Early-season injury fallout

One of the more challenging aspects of fantasy hoops (and writing a weekly rankings column) is figuring out how to deal with injuries. With no injured reserve (IR) in most league formats and seemingly countless injuries affecting top players each season, owners are forced to make tough waiver-wire decisions on a regular basis.

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

We are getting to that time of the season when injuries start to play a major factor in the fantasy game – and key injuries to Derrick Rose, who on Monday was ruled out for the season, as well as to Marc Gasol and Andre Iguodala have already shaken up the fantasy landscape. At the same time, we also have some quality players returning from injury such as Al Jefferson, Tobias Harris and Ersan Ilyasova. Let's take a look at the injury fallout, and other notable storylines over the past week:

• It's a shame that Jimmy Butler is out for the next 2-3 weeks with a toe injury given how productive he likely can be with Rose out. Butler already ranks 54th on our Player Rater with averages of 11.2 points, 4.8 boards, 1.8 steals, 0.8 blocks and 1.1 3-pointers in nine games, and he'll be even more productive with extra minutes and touches for the Rose-less Bulls when he returns. Meanwhile, Luol Deng makes a big jump in the ranks as he'll be asked to pick up much of the slack on the offensive end. Kirk Hinrich will step into Rose's starting point guard spot and should be owned in all leagues for the time being.

• Marc Gasol was really starting to turn it on before suffering an MCL sprain in his left knee that should keep him out for 1-2 months. Gasol hasn't missed much time due to injury in his career, so this is particularly difficult news for his owners to stomach. Kosta Koufos will start in his place, but will only have moderate value as a rebounder and shot-blocker. Look for both Zach Randolph and Mike Conley to take on larger responsibilities in the offense while Gasol mends.

• We still don't know the full extent of Andre Iguodala's hamstring injury, but it has to be considered fairly serious if he needed an MRI to rule out surgery. There is no timetable for his return at the moment, but Iggy owners need to hang tight given how well he's played to date. Harrison Barnes is the obvious beneficiary should Iguodala miss an extended period of time.

• Al Jefferson owners are likely a patient bunch, but it still makes sense to put some trade offers out there to see if you can get him at a discounted price. I'm fully convinced that Big Al is going to do big things in Charlotte once he gets his game legs back. His 19-point, seven-rebound, two-steal, one-block performance against the Bucks on Saturday was just the beginning of what should be a great season for Jefferson.

• It was only a matter of time before Victor Oladipo became a starter in Orlando, and his stock is rising now that it looks like there are more minutes on the horizon. Oladipo has been solid, averaging 12.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.0 3-pointers per game, but has only seen 26.4 minutes per game after his first 12 contests. I'd still like to see him take care of the basketball a little better (4.1 turnovers per game), and be a little more selective with his shots (39.9 percent shooting), but he should put up some big numbers in the counting stats once he gets his minutes up to 30-35 per game.

• Sticking with the Magic, forward Tobias Harris finally returned from his ankle injury on Sunday, posting just six points in 16 minutes of action. Harris was brilliant for the Magic last season, averaging 17.3 points, 8.5 boards, 0.9 steals, 1.4 blocks and 1.0 3-pointers in 27 games. There is obvious upside here, and Harris should work his way into the starting lineup once the early-season rust wears off. Both Mo Harkless and Aaron Afflalo figure to be negatively impacted by Harris' return, although Afflalo should continue to have value for his scoring and 3-point shooting.

• Rookie Trey Burke returned to the Jazz lineup earlier this week, and made his first start on Sunday night. Burke may have struggled in Summer League play, but he should be a solid fantasy player in Utah this season. The Jazz are a mess offensively, and although we should expect plenty of turnovers and a poor shooting percentage, Burke should be able to contribute positively in points, assists, steals and 3-pointers.

DeAndre Jordan is starting to show his true colors on the offensive end, averaging just 7.0 points per game over his past five contests. That said, he's still getting after it defensively with 11.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game during that same span. No one ever drafted Jordan for his offense, so he will remain a quality fantasy option as long as you can stomach his 41.6 percent shooting from the free throw line.

Jordan Hill has taken full advantage of the Lakers' depleted roster, averaging 11.6 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.2 blocks over his past 10 games. Hill has always shown some talent in limited minutes as a rebounder and shot-blocker, and his recent outburst may not be a fluke now that he's earning starter minutes. Hill's energy on both ends of the floor should ensure that he continues to receive 30-plus minutes per night.

• Talent has never been a question for Terrence Jones, and he's finally starting to show his upside by posting 16.0 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 1.0 3-pointers per game over his past five contests. Unlike Hill, Jones has a lot of competition for minutes and touches in Houston, so we should expect him to come back down to earth a little bit over the next few weeks. That said, Jones obviously has a lot of upside, and is a nice waiver-wire addition if he's still available in your league.