Commentary

Baron Davis among hottest in January

Updated: January 24, 2011, 3:38 PM ET
By Brian McKitish | Special to ESPN.com

With only a week left in January, it's time for another game of fun with numbers, this time focusing on recent trends by analyzing monthly splits.

The Top 130

"Note: Brian McKitish's top 130 players are ranked for their fantasy value from this point forward in the 2010-11 NBA season. Previous rank is indicated in parentheses. "

1. Kevin Durant, SF, OKC (1)
2. Chris Paul, PG, NO (2)
3. Deron Williams, PG, UTA (3)
4. Amare Stoudemire, C/PF, NY (4)
5. LeBron James, SF, MIA (5)
6. Pau Gasol, PF/C, LAL (7)
7. Dwight Howard, C, ORL (6)
8. Stephen Curry, PG/SG, GS (8)
9. Dirk Nowitzki, PF, DAL (9)
10. Monta Ellis, PG/SG, GS (11)
11. Kobe Bryant, SG, LAL (10)
12. Russell Westbrook, PG, OKC (12)
13. Derrick Rose, PG, CHI (13)
14. Dwyane Wade, SG, MIA (14)
15. Kevin Love, PF, MIN (16)
16. Josh Smith, PF/SF, ATL (15)
17. Raymond Felton, PG, NY (17)
18. Rajon Rondo, PG, BOS (19)
19. Danny Granger, SF, IND (20)
20. Carmelo Anthony, SF, DEN (18)
21. Blake Griffin, PF, LAC (22)
22. Al Horford, C/PF, ATL (21)
23. Steve Nash, PG, PHO (25)
24. Manu Ginobili, SG, SA (23)
25. Rudy Gay, SF, MEM (24)
26. John Wall, PG, WAS (29)
27. Zach Randolph, PF, MEM (30)
28. Paul Pierce, SF/SG, BOS (26)
29. Carlos Boozer, PF, CHI (27)
30. Joe Johnson, SG/SF, ATL (28)
31. Stephen Jackson, SG/SF, CHA (31)
32. LaMarcus Aldridge, PF, POR (35)
33. Tim Duncan, C/PF, SA (32)
34. Gerald Wallace, SF/PF, CHA (33)
35. Jason Kidd, PG, DAL (34)
36. Andrea Bargnani, C/PF, TOR (36)
37. Wilson Chandler, SF/SG, NY (37)
38. Brook Lopez, C, NJ (38)
39. Andre Iguodala, SG/SF, PHI (39)
40. Eric Gordon, SG, LAC (40)
41. Al Jefferson, C/PF, UTA (41)
42. Tyreke Evans, PG/SG, SAC (42)
43. Andrew Bogut, C, MIL (43)
44. David Lee, PF/C, GS (44)
45. Nene, C/PF, DEN (45)
46. Luis Scola, PF/C, HOU (47)
47. Dorell Wright, SF, GS (48)
48. David West, PF, NO (49)
49. Kevin Garnett, PF, BOS (55)
50. Chris Bosh, PF/C, MIA (46)
51. Kevin Martin, SG, HOU (50)
52. Michael Beasley, SF/PF, MIN (51)
53. Marc Gasol, C, MEM (52)
54. Jrue Holiday, PG, PHI (53)
55. Devin Harris, PG, NJ (54)
56. Paul Millsap, PF, UTA (56)
57. Andray Blatche, PF/C, WAS (60)
58. Wesley Matthews, SG/SF, POR (57)
59. Chauncey Billups, PG, DEN (58)
60. D.J. Augustin, PG, CHA (59)
61. Lamar Odom, PF/SF, LAL (61)
62. Luol Deng, SF, CHI (62)
63. Andre Miller, PG, POR (65)
64. Andrew Bynum, C, LAL (79)
65. Ray Allen, SG, BOS (67)
66. Rodney Stuckey, PG/SG, DET (63)
67. Jason Richardson, SG, ORL (68)
68. Baron Davis, PG, LAC (77)
69. Elton Brand, PF, PHI (70)
70. Emeka Okafor, C, NO (76)
71. Danilo Gallinari, SF/PF, NY (71)
72. Brandon Jennings, PG, MIL (64)
73. Tony Parker, PG, SA (73)
74. Hedo Turkoglu, SF/PF, ORL (72)
75. Antawn Jamison, PF, CLE (78)
76. Darren Collison, PG, IND (92)
77. Jose Calderon, PG, TOR (81)
78. JaVale McGee, C/PF, WAS (83)
79. Serge Ibaka, C/PF, OKC (82)
80. Jason Terry, SG, DAL (74)
81. Joakim Noah, C/PF, CHI (80)
82. Jamal Crawford, SG/PG, ATL (84)
83. Rashard Lewis, PF/SF, WAS (85)
84. Jeff Green, PF/SF, OKC (75)
85. Mike Conley, PG, MEM (87)
86. Beno Udrih, PG, SAC (88)
87. Vince Carter, SG/SF, PHO (90)
88. Tyson Chandler, C, DAL (89)
89. J.J. Hickson, PF/C, CLE (106)
90. Channing Frye, PF/C, PHO (98)
91. DeMarcus Cousins, PF/C, SAC (93)
92. John Salmons, SG/SF, MIL (86)
93. Andrei Kirilenko, SF/PF, UTA (94)
94. Nick Young, SG, WAS (104)
95. Marcus Camby, C/PF, POR (66)
96. Boris Diaw, PF/SF, CHA (101)
97. Mo Williams, PG, CLE (69)
98. Landry Fields, SG, NY (96)
99. J.R. Smith, SG, DEN (97)
100. Jameer Nelson, PG, ORL (99)
101. Aaron Brooks, PG, HOU (91)
102. Shawn Marion, SF/PF, DAL (103)
103. Amir Johnson, PF, TOR (105)
104. Greg Monroe, PF/C, DET (117)
105. DeMar DeRozan, SG, TOR (112)
106. Trevor Ariza, SF/SG, NO (108)
107. O.J. Mayo, SG, MEM (107)
108. Roy Hibbert, C, IND (95)
109. Daniel Gibson, PG/SG, CLE (120)
110. C.J. Miles, SF, UTA (110)
111. Arron Afflalo, SG, DEN (115)
112. Darko Milicic, C, MIN (116)
113. Chris Kaman, C, LAC (109)
114. DeAndre Jordan, C, LAC (119)
115. Andris Biedrins, C, GS (122)
116. Ryan Anderson, PF, ORL (NR)
117. Grant Hill, SF, PHO (NR)
118. Nicolas Batum, SF, POR (124)
119. Tayshaun Prince, SF, DET (127)
120. Al Harrington, PF, DEN (118)
121. Kyle Lowry, PG, HOU (121)
122. Kris Humphries, PF, NJ (125)
123. Corey Maggette, SF, MIL (NR)
124. Rudy Fernandez, SG, POR (NR)
125. Kirk Hinrich, SG/PG, WAS (114)
126. Ramon Sessions, PG, CLE (NR)
127. Luke Ridnour, PG, MIN (130)
128. Marcin Gortat, C, PHO (122)
129. Shane Battier, SF, HOU (129)
130. Lou Williams, PG/SG, PHI (NR)

