The 10 Best Fantasy Basketball Point Guards for 2016-17
It's fantasy basketball season, and that means fantasy basketball drafts.
You can get a jumpstart on your research by checking out our fresh NBA player projections, which feature total and per-game projections as well as a one-number fantasy value, showing a player's importance based on his overall contributions to your fantasy squad.
Based on those projections and value-added calculations, who are the top primary point guard options (those designated as "PG" or "PG, SG") entering the 2016-17 season?
10. Victor Oladipo, Oklahoma City Thunder
Victor Oladipo isn't the only Oklahoma City Thunder point guard you'll see on this list, but he figures to be an all-around asset for Oklahoma City this season when Russell Westbrook isn't dominating the ball and Enes Kanter isn't drawing looks near the hoop. We project him to be near the top of the NBA in steals per game (1.7) and near the top of the point-guard pool in rebounds per game (5.0).
9. Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
Kyrie Irving won't boost your ranking in rebounds (3.7 per game projected) or blocks (0.2), but he will contribute nearly everywhere else, particularly at the free-throw line and three-point category. We project him to finish fourth among point-guards in points per game (22.3).
8. John Wall, Washington Wizards
John Wall is one of just two players projected to average more than 10.0 assists per game, making his suspect percentage marks more palatable. He'll also be in the conversation for the league lead in steals and rebounds among point guards.
7. Isaiah Thomas, Boston Celtics
Isaiah Thomas narrowly edges Wall by our fantasy value, but his balanced line of 21.5 points, 2.0 threes, 6.0 assists, and 1.1 steals makes him less likely to drain your ranks anywhere in particular. The addition of Al Horford might ding his value, but he's a sturdy option at point guard who is falling to the third round, on average.
6. Kemba Walker, Charlotte Hornets
Kemba Walker had a breakout season offensively last year, jumping his points-per-game mark to 20.9, up from 17.7, 17.7, and 17.3 the three prior seasons. The Charlotte Hornets aren't teeming with offensive options, so his scoring rate shouldn't drop much if it does at all. That comes with nearly two three-pointers per game and useful counting stats across the board for a point guard.
5. Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors
Our algorithms see a big drop in three-point makes for Kyle Lowry, down to 1.9 from 2.8 last season. Even with that, he's a top-five point guard option, given his contributions elsewhere. His 2.0 steals per game are projected to rank tied for third among guards, and the 4.7 rebounds will flirt with the top of the point guard pool. If his minutes remain high, he's going to be a borderline elite point guard option, and even if they don't, he'll be a useful player given his overall contributions.
4. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard is projected for 3.0 three-point makes per contest, making him the only player not on the Golden State Warriors projected for that many (he had 3.1 last year). He's pegged to finish third in points per game among primary point guards, and the free-throw percentage helps boost his value despite his modest rebound and steal values for a point guard. Even with C.J. McCollum in the backcourt, Lillard is an unstoppable offensive option who is worth consideration at the first-to-second-round turn in drafts.
3. Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
Chris Paul is one of the most consistent options in all of fantasy basketball. He's going to give you elite returns in assists (9.7) and steals (2.0) as well as free-throw percentage (89.8%). He's a cut above the rest of the field behind him based on his overall fantasy score (7.7), and if you miss out on the top two point guards, you'll want to consider the safety of Paul, our sixth-ranked player overall.
2. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
Westbrook is the consensus top pick based on average draft position, but he doesn't top this list. Only he and James Harden are projected for more than 3.7 turnovers per game, and you can't overlook that when considering Westbrook's ceiling. Our algorithms do see Westbrook leading the NBA in assists (10.6) and steals (2.1, tied with Ricky Rubio) and second in points per game (27.8), but he's not without flaws like our top ranked player.
1. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Stephen Curry's 12.9 fantasy score is the only mark above 9.3 because he's glorious in every way. Our algorithms see his points per game mark falling from 30.1 to 26.6, but even with that comes 4.5 three-point makes per game and elite marks just about everywhere else. Yes, Kevin Durant will steal some of his touches, but Curry is the smart pick first overall regardless.