Rick’s Tips: Top Guards For 2012-13

Welcome back for another season of fantasy hoops on NBA.com. I’m psyched to have the full 82 games to talk about and stoked to be back in the saddle, as we enter our 11th season of bringing you the fantasy goodies on NBA TV and NBA.com. I want to give a special shout-out to all of you who have been down from the start. I hear you on Twitter, I see you on the street and I love you all.

So let’s get back to work on winning a(nother) fantasy hoops championship.

If you won last year and you think you know everything, listen up because the fantasy landscape has changed with monsters like Derrick Rose and Dwight Howard limping in. If you didn’t win last year, then there’s even more work to do. So pull up a chair as we tip off our preseason fantasy coverage with my top 10 guards, based on 8-categories (points, rebounds, assists, blocks, steals, field-goal percentage, free-throw percentage, and threes made).

Sorry, 9-caters, but I don’t do turnovers because I find it pointless to penalize the best players in the game. Last year’s top 10 in total turnovers practically reads like an All-Star team: John Wall, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Steve Nash, Deron Williams, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Rajon Rondo, Monta Ellis and Andre Miller. I don’t like getting penalized for picks and fumbles in fantasy football and I don’t like getting penalized for turnovers in fantasy basketball. You could torture me with 72 straight hours of Justin Bieber and I still wouldn’t cave.

10. Monta Ellis, Milwaukee Bucks: I have Ellis ranked as my third-best shooting guard, but 10th among all guards. I tend to favor PGs over SGs because of the assist-three-steal triumvirate. That said, Ellis is one of the most electric players in the league, and with Scott Skiles (gasp!) going offensive with his Bucks — and with Monta getting a full training camp with his relatively new team — I expect Electric Ellis to light up scoreboards again this year. Last year, Ellis plummeted to 17.6 ppg in 21 games with the Bucks, but bank on a return to the 20s, as he and Brandon Jennings make a bid for best backcourt in the NBA.

9. Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics: It seems like Rondo should be higher, right? Well, as much as I love Rondo — with whom I have won a 5-cat fantasy championship — we are talking 8-cat rankings. Thus, his lack of threes (0.2 per game last year) and poor free-throw shooting (.619 career) preclude me from bumping him over the dudes below. But triple-doubles are the sweetest fantasy stat of all and Rondo is the league’s top triple-double threat, so he’s always cool with me.

8. Ty Lawson, Denver Nuggets: Lawson (who needs a good nickname, by the way) was the 8th ranked PG on last season’s 8-cat rankings. But I’m moving Lawson up to 6th on my PG ranking — and 8th among all guards — because he’s the lightning-quick QB of a run-and-gun team. Also, truth be told, I don’t trust Derrick Rose (ranked 5th among PGs last year) or Stephen Curry (fourth) because of their injuries. Lawson helps in almost every category, is efficient and the Nuggets have built their team around him.

7. Brandon Jennings, Milwaukee Bucks: Fear the deer, baby! The Bucks are going to be better than you think this year, and that goes for Jennings, too. improved his FG shooting for a second straight season (37 percent in 2009-10 to 39 percent in 2010-11 to 42 percent last season) and averaged 5.5 assists, 2.0 threes, and 1.6 steals. More telling was the fact that his numbers got better (itax)after(itax) Monta was traded to Milwaukee, as Jennings averaged 20.5 ppg on 44 percent shooting in March and April.

6. Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers: If you’re surprised by this ranking, then you haven’t had the pleasure of owning Irving in a fantasy league. I had him in a 30-team “experts” league and made it to the finals because he was so all-around good. Unfortunately, Kyrie got hurt, and I got beat by my boy Steve Alexander, aka Doctor A. Kyrie flirted with a 50-40-90 shooting season (FGs, 3s and FTs) for much of his rookie season, plus the goodies in points, assists, threes and steals. And don’t lose sight of the fact he is Cleveland’s franchise player.

5. Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat: Initially, I had Wade ranked ahead of Kobe Bryant because of the former’s insane block-steal numbers. But then I read the report that Wade may see his minutes dropped to 33, with random rest DNPs mixed in for an added buzzkill. It makes sense, as Miami cares far more about April through June then October through March.

4. Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers: Kobe rolls out of bed on game day and the box score already reads: 25-5-5. I don’t care where he’s playing or who he’s playing with, that’s his line. There are some guys who get “their” stats no matter what. Kobe is one of those guys. And now that superheroes Nash and Dwight Howard have joined the fight, Kobe will only raise his game in the pursuit of championship No. 6.

3. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder: My top three overall guards are also my top three point guards because the position is so strong these days. Westbrook ranked second among PGs on the 8-cat chart last year — ahead of D-Will, D-Rose and everyone except Chris Paul. There’s nothing not to like about Westbrook, who is so competitive and talented that he can’t help but improve.

2. Deron Williams, Brooklyn Nets: D-Will has had seven awesome seasons in the league, but 2012-13 will be his best one yet — and perhaps a signature season for his career. Dare I say — or chant — MVP! MVP! MVP!? D-Will is already a preseason favorite — at least in my eyes — for the soon-to-be renamed “LeBron Award”. D-Will is the maxed-out face of franchise moving to Brooklyn to play in the $1 billion Barclays Center on a team with a ridiculous starting five. Where do I sign?

1. Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers: CP3 won his second Olympic gold medal with Team USA in London, but wrecked his right thumb in the process and had to have surgery. There’s no doubt, however, that Paul will start on opening night because he is one of the NBA’s toughest and competitive dudes. Paul averaged 19.8 points, 9.1 assists and 2.5 steals in his first season with the Clippers. With a deeper bench featuring finishers like Jamal Crawford, Grant Hill and Lamar Odom, I’m expecting even better numbers from CP3 this year. LBJ and KD are the only players I’d rather have than Paul, who is the hands-down third overall pick in every fantasy hoops league, regardless of categories.


  1. Noxist says:

    You guys need to stop Flaming, these rankings vary from site to site and expert to expert, if you do not like the expert’s opinions click the “X” top right of screen and move on.

  2. cnote says:

    for me
    1; CP3 11: Lowary 12 Steph Curry 13: Parker
    2: D- Wade
    3: Westbrook]\
    5: D-will
    6: Irving\
    7: Lawson
    8: Jennings
    9: Rondo
    10: Monta
    I love rick talks about 8-cat leagues which most people play 9 cats rondo would be ranked high but his ft % and TO is too high to rank him higher and steph needs to play one heathy year for me.

  3. Kingie says:

    You idiots saying “OMG Kobe under d will” and “westbrook is outta control”.. This is fantasy basketball, it is all about the stat sheet darrhh

  4. steph closer says:

    where is my boy, stephen curry? are you kidding me!?

  5. TTKIN says:

    Good ranking Rick but I think you’re wrong about that 72 hour Beiber thing. I think you’d cave…who wouldnt haha.

  6. Bret says:

    You sir, are no expert! What a joke! Both Jennings and Ellis in the Top 10? Are you from Milwaukee? Or have you just been drinking too much of the local beverage? Sorry, that’s not going to happen. And anyone who doesn’t understand the importance of penalties for turnovers shouldn’t be allowed to give any so called “advice”.

  7. Norm says:

    It seems in more than a few fantasy leagues, players own more than one team in the same league in order to get an advantage trading for better players. by taking the best players on one team and stacking the deck for the other team. Besides being just plain unfair and poor sportsmanship, it hurts the integrity of the league and competitive fun expected.

  8. alexkobefan says:

    @kobe bryant stop talking bull man. kobe is the best but this is some fantasy ball stuff man.chill.Kobe still no1 in any laker or kobe fans heart.MAMBAFORLIFE.

  9. KOBE BRYANT says:

    CRAZY!!! KOBE IS THE MOST POPULAR NBA PLAYER IN THIS GENERATION. and thats because kobe has THE MOST SELLED jersey in the whole world………..and for the real big deal is that, MIAMI cHEATS are never going to have a 2peat thats because of their AGE!!! AND no true BIG MAN so you MIAMI BETTER GRAB YOUR POM POMS AND START CHEERING YOUR MIAMI CHEATS AND I ADMIT MY LAKERS ARE OLDER but smarter

  10. KOBE BRYANT says:

    CRAZY!!! KOBE IS THE MOST POPULAR NBA PLAYER IN THIS GENERATION. and thats because kobe has THE MOST SELLED jersey in the whole world………..and for the real big deal is that, MIAMI cHEATS are never going to have a 2peat thats because of their AGE!!! AND no true BIG MAN so you MIAMI BETTER GRAB YOUR POM POMS AND START CHEERING YOUR MIAMI CHEATS

  11. KOBE BRYANT says:

    CRAZY!!! KOBE IS THE MOST POPULAR NBA PLAYER IN THIS GENERATION. and thats because kobe has THE MOST SELLED jersey in the whole world………..and for the real big deal is that, MIAMI cHEATS are never going to have a 2peat thats because of their AGE!!! AND no true BIG MAN

  12. HeatKingsofEast says:

    many kobetard here. pls read and UNDERSTAND first before commenting. lol! a good example is “KOBE BRYANT” lebron is really popuplar, we’re talking about guards here and still inserts lebron’s name. smh!

  13. pongggg says:

    That’s not the issue. People just can’t read. I bet a majority of people who comment on this post do not know this is a ranking of players in FANTASY ball.

  14. yoyoyoyo says:

    that list is whack

  15. Lakers4Life says:

    Some people don’t understand fantasy ball. Tony Parker doesn’t produce numbers like other PGs. He may be a top 5 PG, but that doesn’t make him good for fantasy ball.

  16. KOBE BRYANT says:

    What! wade is 2 and kobe at 3? lastime i look at the player rankings kobe was at top of d-wade. or just beacuse you are a miami heat cheerleader you are putting wade at top of kobe. Accept the reality men kobe is once again better than d-wade

  17. cupsui says:

    yeah i mean why should players be penalised for turnovers…I mean what does ball retention matter?

    fool…if thats the way you think i have NO idea why they invited you to an “experts” league…cause i got news for you…YOU AIN’T!

    get in the real 9 cats leagues

  18. Karlo Garcia says:

    I believe u left out Tony Parker! Still 1 of the top PG’s in the NBA.

    • Marco29 says:

      Sure and his the N°1 option now in one the TOP5 teams in the league.

      • artifex says:

        There’s a difference of “Real Player” and “Fantasy Player”, where only stats count.
        I agree that Parker is an awesome player, but for fantasy basketball he doesn’t produce that broad range of numbers.
        His value for the team is different, though I care more for that rather those fantasy stats!

  19. the real king james says:

    these will be the top ten guards

  20. oh hi says:

    where is steph curry?

  21. KOBE BRYANT says:


  22. Sea Pea says:

    Deron is overated. Paul is gonna get hurt and westbrook is outta control. That is all this is but a fantasy. In real life Kobe, Nash, Tony Parker, and Kyrie Irving are going going to be injury free with the best production.