Wednesday, February 13, 2013

All-NBA Surprise Fantasy Basketball All-Stars!

By: Jeff Rosenberg –  (@Jewish_Jeff)
twitter.com/hecmanhoops

 

 Welcome back all. In honor of the NBA’s All-Star Game coming up, we’ll take a look at the All-NBA SURPRISE Fantasy Basketball All-Stars. No LeBron James, no Kevin Durant, no Kobe Bryant. These are guys that are playing wayyyyy better than anticipated, for our fantasy basketball purposes and most likely helping you to win your league. If you’ve been reading hecmanhoops daily from the beginning of the season then chances are some of these late round guys are on your team. Let’s take a look!

ALL-NBA SURPRISE FANTASY ALL-STARS
PG – Kemba Walker (CHA)
SG –Kawhi Leonard (SA)
SF – Kyle Korver (ATL)
PF – Larry Sanders (MIL)
C – Tim Duncan (SA)
BN – C Brook Lopez (BKN)
BN – SG OJ Mayo (DAL)
BN – PF/C Nikola Vucevic (ORL)
BN – SF/PF Chandler Parsons (HOU)
BN – SF/PF Metta World Peace (LAL)
BN – C Robin Lopez (NO)
BN – PG/SG Eric Bledsoe (LAC)
The details!
PG Kemba Walker (CHA)
Projected Value: 9th Round
Actual Value: 3rd Round
Kemba took a huge leap this season from last. Last year, he was shooting a gut-wrenching .366 from the field as he averaged only 4.4 assists and 12.1 points on the season, which made him close to un-ownable. This season, he’s bumped the FG% up to .426 (a full 60 points better) while averaging 17.3 points and 5.6 assists. He’s also gone from 0.9 to 1.9 steals per game from 2011-12 to 2012-13. He’s by far the biggest surprise fantasy star at point guard in the NBA this season.
SG/SF Kawhi Leonard (SA)
Projected Value: 12th Round
Actual Value: 2nd Round
Nobody saw this coming. Not hec (well, sort of, he had him ranked exactly number 100 in his Top 100 Overall Draft Guide post, not me, not Matthew Berry, Coach Popovich, nobody. A lot of fantasy owners out there still don’t believe Leonard, but I definitely do. Kawhi’s average stats last year were actually pretty solid. His major issue was getting playing time. This year… he’s getting it. Taking a look into the numbers, Kawhi Leonard literally helps you in every category across the board (with the exception of 1.1 assists, which in his case are looked at as gravy). He’s shooting just about .500 from the field on an average of eight shots per game, netting you about 10.4 points per game. His peripheral stats are really not peripherals, as he averages 5.4 rebounds, 1.9 steals and 1.3 threes per game. Add in the 0.4 blocks, 0.9 TOs and .827 FT%, and there’s why Kawhi Leonard has mid-late second round value this year. Give Kawhi and his cornrows some props.
SG/SF Kyle Korver (ATL)
Projected Value: 13th Round
Actual Value: 3rd Round
Korver goes from 3-point specialist in Chicago to starting small forward for the Hawks. Korver has enjoyed boosts in every… single… category… this season. So much for Derrick Rose helping his teammates get better, huh? Up 31 points on his field goal percentage while taking an additional 2.1 shots per game. 11.6 points versus 8.1 in Chi-raq (shout out to #OTF and #GBE!). Rebounds up from 2.4 to a very useful 4.1 in ’13. Even Korver’s 3PTM’s have seen a significant raise, from 1.8 in ’11 (the only reason you streamed him last year) to 2.8 per game in ’12-’13 (the main reason you picked him up off your WW in December). He goes from streamer to must-start this season, and yes, he’s in my starting lineup.
PF/C Larry Sanders (MIL)
Projected Value: Undrafted
Actual Value: 3rd Round
With Samuel Dalembert, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Drew Gooden and Joel Przybilla all in front of him on the season, only Miss Cleo could’ve seen this. But, as everyone in front of him folded, Larry continued to showcase his incredible talent. By now I’m sure you’re aware of the numbers Sanders puts up (8.5/8.5 with .525 FG% and 3.2 blocks per game). Larry Sanders is the MVP of the All-NBA Surprise Fantasy All-Stars. The biggest jump in projected value to actual value in 2012-13, is Larry Sanders. In case nobody else has said it to you, nice pick up Larry Sanders owners.
PF/C Tim Duncan (SA)
Projected Value: 5th Round
Actual Value: 1st Round
Timmy! The only 2012-13 NBA All-Star that actually makes the Surprise Fantasy All-Star team. Kinda reverse psychology, as it’s a surprise that he’s on the Surprise team. Nevertheless, Duncan was a projected 5th round draftee that has put up 1st round value for fantasy owners this year. The Fundamentalist has enjoyed this 1st round value in his 16th NBA season by improving in every single stat from 2011-12 to 2012-13. The major contributors to his high improvement come from the 133-point addition to his FT% combined with the additional 1.2 blocks per game (2.7 BPG total) from 2011-12. While Timmy may see an adjustment in minutes towards the end of the season, he’ll continue to be a top PF/C option for fantasy owners down the stretch.
C Brook Lopez (BKN)
Projected Value: 7th Round
Actual Value: 2nd Round
Lopez entered 2012-13 as a bit of a question mark. In 2011-12 he played only five games during the Nets’ swan song in New Jersey. In the three seasons prior, Lopez had shown the ability to score (sometimes), or rebound (sometimes) or block (…sometimes) but hadn’t been able to really put it all together like he has this season. In 2012-13 Brook is averaging 19/7.4 with 2.2 blocks per game. On top of putting his overall game together, Brook is also shooting better than his career average from the field, at a .518 clip on the season. With all of the other big-man busts this season (Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum to name a few), Brook Lopez has been one of the only high-performing centers we’ve had.
SG OJ Mayo (DAL)
Projected Value: 8th Round
