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Monday October 9, 2006 10:16 am

DroppingDimes’ Position Rankings: Point Guards

Gilbert ArenasThough seemingly very deep, this year’s fantasy drafts could easily see four point guards go off the board within the first 12 selections.  The top tier of this season’s point guard class is obviously one that not only drops dimes at will, but also dominates in another category or two (whether they be scoring buckets, swiping rocks, or draining three-balls).  This breakdown should not only give an idea as to what to expect from the top point men this season, but also to show that if you aren’t lucky enough to land one of the top five, your team will be sufficiently staffed with any of the top 25 mentioned here.  We’re also starting to see an emergence of a “Point Guard by Committee” on a few teams, which may hurt the value of a few guys. 

Without further ado, your 2006 fantasy basketball point guards.

(Note: DroppingDimes.com’s overall rank in parenthesis)

1. Gilbert Arenas, PG, Washington Wizards (1.0)
80 G; 29.3 PTS; 3.5 REB; 6.1 AST; 2.5 3PTM; 44.7 FG%; 82.0 FT%; 2.0 STL; 0.3 BLK; 3.7 TO

A second round pick in 2001 by the Golden State Warriors, this guy will be rarely seen falling past the sixth pick in this year’s fantasy drafts.  Arenas brings the thunder from jump ball to end whistle, and a lot of it.  While you’ll get your fair share of turnovers, Gilbert makes up for it with his assists, steals, and three-balls.  He will not only be running the Washington offense, but has a legitimate chance to lead the league in scoring.  Take him in the first round, and focus your needs elsewhere, because you will be well taken care of at the PG slot.

2. Allen Iverson, PG, Philadelphia 76ers (2.75)
72 G; 33 PTS; 3.2 REB; 7.4 AST; 1.0 3PTM; 44.7 FG%; 81.0 FT%; 1.9 STL; 0.1 BLK; 3.4 TO

“Only the Strong Survive.”  Though a year older, the tattoo on Iverson’s left arm says it all.  He may not be the best teammate in the NBA, but the contributions to your fantasy squad are top notch.  You always have the chance of a missed game here and there due to AI’s fearless play, but take the games that he does play and chalk up the huge totals.  Always a threat to put up 50 points, Iverson’s totals make him the point version of a certain Los Angeles shooting guard with the added bonus of assists.  And I’m not talking about Cuttino Mobley.

3. Chris Paul, PG, New Orleans Hornets (3.0)
78 G; 16.1 PTS; 5.1 REB; 7.8 AST; 0.6 3PTM; 43.0 FG%; 85.0 FT%; 2.2 STL; 0.1 BLK; 2.3 TO

Could easily be the top point guard this season.  The kid has what it takes, but I question his scoring totals and lack of three point attempts.  Paul is already one of the better rebounding guards in the league, as well as one of the league leaders in steals.  With the addition of Peja Stojakovic in New Orleans, his already-huge assist totals may increase.  I’ve seen him going earlier and earlier in drafts, but Paul has a solid chance at playing to his draft value.

4. Steve Nash, PG, Phoenix Suns (4.0)
79 G; 18.8 PTS; 4.2 REB; 10.5 AST; 1.9 3PTM; 51.2 FG%; 92.0 FT%; 0.8 STL; 0.2 BLK; 3.5 TO

New hair style (or lack thereof), but expect the same old Steve Nash.  Nelly Furtado’s favorite point man takes his incredible assist totals, and second MVP trophy, into the 2006 season where he will be rejoined with uber-explosive Amare Stoudemire.  The percentages that Nash brings are rock solid.  However, with less of a need for scoring, and his severe inability to play defense, we have no choice but to put him fourth.  This Canadian is quite the consolation prize if you can’t grab one of the top three, eh?

5. Jason Kidd, PG, New Jersey Nets (4.5)
80 G; 13.3 PTS; 7.3 REB; 8.4 AST; 1.7 3PTM; 40.4 FG%; 80.0 FT%; 1.9 STL; 0.4 BLK; 2.4 TO

A triple-double threat every night, J-Kidd rarely fails to fill up the box score.  The field goal percentage can be a killer at times, but Kidd’s ability to give you seven category production definitely makes up for the low total.  Age may start to become a concern with J-Kidd, but remember last season when Jeff McInnis was going to keep him to 30 minutes a game?  Draft this guy, and receive a chock full of free-throw line love to go with solid across the board numbers.

