2014 Outlook: Paul delivered yet another dominant season finishing sixth on our Player Rater on the strength of 16.9 points, 9.7 assists, 2.4 steals and 1.1 3-pointers per game with his usual terrific efficiency. Few can match Paul's dominance in assists and steals, and even fewer can do it while shooting 48 percent from the floor and 88 percent from the line. The point guard position may be as good and as deep as it's ever been, but Paul clearly stands alone at the top in the fantasy game. Draft him accordingly.
2014 Outlook: Fully healthy after struggling with ankle injuries in 2011-12, Curry turned in a truly fantastic fantasy season, finishing third on Player Rater behind only Kevin Durant and LeBron James. A dynamic talent, Curry posted career highs in points (22.9), assists (6.9) and 3-pointers (3.5) and managed to stay on the court for 78 games on the season. Fears over his ankles will follow him for a little while, but Curry was able to remain healthy with a heavy workload of 38.2 minutes per game, which suggests that he's not much more of an injury risk than any of your first-round options.
2014 Outlook: The book on Irving is pretty simple: The PG will be a superstar as soon as he can make it through a season in one piece. Dating back to his failed run at Duke, he has been equal parts amazing and injured. The skeptic will say that the kid is just brittle and will always battle long-term injuries. The optimist will say that he's just a 21-year-old kid who eventually will develop a durable NBA body. Both will agree that his statistical ceiling is extremely high. Consider his 14 January games last season: 25.8 PPG, 5.4 APG, 1.9 3 PPG, 2.4 SPG, 48.0 FG% (19.8), 89.5 FT% (5.4 FTA). A season of high-end production like that is well within reach if he can stay on the hardwood.
2014 Outlook: It's logical to compare D-Will to Rondo, now that he is balling with the Rondo's former teammates (Pierce and KG). There is a very good chance that Williams will bump his APG over 10 for the first time since '10-'11 a la Rondo, but Williams should remain a quality scorer, too. He isn't likely to top 20 PPG, as he should take fewer shots; but by taking better shots, he should raise his FG% dramatically (perhaps over the 46.0-percent mark) and keep his scoring in the upper teens. He's reportedly in excellent shape, but his troublesome ankles already are an issue in camp. He's probably the riskiest player with top-10 potential.
2014 Outlook: It will be almost exactly 18 months since Rose blew out his knee when he faces the Heat in the opener. Since it typically takes 12 months or so for an NBA player to return to full speed, we can assume that he will be no worse than the pre-surgery Rose, who missed just six games in his first three seasons. That means that he has top-three fantasy upside and the ability to rack up a ton of points, dimes and FTs. We may well see a boost in FG percentage and 3-point production, because he presumably spent months shooting jumpers while rebuilding his athleticism during rehab, and that could push him back near the top of the fantasy rankings.
2014 Outlook: It took a little while for Wall to get up to full speed after missing the start of the season with a knee injury, but once fully healthy he took flight and ascended to his rightful spot as one of the bright young stars in the game. He just turned 23, so long as he can withstand the rigors of a full 82-game slate, he should be a fantasy beast as a scoring point guard, capable of topping 20 PPG and eight APG with good percentages and a fair number of steals. He's on the short list of players you can draft outside the first round but who might finish the season in the top 10.
2014 Outlook: After taking the league by storm as a rookie before suffering a torn ACL, Rubio started his second season slowly but was dominant in the second half of his sophomore campaign. Posting a brilliant 12.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, 8.0 assists, 2.9 steals and 0.8 3-pointers after the All-Star break, Rubio is an elite point guard option when healthy. He'll be a drain on your field goal percentage but does so much everywhere else that we'll gladly overlook it. He was a top-25 fantasy player toward the end of last season and should be drafted as one.
2014 Outlook: After a truly fantastic rookie season, Lillard will come at a steep price in this year's fantasy drafts. Finishing 15th overall on our Player Rater on the strength of his scoring, 3-point shooting, assists and free throw percentage, Lillard is already a borderline elite point guard option in fantasy leagues. Owners should keep in mind that Lillard led the league in total minutes with 3,167 (38.6 per game) as a rookie, and with increased depth in the Blazers' backcourt, his minutes will likely dip to around 36 per game. We're still expecting big things from the sophomore, but the expected decrease in minutes may make a minor dent to his bottom line.