7.3: Assists per game in the month of January for Clippers point guard Baron Davis. With 15.4 points, 7.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.5 3-pointers after 10 games this month, Baron is beginning to reward owners who were patient enough to hold onto him through a miserable start to the season. Here's the thing: Baron is buying what the rest of his teammates are selling (7-3 in their past 10 games), and if there's one thing we've always known about him, it's that a motivated Baron is an extremely productive player in both real life and fantasy. Do not be surprised if Baron keeps this up for the duration of the season, as the Clippers are talented enough to make a second-half run at a playoff spot in the West.

0.5: Steals per game for Wizards guard Nick Young after 11 games this month. Young, who has showcased his electrifying scoring abilities for the better part of two months, has done little to reverse the idea that he is a scorer and 3-point shooter only for fantasy purposes. Don't get me wrong, Young has been everything and more than we hoped he could be with 21.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.3 3-pointers this month, but the lack of steals hurts his value when comparing him to similar shooting guards. That said, it helps that he's getting to the free throw line more, shooting 83.6 percent in 4.5 attempts per game this month.

19.5: DeMar DeRozan's scoring average this month in 36.6 minutes per game. Unfortunately, the rest of DeRozan's fantasy game leaves a lot to be desired. He doesn't hit or attempt many 3-pointers, doesn't rebound particularly well, and doesn't hand out many assists. He is very solid in the percentages and has added 1.1 steals with 0.6 blocks this month, but much like Nick Young, his value is somewhat limited due to his inability to contribute across the board. The good news is that it looks like his minutes are here to stay and he should be a force in the scoring and percentage categories the rest of the way.

