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).
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.