Now that the 2012 NBA regular season has concluded, it is time to take a look back and spotlight the player's who made a name for themselves in this shortened season.
Unfortunately, the big name stars such as LeBron James, Derrick Rose and Kevin Durant were not invited to this particular awards shindig. We all know that those players are in the top tier of the NBA. Since we are talking fantasy basketball and in an effort to start preparing for next season, I present to you the All Fantasy Basketball Surprise first, second and third teams. These are the players who you should be looking to draft in the middle rounds of your fantasy basketball drafts next season.
Ty Lawson's 16.4 points per game helped fantasy basketball teams often
All Fantasy Basketball Surprise Third Team
Point Guard: Ty Lawson, Denver Nuggets
If you had Lawson on your fantasy basketball team, you had to have been happy with his production because he helped out in many standard head to head/roto categories this year.
He raised his scoring average to 16.4 points per game, which is almost an increase of five points from last season. He shot nearly 49 percent from the field. Lawson also improved his assists total from last season by nearly two, as he averaged over 6.5 per game. He also averaged over a steal per game last year.
Next season, target Lawson in your top eight point guards because of the steady diet of stats he provided this season.
Shooting Guard: Wesley Matthews, Portland Trail Blazers
It is always a bonus when you grab a player in the latter half of your draft who lights up your stats and qualifies at multiple positions.
Qualifying at both shooting guard and small forward, Matthews stepped up for the injured and later retired Brandon Roy and scored nearly 14 points per game while shooting over 41 percent from the floor. He also averaged a 1.5 steals per game, which was top 10 among shooting guard eligible players this season. He also made two three pointers per game.
Matthews is someone who you will want to target towards the middle of your draft next season.
Small Forward: Ersan Ilyasova, Milwaukee Bucks
After coming back from an injury ridden 2011 season, Ilyasova separated himself, showing that he could be a lethal combo forward in the league for the next few seasons.
He averaged 13 points per game while shooting over 49 percent from the field. He also averaged just under nine rebounds per game, which ranks him second only to Josh Smith for small forward eligible players. He even accumulated 25 rebounds in one game and 19 in another this season.
Since I always argue that small forward in the most scarce position in fantasy basketball, I do suggest reaching on Ilyasova next season. Now that Andrew Bogut is out of the Bucks game plan, Ilyasova becomes the team's primary defender and paint player.
Power Forward: DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings
It has been a rollercoaster of a season for Cousins. His attitude might get the best of him at times, but that does not change the fact that he is a valuable fantasy asset to have. Am I nervous that he might be suspended for multiple games for poor attitude in seasons to come? Of course; as should all fantasy basketball players. I, however think that he is worth the risk in taking him in the middle of your draft.
He averaged over 18 points and 11 rebounds per game. He shot 44 percent from the field and even averaged over a block per game. The 11 rebounds per game tied him with Kris Humphries for third among power forward eligible players this season. He also averaged over a block per game and 1.5 steals per game.
Some of you might think that Cousins does not deserve to be on this list because he was no kept secret. I, however have to give him the credit he deserves for being able to lower his bad reputation a bit and have as successful of a season as he had.
Center: Marcin Gortat, Phoenix Suns
Gortat improved in many fantasy basketball categories this season. While the Suns seemed to be all offense on the court, that did not stop Gortat from averaging over 15 points and 10 rebounds per game. Gortat averaged 1.5 blocks per game as well, showing that he would be a great middle-of-the-draft pick. He also shot over 55 percent from the floor, showing that you can trust him not to mess up your weekly field goal percentage.
There is no risk in taking Gortat in the middle of your fantasy basketball draft next season. There are plenty of options at center, but you can wait a bit and have Gortat as your second starting center, or first bench option.
Stay tuned as the All Fantasy Basketball Surprise second team will be announced shortly. Keep these names in the back of your head because it is never too soon to prepare for next season. That is what winners do!
About Justin "Fensty" Fensterman
Fensterman covers fantasy basketball for KFFL and joined the team in 2012. He is a Sports Radio Producer on SiriusXM's Fantasy Sports Radio channel, the first channel dedicated solely to fantasy sports. An avid fantasy basketball player, Fensty's biggest accomplishment in the fantasy sports world was in 2004 when he had an undefeated season in a Yahoo! Sports Fantasy NBA league and was ranked in the top 30 among all players in the world.
A native from Oyster Bay, NY, Fensty left New York to study Broadcast Journalism at American University in Washington D.C. in 2005. Fensty has previously worked for MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM, NBC Sports, Fox Sports, MTV and News 12: Long Island.
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