Weekly Dish: January storylines

A look at fantasy fallout from the Deng trade, players on the rise and injury updates

Updated: January 13, 2014, 3:38 PM ET
By Brian McKitish | Special to ESPN.com

You'll notice a bit of a shakeup in the top 130 rankings this week, so let's take a look at some of the big movers and fantasy storylines over the past week:

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

After a trade sent him packing to Cleveland, Luol Deng takes a dip in value but should still be a solid fantasy player for the Cavs. His presence will hurt Dion Waiters and C.J. Miles but shouldn't have a big impact on Kyrie Irving's numbers.

Anderson Varejao, meanwhile, is moving up in the ranks with Andrew Bynum out of town. Varejao has averaged 9.8 points, 14.2 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 1.0 blocks in January. He has always been a great fantasy player when healthy and earning minutes, and the only thing holding him back from a higher ranking is his questionable injury history.

The fantasy fallout of the Deng trade will have much bigger implications in Chicago, where there's a heck of a lot of production to replace in Deng's 37.4 minutes, 19.0 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game.

If you're looking for waiver-wire candidates, Mike Dunleavy is probably your man over Tony Snell. You may also want to give Taj Gibson a look and potentially D.J. Augustin over the mostly ineffective Kirk Hinrich.

The bigger fantasy impact will be felt by players who are already owned in your leagues: Jimmy Butler, Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer. Look for Noah and Butler, in particular, to step up their games with Deng in Cleveland. Noah, by the way, is back in a groove, averaging 13.6 points, 12.6 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 2.4 blocks per game over his past five.

Terrence Ross keeps lighting it up from downtown for the Raptors in the post-Rudy Gay era, tallying 2.8 3-pointers per game in six contests since the new year. Ross has added 12.3 points and 1.3 steals in 32.8 minutes per game in that span and looks locked to deliver solid fantasy numbers the rest of the way as a prototypical shooting guard. Amir Johnson, meanwhile, continues to frustrate fantasy owners with just 9.4 points and 6.6 rebounds to go along with 2.2 blocks over his past five contests. Johnson is notoriously inconsistent but should remain on rosters given his ability to catch fire for stretches.

Brian Roberts was a nice late-season pickup in 2012-13 as a spot starter, and he may have some short-term value with Jrue Holiday expected to miss extended time with a stress fracture in his leg. With both Holiday and Ryan Anderson out for the foreseeable future, Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans figure to reap the benefits on the offensive end. Gordon has been fantastic in recent action, averaging 21.2 points, 1.0 steals and 2.2 3-pointers over his past five games. Evans is dealing with an ankle sprain at the moment but should pick up steam immediately upon his return.

Owners should be somewhat skeptical of Channing Frye's recent offensive outburst of 17.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.0 blocks and 3.8 3-pointers over his past five games. Frye may have more opportunities on the offensive end with Eric Bledsoe sidelined, but he's been an extremely streaky fantasy player over the years. Should he be picked up? Absolutely, but I'd rather have teammate Gerald Green for more consistent value while Bledsoe mends.

Kenneth Faried finally looks like he's getting back into the swing of things with 16.0 points, 11.0 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks over his past five games. Whether he's playing better because he's getting more minutes (29.8 per game) or getting more minutes because he's playing better shouldn't matter as long as he continues to see close to 30 minutes per game. As one of the most productive per-minute players in the league, the "Manimal" has serious upside if he can continue to earn this kind of run in the Nuggets' frontcourt.

I really can't say enough about Blake Griffin's all-around improvement in the fantasy game this season. From his progress at the free throw line (70.7 percent on the season) to his improved focus on the defensive end, Griffin is easily having his best fantasy season. He has also stepped up his game with Chris Paul sidelined to the tune of 24.4 points, 9.6 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.8 steals over his past five games. His owners can sit back and enjoy the ride.

I recommend buying low on Paul Millsap after a difficult week, when he averaged just 13.6 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.2 blocks per game. Millsap has struggled of late from the floor, shooting just 32.6 percent this month, but he is a career 51.2 percent shooter and should turn things around rather quickly. Even with his recent slump, Millsap is still ranked sixth on our Player Rater over the past 30 days.

It was a major oversight by me to not include J.J. Redick in the top 130 last week. Redick boasts averages of 15.9 points, 0.8 steals and 1.9 3-pointers with terrific percentages on the season and looks to have picked up right where he left off after posting 19 points and a 3-pointer in 23 minutes in his first game after missing six weeks with a wrist injury.

I can't remember a time when more players had an "indefinite" timeline to return from injury, but let's go around the league for some quick hits on the ever-growing list of injuries in the NBA that haven't been mentioned above: Marc Gasol has been cleared for light work after an MRI last week and could be back in the lineup by the end of the month. … Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash both are expected to return in late January or early February, which would hurt the fantasy values of Kendall Marshall, Jodie Meeks and Nick Young. … Eric Bledsoe is expected to miss six to eight weeks with a knee injury, which would keep him out until after the All-Star break. … Chris Paul is also targeting the All-Star break for his return from a shoulder injury. … And last but not least, there have been conflicting reports about Rajon Rondo's status over the past week. It sounds as if he's getting closer to returning to action, but his exact timeline is unknown at the moment.

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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