Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 12/21/12

Every season of fantasy football is full of surprises and the 2012 season is definitely no exception. There are no certainties in fantasy football, there are only guesses and more educated guesses. Even the people who fancy themselves "fantasy experts" are rolling the dice with the rest of us.This season has seen several players perform much better than expected. Before we get into the top ten, here are few honorable mentions who almost made the list.Stevan Ridley NE RBNot even Ridley himself expected him to be a top ten running back coming into week 16 considering New England's history of shuffling at the running back position. If not for a goose egg during the fantasy playoffs last week, he would have easily made the list.Dez Bryant Dal WRThe new king of question marks, Bryant started this season as a disappointment but has come on very strong as of late. He went from averaging 7.3 PPG in his first eight contests to 17 PPG over the last 6 making him the fifth highest scoring wide receiver. Cecil Shorts Jac WRShorts has put up double digits in all but three games in which he played this season. Not too bad for someone who went undrafted in most leagues.Demaryius Thomas Den WRWe knew Peyton Manning would provide a big boost to Thomas' numbers but already doubling career highs in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns is a little more than most people expected.Matt Ryan Atl QBMostly drafted as a low-end starter or a high-end backup, Ryan has been a nice surprise for fantasy owners. With the weapons around him, good numbers were expected, but very good performances during most people's playoff weeks earn him an honorable mention here.

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Stanley Cup Playoffs: Eastern rivalries take center stage

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