6. Chauncey Billups, PG, Detroit Pistons (5.75)
81 G; 18.5 PTS; 3.1 REB; 8.6 AST; 2.3 3PTM; 41.8 FG%; 89.0 FT%; 0.9 STL; 0.1 BLK; 2.1 TO

Detroit faithful had this guy pegged as an MVP candidate last season, and looking at the numbers, it’s hard to disagree.  One of the best assist-to-turnover men in the league should continue to be one of the most efficient point guards into this season.  However, due to the age of Billups as well as the overall aging of the Pistons, I would not expect a repeat of last season’s incredible totals.  Solid option…just will not be a top 12 overall player this time around.

7. Mike Bibby, PG, Sacramento Kings (7.0)
82 G; 21.1 PTS; 2.9 REB; 5.4 AST; 2.3 3PTM; 43.2 FG%; 85.0 FT%; 1.0 STL; 0.1 BLK; 2.4 TO

The loss of Peja Stojakovic to the Indiana Pacers likely hampered his assist totals last season and without as steady a shooter on the Kings the assists, once again, should be nothing to write home about.  However, Bibby’s abilities to drain the long-ball in addition to his already solid scoring while rarely missing a game make him a top addition to your fantasy roster.  Note that I wouldn’t expect the elevated percentage from the line again this season, as his career average is closer to 80%. 

8. Kirk Hinrich, PG/SG, Chicago Bulls (8.25)
82 G; 15.9 PTS; 3.6 REB; 6.3 AST; 1.6 3PTM; 41.8 FG%; 82.0 FT%; 1.2 STL; 0.3 BLK; 2.3 TO

Hinrich is not only one of the only consistent Chicago Bulls fantasy options, but is also one of those guys that you just enjoy watching play as well.  He’ll be asked to lead the Bulls all season long, and will be a solid source of points, assists, and three-pointers.  The low steal totals are a bit of a concern, but his contributions elsewhere make up for it.  Bonus value if Hinrich is shooting-guard eligible in your leagues.

9. Jason Terry, PG, Dallas Mavericks (11.0)
80 G; 17.1 PTS; 2.0 REB; 3.8 AST; 2.1 3PTM; 47.0 FG%; 80.0 FT%; 1.3 STL; 0.3 BLK; 1.7 TO

About as roto-friendly as they come.  While I prefer to have more assists from my point guard, the veteran’s ability to do it up from all categories makes him an asset to any roster.  If Devin Harris can emerge as a solid option in Dallas, look for Terry to be anointed with shooting-guard eligibility as well – which is never a bad thing to have.  Either way, such a low turnover rate for a guy with Terry’s minutes is hard to come by.  If it is pure assists that you want, you’ll have to look elsewhere.  But if you want all-around production, this Maverick is your man.

10. Mike James, PG, Minnesota Timberwolves (12.0)
79 G; 20.3 PTS; 3.3 REB; 5.8 AST; 2.1 3PTM; 46.9 FG%; 84.0 FT%; 0.9 STL; 0.0 BLK; 2.6 TO

Talk about making the most out of a contract season.  James lit it up last year in Toronto, only to find himself a little richer in the Land of a Thousand Lakes.  Beware of the fluke season, but if James plays to his potential he’ll assist KG more than Lloyd does to Ari Gold.  More steals would be nice, but James loves him some three ball.  Just don’t overvalue, and you’ll be fine.

11. Raymond Felton, PG, Charlotte Bobcats (11.0)
80 G; 11.9 PTS; 3.3 REB; 5.6 AST; 1.2 3PTM; 39.1 FG%; 73.0 FT%; 1.3 STL; 0.1 BLK; 2.3 TO

We’ve all seen the dreadful “Running Back By Committee,” but not often do we get “Point Guard By Committee.”  Remove Brevin Knight from Charlotte, and this kid would be a perennial top-five point guard.  A quick breakdown of the end of last season when Felton was given over 35 minutes a game shows what he’s capable of when given the time.  However, with Knight still on board, how will that PGBC time be allotted?  Felton is totally an upside play, but one that packs a ton of potential reward.

12. Jameer Nelson, PG, Orlando Magic (13.0)
62 G; 14.6 PTS; 2.9 REB; 4.9 AST; 1.1 3PTM; 48.3 FG%; 78 FT%; 1.1 STL; .1 BLK; 2.4 TO

Last season’s totals are a bit depressed due to a foot injury.  However, once Nelson came back in March, the kid frequently saw point totals in the 20’s with solid assist totals.  I fully expect Dwight Howard to improve his offensive game, which means even more assist options for Nelson.  The floor is his now, and I expect him to take full advantage.  A three-ball a game while still shooting over 48%?  See, Tony… it CAN be done.

