by Charles Peach / @Charles_Peach
Since the All-Star squads have been named, the moment is right to shout-out those who have earned stardom in the fantasy realm. No fan voting, superstar reputations, or ‘lifetime achievement’ nominations will skew these lineups. Players are rewarded for their stats, plain and simple.
I love putting these together to see who deserves All-Star nods based completely on production. Looking back at last year’s column, I was shocked to see that Mo Williams and Troy Murphy both made the Eastern reserves. Believe it or not, they were both ballin’ at this time last season. This year… well, let’s just say it’s not their year.
A few things to know before reading:
A) These are based on the standard nine fantasy categories: Field Goal Percentage (FG%), Free-Throw Percentage (FT%), Points Scored (ppg), Assists (apg), Rebounds (rpg), Steals (spg), Blocks (bpg), Three-Pointers Made (3pg), and Turnovers (tpg).
B) Amount of games played is strongly considered. No one who misses a huge chunk of time (e.g., Joakim Noah) is eligible. Also, if a player has missed a few games it might mean the difference between being a starter or a reserve (looking at you, Steph Curry).
C) Just like the real All-Stars, each conference has its five starters along with seven reserves. I try to stay true to the position requirements, though it’s easier in fantasy because players like LaMarcus Aldridge qualify as centers.
D) Look, I’ll just tell you now; you won’t find Dwight Howard and Blake Griffin on these All-Star rosters. If you punt free throws, more power to you. But the following players don’t necessitate any punting – sorta like Aaron Rodgers.
G Chris Paul [49.1 FG%, 90.5 FT%, 16.7 ppg, 9.7 apg, 3.9 rpg, 2.5 spg, 0.1 bpg, 1.1 3pg, 2.4 tpg] What more can you say about this guy? He’s right back to being the highest-ranked fantasy player. Somehow he manages to minimize his turnovers while dropping dimes at an elite rate. He also leads the league in steals.
G Deron Williams [46.4 FG%, 85.8 FT%, 21.9 ppg, 9.5 apg, 3.6 rpg, 1.2 spg, 0.2 bpg, 1.8 3pg, 3.6 tpg] Another fantastic year for DWill. As you can tell from the two starting guards in the West, assists are very important. Lots of guys can score, but when you have one of the few guys in the league that’s consistently dishing it out like this, your fantasy team is in good hands.
F Kevin Durant [47.1 FG%, 88.3 FT%, 29 ppg, 2.8 apg, 7 rpg, 1.1 spg, 1 bpg, 1.8 3pg, 3.2 tpg] The number one pick in most drafts is rewarding his owners for making the commitment. He started the season slowly, but has been on a tear lately. It took until Christmas for him to drop his first 40-point game, and since then he’s had four more.
F Kevin Love [47.1 FG%, 87 FT%, 21.3 ppg, 2.5 apg, 15.6 rpg, 0.6 spg, 0.3 bpg, 1.4 3pg, 2.3 tpg] Don’t worry, Kevin. You don’t have to wait for a phone call later in the week to get on this roster. You are a fantasy stud. Whoever stole this guy in your draft is likely sitting around the top of the standings. Yes, the rebounding is absolutely remarkable, but how about that three-point shooting? He has to be the League’s MIP this year.
C Pau Gasol [52.5 FG%, 82.3 FT%, 18.7 ppg, 3.6 apg, 10.5 rpg, 0.6 spg, 1.9 bpg, 0.0 3pg, 1.9 tpg] Pau gives you exactly what you want from a center, and then some. Along with the points, boards, and blocks, he’s a great passer and free throw shooter at the center position.
F Dirk Nowitzki [52.7 FG%, 88.4 FT%, 23.4 ppg, 2.5 apg, 6.8 rpg, 0.6 spg, 0.8 bpg, 1.1 3pg, 2 tpg] Rebounding is down a bit, but his three-ball is back.
G Stephen Curry [48 FG%, 93.8 FT%, 19.1 ppg, 5.9 apg, 3.7 rpg, 1.8 spg, 0.3 bpg, 1.9 3pg, 3 tpg] Hampered early by ankle injuries, but is starting to light it up.
G Monta Ellis [45.9 FG%, 77.3 FT%, 25.3 ppg, 5.5 apg, 3.4 rpg, 2.3 spg, 0.3 bpg, 1.6 3pg, 3.3 tpg] Having a huge season. The steals are especially satisfying.
F Dorrell Wright [43.8 FG%, 77.6 FT%, 16.8 ppg, 3.2 apg, 5.7 rpg, 1.4 spg, 0.8 bpg, 2.5 3pg, 1.9 tpg] Filling it up, and leading the League in threes made.
C LaMarcus Aldridge [48.5 FG%, 77.8 FT%, 21.2 ppg, 2 apg, 9.1 rpg, 1.1 spg, 1.2 bpg, 0.1 3pg, 2.2 tpg] Welcome to Fantasyland, LA, where you are a center!
F Rudy Gay [46.7 FG%, 80.7 FT%, 20 ppg, 2.8 apg, 6.2 rpg, 1.7 spg, 1.1 bpg, 1.1 3pg, 2.5 tpg] Terrific combination of steals, blocks, and threes.
