Top Five Guards For 2019-20 NBA Fantasy

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Top Five NBA Fantasy Guards

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 13: James Harden (13) of the Houston Rockets sets up the offense against the Denver Nuggets during the second half of the Rockets' 109-99 win on Monday, November 13, 2018. The Denver Nuggets hosted the Houston Rockets at the Pepsi Center. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

With all of the player movement during the summer of 2019, NBA fantasy is sure to feel the impact. Those trades and free-agent signings will also affect real-life players and teams. While the usual suspects will most likely still be drafted early, you may want to proceed with caution as “load management” and new teams and new systems will certainly impact your favorite player’s fantasy value.

Top Five NBA Fantasy Guards for 2019-20 NBA Season

Number Five – Kemba Walker

For the first time since the 2015-16 season, Kemba Walker is almost certain to make a playoff appearance. With the depth of the Boston Celtics lineup, he most likely won’t have to carry the team himself. Does that hurt his ranking as one of the top five guards for 2019-20 NBA fantasy? Slightly. For eight years Walker was the offensive focal point of the Charlotte Hornets team, but with his recent signing in Boston, Walker will now have options to share the ball with. Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward, and Marcus Smart will all take some of the pressure off of Walker. This will certainly help increase his assist numbers and potentially his shooting percentages as he won’t have to force up as many shots as he did as a Hornet.

Walker has played at least 79 games in five out of his eight seasons, which helps his fantasy value, however, with the as mentioned depth, his average minutes may take a dip. With only Hayward having more NBA seniority, look for Walker to still be the leader of this young Celtics squad who is looking to make up for a disappointing playoff run. Coming off his third straight All-Star season and his first All-NBA team, look for Walker to continue to be one of the more valuable guards in NBA fantasy leagues.

2019-20 Fantasy Outlook

82 GP, 34 MPG, 23 PPG, 4 RPG, 7.5 APG, 1.5 SPG

Number Four – Bradley Beal

How long Bradley Beal will remain in a Washington Wizards uniform is questionable as a number of teams have poked around acquiring his services. Set to be a free agent in the summer of 2021, this season will have a huge impact as to whether Beal stays in the nation’s capital or moves zip codes. What isn’t in question is Beal’s value to the team. An All-Star for the second straight season, Beal played 82 games in back to back seasons and also clocked in the most minutes of his career.

At just 25 years old and more than likely without his running mate, John Wall for this season, the Wizards will look to Beal as their do-everything guard. Considering the lineup that Washington will be putting on the floor this season, Beal will be the first, second, and third option with only Thomas Bryant and rookie Rui Hachimura as viable options if Beal has to give up the ball. Last season, Beal notched a career-high in scoring, rebounds, and assists. For the Wizards to have any hope of walking away with victories this season, those numbers will most certainly have to increase.

2019-20 Fantasy Outlook

82 GP, 38 MPG, 27 PPG, 6 RPG, 6 APG, 1.5 SPG

Number Three – Stephen Curry

No Kevin Durant. No Klay Thompson (at least until after Christmas). But only a fool would count the Golden State Warriors out as they still have a two time MVP Stephen Curry in their lineup as well as Draymond Green, and new addition D’Angelo Russell. It’s been four years since he won the NBA scoring title, but in order for the Warriors to keep their elite status in the Western Conference, Curry may be asked to carry the load once again this season.

While he no longer is the favorite for the first overall pick in fantasy basketball, adding Curry early would be a wise management decision. If Curry can remain healthy, he played only 120 of 164 regular-season games over the last two years, the best shooter in NBA history should see a bump in scoring, assists and steals this season.

2019-20 Fantasy Outlook:

74 GP, 34 MPG, 29 PPG, 5 RPG, 6 APG, 1.5 SPG

Number Two – Damian Lillard

He is a four-time member of the All-NBA team and a four-time All-Star, but yet it seems as though Damian Lillard is still under-appreciated by some NBA fans. Maybe it is because he plays in Portland and the media tends to forget about the Northwest. Fantasy GM’s know better as the Portland Trail Blazers point guard has been a top-five guard in NBA fantasy for a while. As one of the more durable and consistent players in the league, Lillard would be a great first pick for any fantasy backcourt as he checks all the boxes.

Currently, in most people’s minds, he hovers slightly below the top tier of superstars, but Lillard may be asked to do even more for the Portland Trail Blazers this season with the loss of Jusuf Nurkic for most of the season. The Blazers are well known to be a two man scoring team with a load of their offense coming from their highly talented guard combo. Last year Portland finished third in the Western Conference and lost in the Western Conference Finals, which gives lofty expectations to the team this year and in turn, places a bigger load on Lillard’s shoulders.

2019-20 Fantasy Outlook

79 GP, 36 MPG, 26.5 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 7 APG, 1 SPG

Number One – James Harden

The duo of James Harden and Chris Paul was short-lived and did not result in a championship ring. In an epic attempt to keep the window open, the Houston Rockets traded Paul for Russell Westbrook, another ball dominant player. Regardless of who he shares the ball with (or doesn’t for that matter), Harden will once again be the number one overall pick on the list of top five guards for 2019-20 NBA fantasy. Over the last two years, Harden captured the NBA MVP and raised his scoring to 36 and 30 points per season.

Arguably the first pick in most fantasy drafts, assuming you are not a Milwaukee Bucks fan, Harden fills the stat sheet across the board. While he has only played 82 games twice in his ten-year career, the seven-time All-Star has stated he is not a fan of load management and has been on the floor for at least 35 minutes a game during his time in Houston.

Harden and Westbrook claim that they will manage to co-exist in the Rockets backcourt. A three-peat triple-double machine, Westbrook might cut into Harden’s overall stat line, including his assists and rebounds. However, with the former Oklahoma City Thunder guard’s ability to attack the hoop, look for Harden’s three-point numbers to increase.

2019-20 Fantasy Outlook:

79 GP, 35 MPG, 32 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 7 APG, 1.5 SPG

Honorable Mention

Donovan Mitchell, Russell Westbrook, Jimmy Butler, Ben Simmons

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