Top 20 Surprises Of The 2013 Fantasy Basketball Season
Top 20 Surprises From 2013 Fantasy Basketball Season
Each fantasy basketball season there are always plenty of players that exceed our expectations and legitimately surprise us. It happens every year and it is only a matter of time until certain players start to stand out from the rest. These surprise players end up winning championships in fantasy basketball leagues.
There are breakout performances every single season and often these breakout stars end up becoming regular fantasy starters down the stretch. Not every superstar fantasy player was a former first round pick, so naturally other contributors have to come from somewhere.
Some surprise players can even come off the waiver wire in the early weeks of the season and continue to produce for fantasy owners. Each season there are dozens of reliable players that were formerly free agents and these weekly pickups can also end up becoming daily starters.
The fantasy season is getting closer and closer to the midway point and the weeks are starting to fly by. So before we get to the All-Star break, let’s go over the top 20 surprises of the 2013 fantasy basketball season.
20. SG Gerald Henderson, Charlotte Bobcats
SG Gerald Henderson, Charlotte Bobcats - Henderson has matured into a pretty reliable scorer. He is averaging 14.8 points per game with a career-high 4.6 rebounds per game. Some thought he would disappear into the world of worthless fantasy two-guards, but Hendo has once again emerged as a decent spot starter.
19. PF John Henson, Milwaukee Bucks
PF John Henson, Milwaukee Bucks - Henson averaged just 25.5 minutes per game in the month of November, but the former North Carolina standout has seen his court time increase to 34.9 minutes per game in December. He is adding an impressive 15.8 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game this month as well. Henson was drafted to be another bench option in deeper formats only, but Henson has shown this season that he can be a reliable reserve player in any format.
18. G Jordan Crawford, Boston Celtics
GJordan Crawford, Boston Celtics – Crawford had an awful preseason and was struggling in every facet of his game this fall. However, since the season started, Crawford has been nothing but business. He has averaged 17.4 points in eight games this month to go along with 6.1 assists, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.1 three-pointers. Crawford has been a pleasant surprise this fantasy season.
17. C Andray Blatche, Brooklyn Nets
C Andray Blatche, Brooklyn Nets – Blatche was supposed to be just a temporary fantasy option while C Brook Lopez recovered from a minor ankle injury. However, Blatche has continued to fill the box score night after night. He is averaging 12 points with six boards on the year and will continue to see an increase in value with Lopez once again out with an ankle injury.
16. SF Trevor Ariza, Washington Wizards
SF Trevor Ariza, Washington Wizards – There are tons of big names at the small forward position, but Ariza has still put up starter-worthy numbers this year. He is posting 15.2 points per game to go along with 5.8 rebounds, 2.5 three-pointers, and 1.9 steals. He has been the only forward in Washington that has been able to stay healthy and he will continue to reap the benefits.
15. SF Chandler Parsons, Houston Rockets
SF Chandler Parsons, Houston Rockets – Despite all the big names in Houston, Parsons continues to produce each game. He is dropping 17 points per game with an impressive 1.8 three-pointers. Parsons has put up strong defensive numbers as well, by averaging 4.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.2 steals per game.
14. PF Ryan Anderson, New Orleans Pelicans
PF Ryan Anderson, New Orleans Pelicans – Anderson has always been a natural shooter, but since C Anthony Davis went out with a broken hand, Anderson has been much more involved offensively. He is dropping 21.4 points per game this season, but more importantly the center is adding 6.1 rebounds and 3.6 three-pointers per game. He has earned
13. C Andrew Bogut, Golden State Warriors
C Andrew Bogut, Golden State Warriors – After what seemed like a decade of horrendous fantasy campaigns, Bogut’s emergence as a steady fantasy option this year has been astonishing. The seven-footer is positing 9.7 rebounds per game and has recorded double-digit rebounds in seven straight contests. He is playing an impressive 27.7 minutes per game, and as long as he is healthy, the veteran should keep grabbing double-digit rebounds each night.
12. PF Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers
PF Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers – When the season began, fantasy fans were loading up on Cleveland’s big men. Post players Anthony Bennett, Andrew Bynum, and Anderson Varejao were all extremely popular picks, but surprisingly Thompson has been the most productive big man in Cleveland this season. TNT is currently leading the team's big men with 11.6 points and 9.9 rebounds.
