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Kidd approaching top 10 in rankings

3/1/2010

Another month is in the books, and that means it's time to take another look through the list of movers and shakers in our rankings of the top 130 players. Remember, players are ranked based on their expected performance from this point forward, not on the stats that have already been accrued.

Moving Up

The Top 130

Note: Brian McKitish's Top 130 are ranked for their expected performance in ESPN standard leagues from this point on, not on the statistics that have already been accrued. Last week's ranking is indicated in parentheses.

RK. Name, POS (RK)
1. LeBron James, SF, CLE (1)
2. Kevin Durant, SG/SF, OKC (2)
3. Kobe Bryant, SG, LAL (4)
4. Dwyane Wade, SG, MIA (3)
5. Dirk Nowitzki, PF, DAL (5)
6. Danny Granger, SF, IND (7)
7. Steve Nash, PG, PHO (6)
8. Dwight Howard, C, ORL (8)
9. Pau Gasol, PF/C, LAL (9)
10. Carmelo Anthony, SF, DEN (10)
11. Jason Kidd, PG, DAL (15)
12. Brook Lopez, C, NJ (12)
13. Deron Williams, PG, UTA (14)
14. Brandon Roy, SG/SF, POR (22)
15. Chris Bosh, PF/C, TOR (11)
16. Gerald Wallace, SF/PF, CHA (16)
17. Monta Ellis, PG/SG, GS (13)
18. Joe Johnson, SG/SF, ATL (18)
19. Josh Smith, PF/SF, ATL (23)
20. Amar'e Stoudemire, C/PF, PHO (19)
21. David Lee, PF/C, NY (21)
22. Andre Iguodala, SG/SF, PHI (25)
23. Chauncey Billups, PG, DEN (20)
24. Paul Pierce, SF/SG, BOS (17)
25. Rajon Rondo, PG, BOS (24)
26. Stephen Curry, PG/SG, GS (30)
27. Zach Randolph, PF, MEM (27)
28. Stephen Jackson, SG/SF, CHA (28)
29. Tim Duncan, C/PF, SA (26)
30. Tyreke Evans, PG/SG, SAC (31)
31. Chris Kaman, C, LAC (32)
32. Russell Westbrook, PG, OKC (35)
33. Carlos Boozer, PF, UTA (33)
34. Andrea Bargnani, PF/C, TOR (29)
35. Andrew Bogut, C, MIL (42)
36. Devin Harris, PG, NJ (44)
37. Rudy Gay, SF, MEM (41)
38. Luol Deng, SF, CHI (40)
39. Marcus Camby, C/PF, POR (36)
40. Baron Davis, PG, LAC (37)
41. Andray Blatche, PF/C, WAS (75)
42. Al Horford, C/PF, ATL (43)
43. Kevin Martin, SG, HOU (45)
44. Marc Gasol, C, MEM (46)
45. Aaron Brooks, PG, HOU (51)
46. Andrei Kirilenko, SF/PF, UTA (39)
47. Jeff Green, SF/PF, OKC (50)
48. Nene, C/PF, DEN (48)
49. Troy Murphy, PF/C, IND (52)
50. Al Jefferson, C, MIN (34)
51. David West, PF, NO (53)
52. Danilo Gallinari, SF/PF, NY (38)
53. Eric Gordon, SG, LAC (55)
54. Caron Butler, SF, DAL (54)
55. Mo Williams, PG, CLE (56)
56. Derrick Rose, PG, CHI (59)
57. O.J. Mayo, SG, MEM (58)
58. Chris Paul, PG, NO (64)
59. Antawn Jamison, PF, CLE (47)
60. Kevin Love, PF, MIN (60)
61. Rodney Stuckey, PG, DET (65)
62. Michael Beasley, PF/SF, MIA (66)
63. Brandon Jennings, PG, MIL (63)
64. Andre Miller, PG, POR (70)
65. Rashard Lewis, SF/PF, ORL (61)
66. Kevin Garnett, PF, BOS (67)
67. Luis Scola, PF/C, HOU (68)
68. Vince Carter, SG/SF, ORL (62)
69. Andrew Bynum, C, LAL (73)
70. Carl Landry, PF, SAC (72)
71. Raymond Felton, PG, CHA (69)
72. Emeka Okafor, C, NO (71)
73. Manu Ginobili, SG, SA (76)
74. Lou Williams, PG/SG, PHI (101)
75. Jamal Crawford, SG/PG, ATL (74)
76. Jameer Nelson, PG, ORL (85)
77. Jason Richardson, SG/SF, PHO (79)
78. Anthony Morrow, SG/SF, GS (81)
79. Hedo Turkoglu, SF, TOR (80)
80. Kirk Hinrich, SG/PG, CHI (77)
81. LaMarcus Aldridge, PF, POR (82)
82. Brendan Haywood, C, DAL (91)
83. Kenyon Martin, PF, DEN (86)
84. Joakim Noah, C/PF, CHI (49)
85. Tyrus Thomas, PF, CHA (105)
86. Randy Foye, SG/PG, WAS (88)
87. Ray Allen, SG, BOS (99)
88. Lamar Odom, PF/SF, LAL (90)
89. Wilson Chandler, SF, NY (83)
90. Trevor Ariza, SF/SG, HOU (78)
91. Corey Maggette, SF, GS (57)
92. Taj Gibson, PF, CHI (114)
93. Richard Hamilton, SG, DET (100)
94. Thaddeus Young, SF, PHI (93)
95. John Salmons, SG/SF, CHI (108)
96. Tony Parker, PG, SA (89)
97. Jason Terry, SG/PG, DAL (98)
98. Mehmet Okur, C, UTA (96)
99. Darren Collison, PG, NO (97)
100. Tayshaun Prince, SF, DET (120)
101. Tracy McGrady, SG, NY (94)
102. Elton Brand, PF, PHI (95)
103. J.R. Smith, SG, DEN (103)
104. Peja Stojakovic, SF, NO (102)
105. Mike Miller, SG/SF, WAS (104)
106. Ben Gordon, SG, DET (87)
107. Roy Hibbert, C, IND (106)
108. Al Harrington, PF, NY (125)
109. Boris Diaw, PF/SF, CHA (116)
110. Mike Conley, PG, MEM (109)
111. Jose Calderon, PG, TOR (110)
112. Samuel Dalembert, C, PHI (119)
113. Jermaine O'Neal, C, MIA (122)
114. Jonny Flynn, PG, MIN (115)
115. Ron Artest, SF, LAL (118)
116. C.J. Watson, PG, GS (NR)
117. Courtney Lee, SG, NJ (128)
118. Beno Udrih, PG, SAC (NR)
119. Spencer Hawes, C, SAC (NR)
120. Carlos Delfino, SF/SG, MIL (127)
121. Drew Gooden, PF/C, LAC (NR)
122. Corey Brewer, SF/SG, MIN (117)
123. Ben Wallace, C/PF, DET (124)
124. Robin Lopez, C, PHO (NR)
125. Al Thornton, SF, WAS (NR)
126. T.J. Ford, PG, IND (NR)
127. Marcus Thornton, SG, NO (NR)
128. Shane Battier, SF, HOU (NR)
129. Sergio Rodriguez, PG, NY (NR)
130. Yi Jianlian, PF/SF, NJ (107)

