Last week, we took a look at the fantasy basketball Western Conference All-Stars, with the rule being that positional requirements are eliminated. This is fantasy basketball, after all, and since we have a bit of leeway, we aren’t going to worry about selecting any set number of guards or forwards which can result in some guys getting snubbed.
Instead, we are taking the top-5 fantasy basketball players from the East, period. Let’s get to it:
Giannis Antetokounmpo– Few players have had a meteoric rise like the Greek Freak. He currently sits at number three on ESPN’s Player Rater, and at just 22 years old he appears poised to be there for some time. His averages of 23.4 points, 2.0 blocks, 1.8 steals, 5.5 assists and 8.7 rebounds are absolutely ridiculous. Giannis has the versatility to play four positions on the floor, and as a result, he is fantasy eligible at PG, SG, SF, and PF. If you have him on your team, you are a happy camper, and if you are fortunate enough to have him in a keeper league, you may have just hit the jackpot.
Kyle Lowry- Perhaps it’s due to the fact that plays in Canada, or maybe it’s because LeBron James dominates the Eastern Conference, but Kyle Lowry isn’t getting nearly enough credit for an impressive season. He was bumped by Kyrie Irving in the real All-Star starting five, but we fix that here. With averages of 22.7 points, 1.6 steals, 6.9 assists, 4.8 rebounds and a whopping 3.2 threes plus fantastic percentages, there are simply few better fantasy points guards than Lowry. The Raptors may not be able to truly threaten the Cavaliers in the East, but many fantasy owners will be riding Lowry to their fantasy basketball league title.
John Wall- Another player who got bumped from the starting five in real life, Washington Wizard John Wall has had a season to remember. He still isn’t quite as big of a threat from downtown as you would ideally like from a point guard (1.1 per game), but he makes up for that by being an absolute thief by getting 2.2 steals per game. This season, Wall has seen a leap in value thanks to his field goal percentage jumping from 42 percent to 46 percent while also raising his free throw percentage to 82 percent and his attempts to 6.1 per game. At 26, Wall is entering his prime years and should be an excellent fantasy point guard for years to come.
Isaiah Thomas- Here’s the beauty of eliminating positions, as Isaiah Thomas sneaks into the starting five. Forget about defense, who wouldn’t want to watch Thomas, Wall, and Lowry buzzing around the court and playing off of each other? While he is small in stature, Thomas has been positively electric this season, averaging 29.1 points, 6.3 assists, and 3.1 threes per game, all career-highs. He doesn’t quite get as many steals as one would expect from a speedy point guard with just 0.8 per game, but he makes up for it by getting to the line 8.3 times per game and shooting 91 percent while he’s there, which makes him the most valuable free throw shooter in the league. Not bad for a guy who was taken with the very last pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.
Jimmy Butler- There is no denying that the Chicago Bulls are a mess, with a growing divide between veteran and younger players, Fortunately, in fantasy basketball, none of that really matters as long as a player is producing stats, and Jimmy Butler certainly is. With the team clearly his (for now), Butler is posting a career-high 24.4 points per game while also contributing a respectable 6.5 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 1.7 steals per game. He also shoots 9.4 free throws per game at an 87 percent clip, which allows him to slide in front of LeBron James by the slimmest of margins to claim the final spot on the Eastern Conference Fantasy All-Star team.