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Early-season risers, fallers

11/11/2013

Things can change quickly in the fantasy world, and even just a couple of weeks' worth of action can force quite a bit of reshuffling in the Top 130 rankings.

This is particularly true when we get down to some of the players ranked after the Top 100. Players ranked that low are typically inconsistent, streaky or unproven. That is why you'll see a lot of fluctuation from week to week near the bottom of the rankings.

With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the big movers in this week's update.

Moving Up

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

It is quickly becoming clear that the rumors of Greg Monroe's demise were greatly exaggerated. Expected to see a drop in production across the board with Andre Drummond emerging and newcomers Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings in town, Monroe has actually played better with the added firepower in the lineup. No longer the primary focus of opposing defenses, Monroe has been able to roam free with 17.8 points, 11.8 rebounds (including 5.4 offensive rebounds!), 1.6 steals and 1.4 blocks in 38.6 minutes per game. I know it's a small sample size, but it looks like Monroe may actually end up benefiting from the Pistons' offseason moves.

You guys think Kevin Martin likes playing with Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love? With Love and Rubio creating open spaces, Martin has come out of the gates on fire, posting 23.3 points, 2.8 3-pointers and 1.3 steals per game after seven contests. More important, he's getting 15.3 shot attempts, including 5.0 3-point attempts per game. And if that isn't enough, he's getting to the line 6.8 times per game, where he's a career 86.7 percent shooter. Already firmly entrenched as the Wolves' No. 2 scoring option, Martin just needs to stay healthy to have a big-time comeback season. If there's still room on the bandwagon, I'll gladly jump on.

Much like Martin with Love and Rubio, J.J. Redick has to be happy in his role playing alongside Chris Paul and Blake Griffin in Los Angeles. (I know his fantasy owners sure are.) Averaging 17.6 points, 1.0 steals and 2.1 3-pointers in 30.1 minutes per game, Redick is lighting it up in early action, and there's no reason to think he won't keep this up. His 12.4 shots and 5.9 3-point attempts per game should give you an indication of how involved he's going to continue to be in this offense.

I really want to move Eric Gordon up higher than 83rd in my Top 130 rankings given his terrific play to date, but I remain cautiously optimistic given his lengthy injury history and the impending return of Ryan Anderson. A high-risk, high-reward selection on draft day, Gordon has been mostly reward this season with averages of 16.5 points, 1.7 3-pointers and 1.8 steals in 30.3 minutes per game. This may be a prime opportunity to sell high, but remember that Gordon has been incredibly productive when healthy in his five-year career.

After starting off slow, Markieff Morris has busted loose with three consecutive 20-plus-point efforts and is now averaging 19.4 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 0.6 3-pointers over his past five games. Morris offers a nice blend of talents for fantasy owners and should be immediately added if he's available in your league.

Moving Down (or out)

Last week, we discussed remaining patient with players like Derrick Rose and Bradley Beal at the start of the season. I'm going to go ahead and add Serge Ibaka, Ricky Rubio, Kyrie Irving, Al Jefferson and Danny Green to the "remain calm" list. Do not sell any of these guys without getting their pre-draft value in return.

With just one player (Brook Lopez) averaging more than 30 minutes per game, the Brooklyn Nets haven't been very kind to fantasy owners in the early going. Deron Williams has been slowly working his way back from an ankle injury, and although he should improve as his minutes increase, he's still moving down in the overall rankings nonetheless. Deron should be able to remain a top-30 or top-40 player thanks to his high assist totals, but the potential for fewer shot attempts (particularly from downtown) may keep him from being the top-20 player many thought he would be coming into this season. Kevin Garnett, meanwhile, dropped out of the rankings this week after averaging just 23.2 minutes in the Nets' first six games.

I'm not quite hitting the panic button on Larry Sanders yet, but there seems to be a little "what can go wrong will go wrong" going on at the start of the season. Not only is he averaging just 2.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in 17.3 minutes, but he's also sat out the past two games with a sore thumb and was involved in an off-court fight at a nightclub on Sunday night. Fantasy owners are stuck in a bad spot with Sanders at the moment; you can't drop him, and you certainly shouldn't sell him with his value currently in the tank. My advice? Ride out the storm. He should be back in the lineup soon, and I think he'll start to get back on track over the next few weeks.

Jeremy Lin may be averaging 14.0 points, 4.0 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.0 3-pointers in 30.6 minutes after seven games, but he's already lost his starting job to Patrick Beverley, and may see a slightly reduced role going forward. Lin should still have some value even in standard 10-team leagues, but beware of his declining role, especially if Beverley continues to play at a high level.

It's usually pretty easy to find valuable fantasy players on bad NBA teams, but the Boston Celtics have been a fantasy wasteland thus far with the lone exception of Jeff Green. Brandon Bass has been mostly solid and can be considered a borderline waiver-wire addition, but Gerald Wallace, Avery Bradley, Kelly Olynyk and Vitor Faverani have all disappointed to start the season. All four can safely be dropped in standard fantasy leagues at the moment, although we should continue to keep a close eye on Olynyk's playing time as we get deeper into the season.

We talked briefly about JaVale McGee's struggles last week, but a stress fracture in his left tibia has complicated matters even further for his fantasy owners. McGee was off to an extremely slow start, averaging just 7.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in just 16.0 minutes per game prior to the injury. That's not a lot of minutes for a guy whom the Nuggets were supposedly committed to prior to the season. There is no timetable on McGee's return, and his owners should probably wait a few days before deciding whether to drop the talented but inconsistent big man.

It's pretty strange not seeing Steve Nash make the cut for the Top 130 this week, but the 39-year-old has been woefully ineffective and is clearly struggling to stay healthy. Nash is averaging just 6.7 points, 4.8 assists and 0.8 3-pointers in 22.5 minutes per game to start the season, and his back injury on Sunday night against the Timberwolves is more than just a little concerning. It's probably smarter to give it a day or two to hear the prognosis on his back before cutting ties, but Nash appears to be waiver-wire material in standard 10-team formats.