2015-16 Fantasy Basketball Point Guard Rankings: Can Anyone Touch Stephen Curry?
Stephen Curry finished his 2014-15 NBA campaign as an All-Star, All-NBA First Teamer, MVP, and champion. Most importantly, though -- at least for our purposes -- he finished as the top-rated point guard in fantasy hoops.
It seems kind of obvious now to view Curry as that clear-cut number one pick at the position, but don't lose sight of the fact that Chris Paul held that title for seven straight seasons before he was dethroned last year and still finished as the second-ranked point guard (and fourth overall) himself.
Beyond those two point gods, the position is still plenty deep as you go down the line. Eight of the following 10 point guards have an average draft position (ADP) in the first three rounds of your standard 12-team league, according to BasketballMonster.com.
That means if you want to stay competitive at the position -- and in the stats that are glued to it, like assists, threes, steals, and free throw percentage -- you'll want to grab one of these guys with one of your first few picks. We've got the Late Round Quarterback on staff here, but we're not fully onboard with the "late-round point guard" movement just yet (unless you're punting assists, of course).
These rankings are based on our system’s projections for each player this season and his given Fantasy Score (as seen on our Remaining Year Projections page). That score represents the player's projected value based on the combination of all nine standard fantasy basketball categories (points, threes, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, field goal percentage, free throw percentage, and turnovers). For the purposes of this article, all players with PG and PG/SG as a fantasy position were considered.
1. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Stephen Curry is not only the best point guard going into fantasy this year, but he's also got a shot at beating out Anthony Davis as the top player overall. That makes him hard to pass up with a second overall pick. He gives you elite scoring, triples, assists, steals, and free throw percentage, while tossing in good rebounding for the position and the second-best field goal percentage among point guards (an underrated part of his line). He's a no-brainer once Brow comes off the board and should go before any other point guard in all drafts. Any fear of his being fragile is all but gone too, after three straight seasons of 78-plus games played.
2. Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
Everyone's getting bored of drafting Chris Paul early in fantasy drafts, but don't overthink him if he drops to you. He finished as the fourth-ranked player in nine-category leagues last year, marking his eighth-straight season in the top four. That kind of floor is simply too tantalizing to ignore, and there's nothing to suggest that he can't do it again this year (to wit, we've got him projected to finish third overall). He's got a chance of leading the league in assists and steals every single season, while tossing in great scoring, threes, rebounds (for the position), free throw percentage, and low turnovers to boot. It's amazing how few holes he has in his fantasy line after all these years.
3. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
Russell Westbrook flew up the fantasy charts last season as he played without Kevin Durant for most of the year, finishing as the seventh-ranked player overall in nine-category leagues. Some people are calling for a Russ regression once he's re-paired with a healthy KD, but we're not buying it. The points might dip a little, but the rest is here to stay. He's projected as our sixth-best fantasy asset overall going into the season, as he'll continue to give you top-notch scoring, threes, rebounds, assists, steals, and free throw percentage. The field goal percentage at such a high volume and the turnovers are an eyesore, so he might serve as a good jumping point for a punt in one of those areas if you grab him in the first round.
4. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
This could very well be the year that Damian Lillard takes a leap into fantasy superstardom, now that he's the go-to guy in Portland with LaMarcus Aldridge et al. out of town. We see his scoring and assist numbers going up with all that extra usage, while everything else should stay in the relative range that made him the 16th-ranked player in nine-category leagues by year's end last season. His efficiency could very well take a dip with all the added attention from opposing defenses, but our algorithms like him to figure it out. Our projection of him as our seventh-ranked player overall in 2015-16 might seem aggressive, but we stand by it.
5. John Wall, Washington Wizards
John Wall (10.0 assists per game) darn near led the league in assists last season, trailing only Chris Paul (10.2) and joining him as the only other player in the Association to average double-digit dimes. The high turnovers are a detriment in nine-category leagues, and the lack of threes at the position stings a little (unless you're punting them), but the points, rebounds (for the position), steals, and free throw percentage are plenty nice in the second round (his current ADP is around 16th overall). Even his 0.6 blocks per game last season was subtly the best mark at the position. He's currently projected as our 13th-ranked fantasy player overall heading into this season.
6. Jeff Teague, Atlanta Hawks
Did you notice that Jeff Teague finished last season as the 26th-ranked player in nine-category leagues and the sixth-ranked point guard? Despite that, he's still got an ADP north of 40 going into this season. We're much higher on Teague than most, however, with DeMarre Carroll out of town and Kyle Korver coming off multiple surgeries. Teague is projected as our 14th-ranked fantasy player going into this season, as we see him playing more time and with a higher usage in his age-27 season, resulting in a boost across the board in his counting stats. He's a great pick at his current ADP if you whiff on the first few elite point guards.
7. Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors
Kyle Lowry went through a pretty amazing transformation this summer, losing a lot of weight and adding some muscle. The early returns of the preseason have been incredibly positive, as he's scored 91 points in only 75 minutes played, with a shooting split of 68.3% from the field, 64.7% from deep, and 92.3% from the line (good enough for a ridiculous True Shooting Percentage of 86.8%). While that kind of ultra-efficient scoring is far from sustainable, he looks like a good bet to meet and possibly exceed his 17th-ranked season in nine-category leagues from 2013-14, after an injury-riddled 2014-15 bumped him down to 30th. We're all in on Lowry, projecting him as our 15th-ranked player overall, as a great source of points, threes, rebounds (for a point guard), assists, steals, and free throw percentage, with manageable turnovers for the position.
8. Mike Conley, Memphis Grizzlies
Mike Conley is an eternally underrated point guard in fantasy hoops. His line lacks the flash of the gaudy assist numbers that are often associated with top-tier point guards, but he's simply solid across all nine categories instead. He gives you above-average value in points, threes, assists, steals, and free throw percentage, while his rebounds, field goal percentage, and turnovers are all respectable for the position (and who cares if your point guard blocks shots anyway?). His days of averaging two-plus steals per contest seem oddly behind him, but a return to form there could make Conley extra valuable at his current ADP of 33. He's our 24th-ranked player overall.
9. Isaiah Thomas, Boston Celtics
Here's a place where our projections are pretty contrarian. Isaiah Thomas' current ADP sits at around 75, but we like him as the 26th player overall in nine-category leagues. Of course, if you looked at his last season in Sacramento in 2013-14, when he started the last 54 games he played, you wouldn't be so surprised. He finished that season as the 32nd-ranked player, putting up major value in points, threes, assists, steals, and free throw percentage. He might not start for the Boston Celtics this year, but at least they recognize that he's their best offensive player. Last season's 73rd-ranked season was most likely an aberration, as he bounced from Phoenix to Boston. Regardless of whether he starts or comes off the bench as the team's sixth man, IT2 will get a lot of run for the Celtics this year and has a good chance to destroy his ADP in the process.
10. Eric Bledsoe, Phoenix Suns
In his two years as an everyday starter for the Phoenix Suns, Eric Bledsoe has put up a 52nd-ranked season in nine-category leagues (2013-14), and a 43rd-ranked one (last year). Now that Goran Dragic is out of the picture entirely from the jump this season, we expect Bledsoe to take the reins as the lead dog in Phoenix and make a leap in fantasy (with Brandon Knight being a clearer number two than Dragic ever was). Bledsoe's currently projected as our 28th-ranked player overall, as a good source of points, threes, assists, steals, and free throw percentage, while being one of the best point guards in the game when it comes to rebounds, blocks, and field goal percentage. Not bad at an ADP around 35 if you miss out on the other elite guys at the position in the first couple rounds.
The rest of our point guard rankings can be found here.