Jason Kidd, PG, Dallas Mavericks (11): We thought that the added offensive firepower from Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood would be a boon to Kidd's fantasy value, but not even Kidd's biggest fans thought he'd be this good. Not only does he rank first on the Player Rater over the past 15 days, but he is averaging 15.4 points, 8.0 rebounds, 10.6 assists, 1.6 steals and 3.2 3-pointers in his past five games. Those are some insane numbers, folks. Kidd is loving this new-look Mavs team (which has won its past seven games, by the way), and while we can't expect him to continue scoring 14-15 points per game, we can expect him to remain dominant and statistically diverse the rest of the way.

Brandon Roy, SG/SF, Portland Trail Blazers (14): Roy, who ranked as high as 12th in the top 130 before suffering a hamstring injury, is finally back to form and looking healthy after missing a total of 14 games since mid-January. It took him a few games to get it going, but Roy put together four straight 20-plus point efforts this week and is now averaging 20.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 0.8 3-pointers and a steal in his past five games. It is clear that the worst of Roy's troubles are now over, and if you own him you can feel safe with him anchoring your squad down the stretch.

Devin Harris, PG, New Jersey Nets (36): Since he started the season ranked 25th in the top 130, Harris has to be considered one of this year's biggest busts ... until now. Averaging 20.5 points, 8.6 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.1 3-pointers while shooting 80 percent from the free throw line during the past month, Harris is finally playing the way we thought he would. The turnaround, without a doubt, can be attributed to the fact Harris is finally 100 percent healthy after missing multiple games with a variety of nagging injuries earlier this season.

Andray Blatche, PF/C, Washington Wizards (41): I discussed Blatche in detail last week, but figured that I need to mention him again since he jumped another 34 spots in the rankings. After another big game on Sunday night, Blatche is now averaging a ridiculous 27.0 points, 11.6 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.8 blocks in his past five games. Need I go on?

Lou Williams, PG/SG, Philadelphia 76ers (74): A top-50 fantasy player prior to breaking his jaw in November, Williams struggled upon his return with Allen Iverson eating into his minutes and production. But with AI out for the foreseeable future, Williams has been tearing it up with 18.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.2 steals and 2.0 3-pointers per game in his past five. It has been rumored that Iverson may be on his way out in Philly, and if that happens, Williams will make another big jump in the rankings next week.

