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Fantasy Sports Fantasy Basketball

Top 15 Fantasy Basketball Forwards in 2012

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Fantasy Basketball Top 15 Forwards

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Forwards in the NBA come in all forms. From the excellent defender at the small forward position to the bruising double-double machine at the power forward position, forwards can be valuable in providing numbers in various categories. There are sometimes anomalies in some of the better fantasy options at forward, for power forwards who can make 3-pointers and small forwards who can rebound and block shots at a high rate are sometimes coveted for their unique statistics.

Looking at the top fantasy basketball forwards in 2012, they range from some of the top scorers in the league to some of the best rebounders and shot blockers and their respective positions. From the best teams in the league to the teams with the lowest season records in the NBA, forwards from all over can provide value for any team. Here’s a look at the top 15 fantasy basketball forwards of the 2012 fantasy basketball season.

Honorable Mentions (per game averages):

20. PF David West – 17.3 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 0.7 steals, 1.1 blocks

19. SG/SF Paul George – 15.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.6 blocks

18. PF/C David Lee – 17.6 points, 10.7 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.3 blocks

17. SF/PF Chandler Parsons – 15.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.2 blocks

16. SF Paul Pierce – 19.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.3 blocks

* Players on this list are eligible at either forward position, regardless of whether they spend a majority of their playing time at the position. The players’ percentage owned numbers for Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Basketball leagues and player statistics are accurate as of Wednesday, December 5, 2012. MPG = Minutes Per Game, FG% = Field Goal Percentage, FT% = Free Throw Percentage, 3PTM = 3-Pointers Made, PTS = Points, REB = Rebounds, AST = Assists, STL = Steals, BLK = Blocks, TO = Turnovers.

Austin Chang is a featured columnist and fantasy sports expert at Rant Sports and you can follow him on Twitter @_austinchang.

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15. PF Anthony Davis, New Orleans Hornets

Derick Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

15. PF Anthony Davis, New Orleans Hornets, 97% owned

Season averages: 28:19 MPG, .493 FG%, .839 FT%, 0.0 3PTM, 16.0 PTS, 8.3 REB, 0.8 AST, 1.0 ST, 2.2 BLK, 1.5 TO

Season-highs: 28 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, two steals, four blocks

While his numbers could certainly be better if he could stay healthy all season, Davis has certainly been one of the most impressive rookies this season. From his solid offensive numbers to great numbers when it comes to steals and blocks in six games of action, he has looked like one of the best fantasy forwards in the league despite the small sample size.

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14. SF/PF Andrei Kirilenko, Minnesota Timberwolves

Greg Smith-USA TODAY Sports

14. SF/PF Andrei Kirilenko, Minnesota Timberwolves, 79% owned

Season averages: 36:22 MPG, .508 FG%, .714 FT%, 0.7 3PTM, 13.0 PTS, 7.8 REB, 3.3 AST, 1.5 ST, 1.8 BLK, 2.6 TO

Season-highs: 26 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, three steals, four blocks

A more-refined version of what Davis may possibly become when you consider his across-the-board potential, Kirilenko has accomplished great things in his return to the NBA. Fitting in quite nicely as the Timberwolves’ starting small forward, he has looks like the fantasy star who previously dominated the game as a member of the Utah Jazz. Due to his absence last season, Kirilenko was a great bargain for owners who picked him up in the middle-to-late draft rounds.

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13. PF/C LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers

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13. PF/C LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers, 100% owned

Season averages: 38:30 MPG, .455 FG%, .774 FT%, 0.0 3PTM, 20.7 PTS, 8.0 REB, 2.6 AST, 0.9 ST, 1.2 BLK, 2.1 TO

Season-highs: 32 points, 15 rebounds, eight assists, three steals, four blocks

The leader of a young Trail Blazers team, Aldridge has continued to put up All-Star numbers in the 2012-13 season. Posting big game after big game, he has currently in the midst of his third-straight 20-plus points per game season and has been a consistent provider throughout his career when it comes to rebounding, assists, steals and blocks.

