking about Kevin and not Kenyon Martin, but that’s besides the point. He’s a bit of an injury risk, has seen his numbers decrease over time, and will probably be drafted higher based on name value. On the other hand, he should continue to rack up threes. Projections: .431 fg/.899 ft/2.1 3pt/19.7 pts/3.1 rbd/2.9 ast/1.0 stl/0.1 blk/2.6 tov

11.  Manu Ginobili – He’s on the downward slope of his career, with declining minutes going to hurt his production. He can still be a reliable shooting guard on your team, but there is no upside here. In a ten team league, he shouldn’t be your starting SG. Projections: .453 fg/.868 ft/1.6 3pt/15.2 pts/3.5 rbd/4.4 ast/1.0 stl/0.3 blk/2.2 tov

12.  Louis Williams – With a starting role, he has the opportunity to put up some prodigious numbers. I don’t love his FG%, and he can be a drain in some other stat areas, although his low turnover rate is certainly nice. If he becomes a focal point in Atlanta, the future looks bright for Lou. I might switch him and Ginobli before the preseason starts. Projections: .413 fg/.822 ft/1.3 3pg/16.5 pts/2.8 rbd/3.9 ast/1.0 stl/0.3 blk/1.5 tov

13.  Rodney Stuckey – He doesn’t take many threes, score many points or handle the ball well, but you could be getting a generous helping of assists from the SG position with Stuckey. Projections: .432 fg/.840 ft/0.5 3pt/15.8 pts/3.0 rbd/4.9 ast/1.2 stl/0.1 blk/2.4 tov

14. Wesley Matthews – I like Matthews probably more than most folks, but I have a soft spot for someone that can hit threes. I expect a bounce back from last year, and if he could tighten up his game a little bit, he will be a decent pick around this spot. Projections: .444 fg/.852 ft/2.1 3pt/14.7 pts/3.3 rbd/1.9 ast/1.6 stl/0.1 blk/1.4 tov

15.  Klay Thompson –  Thompson gets his own tier, “Hidden Treasure.” With the right number of minutes, Thompson should be able to give big numbers, but he’s still young and will be starting in only his second season. He could be a very nice surprise. Projections: .450 fg/.871 ft/1.9 3pt/14.1 pts/2.8 rbd/2.8 ast/0.9 stl/0.3 blk/2.0 tov

16.  Ray Allen – This tier is called “Flotsam and Jetsam” and runs through ’til the end. I really wish Allen wasn’t on the Heat, but he is, and he’s old, so his numbers will be heading south. He can still provide some value with ratios and hopefully threes, but the best is definitely behind him. Projections: .456 fg/.902 ft/1.7 3pt/13.7 pts/2.9 rbd/2.6 ast/0.9 stl/0.2 blk/1.5 tov

17.  Jason Terry –  Terry fits perfectly with our pirate theme, but I don’t really love him for fantasy basketball. Now, yes, you make a good argument about his FT%, high assists and low turnovers, but he is far from exciting with FG%, rebounds and steals. Projections: .427 fg/.872 ft/1.8 3pt/14.7 pts/1.9 rbd/3.7 ast/1.0 stl/0.2 blk/1.9 tov

18.  Arron Afflalo – I’m not sure why I am this down on Afflalo, as he will probably be on my team. I just think he’s peaked, and I glance at the stats and stifle a yawn. I do love those ratios, though. Projections: .478 fg/.799 ft/1.5 3pt/15.6 pts/3.4 rbd/2.5 ast/0.6 stl/0.3 blk/1.5 tov

19.  OJ Mayo – Orange Juice Mayonnaise will likely start for the Mavericks, but even with that going on, I’m not seeing a huge leap in his production. You could take him before Ray Allen and the others, I won’t stop you. Projections: .433 fg/.771 ft/1.5 3pt/14.8 pts/3.3 rbd/2.9 ast/1.0 stl/0.3 blk/2.1 tov

