Moving on to the guards for the final installment of our annual fantasy preview. The Blazers guards are a smorgasbord of fantasy decentness — not goodness, mind you — in that they almost all bring something different and valuable to the table. That said, only Roy — the clear and obvious stud of the group — will warrant much attention in stadnard drafts, but everyone else can help you in some categories, though Jerryd Bayless is the watch-and-see-in-case-of-injury guy.
Jerryd Bayless: If you want your fantasy team to beat other fantasy teams in a staring contest, then Jerryd’s your guy. If you want guys who will get playing time and have quantifiable value, then he is not your guy.
Steve Blake: Sort of the Joel Przybilla of point guards. Nobody is going to draft Blake, and nobody is going to have him on their team for very long, but if you ever need a boost in threes, assists or FT%, he’ll be ready and waiting on the wire. He has some added value in leagues that count turnovers, and a TON more value in leagues that count A/TO ratio (but nobody does that).
Rudy Fernandez: It pains me to say this, but if you have Rudy, his value is normally greater for the other teams in the league than he actually is for you. That’s just how it is with guys who make a lot of highlight reels but aren’t putting up consistent box score lines. As a last bench guy to sub in daily transaction H2H leagues, Rudy is fine for threes and scoring punch (and assists in small bunches) but don’t expect much in the way of consistency or rebounds.
There is always going to be someone in your league that wants Rudy more than you do, so take advantage of that in a lopsided deal and pick up a replacement on the wire.
Andre Miller: Pretty much every year you can get Andre Miller in the 7th or 8th round, and pretty much every year he gives you even value on your selection. There are guys chosen around him that are complete busts, and guys that outperform their draft position by a ton. If you take a lot of bigs early and need to patch up assists, Miller is your guy, but I doubt he’ll put up 16 ppg for the Blazers. Don’t be scared off by a points drop, though, as much of Millers value has always been tied up in percentages and rebounds for his position and those should remain steady.
Brandon Roy: If you want the Maestro you’re going to have to spend a late-first or early-second round pick on him. You know you’re going to get solid production from pretty much every category other than blocks and with picks that early it’s nice to know what you’re getting. It’s tough to outright win a league based on your first two selections, but it’s very easy to lose one if you botch one of them — just ask the people who chose KG in the first round last year.
Nothing much more to be said about one of the top players in the league. Given the talent on the team, Roy probably doesn’t have much scoring upside from 22 ppg, so there’s little chance of him pulling a Danny Granger and turning early-first value from a 2nd or 3rd round pick, but again, you literally cannot go wrong with Roy. Strangely enough, in one ESPN Mock Draft I did, I was able to get Roy in the 4th round, which is loco.