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12. SG/SF Nicolas Batum, Portland Trail Blazers

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

12. SG/SF Nicolas Batum, Trail Blazers, 99% owned

Season averages: 38:50 MPG, .427 FG%, .824 FT%, 2.5 3PTM, 16.9 PTS, 6.0 REB, 3.2 AST, 1.7 ST, 1.1 BLK, 2.5 TO

Season-highs: 35 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists, six steals, five blocks

With Aldridge manning Portland’s interior, Batum has been lighting it up from the perimeter. With about half of his shot attempts coming from behind the arc, he has been a bigger part of the team’s offense. Batum has also improved in his rebounds, assists and steals due to his increased playing time, which is a good sign out of any young fantasy option.

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11. SG/SF James Harden, Houston Rockets

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

11. SG/SF James Harden, Houston Rockets, 100% owned

Season averages: 38:39 MPG, .410 FG%, .833 FT%, 1.8 3PTM, 23.6 PTS, 4.4 REB, 5.4 AST, 1.6 ST, 0.5 BLK, 4.1 TO

Season-highs: 45 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists, five steals, two blocks

Harden has certainly flourished in his new team and with a new role as the Rockets’ primary scoring option. Now starting instead of coming off the bench in a sixth-man capacity, he has blossomed as a scorer. While his production has died down a little from the start of the season, Harden has been an excellent breakout star in his fourth NBA season.

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10. PF/C Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

10. PF/C Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls, 96% owned

Season averages: 39:17 MPG, .464 FG%, .779 FT%, 0.0 3PTM, 13.0 PTS, 10.1 REB, 4.2 AST, 1.4 ST, 2.2 BLK, 2.6 TO

Season-highs: 23 points, 15 rebounds, eight assists, five steals, five blocks

With Derrick Rose out of action, Noah has been the top fantasy player on the Bulls. While he’s never been a great offensive threat, he’s continued to improve his free throw percentage, a plus for a player like him, and has seen nice increases in assists, steals and turnovers this season. Known for his defense, Noah has certainly been an asset in those categories.

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9. PF/C Ryan Anderson, New Orleans Hornets

Derick Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

9. PF/C Ryan Anderson, Hornets, 98% owned

Season averages: 32:53 MPG, .480 FG%, .870 FT%, 3.4 3PTM, 18.3 PTS, 8.0 REB, 1.4 AST, 0.4 ST, 0.4 BLK, 1.0 TO

Season-highs: 34 points, seven rebounds, nine assists, eight steals, three blocks

The epitome of a sharpshooting big man, Anderson has been stellar for his new team. Whether he’s starting or coming off the bench, he has continued to build upon his breakout season from last year and has been even more deadly from 3-point range this season. Shooting at a career-high 48 percent from the field, Anderson certainly deserves recognitions as one of the top forwards of fantasy basketball.

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8. SF/PF Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

8. SF/PF Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks, 100% owned

Season averages: 35:42 MPG, .457 FG%, .810 FT%, 2.4 3PTM, 26.4 PTS, 6.7 REB, 2.1 AST, 0.9 ST, 0.6 BLK, 2.9 TO

Season-highs: 37 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, three steals, two blocks

The Knicks’ excellent start to the season could largely be contributed to Anthony’s play. While he’s always been a top scorer in the league, he has also excelled at being a plus-rebounder at his position and has been a big force in all of the team’s victories. Scoring in double-digits in all but one game this season, Anthony continues to play at a superstar level, both in real life and in the fantasy world.

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7. PF/C Chris Bosh, Miami Heat

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

7. PF/C Chris Bosh, Miami Heat, 99% owned

Season averages: 33:47 MPG, .560 FG%, .863 FT%, 0.2 3PTM, 19.3 PTS, 8.2 REB, 1.5 AST, 0.6 ST, 1.3 BLK, 1.9 TO

Season-highs: 40 points, 18 rebounds, four assists, three steals, three blocks

The owner of a 40-point game this season, Bosh has done very well in his transition to the Heat’s starting center. Shooting at a career-best 56 percent from the field, he has had good shot selection and continues to be productive in the Heat’s loaded lineup. Left with the task of having a physically-intensive role on the team, Bosh has thrived in what could turn out to be a career year for him.