5.6: Three-point field goal attempts per game for Vince Carter since joining Steve Nash and the Suns 13 games ago. We knew Carter would see a bump in value playing alongside Nash, and he has, but not if you were in need of help in the field goal percentage category. With Carter hanging around on the outside launching 3-pointers, his field goal percentage has slumped all the way down to 42.9 percent with the Suns. Of course, he's also seen a big increase in his 3-pointers made (2.3) as a result. Take the good with the bad and feel confident relying on Carter as long as he's healthy.

33.4: Minutes per game for Stephen Curry after 11 contests in January. Curry put a scare into some of his owners earlier this month, as his minutes appeared to be on the decline due to some defensive problems. But after putting up back-to-back monster lines this weekend, he is now averaging 18.4 points, 5.6 assists, 2.0 steals and 2.0 3-pointers while shooting 46.3 percent from the floor and 95.6 percent from the line. Curry has not had as great of a season as many would have liked when they drafted him in the first round, but he still ranks sixth on our Player Rater when sorted by averages thanks to his across-the-board contributions. I have a feeling that he's awfully underrated in trade negotiations, so don't be afraid to send out some buy-low offers, especially now that his minutes seem to be rounding back into shape.

19.1: Minutes per game for Gilbert Arenas in 11 games this month. Averaging just 7.2 points, 3.3 assists, 0.5 steals and 0.8 3-pointers in January, the only reason owners should still be holding onto Arenas is for his potential upside if an injury were to strike in the Orlando backcourt. Currently behind Jameer Nelson (30.0 minutes), J.J. Redick (28.4 minutes) and Jason Richardson (36.1 minutes) on the depth chart, it's time for fantasy owners to start thinking about dropping Arenas if there are better options available on the wire.

2.4: Blocks per game for the Lakers' oft-injured center Andrew Bynum, good for fifth in the league this month. Adding to the blocks, he is also averaging a highly productive 12.8 points and 8.2 rebounds in 26.9 minutes per game. With numbers like those, Bynum almost has to move up in the top-130 rankings, but it's hard to get too excited about a guy who's done this before only to shatter our dreams with injury after injury. He's obviously healthy and producing now, but will continue to be a high-risk/high-reward investment in fantasy leagues.

.699: Blake Griffin's free throw percentage in 10 games this month. It may be a small sample size, but it should be noted that with Blake getting to the basket whenever he wants, he has shot 103 free throws in this span, making 72 of them. That is quite an improvement for a guy who shot below 60 percent for the first two months of the season. If this is for real, and I think it might be, Blake just became even more valuable than he already was. Oh, and by the way, in case you haven't seen him on SportsCenter in a while, he's also averaging 27.2 points, 14.5 rebounds and 4.6 assists this month.

2.9: Three-pointers per game for Magic forward Ryan Anderson in 11 January games. During that span, Anderson is averaging an ultra-productive 14.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 0.9 blocks to go along with the 3-point shooting and should be owned in all fantasy formats, if he isn't already. A per-minute darling through his first two seasons in the league, it is not out of the question for Anderson to sustain this level of production given how well he seems to be fitting into the overhauled Magic rotation.

34.1: Minutes per game for Channing Frye this month, up nearly three minutes from his playing time in December. Frye can be a frustrating player to own in fantasy leagues due to his inconsistency. When he's getting playing time like this and shooting the ball well, he's a borderline top-50 player. But when he's slumping and losing minutes, he's a fringe player at best. If you can find someone who's willing to believe that this recent hot streak is for real, you may want to consider unloading him in a sell-high deal. With 13.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, 0.8 blocks and 2.5 3-pointers this month, it shouldn't be too hard to find a taker.

12.4: Emeka Okafor's rebounds per game, good enough for fifth in the league this month. Okafor has flown under the radar for the most part this season, but he won't be for much longer when the only players outrebounding him in recent action are named Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, Zach Randolph and Dwight Howard. Adding to the impressive rebounding totals, Emeka has also put up 12.0 points and 1.3 blocks while shooting 62.1 percent from the floor in January. It is clear that he has found his niche in New Orleans and he won't be going away this season.

Brian McKitish is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com. He can be reached at bmckitish@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter @bmckitish.

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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