Dec 2, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards small forward Trevor Ariza (1) attempts a shot as Orlando Magic point guard Ronnie Price (10) defends during the first half at the Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Basketball: Top Performers from 12/02/13


Dec 2, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls small forward Luol Deng (9) passes away from New Orleans Pelicans center Jason Smith (14) during the first half of their game at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

As we start to transition from fantasy football season and start to ramp up our fantasy basketball coverage, we’ll be profiling the top performers who single-handedly power their owners to wins with their gigantic performances. Whether you are playing in a one-night daily league or a ultra-deep, super-competetive season-long league, these are the players who made the biggest difference last night with huge performances.

Luol Deng-Chicago Bulls

You’ll notice a theme in today’s post since the Bulls and Pelicans played a triple-overtime classic with plenty of points and scoring to make every fantasy owner happy except the guy who drafted Derrick Rose. Deng finished with 37 points and 8 rebounds while adding 7 assists and shooting 56 percent. Ultimately the Bulls fell by a score of 131-128, but Deng owners got a nice stuffed stat line from the small forward.

Paul George-Indiana Pacers

George scored a career-high 43 points while knocking in seven three-pointers. He added three steals, three assists, and three rebounds, but even his monster game wasn’t quite enough for the Pacers to knock off the Blazers in Portland.

James Harden-Houston Rockets

Harden has returned with a bang after a tough first game back scoring 30+ in back-to-back games. Last night in a losing effort in Utah he finished with 37 points with a steal, eight assists, three three-pointers, and three rebounds. He’s back and returning to elite form so play him with confidence going forward. It’s also worth noting that Patrick Beverly is picking up minutes in Houston for Jeremy Lin but not contributing much of fantasy worth.

Ryan Anderson-New Orleans Pelicans

Dec 1, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New Orleans Pelicans power forward Ryan Anderson (33) shoots over New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. New Orleans Pelicans won 103-99. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Anderson is ready to put up crazy numbers for the next few weeks while Anthony Davis is sidelined. Last night he dropped 36 points against the Bulls on seven three-pointers while adding six rebounds and a block.

Tim Duncan-San Antonio Spurs

Tim Duncan had his biggest night of the young season and has been turning in solid numbers over the past three games. He took it to another level last night against the Hawks scoring 23 points while grabbing 21 rebounds and adding a pair of assists, a pair of blocks, and a steal. He hit the game-winner too and remains a must-start in all fantasy formats.

Gordon Heyward-Utah Jazz

Although the Jazz have stumbled out of the gate, Heyward helped them get a big win against visiting Houston last night. He scored 29 points on an efficient 12-18 shooting while adding five boards and three assists. Heyward has the potential for big games like this, but he’s better used as an across-the-board stat stuffer as he racks up big minutes for the Jazz.

Taj Gibson-Chicago Bulls

Gibson contributed a monster line for his owners and has come on strong the last few games making him an intriguing pickup option in the 90+ percent of leagues where he’s still available. He finished last night with 26 points, 14 rebounds, and five blocks.

Trevor Ariza-Washington Wizards

Ariza turned in his second big game in a row matching his 24 points from Saturday with 24 more while adding six rebounds, two assists, and a steal. Since coming back from his hamstring injury, he’s scored in double-figures in five straight games and contributes in steals and assists as well.

Jason Smith-New Orelans Pelicans

In our sleeper line of the night, Smith turned in a double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds against Chicago and should see a boost in his production as he helps absorb the minutes left behind in the wake of Anthony Davis’s injury. Smith is owned in only 7.2% of ESPN leagues.

Tags: Chicago Bulls Fantasy Basketball Gordon Heyward Houston Rockets Indiana Pacers James Harden Jason Smith Luol Deng New Orleans Pelicans Paul George Ryan Anderson San Antonio Spurs Taj Gibson Tim Duncan Top Performers Trevor Ariza