Actual Value: 3rd Round
When Mayo made the switch from Memphis to Dallas, many believed he would show improved fantasy value (compared to the 12th round value he returned to investors in 2011). His projected value had him in the mid-eighth, which he has clearly shattered. Mayo has seen healthy increases in his FG% (up about 60 points), FT% (up about 80 points), points per game (up about 5.5 per game to 18 total points per game) and assists (up 1.8 per game to 4.4 total per game). On top of those additions, are the slight jumps in 3PTMs, rebounds and steals as well. What makes the increase in his percentages even stronger is the fact that he’s attempted 2.7 more field goals and one full free throw more than he did in 2011-12. Mayo has surely found a home in Dallas, and has kept this pace all season. A clear surprise all-star.
PF/C Nikola Vucevic (ORL)
Projected Value: 11th Round
Actual Value: 4th Round
If you’ve been following my articles here on hecmanhoops, you already know that I swung and missed on Vucevic about a month ago when I said he’d fall back down to earth upon the return of Glen Davis. As you already know, Vucevic has been very strong this year in O-Town, averaging a double-double (12.5/11.6), 1.1 blocks per game and a very helpful .523 field goal percentage on just about 11 shots per game. The major change for Vucevic from 2011-12 to 2012-13? MINUTES. Last season for the Philadelphia 76ers, Vucevic averaged about 15 minutes per game as a mop-up-duty big. This year in Orlando, with Dwight Howard and Ryan Anderson jettisoned out of town, Vucevic is now a starter who averages 32+ minutes per game. And then there was light…
SF/PF Chandler Parsons (HOU)
Projected Value: 15th Round
Actual Value: 4th Round
Parsons is one player that hasn’t seen too much of a change in his role or scenery from 2011-12 to 2012-13. Parsons started 57 of the 63 games he played for the Houston Rockets last season, and still remains a starter in 2012-13. He has seen added minutes this season from about 29 per game last year, to 36 per game this season. While it’s always a plus for a fantasy player to add minutes, I contribute Parsons’ outbreak to him just having more games under his belt, and having the ability to grow within the system. Parsons has solid improvements to his averages in rebounds, assists and field goal percentage. The major jumps for him have been in free throw percentage (up 194 points on an additional 0.7 FTAs), 3PTMs which went from 1.0 to 1.8 this year, and the extra five points per game he has notched this year over last. Strong improvement for Parsons, who will look to continue the production in your fantasy basketball playoffs.
SF/PF Metta World Peace (LAL)
Projected Value: Undrafted
Actual Value: 5th Round
Very big year for the artist formerly known as Ron Artest here in 2012-13. In fact, it’s looking like a shoe-in to be his best year as a Los Angeles Laker. While his field goal percentage still leaves something to be desired, it still actually shows a slight improvement from last year (up 3 points). The 127 point jump in his free throw percentage on the additional 0.7 attempts this season has certainly been welcomed by World Peace owners. The other major jumps for MWP have been in points (from 7.7 to 12.9), rebounds (3.4 to 5.6) and steals (0.9 to 1.7). He’s one of the last guys to make the squad for me, but he also had one of the lowest expectations coming into the season. Seeing THIS live on TV back in November also helped his chances of making the squad exponentially. He’ll always be Ron Artest to me, and probably Avery Johnson.
C Robin Lopez (NO)
Projected Value: No Pulse
Actual Value: 6th Round
Shame on you, me, hec, JFort, Brook Lopez, Deborah Ledford and Heriberto Lopez and all people with an opinion on NBA players. Robin Lopez wasn’t given any shot at all, in any projections I read, to have any kind of impact in 2012-13. Well here you go Robin, here’s your recognition. While everyone was drooling over incoming #1 overall pick Anthony Davis’ debut for the soon-to-be Pelicans, Robin Lopez was putting in work. Lopez goes from an irrelevant four-year career with the Phoenix Suns, to a legitimate fantasy center averaging 11.8/5.5 with 1.7 blocks per game and excellent percentages for any big man. Congrats on the pick up… I missed out, having Lopez #2 in all zero of my leagues.
PG/SG Eric Bledsoe (LAC)
Projected Value: Undrafted
Actual Value: 7th Round
Eric Bledsoe is a special part of this team. While his actual value states 7th round, it should actually be considerably higher when you look at games where he actually logged 20+ minutes. Bledsoe’s only averaging 22 minutes per game on the year, which is actually a solid break between 10-14 minutes through January 1st, to 30ish minutes since January 1st. Looking at his true stats since January, his line is about 13/4.5/5 with decent percentages for a guard, and my favorite… at least a block/steal/3PTM per game. Bledsoe will not have the minutes issue he’s had so far in his NBA career for much longer, as he enters free agency this off-season. Next year, keep this guy high on your PG radar going into the draft. The numbers will come when he gets the run, as we’ve seen. Unfortunately, with Chris Paul, and now Chauncey Billups, and soon Jamaal Crawford, all back, Bledsoe will likely disappear. Luckily, he performed well enough in the first half to make the All-NBA Surprise Fantasy All-Star team!
**Note: Values based on 12-team leagues
Feel free to drop me some comments in the box. Anyone I slighted? Disagree with someone on here? Let me hear it…
Also feel free to follow me on Twitter at @Jewish_Jeff if Twitter is your thing.

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