With any All-Star list, it’s impossible to include everyone who is having a great year. There are only 12 roster spots and there will always be well-deserving candidates that just don’t fit on the roster. It’s what makes the All-Star selection so noteworthy.
With the All-Star Game this weekend, here is my list of valuable fantasy all-stars who just don’t receive as much love:
Kemba Walker – The Hornets are right in the hunt for the 8th playoff seed in the east and that’s due to the play of Walker. Al Jefferson and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (more on him later) have missed most of the season, while Nicolas Batum (11/6/5) has been in and out of the lineup. Walker produces night in and night out with whoever is playing alongside him. Walker scored 25 points with 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals to lead the Hornets to another victory.
Nikola Vucevic – Vucci Mane has been the cornerstone of the Magic and has single-handedly won the game for them with a few recent game-winners. He did much of the same on Wednesday with 20 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 blocks. He’s only 25 so there’s still time for him to make the roster one of these years.
Reggie Jackson – Jackson was a late scratch on Wednesday due to an illness, but he’s kept the Pistons in the playoff hunt with averages of 19.1 ppg, 6.2 apg, and 3.4 rpg. Brandon Jennings started in Jackson’s place and scored 16 points on 4-8 shooting from downtown.
Brook Lopez – It’s a shame that Lopez plays for a team as bad as the Nets. If his team was anywhere near contention, then he would have likely received more love. He produced a 20/4/4 as the Nets got blown out again.
Damian Lillard – It was supposed to be a rebuilding year, but don’t tell Lillard because he has the Blazers in the hunt for the playoffs. At home against the Rockets, the game was close until Patrick Beverley (7 points, 4 assists) got under Lillard’s skin. He then got angry and led the Blazers to a 13-point win with 31 points and 9 assists.
C.J. McCollum – Staying with the Blazers, Lillard’s backcourt mate McCollum deserves recognition as well. His shot wasn’t falling as well as usual on Wednesday (6-16 FG for 14 points), but he’s averaging 20 ppg, after averaging under 10 the previous 2 seasons. At least he’ll be in contention for Most Improved Player at the end of the season.
Tim Duncan – The numbers are definitely not there, but if Kobe Bryant is going to the All-Star game, then there should be a spot for Timmy D as well. This might be Duncan’s last year too. Out since January 22, Duncan returned to the lineup to post 5 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 block shots. He’ll be on a minute restriction and is at risk of a DNP-Old, but can still be helpful in rounding out fantasy rosters.
Danilo Gallinari – While the Nuggets aren’t good enough to have an All-Star representative in the crowded west, you can’t deny how good Gallo has been for the team. He shot poorly on Wednesday (3-14), but still managed 15 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals. Good players find ways to contribute even on nights when their shot isn’t falling.
Who do you think has been snubbed from the All-Star game?
Now onto the rest of the nightly notables:
Rajon Rondo – Vintage Rondo: 14 points, 15 assists, 8 rebounds, and 3 steals. The news that George Karl is staying should be good news to Rondo owners. He’s had a great rebound year under Karl and should continue to produce this year.
Darren Collison – Often overlooked because he’s not starting, Collison continues to produce off the bench. He produced a very efficient night on Wednesday, posting a 25/3/3 on 9-12 shooting from the field.
Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins– Even though the Kings’ ownership seems to be in total disarray, Gay and Cousins continue to perform on the court. Gay posted 22 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 blocks, while Cousins went for 28/12/5.
Robert Covington – Covington snapped out of a cold shooting streak, knocking down 7-11 from downtown! He finished with a career-high 29 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 steals. Hopefully Covington will continue this hot shooting when he returns after the All-Star break.
Jerami Grant – With Nerlens Noel sitting with a knee injury, the 76ers went with Grant in the starting lineup. His stats don’t jump off the page, but his production all across the board is what makes him valuable. He shot poorly (2-8 FG), but still managed a useful 7 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, and 4 blocks. There aren’t too many small forwards blocking as many shots as Grant.
Jahlil Okafor – Okafor took advantage of an ailing Noel, playing a team high 39 minutes and posting 26 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 blocks. It’s a shame that him and Noel don’t play as well together.
Nik Stauskas – In addition to Covington, Stauskas also shot well from outside, hitting 4 of his 5 attempts. He finished with 16 points and 3 assists. He scored less than 10 points in the previous three games so we’ll need to see more consistency before investing.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist – Bad news for MKG owners. He left the game early, after dislocating the same shoulder he injured in the preseason. He just can’t catch a break. With MKG leaving early, the two Jeremeys saw more action. Jeremy Lin posted an all-around line of 14 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks, and 2 threes and Jeremy Lamb scored 16 points on 7-8 shooting off the bench. More should be known about MKG’s injury during the break, but Lamb and Lin have shown that they can be fantasy contributors before.
Cody Zeller – In only 23 minutes, Zeller grabbed a double-double with 11 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 assists. His minutes have mostly stayed in the 20-minute range, capping his upside.
