Fantasy Clicks
By David Sabino
NBA Midseason Fantasy Report
Kevin Durant (left) and Derrick Rose :: Getty Images

Ever since attending the first two NBA Rookie Challenges in Oakland ('99) and Washington ('00), the game that pits first year stars against their sophomore counterparts has been the highlight of NBA's All Star Weekend for me and my inner fantasy player. It's the only place that you get to see a young players' skill level relative to that of their counterparts. Last season's star of stars in the contest was Kevin Durant who lit up the neophytes for a record 46 points, clearly differentiating himself from the rest of the game's young stars a trend he's continued to do this season.

Past rosters are a regular Who's Who of fantasy talent and with few exceptions, the players that make it onto the sophomore roster become your fantasy studs shortly thereafter. So before next season's draft, make sure that you have this list so when you're scrambling to make your mid to late round choice, instead of grabbing someone who's career is on the down slide you'll take a rising star.

The Real All-Stars

To say that Allen Iverson's selection as an All Star starter is a farce is the understatement of the season, but at least he's played (though not particularly well) this season. The Answer (14.4 ppg, 4.2 apg) is a vastly better choice than Tracy McGrady (3.2 ppg in 45 total minutes) the star of the far east, who would've been had he maintained his status as a Western Conference Starter while spending nearly all of the season either rehabbing his knee or sitting at home, exiled by his team. In any case, here's my take on who should've been starting at Cowboys Stadium on Sunday based on their '09-10 fantasy production.

Dwyane Wade, Heat* G
Rajon Rondo, Celtics G
LeBron James, Cavaliers* F
Chris Bosh, Raptors F
Dwight Howard, Magic* C

Kobe Bryant, Lakers* G
Chris Paul, Hornets G
Kevin Durant, Thunder F
Carmelo Anthony, Nuggets* F
Pau Gasol, Lakers C*actual starter

Most Improved

Whether it's due to an increase in playing time, experience or just plain old improvement, lots of players have enjoyed a great jump in their previous career curves this season. Here are my choices for the First and Second Most Improved Teams.

First Team
Monta Ellis, Warriors G
Aaron Brooks, Rockets G
Kevin Durant, Thunder F
Zach Randolph, Grizzlies F
Joakim Noah, Bulls C

Second Team
Rajon Rondo, Celtics G
Corey Brewer, Timberwolves G
Trevor Ariza, Rockets F
Carl Landry, Rockets F
Channing Frye, Suns C

Falling Short

A lot was expected from them but they've been major disappointments for their fantasy owners. Here are the All Flop teams.

First Team
Mike Bibby, Hawks G
T.J. Ford, Pacers G
Hedo Turkoglu, Raptors F
Ron Artest, Lakers F
Andrew Bynum, Lakers C

Second Team
Jose Calderon, Raptors G
Ramon Sessions, Timberwolves G
Richard Jefferson, Spurs F
Brandon Bass, Magic F
Mehmet Okur, Jazz C

Infirmary Five

The All Missed Games team's time on the floor was short or non-existent and their owners paid dearly.

Michael Redd, Bucks G
Kevin Martin, Kings G
Tayshaun Prince, Pistons F
Blake Griffin, Clippers F
Greg Oden, Blazers C

New Kids On The Block

The Rookie Challenge is always a highlight of All Star Weekend. These are my choices for top rookies and sophomores.

Stephen Curry, Warriors G
Brandon Jennings, Bucks G
Tyreke Evans, Kings G/F
Omri Casspi, Kings F
DeJuan Blair, Spurs C

Derrick Rose, Bulls G
Russell Westbrook, Thunder G
Danilo Gallinari, Knicks F
Kevin Love, Timberwolves F
Brook Lopez, Nets C

Crystal Ball

And finally, here's my All-Keep-Your-Eye-On Team, a.k.a. players who just need more minutes to have serious fantasy value.

Jerrryd Bayless, Blazers G
Goran Dragic, Suns G
Taj Gibson Bulls F
Donte Greene, Kings F
Robin Lopez, Suns C

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