Fantasy Basketball Pickups: Guards to Get You to Your Destination

Grant Correspondent IMarch 15, 2009

I've never been a proponent of using the cruise control while driving.  Maybe it is because subconsciously I know it's safer to go at the flow of traffic.  Most likely the reason is I have only owned one automobile on which this feature worked.

Someday I will win a new car on the Price Is Right, but until then I'll continue to roll in decade old used models.

It is that time of year that many of us in the fantasy basketball community begin to coast along with our lineups, accepting the status quo. 

I am especially guilty of this offense, in one league holding on to New Orleans guard Peja Stojakovic.  By continuing to roster the Belgrade-born dinosaur who has not played since the beginning of March due to back spasms, I've watched other teams once in my rearview mirror overtake me in the standings.

Absolutely inexcusable.

If you are like me and have gotten lazy or you need help at the guard position, allow me to share some of the research I've done.  Below is a short list of shooting guards, all who qualify at other positions as well, that will get you back up to speed.


Rasual Butler

Peja's teammate Rasual Butler has forgotten that he has been a rather pedestrian player for the last seven seasons and begun to produce quality fantasy stat lines.

Before the All Star game in February, the former La Salle Explorer was scoring slightly less than ten points a game.  However, since the break that number has skyrocketed to 17.6 points per contest.

During the month of March, Butler's stats continue to rise.  In the seven games the Hornets have played, Rasual is shooting 48 percent from the field and averaging 18.9 points.  As an added bonus, he is draining three shots from beyond the arc per game. (Peja who?)

Next week, New Orleans has all of their match-ups at home, hosting the Rockets, Timberwolves and Grizzlies.  Look for Butler to light up Minnesota and Memphis as both of these squads allow opposing teams to score in triple digits on a nightly basis.


Matt Barnes 

On February 20th, Phoenix superstar Amar'e Stoudemire underwent surgery to repair a detached retina.  The procedure will keep the perennial all star out for the rest of the season.

As a result, journeyman Matt Barnes has found himself now included in the Suns starting five.

In the games he has started since the promotion, Barnes has averaged 19.3 points and 5.1 assists per game.  Furthermore, he is making an incredible 55 percent of his shot attempts.

While Phoenix seems to be quickly dropping out of playoff contention, do not believe they will go without a fight.  The Suns are four games out of the eighth seed for post season in the Western Conference, so if Barnes remains hot he will be a great play for the rest of the season.


Mike Conley

If no one in your league has joined the Mike Conley bandwagon, feel free to hop aboard. 

Conley has posted double digit point totals in 19 of his last 20 games.  The only exception occurred when Clipper guard Baron Davis broke Conley's left front tooth with an elbow to the mouth causing him to exit the game early in the first quarter.

Because the pitiful Grizzlies have won a whopping 16 games this season, there is no danger of Conley being rested for the Playoffs.  His overall statistic lines are not those of a top tier guard, but he has a great deal of value as a number two option.

Conley has averaged 14.7 points and 6.2 assists per game so far in the month of March.