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Monday, March 18, 2013
Rising fringe players to target

By Brian McKitish
Special to ESPN.com

The Top 130

Note: Brian McKitish's top 130 players are ranked for their fantasy value from this point forward in the 2012-13 NBA season. Previous rank is indicated in parentheses.

1. Kevin Durant, OKC (1)
2. LeBron James, MIA (2)
3. Chris Paul, LAC (3)
4. James Harden, HOU (4)
5. Russell Westbrook, OKC (5)
6. Stephen Curry, GS (6)
7. Dwyane Wade, MIA (8)
8. Paul George, IND (10)
9. Kobe Bryant, LAL (7)
10. Marc Gasol, MEM (12)
11. Deron Williams, BKN (33)
12. Ty Lawson, DEN (14)
13. Brandon Jennings, MIL (17)
14. Serge Ibaka, OKC (13)
15. Ricky Rubio, MIN (31)
16. Carmelo Anthony, NY (11)
17. Joakim Noah, CHI (16)
18. Paul Pierce, BOS (19)
19. Damian Lillard, POR (26)
20. Dirk Nowitzki, DAL (18)
21. Brook Lopez, BKN (20)
22. Larry Sanders, MIL (29)
23. Josh Smith, ATL (21)
24. David Lee, GS (24)
25. Al Horford, ATL (23)
26. LaMarcus Aldridge, POR (27)
27. Jrue Holiday, PHI (22)
28. Blake Griffin, LAC (28)
29. Ersan Ilyasova, MIL (30)
30. Nicolas Batum, POR (15)
31. Jeff Teague, ATL (25)
32. Rudy Gay, TOR (32)
33. Mike Conley, MEM (36)
34. Greivis Vasquez, NO (37)
35. Dwight Howard, LAL (41)
36. John Wall, WSH (48)
37. Greg Monroe, DET (34)
38. Al Jefferson, UTAH (35)
39. Kemba Walker, CHA (38)
40. Goran Dragic, PHO (40)
41. J.R. Smith, NY (42)
42. Monta Ellis, MIL (43)
43. Anthony Davis, NO (44)
44. Klay Thompson, GS (45)
45. Ryan Anderson, NO (47)
46. Tim Duncan, SA (52)
47. Zach Randolph, MEM (49)
48. Chris Bosh, MIA (50)
49. Nikola Vucevic, ORL (53)
50. Danilo Gallinari, DEN (46)
51. Kevin Garnett, BOS (39)
52. Jameer Nelson, ORL (56)
53. DeMarcus Cousins, SAC (51)
54. Jose Calderon, DET (54)
55. Isaiah Thomas, SAC (60)
56. Chandler Parsons, HOU (61)
57. Thaddeus Young, PHI (66)
58. George Hill, IND (55)
59. Wesley Matthews, POR (63)
60. Tyreke Evans, SAC (67)
61. Kyle Lowry, TOR (58)
62. Kenneth Faried, DEN (59)
63. Roy Hibbert, IND (69)
64. Luol Deng, CHI (64)
65. Andre Iguodala, DEN (65)
66. Paul Millsap, UTAH (62)
67. David West, IND (68)
68. Jeremy Lin, HOU (71)
69. Omer Asik, HOU (72)
70. Tristan Thompson, CLE (73)
71. J.J. Hickson, POR (75)
72. Jamal Crawford, LAC (76)
73. O.J. Mayo, DAL (74)
74. Carlos Boozer, CHI (77)
75. Manu Ginobili, SA (78)
76. Bradley Beal, WSH (57)
77. Steve Nash, LAL (79)
78. Joe Johnson, BKN (82)
79. Amir Johnson, TOR (91)
80. Jeff Green, BOS (83)
81. Daniel Green, SA (80)
82. Kevin Martin, OKC (84)
83. Kawhi Leonard, SA (81)
84. Jarrett Jack, GS (87)
85. Derrick Williams, MIN (100)
86. Nikola Pekovic, MIN (85)
87. Evan Turner, PHI (86)
88. Raymond Felton, NY (89)
89. Tobias Harris, ORL (106)
90. Tyson Chandler, NY (70)
91. Arron Afflalo, ORL (92)
92. Eric Gordon, NO (94)
93. J.J. Redick, MIL (104)
94. Marcus Thornton, SAC (93)
95. Gordon Hayward, UTAH (95)
96. DeMar DeRozan, TOR (96)
97. Emeka Okafor, WSH (88)
98. Nene Hilario, WSH (99)
99. Dion Waiters, CLE (107)
100. Carlos Delfino, HOU (103)
101. Gerald Henderson, CHA (111)
102. Metta World Peace, LAL (110)
103. Andrei Kirilenko, MIN (98)
104. Pau Gasol, LAL (NR)
105. Mo Williams, UTAH (102)
106. Jermaine O'Neal, PHO (105)
107. Moe Harkless, ORL (108)
108. Luke Ridnour, MIN (109)
109. Nate Robinson, CHI (115)
110. Vince Carter, DAL (117)
111. Jason Thompson, SAC (114)
112. Tony Allen, MEM (118)
113. Derrick Favors, UTAH (112)
114. Andrew Bogut, GS (122)
115. Dorell Wright, PHI (126)
116. Spencer Hawes, PHI (NR)
117. Jason Terry, BOS (130)
118. Derrick Rose, CHI (119)
119. Rodney Stuckey, DET (NR)
120. Kyle Korver, ATL (121)
121. Shaun Livingston, CLE (NR)
122. Mario Chalmers, MIA (NR)
123. Kosta Koufos, DEN (NR)
124. Shawn Marion, DAL (97)
125. Al-Farouq Aminu, NO (113)
126. Andre Drummond, DET (123)
127. Jason Kidd, NY (124)
128. Devin Harris, ATL (125)
129. Martell Webster, WSH (NR)
130. Matt Barnes, LAC (NR)

