New Sonicscentral writer Chris Schneider will be providing a regular report on fantasy hoops
If your fantasy league is anything like mine, there's a huge premium on point guards. In my league (which is deeper than most) every starting point guard is taken, as well as all but two backups (Flip Murray and Orien Green, and I'm betting both will be picked up this week). There's such a demand because of the assist/turnover ratio statistic. Backup point guards are golden for this stat. Last year Damon Jones, Antonio Daniels and Jason Hart were money in this category. If you can get a guy who averages 9 points, 5 assists, and has a 4 to 1 ATO, you've found yourself a viable fantasy player in all but the shallowest of leagues.
So how can you predict which point guards will have a good ATO. It's not surefire, but I have a theory. Check out Damon Jones and Antonio Daniels last year. Besides switching teams for more money in the offseason, what did they have in common?
Answer, three things.
1) They're not "prototypical" point guards
2) They played with elite shooting guards;
3) They logged a lot of 2nd quarter minutes
Since they're not "true" point guards, they often did not have the ball in unfavorable situations, such as when the shot clock is running out. But they would have the ball in favorable situations, like running a fast break, or setting a team up in "early offense". Since they played with great shooting guards (Ray Allen and Dwyane Wade), they often got assists in pick and roll situations, and since they didn't start (DJ came off the bench some last year, AD never started), they played against a lot of teams' second units.
So who are the point guards that have a chance of recording high ATO #'s this year? I like Smush Parker and Delonte West. Now, both started out with decent games, but unless you're in a pretty deep league, it's unlikely they're taken yet. Grab one or both. With Smush playing alongside Kobe, and West playing alongside Pierce, these guys will have the ball in favorable situations. Also, look for AD to once again dominate the ATO category. But if his minutes falter, keep on eye on Chucky Atkins.
Other backup point guards I like this year -- Derek Fisher in Golden State, Bobby Jackson (Hamstring) in Memphis, Jarret Jack in Portland (Nate McMillan was a backup PG, you gotta love backup PG's playing for Nate), and Sarunas Jasikevicius in Indiana. And keep an eye on Nate Robinson too ... I wouldn't be surprised if he has one of those months sometime in his rookie season. Everytime he touches the ball, he tries to do something positive with it, and I love that.
If your league goes Monday thru Sunday, you have a ton of teams playing four games between November 7th and November 13th. Get those guys in your lineups, it adds up over a season.