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6. PF/C Al Jefferson, Utah Jazz

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6. PF/C Al Jefferson, Utah Jazz, 100% owned

Season averages: 33:27 MPG, .484 FG%, .803 FT%, 0.1 3PTM, 17.4 PTS, 10.7 REB, 2.0 AST, 1.1 ST, 1.1 BLK, 1.5 TO

Season-highs: 31 points, 17 rebounds, five assists, four steals, two blocks

A must-start option year in and year out, Jefferson has never been one to disappoint. While his scoring average has a little lower than usual for this first part of the season, he has made up for it with his best rebounding numbers in the past few seasons and career-best numbers with regards to free throw percentage and steals.

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5. PF/C Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City Thunder

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5. PF/C Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City Thunder, 100% owned

Season averages: 31:23 MPG, .595 FG%, .870 FT%, 0.2 3PTM, 14.5 PTS, 7.5 REB, 0.4 AST, 0.2 ST, 3.3 BLK, 1.6 TO

Season-highs: 25 points, 13 rebounds, two assists, one steal, seven blocks

Unlike most player, Ibaka has skyrocketed up the ranks and grown at an exponential rate. More than just a premier shot blocker who could win that category by himself on a weekly basis, he has also been a much improved shooter, as seen by his greater range away from the basket. With Harden no longer in Oklahoma City, Ibaka has picked up some of the scoring slack and has made even bigger strides as an elite fantasy option.

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4. SF/PF LeBron James, Miami Heat

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

4. SF/PF LeBron James, Heat, 100% owned

Season averages: 37:36 MPG, .530 FG%, .648 FT%, 1.4 3PTM, 24.8 PTS, 9.1 REB, 6.8 AST, 1.2 ST, 0.9 BLK, 2.5 TO

Season-highs: 38 points, 13 rebounds, 12 assists, four steals, three blocks

An owner of a triple-double this season, James has been quite close at averaging nearly a triple-double every game. Currently with a career-high 9.1 rebounds and impressive 6.8 assists a game, he has continue to play as one of the league’s best. Despite displaying better accuracy from 3-point range, James has had an average year statistically compared to past seasons.

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3. PF/C Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

3. PF/C Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs, 97% owned

Season averages: 31:00 MPG, .533 FG%, .783 FT%, 0.1 3PTM, 18.8 PTS, 10.1 REB, 2.6 AST, 0.8 ST, 2.4 BLK, 1.6 TO

Season-highs: 27 points, 17 rebounds, six assists, three steals, five blocks

Discovering a bit of a resurgence in his 16th season in the league, Duncan has averaged a double-double a game for the first time since the 2009-2010 season. Also attempting more shots than past years, he has had no weakness in his game this season. A reliable pillar in fantasy basketball forever, Duncan continues to play at the top of his game at this stage of his career.

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2. PF/C Anderson Varejao, Cleveland Cavaliers

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

2. PF/C Anderson Varejao, Cleveland Cavaliers, 93% owned

Season averages: 36:36 MPG, .502 FG%, .776 FT%, 0.0 3PTM, 15.0 PTS, 15.4 REB, 3.2 AST, 1.6 ST, 045 BLK, 1.9 TO

Season-highs: 35 points, 23 rebounds, six assists, four steals, two blocks

Usually players are not considered elite fantasy options when their rebounding outnumbers their scoring. This is not the case for Varejao, as his unmatched rebounding numbers has made him a dominant game-changer in the fantasy world. Recording a double-double in all but three starts, he has been as good as they come from the power forward position this season.

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1. SF Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder

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1. SF Kevin Durant, Thunder, 100% owned

Season averages: 39:12 MPG, .514 FG%, .903 FT%, 1.6 3PTM, 26.5 PTS, 8.5 REB, 4.4 AST, 1.6 ST, 1.6 BLK, 3.3 TO

Season-highs: 37 points, 17 rebounds, 10 assists, five steals, four blocks

No surprise here, Durant is once again playing at a level above all other forwards. The top pick in many drafts prior to the start of this season, he has been an efficient scorer, great rebounder and feared playmaker on both offense and defense. Still just 24 years of age, Durant will likely have at least a dozen more seasons near the top of the fantasy rankings.