13. Baron Davis, PG, Golden State Warriors (14.25)
54 G; 17.9 PTS; 4.4 REB; 8.9 AST; 1.9 3PTM; 38.9 FG%; 68.0 FT%; 1.6 STL; 0.3 BLK; 2.9 TO

If percentages do not count in your league, Davis is a top-three point guard.  His inabilities to post accurate shooting totals and stay healthy drag down his fantasy value to mid-tier, but he’s lightning in a bottle in the offensive (and defensive) statistics.  It’s always a roll of the dice with Davis’ health, but hopefully those that own him keep turning up sevens and elevens.  Bet the Pass Line, hope that Davis stays healthy, and you’ll be handsomely rewarded. 

14. Stephon Marbury, PG, New York Knicks (10.0)
60 G; 16.3 PTS; 2.9 REB; 6.4 AST; 0.6 3PTM; 45.1 FG%; 76.0 FT%; 1.1 STL; 0.1 BLK; 2.6 TO

It’s hard for me to recommend drafting a player who was a total bust last season, but it’s for that reason that his value may be depressed just enough for owners to benefit.  This guy was a second round fantasy pick almost across the board last season.  Larry Brown’s tenure in New York is done, and thus I expect the Marbury of old to come back around.  Starbury’s new kicks are a great value, and drafting him this year could be one of the best value picks of this fantasy season as well.

15. Luke Ridnour, PG, Seattle Supersonics (17.75)
79 G; 11.5 PTS; 3.0 REB; 7.0 AST; 0.5 3PTM; 41.8 FG%; 88.0 FT%; 1.6 STL; 0.3 BLK; 2.1 TO

Was pegged by many to break out last season, but found himself fighting for his roster spot.  If Ridnour can keep Earl Watson on the bench, he has top twelve potential.  When you have Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis on your team, your assist totals will likely benefit.  One of the best assist-to-turnover and steal-to-turnover plays in the NBA.  Luke is a solid second point guard, and could wind up being a borderline first.

16. Tony Parker, PG, San Antonio Spurs (15.75)
80 G; 18.9 PTS; 3.3 REB; 5.8 AST; 0.1 3PTM; 54.8 FG%; 71.0 FT%; 1.0 STL; 0.1 BLK; 3.1 TO

Us Weekly’s favorite point guard.  Dude has himself quite the girlfriend, but until he starts hitting three pointers, he is no more than a second point guard on any fantasy roster.  Yes, the Frenchman’s field goal percentage is top notch, but I’ll draft a power forward for that.  Give me three’s and steals if you want to be a top point guard in fantasy world.

17. Andre Miller, PG, Denver Nuggets (18.0)
82 G; 13.7 PTS; 4.3 REB; 8.2 AST; 0.1 3PTM; 46.3 FG%; 74.0 FT%; 1.3 STL; 0.2 BLK; 3.1 TO

See “Tony Parker,” but take out the parts about the girlfriend and being from France, and you have yourself an Andre Miller.  You’ll get solid percentages and assists.  But that’s it.  You almost have a better chance of getting more three pointers out of Oliver Miller than you do Andre.  Plan accordingly.

18. Speedy Claxton, PG, Atlanta Hawks (24.75)
71 G; 12.3 PTS; 2.7 REB; 4.8 AST; 0.2 3PTM; 41.3 FG%; 77.0 FT%; 1.5 STL; 0.1 BLK; 2.2 TO

Bear in mind that last year’s totals were for 28 minutes a game.  Raise those minutes to about 33 to 35, and you have yourself a player with some huge sleeper potential.  The scoring will likely be left up to the young guns in the ATL, but if you need assists and steals, Claxton is your man.  Again, not a lot of love from long-range, but hey… that’s why he’s currently 18th on this list.

19. Rafer Alston, PG, Houston Rockets (18.75)
63 G; 12.1 PTS; 4.0 REB; 6.7 AST; 1.6 3PTM; 37.9 FG%; 69.0 FT%; 1.6 STL; 0.2 BLK; 2.5 TO

How many games did Alston get to play last season with both Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming at the same time?  While I don’t have the time to conjure up a concrete number, I would venture to say that it wasn’t too many.  Look for Skip to My Lou to take his already solid assist totals and improve his all around game even more.  The field goal percentage is a killer however.  But you also have the chance of seeing some streetball moves at any given moment.  Already a solid source of three’s and steals, Alston will provide huge assist figures this season, and may even grant you a few shouts of “Oh Baybee!”