Paul George – PG was the only brightspot in the Pacers’ blowout defeat to the Hornets 22 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists, but that’s expected.
Kawhi Leonard – The Spurs should have put the game against the Magic away earlier, but thanks to Leonard’s jumper with 0.9 left on the clock, were able to sneak out with a victory. In addition to the game-winner, he scored a team-high 29 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 3 threes.
LaMarcus Aldridge – With Duncan back, Aldridge will concede some touches to the big man, but he’s still very valuable. He posted 21 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 blocks playing alongside Duncan.
Patty Mills – Tony Parker sat for rest, pushing Ray McCallum (4 points, 5 rebounds) into the starting role. However, it was the Thunder from Down Under who took advantage of Parker being out. Mills exploded off the bench with 17 points, 7 assists, and 6 rebounds. Parker should be fine so don’t overreact to Mills’ strong performance.
Evan Fournier – The Frechman shot a very efficient 10-20 from the field, while scoring 28 points and dishing out 5 assists. As long as he’s shooting like this, continue to start him.
Elfrid Payton – After a slow start to February, Payton seems to be trending back up with 13 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals. This comes on the heels of a 20-point game on Monday.
Gordon Hayward – After hitting the game winner last night, Hayward posted a 21/4/4 line, but it wasn’t enough to beat the Pelicans.
Rudy Gobert –Gobert produced his third straight double-double with 12 points, 14 rebounds, and 2 blocks.
Derrick Favors – It’s nice to see the Jazz big men playing together again. Favors scored 29 points and grabbed 6 rebounds playing alongside Gobert.
Rodney Hood – Hood continues to play well and his ownership levels continue to rise. 15 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 threes for Hood on Wednesday.
Anthony Davis – AD played a little below his averages, but still dropped 19 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds on 7-15 shooting. Just shows you how good Davis is, that a line like that is below average.
Jrue Holiday –Holiday dropped 21 points, 9 assists, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, and 1 block off the bench. With Tyreke Evans undergoing surgery and expected out for the season, I expect Holiday, and to a lesser extent Norris Cole (11 points, 4 assists, 2 steals), to pick up the slack and finish the season strong.
Jeff Teague – He’s picking his game up, just as news that the Hawks reveal that they’re open to breaking up the roster. Teague scored 17 points, with 8 assists, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals. If Teague were indeed traded, Dennis Schroder (18 points, 4 assists) would be a must own player.
Al Horford – Another Hawk rumored to be on the market, Horford scored 16 points, grabbed 5 rebounds, blocked 2 shots, and even knocked down 2 threes.
Pau Gasol – Gasol would have made my list of All-Star snubs, if he wasn’t selected as the injury replacement for Jimmy Butler (knee). Gasol lived up to the selection with 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists.
Bobby Portis – With Taj Gibson (4 points, 3 rebounds, 2 blocks) exiting early with a strained left foot, Portis stepped up, posting a 12 point, 10 rebound double-double off the bench. Hopefully Gibson will be okay because the Bulls can’t afford another injury.
Doug McDermott – Doug E Fresh was feeling it, knocking down 6 of 12 from the field and 2 of 5 from three, on his way to 17 points.
Kobe Bryant – In his last game in Cleveland, Kobe showed signs of life with a 17/6/3 line, but poor shooting plagued him again (5-16 from the field).
Jordan Clarkson – As a Wizards’ fan, I’m still disappointed that we traded Clarkson away for basically nothing. Hindsight is 20/20, but the Lakers are loving lines like this: 22 points, 7 assists, and 6 rebounds.
Louis Williams – While the Clarkson trade was great, I’m not sure why the Lakers went after Lou in a non-contending season. Either way, Lou has lived up to expectations with 28 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists.
LeBron James and Kyrie Irving – With Kevin Love (8 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists) leaving early after re-injuring his surgically repaired left shoulder, James and Irving took charge. James posted a near triple-double with 29 points, 11 assists, and 7 rebounds, while Irving scored a game-high 35 points and 7 assists. We’ll know more about Love’s injury during the break.
Tristan Thompson – TT was a perfect 6-6 from the field and 3-3 from the line, en route to 15 points, 13 rebounds, and 4 assists.
Jusuf Nurkic – After playing only 7 minutes in Sunday’s game, Nurkic played 24 minutes off the bench and posted a nice double-double with 16 points, 11 rebounds. The potential is there, but the minutes just haven’t been yet.
Will Barton – Competing in the Dunk Contest on Saturday, Barton showed he’s more than a dunker with 20 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block/three each.
Andre Drummond – Competing against Barton in the Dunk Contest, the big man will have his work cut out for him, since most big man have a harder time competing against their shorter opposition. On the defensive glass, he’s no match, as he dominated with 15 points, 17 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, and 5 blocks. Unfortunately, he didn’t hit another full court shot.
Marcus Morris – The power forward led the Pistons in assists with 6 dimes to go along with his 19 points.
Stanley Johnson – He continues to play better and better with 11 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds. Even when Kentavious Caldwell-Pope comes back from his abdominal strain, Johnson has shown that he deserves minutes.