20. Gordon Hayward – Playing guard instead of forward may give him more outside opportunities, but he rounds out the top twenty instead of starting it for a reason. Once again, we have good ratios, but not anything else too inspiring, although he could be a sneaky source of blocks. Projections: .472 fg/.840 ft/0.9 3pt/12.5 pts/3.7 rbd/3.3 ast/1.0 stl/0.8 blk/2.0 tov

Outside of the top twenty, here’s a name for you to consider:

Bradley Beal – The Razzball official Bradley Beal fantasy is worth a second glance. To quote Blairtch, “He’s projected in the 10th-13th rounds on most experts’ boards, but I think Beals could be a popular choice on draft day and with the SG position as shallow as it is, I have seen him go as early as the 7th and 8th round in mock drafts. Yikes. Whoa now, I love me some Bradley Beals as much as the next guy, and I think he’s probably one of the less risky rookies you can draft this year, but I’m having a hard time putting him in my top 100 to start the year.” There you go.

  1. Fenris-77 says:

    I’m pretty sure Eric Gordon can be counted on to shoot over .800 from the stripe. His career numbers are 2-1 on attempts by season that he shoots more like .820 or .830 on between 5.5 and 6.5 attempts per game. That looks a lot more like a plus cat rather than a push.

    I’m also curious about the projected 2.2 Stl per for Paul George. The rest of the projection is more or less in line with his advanced metrics, but that jump to 2.2 Stl is pretty big, especially when you consider it’s a feat only one or two guys in the NBA manage every season. Given that George’s Stl% already spiked half a point last season I think I’d be more comfortable projecting him for 1.75 to 2 per game, assuming something more like full time minutes.

    In a more general way I’d probably disagree with ranking Thornton over Iggy and especially Harden when Thornton himself has potential playing time issues, and Harden outperformed him last season even in the platoon. Call Iggy a push, but I’d probably draft Iggy playing uptempo in Denver before I’d draft Thornton. Conceptual differences I suppose, and if this is all I have to complain about then the rankings must be pretty good.

    • ChrisV

      ChrisV says:

      @Fenris-77, nah, I’m sure the rankings are terrible.

      As far as Gordon, his last two seasons in L.A. saw him with a .786 FT%. I think he’s capable of doing better than that, and even heading north of .800, but I guess we’ll see.

      As for Paul’s steals projections, yeah, they are optimistic, but he is young and trending upward, plus I like the fact that (**small sample size**) he averaged 2.2 steals in the conference semifinals last season.

      • Fenris-77 says:

        @ChrisV, Those last two seasons as a sample size seem a little picky-choosy when he shot .854 on 350 attempts his rookie year. Never mind that the more recent (and bigger sample size) season of the two you are considering he shot .825. I don’t have an issue with a little bit of statistical conservatism, but in this case I think it’s bit pessimistic. It doesn’t seem to have hurt his spot in your rankings though, so we’re really just playing roshambo about methodology at this point.

        George was great in the semi’s for Stl, but that doesn’t make a season average of 2.2 any more likely. 🙂 I like George a lot mind you, and a little optimism there doesn’t really feel out of place.

  2. James Redacted

    James Redacted says:

    Career year for Thornton eh? I can buy that, but I’m not buying the FG% projection. Definitely like Klay Thompson over someone like Stuckey who seems to disappoint nearly every year (or maybe that’s cause I’ve expected him to break out the past couple years and am now bitter. Very bitter.).

    • ChrisV

      ChrisV says:

      @James Redacted, I just used some S.A.T. logic for Thornton. His FG% per year: .451, .410, .450, .438. Using these numbers, he should hit a) .490, b) .411, c) .460, or d) .666. Always go with C, baby! Plus, he’s 25, and the years where he had his best FG% were where he played the most minutes or the most number of games. My boy just needs to find his rhythm.

