This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
FanDuel offers up plenty of cash games and GPPs for Sunday's All-Star extravaganza in its single-game format, which affords us the benefit of three lineup slots with fantasy-point multipliers built in. That adds a bit of a different strategic element to roster construction, especially in a contest like the All-Star Game where minutes can be somewhat challenging to project. Nevertheless, let's dive into the stellar player pool and try to determine who might be in position to give you the best return at each of the five possible roster spots:
MVP (2x Points)
James Harden, Team LBN ($15,500): Starter
Career ASG Stats: 16.5 points (47.4 percent shooting, incl. 41.7 percent from three-point range), 6.5 assists, 5.5 rebounds (six games)
FD Season Average: 59.6 fantasy points
Harden's storybook season has an excellent chance of continuing in a game where defense is notoriously and traditionally "relaxed," to put it mildly. The Beard naturally has no hesitation when it comes to putting the ball up from anywhere on the floor, and there's no reason why he shouldn't be even more aggressive here. His ability to pile up points in a hurry will especially come to the forefront in a game with the pace this one is expected to have, and there should also be no shortage of assist opportunities with the talent surrounding him. Harden has typically played a robust amount of minutes in ASGs too, and he's logged more than 25 in three of his last four. Moreover, his usage has traditionally been solid, as he's averaging just under 15 shot attempts per game in his six ASG appearances overall.
Paul George, Team GNS ($14,000): Starter
Career ASG Stats: 20.8 points (49.4 percent shooting, including 36.2 percent from three-point range), 4.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.2 steals (five games)
FD Season Average: 50.1 fantasy points
George makes for an excellent cost-savings pivot in the MVP spot, a fitting designation given the caliber of season he's enjoying. As the career stats cited indicate, George has traditionally thrived in five past ASG appearances, taking no fewer than 13 shot attempts in any of those contests despite playing more than 27 minutes in only one of them. With career bests in points (28.7), rebounds (8.0), steals (2.3), made threes (3.9) and three-point shooting percentage (40.6) this season coming in, he's clearly locked in a zone that makes him a highly qualified candidate for the maximum fantasy-point multiplier slot.
STAR (1.5x points)
LeBron James, Team LBN ($15,000): Starter
Career ASG Stats: 24.5 points (53.0 percent shooting, including 35.7 percent from three-point range), 6.3 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.3 steals (14 games)
FD Season Average: 51.1 fantasy points
LeBron's career ASG stats and status as team captain both make him highly worthy of consideration before even factoring in his vast talent. The King has traditionally made the ASG a showcase event for himself, with his 24.5 points per game average sharing top billing all time with the Pelicans' Anthony Davis for players who've played in multiple ASGs. Moreover, the 29.6 minutes per contest James has averaged in ASGs over his career leads all active players. James has averaged 19.0 shot attempts per All-Star appearance, and he should see fairly hefty run once again. The well-rounded production he typically offers makes him an excellent candidate for the second-highest fantasy-point multiplier spot.
PRO (1.2x Points)
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Team GNS ($15,000): Starter
Career ASG Stats: 23.0 points (64.5 percent shooting), 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.5 steals (two games)
FD Season Average: 56.07 fantasy points
Antetokounmpo is enjoying an MVP-caliber season, and he fittingly captains his own squad in the second year of the current ASG format. The Greek Freak's ability to stuff the stat sheet is already legendary, and despite just two prior ASG appearances, he's proven the spotlight isn't too bright for him by any stretch. Antetokounmpo dropped a cool 30 points over just 23 minutes in his All-Star debut two seasons ago on absurd 82.4 percent shooting. He came back down to earth (16 points) in last year's game, but he partly supplemented his offensive production with a solid seven rebounds and bumped up to 27 minutes. Even more playing time is conceivable this year given his role, making him a solid PRO slot candidate.
Kevin Durant, Team LBN ($13,500): Starter
Career ASG Stats: 24.3 points (52.4 percent shooting, including 31.2 percent from three-point range), 6.1 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.8 steals (nine games)
FD Season Average: 47.4 fantasy points
Durant is one again generating the type of stellar numbers that he's impressively made the norm throughout his storied career. Despite his high-usage first-unit mates on the Warriors, he's posting his best scoring average (27.6) of his three Golden State seasons and averaging a career high in assists (5.9). He should have plenty of opportunity to rack up numbers in both categories Sunday, and his prior body of work in ASGs certainly offers plenty of reason for optimism. The playing time should be there as well, considering Durant has averaged 27.1 minutes over his nine All-Star appearances and has logged over 25 in six of his last eight ASGs.
Karl-Anthony Towns, Team LBN ($11,500): Reserve
Career ASG Stats: 17.0 points (63.6 percent shooting, including 25.0 percent from three-point range), 10.0 rebounds (one game)
FD Season Average: 47.6 fantasy points
Reserve minutes can be tricky to predict in ASGs, but Towns makes the cut as my one non-starter due to his ability to pile up production in a hurry, although Kemba Walker ($11,000) will be a popular choice as well given that the game unfolds in his home arena. With respect to Towns, the fact the big man can space the floor effectively (38.9 percent shooting from three-point range this season) helps his cause in what should be an ultra-fast-paced contest, and his excellent work on the boards could help him achieve one of his trademark double-doubles in even modest playing time. Towns corroborated as much in his ASG debut last season, quickly putting up 17 points and pulling down 10 boards in just over 18 minutes. Even a slight bump in opportunity could help him to a strong return on his somewhat discounted price, and his status as the only true center on his squad could certainly lead to some extra court time for him as well.