2014 Outlook: Lawson may have begun the 2012-13 campaign in a slump, shooting just 40.3 percent from the floor through November, but he turned things around quickly thereafter, finishing the season with 16.7 points, 6.9 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.2 3-pointers per game. Blessed with top-end speed and quickness, Lawson is fearless in his attempts to get to the basket, where he can create or finish with a variety of the offensive moves in his repertoire. Owners should not be terribly concerned about the addition of Nate Robinson to the Denver lineup as Lawson's minutes should remain constant, in the 34-35 per-night range. He's not quite an elite option, but he's a great second-tier point guard after the biggest names are off the board.
2014 Outlook: Don't forget that Jennings didn't play college hoops -- he balled in Italy instead -- and just turned 24, so there is plenty of time left for his game to mature. He also couldn't have landed in a much better spot than Detroit, where he will be tutored by Hall of Famer Joe Dumars and NBA champion Maurice Cheeks, who we suspect will build a much better rapport with him than his previous coaches. If he buys into their efforts to make him a true point guard, any loss in scoring he sustains will be countered by a bump in FG percentage and assists (perhaps a significant bump). He has All-Star talent and could finally bust loose this season in fantasy and reality.
2014 Outlook: After a shocking draft-day trade sent him packing to New Orleans, Holiday will look to build on a fantastic season that saw him finish 27th on our Player Rater. Holiday averaged 17.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, 8.0 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.2 3-pointers per game, and did a little bit of everything for fantasy owners last season. If there are any holes to point to in his game, it's his efficiency. He shot just 43.1 percent from the floor and a modest 75.2 percent from the line, and averaged 3.7 turnovers per game last season. Expect less scoring but improved efficiency with the Pelicans, as he'll have more weapons at his disposal.
2014 Outlook: On the strength of his scoring, assists and terrific percentages, Parker finished 32nd on Player Rater in 2012-13. With 20.3 points, 7.6 assists, and 0.8 steals while shooting 52.2 percent from the floor and 84.5 percent from the line, Parker isn't your typical fantasy point guard. He won't hit 3s, and his steals leave a lot to be desired, but he'll score and dish in bunches, and there are few point guards who can match him from an efficiency perspective. He'll be asked to carry a heavy load offensively again this season, and is a great fantasy option shortly after the top point guards go off the board.
2014 Outlook: An underrated option in a deep crop of fantasy point guards, Conley catapulted all the way up to 13th on our Player Rater in 2012-13 thanks to his elite steal totals and statistical diversity. Along with his league-leading 174 steals, Conley is a well-rounded guard who also posted 14.6 points, 6.1 assists, and 1.3 3-pointers while shooting 83.0 percent from the free throw line. He won't overwhelm you in any single category outside of steals, but he's solid enough to be considered a high second-tier point guard in most fantasy leagues. He's rarely hurt and has shown massive improvement in his night-to-night consistency over the past three seasons, which makes him an extremely safe fantasy investment.
2014 Outlook: When you are an undersized combo guard, you either make the leap and prove that you can ball at the next level or you end up being a sixth man. Walker made that leap in Year 2, bumping his shooting from 36.6 percent to 42.3 percent and his scoring from 12.1 to 17.7 per game. He also proved capable of dishing out 6-plus assists per game for long stretches and added 2.0 steals per game on the season. In other words, he has arrived. He spent time working with another undersized guard, former point guard Mark Price, this summer and will get to work an inside-out game with new teammate Al Jefferson. Whatever he might lose in scoring, he'll make up in assists. He's just 23 and is all upside.
2014 Outlook: Armed with top-notch quickness and speed, Ellis can be a dynamic fantasy player with his ability to fill up the stat sheet in points, assists, steals and 3-pointers. Unfortunately, poor shot selection has kept him from being an elite fantasy player, as he shot just 41.6 percent from the floor last season. It wouldn't be surprising to see Ellis improve on that number in Dallas, as he'll get better looks with Jose Calderon feeding him the ball and Dirk Nowitzki drawing opposing defenders.