It's been a busy week for sports fans, and at this stage of the NBA season, fantasy basketball has perhaps taken a back seat to NCAA brackets and fantasy baseball drafts.

But with about a month left to play in the NBA regular season, there is still plenty of hoops left. As we inch closer to the end of the season, you will notice some major movement in the Top 130 rankings as injuries and hot/cold streaks carry more weight in a shorter time span.

Savvy fantasy owners, however, will pay closer attention to the movement near the bottom of the list. Making the right moves on the waiver wire is essential at this point in the season, and fringe players will play a major role in determining your league's champion. Here's a look at some fringe players who have turned it on over the past few weeks:

• Philadelphia's Spencer Hawes is a frustrating player to own because he's incredibly inconsistent, but he's also quite valuable when he's got it going -- and he's definitely got it going right now. Posting averages of 15.2 points, 9.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.2 blocks per game over his past five contests, Hawes is a must-own player for the stretch run. We've seen him go on hot streaks like this before only to come crashing back down to earth a few weeks later, but there's a pretty good chance that he'll be able to continue playing at this level the rest of the way.

Kyrie Irving's injury was disastrous for many fantasy owners, but it also opened the door for a few Cavaliers to step up in his absence, most notably Dion Waiters and Shaun Livingston. Waiters has had an up-and-down season but is a very nice option for points, steals and 3-pointers, especially with Irving out for an extended period of time. Waiters is averaging 18.1 points, 0.8 steals and 0.9 3-pointers in 11 games since the All-Star break. Livingston also has played very well in Irving's absence, averaging 13.7 points, 5.7 assists and 1.7 steals in 34.0 minutes per game over his past three contests. With those kind of minutes, Livingston deserves a look if you're in need of assists and steals.

• If you need scoring or a boost in free throw percentage, look no further than Charlotte's Gerald Henderson, who has been lighting it up with aggressive play since the All-Star break. Henderson has been on the Top 130 list for a few weeks of late, but fantasy owners are just starting to warm up to him after he posted 22.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.0 steals while shooting 94.4 percent in 7.2 attempts from the free throw line over his past five games. As a fantasy player, Henderson is a little one-dimensional, but he's just the type of specialist who can pay dividends this late in the season.

• Speaking of specialists, those who need a late-season boost in steals or 3-pointers should definitely take a look at Miami's Mario Chalmers. Averaging 9.7 points, 3.7 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.8 3-pointers in 15 games since the All-Star break, Chalmers is doing enough in steals and 3s to make up for his lack of production everywhere else. He won't be consistent on a nightly basis, but he can certainly help you gain ground in two of the more scarce categories in fantasy hoops.

• As he nears closer to returning to the Lakers, Pau Gasol has been one of the most added players in ESPN.com leagues over the past week. For as bad of a season as Gasol has had, he was still averaging 13.4 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.3 blocks per game before going down with a foot injury. The injury-riddled Lakers have incentive to get Gasol back on the court quickly given their tenuous hold on the last playoff spot in the West, so I expect to see him back sooner rather than later despite the minor setback he suffered over the weekend. Those owners who are rolling the dice with Gasol should be aware that he'll probably need a week or two for his conditioning to round back into shape.

• Those in need of rebounds or blocks may want to consider Nuggets center Kosta Koufus. Koufos was on the Top 130 list a few times earlier this season, and he's turned it on again, averaging 12.0 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks over his past five games. He's posted a double-double in two of his past three games and may have earned some additional playing time due to his solid play in recent action.

• Washington's Martell Webster is as hot as can be with 21.8 points and 4.8 3-pointers per game over his past five contests, but his value may be short-lived if Bradley Beal and Trevor Ariza can return from their respective injuries. Still, Webster is lighting up the scoreboard at the moment, and he deserves to be picked up even if he comes back down to earth in a week or two.

• I usually like to scour the most dropped list as this point in the season to see if there are any values to be found. A few names that jumped out at me this week were Danny Green (64.3 percent owned) and Marcus Thornton (78.0 percent owned). Green may have had a couple of poor performances in a row, but this is a player who has averaged 12.5 points, 1.4 steals and 2.5 3-pointers in 13 games since the All-Star break. If he was dropped in your league, get him now! We discussed Thornton last week, and I am concerned about his relative lack of minutes, but he's still managed to post 17.7 points and 2.8 3-pointers per game since the All-Star break.