Stock report for the fantasy fringe

Examining which players near bottom of top 130 should be dropped or retained

Updated: March 17, 2014, 4:26 PM ET
By Brian McKitish | Special to ESPN.com

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 in the NBA regular season, there is still plenty of hoops left to play. 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 or cold streaks carry more weight in a shorter time span.

The Top 130

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

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.

That said, here's a look at some bubble players from the top 130 this week:

• It was starting to look like Gerald Green might fade into obscurity with Eric Bledsoe back in action, but Green exploded for 28 points (including five 3-pointers) on Sunday against the Raptors.

Green has been brilliant since January, averaging 20.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 2.6 3-pointers over his past 14 games, and he should remain a solid fantasy contributor despite the fact he won't come close to providing the same kind of value with Bledsoe back. Expect some inconsistency, but continue to roll with Green for the time being.

Randy Foye just hasn't been the same with Ty Lawson back at full strength, and it doesn't help that he's in a little shooting slump. Averaging just 6.8 points and 1.0 3-pointers on 30.8 percent shooting from the floor over his past five games, Foye suddenly looks like a drop candidate despite his 13.5 points, 0.9 steals and 2.6 3-pointers per game since the All-Star break.

It's probably wise to give him a few more games before cutting him loose since he's still getting 30-plus minutes per game, but he's droppable if he doesn't break out of his slump soon.

• Some were surprised when I moved J.J. Hickson out of the top 130 last week. While Hickson has been solid since the All-Star break (averaging 11.1 points and 8.1 rebounds per game), he's not much of a shot-blocker and has shot just 48.6 percent from the free throw line on 4.8 attempts per game during that span.

We forgive players like Dwight Howard, Andre Drummond and DeAndre Jordan for their free throw shooting woes because they dominate in boards and blocks, but Hickson's scoring and rebound averages aren't enough to justify the poor free throw percentage unless you have a desperate need for rebounds. It's all about playing to your categorical strengths and weaknesses at this stage in the season, so think carefully about whether Hickson fits your needs before cutting him.

• Speaking of big men who don't block shots, Carlos Boozer isn't extremely useful in fantasy leagues if he's not putting up big scoring and rebounding numbers thanks to his deficiencies on the defensive end. Struggling to adjust to the timeshare with upstart Taj Gibson, Boozer has managed just 10.8 points and 6.8 rebounds in just 26.9 minutes per game in the month of March (eight games).

Given the timeshare, there's limited upside with Boozer at this point, so feel free to cut ties with him and pick up one of the hot free agents on the market.

Reggie Jackson has played admirably filling in for Russell Westbrook for much of the season, but with Westbrook back in action, Jackson's managed just 10.6 points, 3.1 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.9 3-pointers in 10 games since the All-Star break.

The Thunder are expected to give Westbrook some rest over the last month of the season (particularly in back-to-back games), but Jackson will only be a plug-and-play option in fantasy leagues when Westbrook is out of the lineup.

• After coming out of the All-Star break on fire by averaging 14.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 2.3 3-pointers per game, 37-year-old Vince Carter is starting to cool off.

Averaging just 10.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 1.6 3-pointers over his past five games, Carter still has some value as a 3-point specialist, but a few more poor outings could put him on the chopping block in fantasy leagues.

Andrew Bynum saw his first action as a Pacer this week, posting eight points and 10 boards in just 16 minutes in his debut and followed that up with a 15-point, nine-rebound, one-block effort in 20 minutes against the Pistons. The Pacers will likely put Bynum on a strict minute limit -- and he probably will have a few DNPs over the rest of the season -- but they will want to get him some minutes down the stretch to ensure that their chemistry is right as they head into the playoffs.

That said, Bynum is someone to consider if you have roster space and need to take a risk to get back into the thick of things in your league.

Avery Bradley returned to action after missing more than a month with an ankle injury, posting nine points and one steal in 17 minutes on Friday and 12 points with a steal in 28 minutes on Sunday. Things are a bit more complicated in the Celtics' backcourt with Rajon Rondo healthy and Jerryd Bayless in town, but Bradley was terrific with 14.3 points, 1.0 steals and 1.0 3-pointers in 46 games prior to the injury.

Bradley makes for a nice sneaky pickup option given his success earlier in the season, despite the fact that he'll probably take a week or so to get back into game shape.

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.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.