Tyrus Thomas, PF, Charlotte Bobcats (85): I'm a little cautious about moving T2 up too high in the rankings because we've seen this sort of thing from him in the past, but he has always produced in a big way whenever he's seen consistent minutes, and he's getting just that in Charlotte. There is always a risk that he'll revert to his inconsistent ways, but the reward is more than worth the risk at this point in the season. Thomas is averaging 12.8 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 3.4 blocks in 26.8 minutes in five games with his new squad and looks like a strong gamble the rest of the way.

Taj Gibson, PF, Chicago Bulls (92): Gibson moved into the rankings last week after the Tyrus Thomas trade cleared some room in the Bulls' frontcourt, and all he's done is average 13.0 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.8 blocks since. With Joakim Noah currently shut down, Gibson will continue to produce at a high level, and will still retain most of his value even if/when Noah returns.

Tayshaun Prince, SF, Detroit Pistons (100): Richard Hamilton is getting all the publicity, but Prince has been equally impressive with 14.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.8 blocks and 0.5 3-pointers in the month of February. I've always thought that Tayshaun was a better player in real life than fantasy, but I'm not going to argue with his current production, especially with both Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva struggling.

Moving Down

Andrei Kirilenko, SF/PF, Utah Jazz (46): One week after moving him way up in the rankings, AK47 has rewarded me by missing three games due to a back injury. Ordinarily I wouldn't be too concerned about a seemingly minor injury (he did suit up on Friday), but this is Andrei Kirilenko we are talking about, folks. He's had back injuries cripple his production in the past, so tread carefully.

Al Jefferson, PF/C, Minnesota Timberwolves (50): I'm sad to say that my not-so-secret love affair with Jefferson is officially over, for this season at least. He was looking pretty good throughout December and January, but has fallen out of favor with head coach Kurt Rambis (who thinks he's playing injured) and has seen his playing time cut dramatically since the All-Star break. Thankfully, he's still producing at a high level on a per-minute basis (12.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.4 blocks in just 26.4 minutes in his past five games), so all is not lost. Still, even a player as talented as Big Al needs more minutes than that to be the fantasy force he once was.

Danilo Gallinari, SF/PF, New York Knicks (52): To say Gallinari had a forgettable month would be an understatement. After averaging just 10.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 0.8 steals, 0.9 blocks and 1.3 3-pointers in February, the Rooster appears to have hit a wall in his breakout fantasy campaign. Even so, I'm not yet ready to give up all hope on the second-year sharpshooter. Sure, he's seeing fewer minutes since Tracy McGrady has arrived, but most of his problems are stemming from a shooting slump, which he's bound to break out of sooner or later. The good news is that his peripheral numbers (steals, blocks, rebounds) are still stable, so he could potentially jump back up in the rankings once he breaks out of the slump.

Antawn Jamison, PF, Cleveland Cavaliers (59): Jamison has had mixed reviews since joining the Cavs, probably because he's been inconsistent in his first five games in Cleveland. Antawn is still adjusting to his new squad, but a few concerning numbers stand out, even though it's a small sample size. First, Jamison's minutes have dropped from 38.9 in Washington to 34.4 in Cleveland. That number should go up slightly as he gets more comfortable, but both his shot attempts (17.1 to 12.6) and 3-point attempts (4.1 to 2.8) have plummeted, as well. Again, he should get better as he adjusts to life with LeBron James, but it has become clear that he will not be able to produce the same way he did with the Wizards.

Ben Gordon, SG, Pistons (106): Truth be told, this drop in the rankings should have happened quite some time ago, but for some reason I was still holding out hope that Gordon could get back to the numbers he posted in November: 18.7 points and 1.4 3-pointers per game. It's tough to flat-out drop a player of Gordon's talent, but that's what many owners are beginning to do, and I can't say I blame them. After seeing just 22.4 minutes per game in February, Gordon simply cannot get anything going for his fantasy owners. I'm going to give him one more week to turn it around before contemplating dropping him from the top 130 altogether like his teammate Charlie Villanueva.

Yi Jianlian, PF/SF, Nets (NR): Yi continues to flash glimpses of promise, but has yet to put together any sort of consistency since the middle of January. He averaged just 8.8 points and 6.8 rebounds in February, so fantasy owners should not hesitate to drop Yi for a hot pickup if they haven't done so already. There's still a chance that he'll go on another hot streak, but only those who need a high-risk/high-reward player should bother with Yi at this point.

Kendrick Perkins, C, Boston Celtics (NR): Perkins hung in the rankings for most of the season on the strength of his rebounding and shot-blocking numbers, but he didn't do much of either in February with just 8.0 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. Sure, he can still provide some value for owners who are desperate for blocks, but there are plenty of other shot-blocking specialists out there who are playing much better than Perkins is at the moment. Feel free to cut bait if you haven't done so already.

Brian McKitish is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com. He can be reached at bmckitish@yahoo.com.