Tiering is one of the most popular ways to prepare for a Fantasy basketball draft. Within each position group, separating players into tiers is an effective means of projecting general value and keeping organized during your draft. If you're in a position where you need to make a quick decision, consulting a set of tiers can help settle the debate between two players who are relatively close in value.
Entering the 2020-21 season, the NBA's talent pool is incredibly deep, so going into your drafts with a plan is more imperative than ever.
Here are our point guard tiers, which can serve as a general guide for those playing in standard leagues.
Tiers assume eight-category settings. Each player only appears in one set of tiers. Players are assigned to the position at which they're likely to play the most.
Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks
Doncic was excellent as a rookie and even better last season. He enters 2020-21 with considerable momentum after a stellar postseason showing in Round 1 against the Clippers. Fantasy-wise, Doncic is a jack-of-all-trades, contributing high-level points, rebounds, assists, and made 3s, while averaging a steal per game and posting a solid field goal percentage. If there's a player in the league not named Russell Westbrook who could average a triple-double, it's Doncic. He does have one relative weakness, though: free throw shooting. Through two seasons, Doncic has hit just 74.2 percent of his attempts -- a damaging number for one of the NBA's highest-volume free throw shooters.
Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks
Young was perhaps the league's best good stats/bad team guy last season, but that's far from an issue as far as his Fantasy value is concerned. The Hawks should be a much better team in 2020-21, and while Young is still the unquestioned No. 1 option, he'll have some more competition for shots. Still, Young's elite scoring, assists and free throw percentage make him a first-round value.
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
Lillard ascended to new heights last season, establishing new career-highs in scoring, assists, 3-point percentage and made 3-pointers per game. At age 30, he's at the absolute peak of his powers and should be set for another monster campaign. Lillard did miss a string of games last season with a leg injury, but he's traditionally been among the NBA's most durable stars.
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
For most of his career, James has been a better real-life player than Fantasy player, but he's returned first-round value (on a per-game basis) in all but two of his 17 NBA seasons. James should enter the season as the favorite to repeat as the league's assists leader, but the major concern is that he could miss significant time after playing deep into October in the bubble.
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Coming off of a lost season, expectations are once again sky-high for the two-time MVP. At his peak, Curry was the most valuable player in Fantasy basketball. He can still be a first-round value, but durability is a serious concern as his 33rd birthday approaches.
Tier 2: High-Level Starters
Russell Westbrook, Washington Wizards
After trading places with John Wall earlier in the week, Westbrook finds himself in a slightly better Fantasy situation. He still managed borderline-elite-level production last season, but Westbrook should inherit even more possessions playing alongside Bradley Beal, instead of James Harden. The question is whether he'll continue to play a more disciplined style or revert back to his 3-point-happy ways of old.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder
With Chris Paul, Danilo Gallinari, Steven Adams and Dennis Schroder all out of the picture, Gilgeous-Alexanders is the clear No. 1 guy in Oklahoma City. His efficiency might suffer, but Gilgeous-Alexander should be primed to make leaps across the board -- particularly in points and assists.
Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets
Having missed 15-plus games in four of the last five seasons -- and significantly more in some of those -- Irving is officially on the short list of the riskiest players in Fantasy basketball. When healthy, he's a super-efficient scorer who adds assists, rebounds, made 3s and steals. But Irving's recent history is too concerning to ignore. Conservative Fantasy managers should probably stay away in 2020-21.
Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers
Last season was a frustrating one for the Sixers, but Simmons quietly had the best Fantasy campaign of his career. The roster around him has been re-tooled, and as long as the knee injury that ended his season is no longer an issue, Simmons has top-20-overall upside.
Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors
At some point, the wheels are going to fall off. But for Fantasy managers who bet that it would happen last season, Lowry made them pay. Appearing in 58 games, Lowry was a top-30 player in total value and the 20th overall player in per-game production. Perhaps Lowry has one final All-Star season in him, but he'll turn 35 in March, so drafting him early carries more risk than ever.
De'Aaron Fox, Sacramento Kings
While he improved as the year wore on, last season was mostly a disappointment for Fox. He finished outside the top 100 in total value and dropped down to 56th in per-game value -- 10 spots lower than his 2018-19 finish. Fox has major upside if he can turn his 3-point shooting around (29.2% last season; 37.1% in 2018-19).
Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee Bucks
Going from New Orleans to Milwaukee is probably a lateral move for Holiday's Fantasy value, but some regression is possible, as he'll function as the third option behind Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton. Ideally, Holiday will improve at the free throw line after converting at a career-worst 70.9 percent last season.
