Top second-half buy candidates

Updated: February 18, 2013, 3:13 PM ET
By Brian McKitish | Special to ESPN.com

With the All-Star Game in our rearview mirror and only two months left in the NBA season, fantasy owners are looking to make their final preparations for the season's stretch run. As a continuation of last week's piece on post-All-Star-break buy and sell candidates, I've compiled an even larger list of players to buy for the end of the season. I should also note that I'm still targeting Kyle Lowry, Anthony Davis, Ricky Rubio, Derrick Favors, Paul George and Bradley Beal as discussed in last week's column.

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

Second-Half Buy Candidates

As a leading candidate for sixth man of the year alongside J.R. Smith and Jamal Crawford, Jarrett Jack has been one of fantasy's most underrated players since earning a larger share of minutes in coach Mark Jackson's rotations back in mid-December. Averaging 16.4 points, 7.6 assists, 0.7 steals and 1.3 3-pointers while shooting 46.5 percent from the floor and 84.4 percent from the line in 32.4 minutes per game over the past month (13 games), Jack has quietly been a top-80 fantasy player for the better part of the season. A shoulder injury that caused him to miss three of the Warriors' past five games should be fully healed after the All-Star break, making him a nice trade target for the stretch run. The Warriors have dropped five straight with Jack hurting, so we can be assured that he'll get his full 32-plus minutes upon his return.

Speaking of players hoping to get healthy during the break, Nicolas Batum will look to rebound after slumping with averages of 10.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 0.4 steals, 1.8 blocks and 1.8 3-pointers while shooting 41.5 percent over his past eight games. A sore wrist is to blame for Batum's struggles, and with a full five days off, he should be able to return to form immediately following the break. Some folks have soured on Batum given his recent struggles, but he's still one of the league's most diverse fantasy talents with averages of 15.3 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.3 steals, 1.2 blocks and 2.3 3-pointers per game on the season.

It's been a rough season to date for Dirk Nowitzki, who has shot just 42.3 percent from the floor with averages of 15.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, 0.5 steals, 0.7 blocks and 1.1 3-pointers in 23 contests. Dirk has struggled mightily in his recovery from preseason knee surgery, but has steadily improved and looked to be well on his way to full strength in the week leading up to the All-Star break. Perhaps a sign of things to come, Dirk posted 20.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.5 steals, 1.0 blocks and 2.0 3-pointers while connecting on 14 of 23 shots from the floor in his past two games. Look for Nowitzki to get back on track in a big way after the break as Dallas will attempt to make a late run at the last playoff seed in the Western Conference.

Rudy Gay is doing his best Paul George impression in Toronto, averaging 20.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.7 steals, 0.9 blocks and 0.9 3-pointers in seven games with the Raptors. More importantly, Gay has played 38 minutes per game and has attempted 20.3 shots and 4.4 3-pointers per game since joining his new team. Granted, he's shooting only 38 percent from the floor and 19 percent from downtown, but these numbers are bound to improve as he becomes more comfortable with the extra attention that he's seeing from opposing defenders. Gay is an obvious buy candidate after the trade, but his poor shooting could make him available at a discounted price despite his terrific play in recent action.

If I had told you at the start of the season that Jeff Teague and Deron Williams would be so close in value at the All-Star break, you wouldn't have believed me, but Teague is much closer to Williams than we ever could have imagined. In fact, I've ranked Teague higher than Williams in my latest rankings update on the strength of his brilliant run since the Louis Williams injury. Over his last 14 games, Teague has averaged 18.1 points, 8.5 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.6 3-pointers while shooting 51.4 percent from the floor and 86.9 percent from the line. I expect him to be every bit as good as Deron Williams the rest of the way.

Speaking of players with similar value, Kevin Garnett is doing his best LaMarcus Aldridge and Al Jefferson impressions since the Rajon Rondo injury. Garnett has posted 17.7 points, 10.2 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.1 blocks while shooting 52.4 percent from the floor and 86.2 percent from the line. For comparison, I've included Aldridge's and Jefferson's season totals below:

Aldridge: 20.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, 0.8 steals, 1.3 blocks, 48.2 FG%, 79.0 FT%

Jefferson: 17.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1.0 steals, 1.2 blocks, 48.5 FG%, 81.3 FT%

Garnett's current owners may be looking to sell high on this recent hot streak, particularly if they read up on trade rumors, but I think there's a pretty good chance Garnett remains in Celtic green and finishes the season strong. I wouldn't deal Aldridge or Jefferson for him straight up, but I'd certainly entertain a 2-for-1 deal that nets me Garnett and an upgrade in exchange for either of the two stud big men.

I've been on the J.J. Redick bandwagon for quite some time, but even I was surprised at how close he is to Kevin Martin and Joe Johnson in value after doing a little more digging into their numbers. Let's play a little game of "guess the player" to see if we can tell the difference:

Player A: 15.0 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.0 steals, 2.2 3-pointers, 45.4 FG%, 90.4 FT%

Player B: 15.3 points, 2.4 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 0.6 steals, 2.4 3-pointers, 45.9 FG%, 88.7 FT%

Player C: 17.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 0.6 steals, 2.1 3-pointers, 42.4 FG%, 82.6 FT%

Pretty close, no? It can be argued that Redick (Player B) has outperformed both Martin (Player A) and Johnson (Player C) on the season. And although Redick's coming off a shoulder injury and has had trade rumors swirling over his head, he's still a nice buy option if he remains in Orlando. One of the more underrated fantasy players this season, Redick should continue to put up big numbers if he's not dealt at the trade deadline.

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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