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Fantasy Sports Fantasy Basketball

Fantasy Basketball: James Harden and Other December 8th Studs

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Fantasy Basketball 2012 December 8 Best Performers

December 8
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

From great scoring performances to solid showings on defense featuring plenty of steals and blocks, elite individual performances can help owners win categories in Week 6 matchups. On Friday, December 7, PF/C Joakim Noah, SF Kevin Durant and SG Kobe Bryant made up the top three studs from yesterday. From Noah setting career-highs in both points and rebounds against the Detroit Pistons to Durant’s 36-point outing in a win over the Los Angeles Lakers, these players certainly provided great fantasy performances for their owners in Week 6.

With 10 games on Saturday, December 8, 2012, fantasy squads had plenty of opportunities to improve their statistics in different categories. Who else provided fantasy owners with great numbers on this day of NBA action?

Saturday, December 8, 2012 Honorable Mentions:

10. PF/C Blake Griffin – 24 points (4-10 free throws), eight rebounds, four steals

9. SG/SF Klay Thompson – 23 points (five made 3-pointers), six rebounds, five assists, two blocks

8. PG/SG Jordan Crawford – 22 points (four made 3-pointers), seven rebounds, eight assists, two steals

7. SG/SF John Salmons – 19 points (4-5 free throws, three made 3-pointers), 11 assists, two steals

6. SF/PF Josh Smith – 24 points (two made 3-pointers), eight rebounds, three steals

* The players’ percentage owned numbers for Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Basketball leagues and player statistics are accurate as of Saturday, December 8, 2012. Player ranks are determined according to ESPN’s Daily Leaders list. FGM-A = Field Goals Made-Attempted, FTM-A = Free Throws Made-Attempted, 3PM-A = 3-Pointers Made-Attempted, GP = Games Played, 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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5. SF/PF LeBron James, Miami Heat

James
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

5. SF/PF LeBron James, Miami Heat (vs. New Orleans Hornets, 100% owned)

Statistics: 36 minutes, 11-16 FGM-A, 2-3 FTM-A, 0-0 3PM-A, 24 PTS, 5 REB, 7 AST, 2 STL, 0 BLK, 4 TO

Season averages: 18 GP, .539 FG%, .650 FT%, 1.4 3PTM, 25.1 PTS, 8.9 REB, 6.9 AST, 1.3 ST, 0.8 BLK, 2.6 TO

With the Heat on a two-game losing streak, James helped bring his team to victory with a decent all-around performance. While he didn’t necessarily shine with big numbers in any one category, he put up numbers consistent with his season averages and gave fantasy owners another hearty stat line.

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4. PG Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs

Parker
Curtis Wilson-USA TODAY Sports

4. PG Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs (at Charlotte Bobcats, 96% owned)

Statistics: 26 minutes, 10-12 FGM-A, 1-1 FTM-A, 1-1 3PM-A, 22 PTS, 2 REB, 9 AST, 2 STL, 0 BLK, 0 TO

Season averages: 19 GP, .514 FG%, .786 FT%, 0.4 3PTM, 17.9 PTS, 3.0 REB, 7.4 AST, 0.8 ST, 0.2 BLK, 2.2 TO

In what turned out to be a blowout win over the Bobcats, Parker lead the Spurs with his efficient driving to the hoop and ability to make shots from the perimeter, leaving plenty of opportunities for him and the other members of the Spurs backcourt. Since missing a game against the Heat, he has averaged 22.8 points and 8.0 assists a game.

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3. PG/SG Brandon Knight, Detroit Pistons

Knight
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

3. PG/SG Brandon Knight, Pistons (at Cleveland Cavaliers, 78% owned)

Statistics: 38 minutes, 10-20 FGM-A, 5-6 FTM-A, 5-6 3PM-A, 30 PTS, 7 REB, 5 AST, 1 STL, 1 BLK, 1 TO

Season averages: 22 GP, .422 FG%, .783 FT%, 1.8 3PTM, 14.1 PTS, 3.7 REB, 5.0 AST, 0.5 ST, 0.1 BLK, 3.3 TO

Setting a career-high 30 points against the Cavaliers, Knight has been a very efficient scorer for the Pistons as of late. Effective particularly from long range in recent games, he was also able to limit himself to just one turnover, a season-best mark for the Pistons point guard.

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2. SG O.J. Mayo, Dallas Mavericks

Mayo
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

2. SG O.J. Mayo, Dallas Mavericks (at Houston Rockets, 92% owned)

Statistics: 42 minutes, 15-26 FGM-A, 4-4 FTM-A, 6-9 3PM-A, 40 PTS, 8 REB, 3 AST, 2 STL, 0 BLK, 2 TO

Season averages: 20 GP, .482 FG%, .844 FT%, 2.9 3PTM, 20.9 PTS, 3.9 REB, 3.5 AST, 0.9 ST, 0.3 BLK, 2.6 TO

Attempting more shots than any other player on this day, Mayo certainly delivered his best scoring effort of the season with 40 points against the Rockets. Averaging over 25 points per game in his last four games, he has certainly blossomed into a top fantasy option in the first quarter of the season.

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1. SG/SF James Harden, Houston Rockets

Harden
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

1. SG/SF James Harden, Rockets (vs. Mavericks, 100% owned)

Statistics: 46 minutes, 10-17 FGM-A, 15-16 FTM-A, 4-9 3PM-A, 39 PTS, 6 REB, 9 AST, 2 STL, 1 BLK, 6 TO

Season averages: 19 GP, .429 FG%, .844 FT%, 2.0 3PTM, 24.7 PTS, 4.4 REB, 5.6 AST, 1.8 ST, 0.5 BLK, 4.1 TO

While Mayo may have been the game’s scoring leader with 40 points, Harden was just a point shy of matching his total. Dominant in the first half with 30 points, he got to the free throw line 16 times and also chipped in to the team’s victory with nine assists.