G Russell Westbrook [43.8 FG%, 85.3 FT%, 22.5 ppg, 8.6 apg, 5.1 rpg, 1.9 spg, 0.4 bpg, 0.3 3pg, 3.8 tpg] Outside the arc is the only area where he lacks.
Notable Snub (besides Griffin):
G Manu Ginobili [43 FG%, 87.6 FT%, 18.5 ppg, 4.9 apg, 3.8 rpg, 1.8 spg, 0.4 bpg, 2.2 3pg, 2.4 tpg] Deserves to be on the roster, and uhhh… yeah, I really don’t have a good reason why he’s not.
G Derrick Rose [44.5 FG%, 82.5 FT%, 24.4 ppg, 8.2 apg, 4.5 rpg, 1 spg, 0.7 bpg, 1.6 3pg, 3.5 tpg] The ’10-11 MVP? Looking like a strong possibility. He’s quieted those who’ve doubted his three-point shooting. He hit 32 threes in his first two seasons combined and has already made 77 this season.
G Dwyane Wade [49.7 FG%, 73.3 FT%, 25.4 ppg, 4.3 apg, 6.9 rpg, 1.4 spg, 1.1 bpg, 0.9 3pg, 3.2 tpg] Just your typical DWade numbers. Free throw percentage is a little low, turnovers a little high – but he does plenty elsewhere to make you forget about that quickly.
F LeBron James [48.2 FG%, 76.6 FT%, 26.1 ppg, 7.3 apg, 7.2 rpg, 1.5 spg, 0.6 bpg, 1.3 3pg, 3.7 tpg] Heading towards finishing with at least 20-7-7 for the fourth straight season. Those numbers put him in a class with guys named Oscar, Magic, Larry, and Air. Recently, he gave owners 51 reasons to be happy. When you look at where Cleveland was last season and look at them now, it’s difficult to not call Bron the MVP.
F Amar’e Stoudemire [50.5 FG%, 78.7 FT%, 26.3 ppg, 2.7 apg, 8.7 rpg, 1 spg, 2.2 bpg, 0.2 3pg, 3.4 tpg] Part of me believed his numbers would take a hit without Steve Nash feeding him the rock, but Mike D’Antoni and Raymond Felton have squashed all of that logic. In fact, Stoudemire is enjoying a career-high scoring average this season.
C Al Horford [56.9 FG%, 82.0 FT%, 16.2 ppg, 3.6 apg, 9.9 rpg, 0.7 spg, 1.1 bpg, 0.0 3pg, 1.4 tpg] Has to be the most quietly effective player in the game. You hear so little about him, but he’s such an efficient, young talent that keeps improving. He leads all centers in the NBA in assists.
F Kevin Garnett [53.2 FG%, 84.3 FT%, 15 ppg, 2.3 apg, 8.9 rpg, 1.6 spg, 0.7 bpg, 0.0 3pg, 1.6 tpg] The guy just gets it done. Posts sturdy numbers and doesn’t hurt you anywhere but in the three-point department, which is reasonable.
F Paul Pierce [50.8 FG%, 84.8 FT%, 18.9 ppg, 3.3 apg, 5 rpg, 1 spg, 0.6 bpg, 1.4 3pg, 1.9 tpg] Much like his aforementioned teammate, very solid across the board and really has no weakness.
C Elton Brand [52.5 FG%, 78.6 FT%, 15.6 ppg, 1.4 apg, 8.7 rpg, 1.2 spg, 1.2 bpg, 0.0 3pg, 1.4 tpg] Great to see the Sixers finally getting a return on their investment.
F Josh Smith [47.1 FG%, 73.4 FT%, 16.3 ppg, 3.5 apg, 8.9 rpg, 1.3 spg, 1.8 bpg, 0.7 3pg, 2.7 tpg] His career-highs in free throw percentage and three-point percentage are encouraging.
G Raymond Felton [42.3 FG%, 86.5 FT%, 17.2 ppg, 8.9 apg, 3.7 rpg, 1.8 spg, 0.2 bpg, 1.6 3pg, 3.2 tpg] He’s been a tremendous fit, running the point for the Knicks.
G Ray Allen [50.6 FG%, 85.5 FT%, 17.3 ppg, 2.9 apg, 3.6 rpg, 0.9 spg, 0.2 bpg, 2.3 3pg, 1.5 tpg] Anytime you see a guy that hits two threes per game and shoots 50 percent, it’s a good sign.
F Danny Granger [42.2 FG%, 84.9 FT%, 20.9 ppg, 2.8 apg, 5.6 rpg, 1.1 spg, 0.9 bpg, 2.1 3pg, 2.7 tpg] Despite his poor shooting, he still makes the roster in the East.
Notable Snub (besides Howard):
G Rajon Rondo [51.6 FG%, 54.8 FT%, 10.9 ppg, 12.4 apg, 4.3 rpg, 2.4 spg, 0.2 bpg, 0.2 3pg, 3.9 tpg] The assists have been gaudy. However, the lack of threes, high turnovers, poor free throw shooting, and the 11 games he missed are all working against him.