This article is part of our Rebound & Rant series.
It's nearly impossible to win at fantasy basketball without quality point guards on your roster. And try to think of an NBA dynasty team that didn't have an all-star point guard. From the 80's Pistons with Isiah Thomas to today's Warriors with Steph Curry, the field general has been crucial for NBA success. The fact that Michael Jordan never had a clutch PG by his side adds to his GOAT legacy.
I bet your fantasy squad could use some PG help. Let's check in on the latest point guard story lines.
Who Is The Number 1 PG This Season (So Far)?
That depends on which game you are playing, sorry. The official NBA fantasy rules, which are also used by FanDuel, do not consider FG and FT percentages, instead using the points scheme (Point =1, Steal =3, Rebound = 1.2, Block = 3, Assist = 1.5, Turnover = -1). Under that system, James Harden is number one, averaging 53.0 fantasy points per game. That's 1.8 more fantasy points over number two PG Russell Westbrook. (Harden has also played six more games than Westbrook, so there is a big gap in Rotis leagues.) In the NBA point system, Steph Curry is a distant third with 44.5 FP's per contest, closely followed by Damian Lillard (43.7) and Kemba Walker (43.5).
Personally, I hate point guards with bad free throw percentages. When your team is leading in the fourth, you want your best free throw shooter handling the ball, getting easy points when it's intentional foul time. That's one reason I prefer the Yahoo scoring system. It includes both FT and FG percentages via category ranking. Efficient scoring is a good thing. It should be rewarded.
This season, on a per game basis, Steph Curry leads James Harden using the Yahoo system. Curry is number two for all positions and Harden is number four. Yahoo's list then drops off to Damian Lillard in 10th, Kyrie Irving at 14th and Kemba Walker at 16th.
Call me old and cranky, but I hate fantasy leagues that don't include Turnovers in their fantasy scoring equations. Turnovers are especially critical when judging point guards. The point guard is your NBA quarterback. We loathe NFL interceptions. We should feel the same way about TO's.
Who do you think has the best assist-to-turnover ratio this season? (Let's set a minimum of 126 dimes STD.) They answer is Kyle Lowry with an impressive 3.88 ratio. Mike Conley is next at 3.32, followed closely by MIN's Jeff Teague (3.27). Lowry's 3.88 ratio is a very nice improvement over last year's 2.93 mark, yet another sign that new Coach Nick Nurse is making solid improvements north of the border.
So, that begs the question, who had the best assist-to-turnover ratio last year? Try the quiz below.
One more thing to remember about turnovers: while FanDuel punishes you -1 fantasy points for each TO, DraftKings only dings you -0.5 points per TO. That means sloppy studs like Russell Westbrook (4.1 TO's per game) and Jrue Holiday (3.7) have more value in DK land.
Own Jeff Teague
Teague's ownership has crept up to 88% after missing six games earlier this month. He should be at 100%. Teague has admitted to being "probably at 75%" due to a nagging knee injury. The T-Wolf will get healthier and return to his old 14-3-7 form, with a bunch of steals. In fact, now that Jimmy Butler is in Philly, he'll probably exceed those numbers. Trade for Teague now before he gets too expensive.
DeMar DeRozan Is A Point Guard
This fall's injury to 22-year-old Dejounte Murray (torn ACL) was brutal. Much was expected of the up-and-coming point guard. But Murray's departure has forced new Spur DeMar DeRozan into the role of de facto point guard. The former Raptor is leading San Antonio with six dimes per game, almost enough to make up for his slumping three point shooting. His shot from beyond the arc has to get better, right?
Mudiay Time In New York
You may not have noticed, but Emmanuel Mudiay has now started 11 games for the Knicks. Coach David Fizdale has been experimenting with line-ups all year, but NY seems to have settled on Mudiay. The former Nugget is averaging 14.5 points, 1.4 made treys and (unfortunately) only 3.0 assists per game in those 11 starts. The upside is there and he's owned in only 23% of Yahoo leagues. That's just not right – grab him now. The Frank Ntilikina trade rumors and Trey Burke's knee injury add to Mudiay's potential ceiling.
Kris Dunn Is Close To Returning
I know, I know, you are sick and tired of fantasy breakout hype for Kris Dunn. So is everyone else, especially after his late October knee injury. Dunn is only 71% owned in Yahoo and is expected to return next week. He's apparently practicing in full-contact srimmages. Consider this your public service announcement: Kris Dunn is close to returning.
Well, ballers, that's it for today's R&R. I hope our point guard discussion was helpful. CHOO-CHOO!