20. Sam Cassell, PG, Los Angeles Clippers (16.80)
78 G; 17.2 PTS; 3.7 REB; 6.3 AST; 0.9 3PTM; 44.3 FG%; 86.0 FT%; 0.9 STL; 0.1 BLK; 2.2 TO

Number two on my list of PGBC.  Though a huge part of the Clipper’s success last season, Sam I Am is not necessarily the “future.”  His past contributions are nice, but how much will Shaun Livingston cut into his production each game.  Draft him based on what he’s proven, but be very careful as I doubt he sees 34 minutes a game again this year with Livingston healthy…which is always a big “if.”

21. Damon Stoudamire, PG, Memphis Grizzlies (23.0)
27 G; 11.7 PTS; 3.5 REB; 4.7 AST; 1.3 3 PTM; 39.7 FG%; 86.0 FT%; 0.7 STL; 0.0 BLK; 2.0 TO

One of the guys that could be under a lot of fantasy drafting radars simply due to an injury last season that ended his campaign a bit prematurely.  Add in the early season absence of the injured Pau Gasol, and Mighty Mouse may be asked to carry a bit more of the scoring load than originally planned.  If he can get his steal totals up over one a game, Stoudamire can be a solid second point guard option for the price of a third. 

22. Brevin Knight, PG, Charlotte Bobcats (22.75)
69 G; 12.6 PTS; 3.2 REB; 8.8 AST; 0.8 3PTM; 39.9 FG%; 80.0 FT%; 2.3 STL; 0.1 BLK; 2.4 TO

If Knight were guaranteed 35 minutes a game, he gets bumped up to the top 15.  However, with the battles between him and Ray Felton, I see the edge going to the young gun.  Brevin will still be a solid source of assists and steals, but as a roto owner, I would be hard pressed to take him anywhere above this level.  Definitely a situation to monitor during preseason.

23. T.J. Ford, PG, Toronto Raptors (19.5)
72 G; 12.2 PTS; 4.3 REB; 6.6 AST; .5 3PTM; 42.6 FG%; 75% FT; 1.4 STL; .1 BLK; 3 TO

Last year, Ford was a guy I had on every team as he was under the radar of nearly everyone.  This year, I think he’ll go way too high for my liking.  He will still be a huge contributor of assists, but with sub-par three point shooting and a knack for turning the ball over, owners should be careful to overvalue.  If it’s any consolation, Ford will likely be asked to do a lot more in Toronto than he did in Milwaukee.  Look for T.J. to click very well with Chris Bosh, but still lack the categories that I’d like from a second point guard.

24. Smush Parker, PG, Los Angeles Lakers (24.75)
82 G; 11.5 PTS; 3.3 REB; 3.7 AST; 1.5 3PTM; 44.7 FG%; 69 FT%; 1.7 STL; .2 BLK; 1.8 TO

It’s Kobe’s world, and Smush just lives in it.  But while he’s enjoying his stay, he’s swiping opposing guards with the best of them.  A poor-man’s version of Baron Davis, Smush will do some damage to your percentages, and will likely be very inconsistent.  However, on the games he’s clicking, expect a solid amount of three-ball’s and steals.  Maybe Lamar Odom would even let him have a couple assists now and again.  Keep an eye on rookie Jordan Farmar for minute splits, but right now, it’s Parker’s time.

25. Deron Williams, PG, Utah Jazz (24.75)
80 G; 10.8 PTS; 2.4 REB; 4.5 AST; 1.1 3PTM; 42.1 FG%; 70.0 FT%; 0.8 STL; 0.2 BLK; 1.8 TO

Taken ahead of Chris Paul in last season’s draft, Williams was not exactly given the chance to shine by Jerry Sloan.  With a year under his belt, I fully expect Williams to be given the time to prove his value this time around.  While Derek Fisher is now in Utah, Williams was drafted to run this squad.  With a healthy front court, Williams has the potential to put up huge assist totals.  Of course, that front court being healthy for a full season is about as likely as a Beatles reunion tour.

Honorable Mention: Maurice Williams, MIL (26.75), Sebastian Telfair, BOS (31.25)



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