  3. JP says:

    These rankings are pretty good except that you definitely have Harden too low. He was basically the #1 SG last season. Per b-ball monster 9-cats, he was the #1 overall SG cumulative and #2 (behind Wade) per game. Harden is only 23 and still improving. Also, he could very well be playing for a potential max contract if the Thunder don’t lock him up to a deal before the season starts. Age and injury are definitely a concern for both Wade and Kobe plus Kobe’s usage could fall dramatically this season with the Nash and Howard additions. I would not take any of the players you have listed above him over Harden.

    Stuckey does not belong in the top 20. Decent real life player that can put up points but his game does not translate well to fantasy.

    Someone who I really think is going to outperform this year is Wes Matthews. If he increases his FG% above .440, as you are predicting, then he’s a top 40 overall fantasy player, maybe even higher. This team will play at a faster pace and the new coach likes the 3. Wes has limited competition for minutes and should easily see 36mpg+. The 3PM and STL he should provide will be difference makers. A career year could be coming.

    • ChrisV

      ChrisV says:

      @JP, Harden’s ranking is subject to change once the preseason starts. In fact, all of these are subject to change, but frankly I can see moving him ahead of A.I.

  4. Tony says:

    @ Chris, Fen, James, JP, or anyone that can help. Sorry for the monster post, i was going to post in the forums but it doesn’t seem like anyones posted there since July.

    Helpful info: 18 teams, keep 4 players, subtract their salaries from $200 and that’s what you have left to bid with at a live auction for 4 more players, then a 5 round snake draft follows to complete a roster of 13. It’s a h2h points league and we start GGGFFFC and 1 UTL.

    Scoring: Pts=1
    Rebs = 1.7
    Ast = 3
    3s = 4
    Stls = 4.4
    blk = 6.5

    My Keeps: Monta $36, J. Mcgee $22, P. George $16, and Evan Turner $9.

    Currently I have $127 to spend since I acquired $10 extra in trades. Salaries do increase according to a scale thats set, $10 guys go to $16, but guys in the $30?s only go up like $3, guys over $60 go up $1 per yr. etc.

    I’ve been sending out a few preseason emails seeing what guys are thinking about for their keeps. In some I’ve made some tenative proposals.

    One proposal that might work is me sending my $9 evan turner to last years champ for a $26 Paul Millsap?

    We do trade draft picks from the reserve snake draft as well so he wanted a pick swap along with the deal. So maybe my 2nd round pick for his 4th or something like that (personally draft picks are almost worthless, u have a chance at a breakout but we’re talking guys in 180+ range, and these guys rarely enter your line up due to weekly line ups).

    Positives: I get a forward added to my keeps when when i’m guard heavy, Millsap is more for sure than Evan turner, Millsap could be traded and improve his value, at $26 he’s pretty cheap. Turner could flop and this could be huge for me. Milsap was #23 with my settings at BBM scoring 52.5 fpts per/gm.
    (durant avg 73 fpts per game for reference, melo was like 57fpts pgm)

    Negatives: Turners cheaper, taking on millsap costs me $15 of my draft money, ET is finally looking like he’s gonna see starter mins which could = huge breakout. PG’s tend to be more valuable in this format.

    What do you think? Is it a no brainer? risk/reward?

    Thanks ahead of time, i know its hard to access leagues like this, i appreciate any help.

  5. Fenris-77 says:

    I think I’d do that deal for Millsap. Even if Turner does play a bunch it’s mostly not going to be at PG and there’s nothing really exciting in his advanced metrics to suggest that he’s ever going to be much of a stat stuffer anyway, aside from being possibly a source of solid rebounds and ok Ast from the wing slots. Millsap has some risk to his PT this year, but even with that in mind he still sounds like a good deal for the salary you’re getting him at. He might also bounce back in the Blk department (last year seems like a bit of an outlier on the low side) and that would only help his value in your format.

    • Tony says:

      @Fenris-77, thanks fen i appreciate it.

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