Chris Paul, Phoenix Suns
In Phoenix, Paul will reprise his role as the elder statesman on a young team. If he stays healthy, Paul is fully capable of replicating last season's production. But as a 35-year-old with a lengthy injury history -- not to mention a condensed 2020-21 schedule -- that's a major if.
Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies
The reigning Rookie of the Year finished 74th in per-game value last season. Morant was excellent as a scorer and passer, but he took only 2.7 3-pointers per game. Considering he hit at a fairly respectable 33.5 percent clip, the hope is that he increases his volume in Year 2.
Lonzo Ball, New Orleans Pelicans
Ball's passing, rebounding and defensive numbers make him an appealing upside play -- especially after he shot better than 37 percent from 3 last season. Ball is an extremely poor free throw shooter (56.6% last season), but he rarely gets to the line, so it's not overly detrimental to his Fantasy value.
Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets
Statistically, Murray has essentially been the same player for the last three seasons, but he flashed some next-level upside in the Orlando bubble. If that carries over, he could move closer to the bottom of Tier 2.
Kemba Walker, Boston Celtics
Walker has long been one of the most reliable point guards in Fantasy, but a nagging knee injury is threatening that reputation. Walker played in only 56 games last season, and he's already been ruled out for the start of 2020-21. At some point, the risk becomes worth the reward, but considering the likelihood of load management, Walker's value is quite a bit lower than it's been in recent years.
Devonte' Graham, Charlotte Hornets
Maybe the biggest surprise of the Fantasy season in 2019-20, Graham was among the league-leaders in 3-pointers, assists, and minutes played last season. He's in a good spot to have another productive year, but the additions of Gordon Hayward and No. 3 overall pick LaMelo Ball could inhibit Graham's value.
John Wall, Houston Rockets
On top of not playing in an NBA game in nearly two calendar years, Wall will have to adjust to a new city and new set of teammates. Sharing the floor with James Harden is no easy task, but both Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook were able to salvage strong Fantasy seasons alongside one of the highest-usage players in NBA history. The bigger question, by far, for Wall is whether he'll be able to stay healthy coming off of a torn Achilles.
After beginning last season on a tear, Brogdon gradually cooled off and once again missed stretches of time due to injury. His efficiency also plummeted, as he posted a 44/33/89 shooting line -- a far cry from his historic 51/43/93 line as a member of the Bucks in 2018-19. On a more positive note, Brogdon scored a career-high 16.5 points per game and more than doubled his assists production (3.2 to 7.1 APG).
Dejounte Murray, San Antonio Spurs
Murray is one of the league's best defenders, and that was reflected in his 1.7 steals per game last season -- a number that's even more impressive when you notice he played just 25.6 minutes per game. If that number pushes closer to 30, Murray will be among the season's top breakout candidates.
Ricky Rubio, Minnesota Timberwolves
The veteran is fback where he belongs after tours in Utah and Phoenix, but Fantasy-wise he may take a step back. Fitting in alongside D'Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley and rookie Anthony Edwards, who will all command significant minutes in the backcourt, won't be easy. Rubio should remain a strong source of assists, but it would be surprising if he matched last season's 8.8 per game.
Dennis Schroder , Los Angeles Lakers
Joining up with LeBron James and Anthony Davis could result in fewer touches for Schroder, but the Lakers desperately need a third playmaker. If LA hands the keys to Schroder when LeBron is off the floor, another top-100 season may be in the cards.
Markelle Fultz, Orlando Magic
Fultz averaged a respectable 12-5-3 last season, while adding 1.3 steals and shooting nearly 47 percent from the field. He also made dramatic improvement as a free throw shooter, hitting 73 percent of his attempts. The next step will be improving from beyond the arc, where he connected on just 26.7 percent of his looks.
Mike Conley, Utah Jazz
One of the biggest Fantasy (and real-life) disappointments last season, Conley is a popular bounceback candidate -- and rightfully so. The 33-year-old has a track record as one of the most consistent point guards in the league. The hope is that last year's 163rd overall finish -- by far his worst since 2007-08 -- ends up looking like a major anomaly.
Goran Dragic, Miami Heat
Dragic finished outside the top-130 in per-game value last season, but he spent the entire regular season backing up Kendrick Nunn. If he picks up where he left off in the bubble, Dragic has top-100 upside.
Coby White, Chicago Bulls
LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets
Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers
Spencer Dinwiddie, Brooklyn Nets
Shake Milton, Philadelphia 76ers
Derrick Rose, Detroit Pistons
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