By Brandon Funston
October 14, 2005
Preseason Position Rankings: Point Guard | Shooting Guard | Small Forward | Power Forward | Center
The shooting guard position is one of the positions most ripe for points scored – the top five players on my top 25 list all averaged at least 20 points per game last season.
Kobe Bryant gets the top spot as he comes into the season with fewer off-the-court issues to deal with. He also is reunited with head coach Phil Jackson. It was not long ago that Kobe averaged 30 points, seven rebounds and six assists running Phil's triangle offense.
In general, the shooting guard position is thin on difference-making fantasy talent. After the top dozen or so players, things get speculative in a hurry. Keep this in mind as you enter your draft. Once the top shelf has been cleared out, you may be forced into gambling on a player barely out his teens or hoping a veteran like David Wesley or Doug Christie can squeeze one more year of fantasy viability out of his aging body.
Some big-name SG-eligible players (like Tracy McGrady) may not appear on this list. Rest assured, those players have been allocated into the small forward rankings. That said, here are the top 25 fantasy shooting guards for '05-'06:
||Kobe Bryant, LAL, SG
|| Carries less baggage into this season and back with a coach (Jackson) with whom he enjoyed his best years.
||Vince Carter, NJ, GF
||A heavy dose of Kidd was anecdote for returning Vinsanity to prominence.
||Ray Allen, Sea, SG
|| Draft him and leave your scoring and three-point worries behind.
||Paul Pierce, Bos, SG
|| Last season, he repaired one glaring sore spot in his game -- FG%
||Larry Hughes, Cle, SG
|| Will see if he can play the role of Robin next to LBJ as well as he played it alongside Arenas.
||Manu Ginobili, SA, SG
||Does it all, brings his hard hat to the job and leaves it all on the court.
||Joe Johnson, Atl, SG
||Will be Hawks' PG, but will have to be drafted at SG until he's eligible
||Jason Richardson, GS, SG
||No longer just a dunk highlight reel, his repertoire includes treys, steals, and more
||Andre Iguodala, Phi, GF
||His talent is so deep that his numbers satisfied fantasy owners even getting spotty rookie minutes.
||Richard Hamilton, Det, SG
|| So long as he's providing assists, he'll live up to the value of where he'll be drafted
||Michael Redd, Mil, SG
|| A great shooter, but his fantasy game is basically only about his shooting skills
||Cuttino Mobley, LAC, SG
||As always, Mobley will be first in line for the fast break, and lethal from behind the arc.
||Stephen Jackson, Ind, GF
|| He can drop threes and pick pockets, but can he secure healthy playing time in loaded Indiana lineup.
||Jamal Crawford, NY, SG
|| Take the good (2.6 treys) with the bad (.398 shooting percentage)
||Eddie Jones, Mem, SG
|| Steady Eddie is getting up in age, but he'll play a big role for Memphis and he's crafty enough to satisfy fantasy owners.
||Jalen Rose, Tor, SG
|| In a depleted Toronto lineup, Rose will have the run of the place.
||Bonzi Wells, Sac, SG
|| Playing alongside smart players like Bibby, Peja and Miller will be good for Bonzi
||J.R. Smith, NO, SG
||Smith is a threat to score as soon as he steps off the bus. With his athleticism and range, it will be fun to watch rookie Paul and Smith operate.
||Josh Childress, Atl, SG
||At 6-foot-8 (6-10 with the afro), Childress can cause matchup problems. And somebody has to step up in Atlanta.
||Ben Gordon, Chi, SG
|| Despite his status as reigning Sixth Man of the Year, Gordon offers only shooting skills.
||Raja Bell, Pho, SG
|| Falls into the catbird seat, a starting gig alongside Steve Nash. Now he'll be asked to do even more with Amare out.
|| David Wesley, Hou, SG
||Minutes will drop a bit, but he may still have a place in fantasy as a three-point and steals specialist
|| Doug Christie, Dal, SG
||This jack-of-all-trades still has a little left in the tank, and Dallas is a good place to empty it out.
|| Martell Webster, Por, SG
||Mature mentally and physically for a prep-to-pro. Webster's top talent is a smooth stroke from downtown.
||Rashad McCants, Min, SG
|| Has a chance to start for T-Wolves. He can score, but he'll need to play defense to win the job.
Brandon Funston is a Yahoo! Sports fantasy expert. Follow him on Twitter. Send Brandon a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.
Updated on Friday, Oct 14, 2005 11:37 pm, EDT
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