Top storylines, biggest movers

A look at notable trends, buy-low candidates, sell-high options and sneaky pickups

Updated: December 16, 2013, 1:47 PM ET
By Brian McKitish | Special to ESPN.com

After another week of action, we're a little bit more than a quarter of the way through the 2013-14 NBA season. At this point in the season, fantasy owners should be starting to get a good feel for their categorical strengths and weaknesses, which typically results in an active trading period.

The Top 130

Note: Brian McKitish's top 100 players are ranked for their fantasy value for the 2013-14 NBA season. Previous rank is indicated in parentheses.

1. Kevin Durant, OKC (1)
2. LeBron James, MIA (2)
3. Chris Paul, LAC (3)
4. Stephen Curry, GS (5)
5. James Harden, HOU (4)
6. Paul George, IND (6)
7. Kevin Love, MIN (7)
8. Russell Westbrook, OKC (8)
9. John Wall, WSH (9)
10. Carmelo Anthony, NY (10)
11. Serge Ibaka, OKC (11)
12. DeMarcus Cousins, SAC (12)
13. LaMarcus Aldridge, POR (13)
14. Kyrie Irving, CLE (14)
15. Ty Lawson, DEN (15)
16. Al Horford, ATL (17)
17. Eric Bledsoe, PHO (26)
18. Nicolas Batum, POR (18)
19. Dirk Nowitzki, DAL (23)
20. Kobe Bryant, LAL (43)
21. Damian Lillard, POR (19)
22. Ricky Rubio, MIN (22)
23. Mike Conley, MEM (16)
24. Al Jefferson, CHA (20)
25. Monta Ellis, DAL (24)
26. Dwyane Wade, MIA (21)
27. Deron Williams, BKN (38)
28. Brook Lopez, BKN (25)
29. Roy Hibbert, IND (29)
30. Brandon Jennings, DET (28)
31. Blake Griffin, LAC (27)
32. Luol Deng, CHI (35)
33. Jrue Holiday, NO (37)
34. Michael Carter-Williams, PHI (34)
35. Klay Thompson, GS (31)
36. Tony Parker, SA (33)
37. Spencer Hawes, PHI (36)
38. David Lee, GS (40)
39. Goran Dragic, PHO (42)
40. Josh Smith, DET (32)
41. Nikola Vucevic, ORL (39)
42. Rudy Gay, SAC (41)
43. Isaiah Thomas, SAC (53)
44. Kemba Walker, CHA (47)
45. Dwight Howard, HOU (45)
46. Jeff Teague, ATL (30)
47. Paul Millsap, ATL (48)
48. Kevin Martin, MIN (44)
49. Victor Oladipo, ORL (55)
50. Andre Drummond, DET (51)
51. Ryan Anderson, NO (50)
52. Evan Turner, PHI (46)
53. Kyle Lowry, TOR (59)
54. Chandler Parsons, HOU (57)
55. Wesley Matthews, POR (52)
56. Tim Duncan, SA (65)
57. Pau Gasol, LAL (49)
58. Thaddeus Young, PHI (54)
59. Greg Monroe, DET (56)
60. Derrick Favors, UTAH (58)
61. Marcin Gortat, WSH (60)
62. Gordon Hayward, UTAH (63)
63. DeMar DeRozan, TOR (64)
64. Trey Burke, UTAH (69)
65. Bradley Beal, WSH (62)
66. Jeff Green, BOS (61)
67. Nikola Pekovic, MIN (67)
68. Arron Afflalo, ORL (66)
69. Joakim Noah, CHI (74)
70. Jonas Valanciunas, TOR (68)
71. Eric Gordon, NO (70)
72. DeAndre Jordan, LAC (71)
73. Anthony Davis, NO (72)
74. Zach Randolph, MEM (73)
75. Chris Bosh, MIA (75)
76. Jose Calderon, DAL (78)
77. Kawhi Leonard, SA (77)
78. Jimmy Butler, CHI (83)
79. Carlos Boozer, CHI (79)
80. David West, IND (80)
81. Rajon Rondo, BOS (94)
82. Marc Gasol, MEM (89)
83. Jameer Nelson, ORL (92)
84. Tobias Harris, ORL (105)
85. Lance Stephenson, IND (87)
86. Trevor Ariza, WSH (97)
87. Jordan Crawford, BOS (84)
88. George Hill, IND (76)
89. Corey Brewer, MIN (81)
90. Andrew Bogut, GS (93)
91. Andre Iguodala, GS (96)
92. Dion Waiters, CLE (91)
93. Jamal Crawford, LAC (98)
94. Brandon Knight, MIL (99)
95. Kenneth Faried, DEN (82)
96. O.J. Mayo, MIL (86)
97. Nene Hilario, WSH (88)
98. J.R. Smith, NY (85)
99. Jared Sullinger, BOS (106)
100. Robin Lopez, POR (121)
101. Tristan Thompson, CLE (104)
102. Tyreke Evans, NO (100)
103. Terrence Jones, HOU (109)
104. Gerald Henderson, CHA (102)
105. Amir Johnson, TOR (125)
106. Joe Johnson, BKN (107)
107. John Henson, MIL (119)
108. Paul Pierce, BKN (123)
109. J.J. Hickson, DEN (108)
110. Rodney Stuckey, DET (110)
111. Shawn Marion, DAL (111)
112. Patrick Beverley, HOU (112)
113. Jeremy Lin, HOU (113)
114. Reggie Jackson, OKC (NR)
115. Miles Plumlee, PHO (116)
116. Harrison Barnes, GS (115)
117. Markieff Morris, PHO (117)
118. Kyle Korver, ATL (118)
119. Tyson Chandler, NY (128)
120. Nick Young, LAL (NR)
121. Kirk Hinrich, CHI (120)
122. Mario Chalmers, MIA (122)
123. Taj Gibson, CHI (101)
124. Brandon Bass, BOS (124)
125. Andrew Bynum, CLE (114)
126. Larry Sanders, MIL (129)
127. Wilson Chandler, DEN (NR)
128. Brandan Wright, DAL (NR)
129. Kosta Koufos, MEM (130)
130. Manu Ginobili, SA (NR)