11. SG Arron Afflalo, Orlando Magic
SG Arron Afflalo, Orlando Magic - Afflalo averaged 16.5 points last year with over three dimes (3.2) and three rebounds (3.7). Shockingly, Double-A has put up even better numbers this season. He is posting a healthy 21.6 points per game and is currently 11th in the league in scoring. Just seeing that Afflalo is outscoring Damian Lillard and Dirk Nowitzkithis season is still pretty hard to imagine.
10. SG Goran Dragic, Phoenix Suns
SG Goran Dragic, Phoenix Suns – Dragic has been Phoenix’s primary playmaker this winter. He is posting 21.1 points, 3.4 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 2 three-pointers per game in December. He is also getting 37.7 minutes per game this month and the flex guard will continue to fill the box score with 35-plus minutes each night.
9. SF Rudy Gay, Toronto Raptors
SF Rudy Gay, Sacramento Kings – Gay has played on three different teams in the last year and a half, but the veteran continues to produce for fantasy owners. He has averaged 19 points a game since leaving the Toronto Raptors and hasn’t seen a drop in play at all since heading to the west coast.
8. C Spencer Hawes, Philadelphia 76ers
C Spencer Hawes, Philadelphia 76ers – Hawes has always been an underrated fantasy contributor and this season has been no different. The center is positing 14.8 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1.6 blocks per game. He went undrafted in almost every leagues, but the veteran has since found himself on 100% of Yahoo leagues. That is quite a turnaround.
7. PG Jeff Teague, Atlanta Hawks
PG Jeff Teague, Atlanta Hawks - After years of mediocre point guard play, Teague is finally having a breakout fantasy campaign. He is averaging a healthy 16.0 points per game (9.6 PPG Career) and his eight assists per contest is currently tied for fifth in the NBA. JT has matured into an ideal second point guard this season, despite being drafted as a third or fourth place option.
6. PG Brandon Jennings, Detroit Pistons
PG Brandon Jennings, Detroit Pistons – Despite being selected outside of the top-10 point guards in every fantasy format, Jennings has produced PG1 numbers all year. He is scoring 17.1 points per game, while adding 7.6 assists, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.7 steals.
5. SF Evan Turner, Philadelphia 76ers
SF Evan Turner, Philadelphia 76ers – Philadelphia has been one of the biggest surprises this season and Turner is a major reason for the team’s offensive explosion. The forward is averaging 20.4 points per game, which is a big step up from the 13.3 points he averaged in 2012. Turner has become one of the top scorers in the Eastern Conference and fantasy fans have certainly appreciated his early-season production.
4. C Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons
C Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons – Drummond was another popular player to take a step forward this year, but fantasy owners didn’t expect him to become an All-Star this quickly. Drummond is posting 13.3 points with a gaudy 12.7 rebounds per contest, while adding also 1.6 steals and 1.4 blocks. Drummond is putting up Kevin Love-numbers and he has taken the fantasy world by storm.
3. PG Michael Carter-Williams, Philadelphia 76ers
PG Michael Carter-Williams, Philadelphia 76ers – The rookie flew up draft boards this fall, but he was still drafted as a third point guard this year. In his NBA debut, the rookie dropped 22 points, 12 assists, seven rebounds, and a ridiculous 9 steals. MCW quickly showed that he has the potential to put up PG1 numbers. He has missed some time recently due to a skin infection, but he will be back to filling the box score before you know it.
2. SG Gordon Hayward, Utah Jazz
SG Gordon Hayward, Utah Jazz – Utah needed someone to step up on offense and Hayward has certainly fit the bill. He is posting 17.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game and has outperformed some of the more popular two-guards in fantasy.
1. PG Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
PG Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder – After two knee surgeries in one off-season, Westbrook’s fantasy value plummeted this fall. He was rumored to be out months and many owners chose to pick a healthier option. The All-Star returned after missing just two games this season, though, and he has been putting up elite fantasy numbers ever since. He is posting a gaudy 21 points per game to go along with 6.9 dimes and 5.6 rebounds. Westbrook's quick return was pretty surprising, but his play since coming back has been absolutely astonishing.