5. Eric Gordon: SG, New Orleans Hornets
2011-12 Projections: 21.0 PPG, 4.2 APG, 3.2 RPG, 1.3 SPG, 0.4 BPG
Eric Gordon was in the middle of a breakout season in 2010 when a wrist injury sidelined him for most of the second half of the season. Then, as Gordon was preparing for this season he found himself traded to the New Orleans Hornets in the Chris Paul deal. However, the trade might actually help Gordon’s fantasy season rather than hurt it. While his assist numbers will drop without a bona fide superstar like Blake Griffin on his team, he should see an increase in scoring. As the best player on a bad team, Gordon will have to carry the offensive load. Fantasy players should expect career highs in all statistical areas, although his field goal percentage should take a hit due to increased shot attempts.
4. Monta Ellis: PG, SG Golden State Warriors
2011-12 Projections: 23.8 PPG, 5.4 APG, 3.6 RPG, 2.1 SPG, 0.6 BPG
The Golden State Warriors have one of the best backcourts in the NBA, and for good reason. Ellis is half of their dynamic duo, and can fit in the PG or SG slot on your roster. This makes him even more valuable than some of the other guards that only fit into the point guard position. Ellis is a strong scorer while still putting up solid numbers across the rest of the board. While some might think that Curry will take away some of his opportunities, the two have learned to play off one another to perfection. This makes them the perfect fantasy duo.
3. Stephen Curry: PG, SG Golden State Warriors
2011-12 Projections: 18.3 PPG, 5.9 APG, 4.1 RPG, 1.6 SPG, 0.3 BPG
While Curry is a strong candidate for a starting point guard, he can also be a valuable pick up for the shooting guard position as well. Both Curry and his teammate, Monta Ellis, form one of the most dynamic backcourts in the entire NBA. Still, Curry will have plenty of scoring opportunities in the fast-paced Golden State offense. While his assist numbers are lower than some of the other guards, Curry still is a viable fantasy shooting guard option.
2. Kobe Bryant: SG, Los Angeles Lakers
2011-12 Projections: 25.0 PPG, 4.6 APG, 5.0 RPG, 1.3 SPG, 0.2 BPG
Bryant is entering a regular season healthy for the first time in, well, awhile. After having a mysterious knee surgery overseas last summer many are saying that Bryant will be back and better than ever this season. But, Bryant is also entering his 16th year in the league, and there’s no doubt the miles on his body are going to begin taking their toll at some point. But, with a new offense scheme in Los Angeles we aren’t exactly sure what we’re going to see out of him. Bryant should be a second round pick this season that will provide plenty of value for your fantasy roster.
1. Dwyane Wade: SG, Miami Heat
2011-12 Projections: 27.0 PPG, 4.8 APG, 6.1 RPG, 1.8 SPG, 1.1 BPG
It’s been a long time since anyone not named Kobe Bryant graced the top of the shooting guard list, but there’s no question Wade has surpassed him at this point. Not only is Wade younger and more explosive, he has more teammates around him to help boost his assist and rebounding totals. After coming up short in the NBA Finals last season Wade will had plenty of motivation coming into this year. Plus, Wade’s assist numbers should rise this season after an entire year of adjusting to life with LeBron James and Chris Bosh in the lineup.