The top-130 rankings can help identify trade targets, but keep in mind that these rankings are based on overall value, and owners should always consider their own categorical needs when engaging in trade discussions.

Let's take a look at some of the top storylines and the biggest movers in the ranks over the past week:

Kobe Bryant has been less rusty than one might expect after returning from last season's Achilles injury, averaging 13.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.5 3-pointers in his first four contests. More importantly, he's been healthy enough to log minutes in the high 20s, including 32 minutes in his most recent game. Kobe should continue to improve as he shakes off the rust, and should be a top-20 fantasy player the rest of the way as long as he doesn't have any setbacks in his recovery.

Jrue Holiday has been fantastic since Anthony Davis went down with a hand injury, averaging 18.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, 9.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.5 3-pointers in six games this month. He's moving up in the rankings, but remains outside the top 30 until he proves that he can be this productive once Davis returns.

I absolutely love the Suns' backcourt duo of Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic this season. Bledsoe has gone off for an average of 18.2 points, 7.2 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.8 blocks and 1.6 3-pointers with terrific percentages over his past five games while Dragic has averaged 21.8 points, 3.2 assists, 1.6 steals and 2.0 3-pointers over the same span. Both continue to climb in the ranks, with Bledsoe making his first appearance in the top 20.

Victor Oladipo continues to impress with increased minutes, and you can tell from his ranking that I think he's going to be a top-50 player the rest of the way thanks to his ability to contribute in nearly every fantasy category. Averaging 14.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.2 steals, 1.2 blocks and 1.2 3-pointers over his past five games, Oladipo is one of the most dynamic young fantasy players in the game.

Speaking of the Magic, I've maintained all year that Arron Afflalo would come back down to earth once Oladipo started playing more minutes and Tobias Harris returned to the lineup. With Harris re-joining the team late this week, Afflalo owners may want to seek out a sell-high deal before it's too late. Harris, by the way, should be picked up in all formats. He was owned in just 56.8 percent of ESPN.com leagues as of Monday morning.

Amir Johnson has averaged 20.8 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.0 blocks over his past five games and has looked great since the Rudy Gay trade. He was a great pickup if you were able to get him shortly after the trade, but remember that he is notoriously streaky and is a great sell-high candidate if you can convince another owner that he's going to finally figure out his inconsistency problem with Gay out of town.

J.R. Smith is getting closer and closer to the chopping block in fantasy leagues, but he's such a streaky player that it's difficult to advocate an outright drop despite the fact he's averaging just 5.6 points and 1.0 3-pointers while shooting 25.0 percent from the floor over his past five games. Keep him on your bench for now, and keep your fingers crossed that he gets hot sooner rather than later.

Andrew Bynum had a few big 20-point games last week, but has struggled over his past three contests, posting a total of just nine points, 14 rebounds and one block. Obviously he's a high-risk, high-reward type of player, but with all of his injury concerns, he's probably going to be more risk than reward at this point in his career.

Kenneth Faried has always been able to produce in limited minutes, but that was when he was playing 25 to 30 minutes per game rather than the 19.8 he's played over his past five contests. Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw has really been tinkering with his lineups early in this season, and one has to believe that Faried will eventually work his way into more minutes as the season progresses. With his owners extremely frustrated with his play to date, Faried is a solid buy-low candidate.

Reggie Jackson has been able to secure consistent playing time and fantasy value off the bench in Oklahoma City. Averaging 15.3 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.3 3-pointers in eight games this month, Jackson has earned himself the Thunder's coveted sixth-man role. This is the same role that gave us a lot of value in James Harden and Kevin Martin in past seasons. Jackson doesn't have the talent of Harden (or even Martin), but he's definitely worth owning in most fantasy leagues given his recent play.

Sneaky pickups of the week include Brandan Wright, Lou Williams, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jordan Hill.

Wright returned from a shoulder injury to post 19 points and six rebounds in 19 minutes in his first game of the season, and has plenty of upside if he can carve out consistent minutes in the Dallas frontcourt. Williams has always been a favorite of mine and is finally starting to turn things around, averaging 11.2 points, 1.2 steals and 2.4 3-pointers over his past five games as he continues to get back into game shape after ACL surgery.

Antetokounmpo is all upside and could pay major dividends if he can figure out a way to earn more minutes for the Bucks. Lastly, Hill has had an up-and-down season but is putting up huge rebounding numbers when he's been on the court.

Brian McKitish is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com and is a two-time Fantasy Basketball Writer of the Year, as named by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.

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