Zach Randolph – He doesn’t do much outside rebound and score, but with Marc Gasol potentially out for the season, Randolph should see his numbers rise. He did a little over everything on Wednesday with 15 points, 6 assists, 3 rebounds, 3 steals, and 1 block. It doesn’t have to be like this every night, but a couple more blocks and steals would be nice.
Jeff Green – Green knocked down 3 of 7 from downtown, on his way to 18 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals off the bench.
Wayne Ellington – Ellington scored 18 points on 4-5 from downtown, but should be nowhere near fantasy rosters.
Karl-Anthony Towns – With this year’s draft class, the Rising Stars Challenge will have some very talented players. KAT will be one of them and should see his name on the All-Star team sooner than later, with nights like this: 35 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 blocks.
Andrew Wiggins – Wiggins will also be playing on Friday, but will be playing against Towns. He scored 26 points with 3 rebounds and 2 steals in the T’Wolves upset win over the Raptors.
Ricky Rubio – You expect the assists and rebounds out of Rubio, but 19 points? He was in a groove, as he shot 5-9 from the field and 3-6 from beyond the arc to post 19 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists.
Gorgui Dieng – Dieng isn’t as strong a passer as Rubio, but he still dished out 6 assists to go along with his 4th straight double-double. He finished the night with 14 points, 10 rebounds, 1 block, and 2 steals and is absolutely on fire right now.
DeMar DeRozan – When he’s not banging on Shabazz Muhammad (8 points, 3 rebounds), he was knocking down almost every shot (11-19 FG, 3-3 3PT, 10-13 FT). He finished with a team-high 35 points and 4 assists.
Kyle Lowry – You know DeRozan and Lowry are a great on the court, but they’re also hilarious off the court. Lowry (14/4/7) shot poorly (4-15 FG, 1-7 3PT), but should be fun to watch, as him and DeRozan play in front of their home crowd on Sunday.
Splash Brothers – Stephen Curry almost posted a triple-double (26/9/9), while Klay Thompson scored 24 points and swiped 5 steals. I’m not too worried that they will be rested down the stretch, as long as the NBA record for wins is in play.
Markieff Morris – Marcus wasn’t the only Morris to play well on Wednesday. Markieff held his own with 19 points, 8 rebouds, and 4 assists. However, just when you think he’s out of the doghouse, he decides to get in a bench altercation with Archie Goodwin (20 points). The Suns may be forced to trade or bench him again.
Devin Booker – He turned the ball over 7 times, but it was nice to see him distributing the basketball more. He finished with 15 points, 7 rebounds, and a career-high 10 assists.
Tyson Chandler – Chandler (13 points, 10 rebounds) has been playing better lately, but the Suns really need to free Alex Len (6 points, 7 rebounds), even though they owe Chandler so much money. Maybe they can trade Chandler and Morris in a package together.
Isaiah Thomas – Thomas led the Celtics to a overtime victory over the Clippers with 36 points and 11 assists. Chris Paul and Thomas had a nice point guard battle, as Paul nearly matched Thomas with 35 points, 13 assists, and 5 rebounds.
Evan Turner – Turner used a strong overtime period to post 14 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists. He makes a wise pickup in all leagues, while he’s playing this well.
Jared Sullinger – Sullinger is a decent passer for a big man, but the near triple-double is still surprising: 21 points, 11 rebounds, and 7 assists.
Jae Crowder and Marcus Smart – The extra playing time was very friendly to the Celtics. Crowder dropped 19 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 threes, while Smart came off the bench to post 17 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 threes. Avery Bradley scored 18 points, but did little else in the box score, unless you count the bad fouls in overtime.
DeAndre Jordan – DJ almost posted a triple-double: 21 points, 16 rebounds, and 8 missed free throws. Oh, that’s not how it works? Despite shooting 9-17 from the line, he added 2 blocks, 3 assists, 1 steal, and this nice alley-oop from CP3.
J.J. Redick – Redick continues to pour it in, with 27 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 threes.
Jamal Crawford – Thanks to shooting 8-10 from the charity stripe, Crawford made up for a poor shooting night (4-17 FG, 2-8 3PT) to post 18 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists.
Maurice Harkless – The 4th year pro out of St. John’s has been receiving more playing time recently, after filling up the box score in the last 3 games. On Wednesday, he recorded his first double-double of the season with 19 points, 13 rebounds, and 2 steals. With numbers like that, he’s earned the increase in playing time.
James Harden – He was my preseason candidate for MVP and while he’s been very good, he can’t win the award with the Rockets under .500. Harden was one rebound shy of a triple-double (34 points, 11 assists, 9 rebounds) and shot 10-20 from the field. Curry has the MVP locked up for the second year in a row.
Dwight Howard – Howard lost his contact midway through the 3rd quarter and the announcers gave hilarious play-by-play, as he attempted to put it back in. His vision wasn’t helping him at the free throw line anyways, as he shot 2-7, but he scored 28 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.