• Charles Allen

Fantasy Basketball All-Stars

The NBA's All-Star weekend is upon us. As far as actual games go, the NBA season doesn't resume until Thursday, the 20th. In lieu of our usual fantasy basketball weekly recap, this week is focused on fantasy all-stars.

Similarly to the actual NBA All-Star selection, we have two team captains, four more starters, and then the rest of the roster will be filled out with six bench players. However, instead of voting for these spots, we'll let Yahoo do the dirty work for us and the selections will be based on the criteria below.

Here are the rules for selecting the Fantasy Basketball All-Stars:

  • The ranking is based on standard Yahoo fantasy basketball scoring.

  • The ranking is also based on season average, not season total.

  • Players must have played at least 30 games of the season so far.

  • Players must also be healthy enough to play in the actual All-Star weekend.

Team Captains

As of right now, the top two performers in fantasy basketball have been Anthony Davis and James Harden. This isn't too surprising considering their pre-season rankings were one and four. Here is how their stats stack up respectively:

The Starters

The remaining eight starters were also selected based off their current rankings and are as followed:

  • Kawhi Leonard

  • Hassan Whiteside

  • John Collins

  • Nikola Jokic

  • Jimmy Butler

  • Chris Paul

  • Luka Doncic

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo

Many of these names are actually featured this weekend, but there are some surprising additions. Namely, Whiteside being fourth overall, based on the criteria. I put these eight names into a random generator to select the teams assigned to Team Davis and Team Harden, with their draft pick in parenthesis. The results were... interesting.

Team Davis starting five:

Anthony Davis, Hassan Whiteside (1), Jimmy Butler (3), Giannis Antetokounmpo (5), Nikola Jokic (7).

Team Harden starting five:

James Harden, Kawhi Leonard (2), Chris Paul (4), Luka Doncic (6), John Collins (8).

Team Davis was given Whiteside first overall. Clearly, fantasy basketball and the actual thing are far different from each other. Also, clearly the random generator used on random.org does not play fantasy basketball, but it is what it is.

The Bench

The bench followed the same formula of the starters, and here are their rankings:

  • LeBron James

  • Jayson Tatum

  • Brandon Ingram

  • Fred VanVleet

  • Andre Drummond

  • Trae Young

  • Nikola Vucevic

  • Joel Embiid

  • Paul George

  • LaMarcus Aldridge

  • Ben Simmons

  • Khris Middleton

I also put these names in a generator and gave Team Harden the first selected player and the remaining squads are as follows, with their draft pick in parenthesis:

Team Harden bench:

Fred VanVleet (9), Trae Young (11), Khris Middleton (13), LaMarcus Aldridge (15), Joel Embiid (17), Jayson Tatum (19).

Team Davis bench:

Ben Simmons (10), Nikola Vucevic (12), LeBron James (14), Brandon Ingram (16), Andre Drummond (18), Paul George (20).

The Squads

So to recap, here is how the teams would pan out given their fantasy basketball performances with the addition of a random generator to select the teams.

Team Davis:

Anthony Davis, Hassan Whiteside, Jimmy Butler, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokic, Ben Simmons, Nikola Vucevic, LeBron James, Brandon Ingram, Andre Drummond, and Paul George.

Team Harden:

James Harden, Kawhi Leonard, Chris Paul, Luka Doncic, John Collins, Fred VanVleet, Trae Young, Khris Middleton, LaMarcus Aldridge, Joel Embiid, and Jayson Tatum.

I don't know about you, but this would definitely be an interesting matchup. Team Davis is stacked with bigs, however, Team Harden is stacked with ball-handlers. Ultimately, I believe Team Harden would eventually take the edge.

Bravo to Hassan Whiteside, Andre Drummond, John Collins, Fred VanVleet, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Paul George for making the fantasy basketball all-stars, even though they weren't selected as actual NBA All-Stars.

Rising Stars

One of the more interesting aspects to the actual NBA All-Star weekend is the feature on younger players in their rookie and or sophomore seasons. For fantasy basketball, however, instead of exclusively looking at first or second year players, below is a list of the top-10 players who before the season began were ranked outside of the top-100, but who have found themselves joining that club.

  • Brandon Ingram. Current rank: Original projection:

  • Richaun Holmes. Current rank: 19 - Original projection: 277!

  • Davis Bertans. Current rank: 52 - Original projection: 135

  • Normal Powell. Current rank: 59 - Original projection: 182

  • Nemanja Bjelica. Current rank: 60 - Original projection: 185

  • Will Barton. Current rank: 61 - Original projection: 146

  • Evan Fournier. Current rank: 65 - Original projection: 131

  • Jaylen Brown. Current rank: 66 - Original projection: 118

  • Devonte' Graham. Current rank: 74 - Original projection: 280

  • Paul Millsap. Current rank: 75 - Original projection: 119