Chris Paul reclaims top-10 spot in new fantasy rankings

Clippers guard Chris Paul has looked sharp since joining Los Angeles this week following a five-week absence due to injury. Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Chris Paul's return to the court, Kyle Lowry's wrist injury and the continued absence of Joel Embiid are three big stories from the past week that have a direct impact on the updated fantasy rankings.

Paul didn't miss a beat last week after sitting out 14 games because of a thumb injury, and he moves back into the top 10, just ahead of the red-hot John Wall (11) and the coming-back-down-to-Earth Isaiah Thomas (12). On Sunday, Paul missed a triple-double by one rebound in the overtime win over Charlotte, finishing with 15 points, 9 rebounds and 17 assists without committing a single turnover.

Lowry, who was ranked No. 12 last week, is likely out for the rest of the regular season as he recovers from wrist surgery, erasing virtually all of his value for the rest of this fantasy season. He's droppable in all leagues that don't have keepers and, not surprisingly, he is out of our top 150 going forward in 2016-17.

Lowry's absence puts more of the onus on DeMar DeRozan and Serge Ibaka to score, which is why they each get a bump in the rankings - DeRozan at 23 and Ibaka at 42. Also impacted is Cory Joseph, who will fill in as Toronto's new starting point guard. He enters the rankings at 135.

Embiid, meanwhile, has been ruled out indefinitely after experiencing some swelling in his left knee on Monday. We've moved him all the way down to 70 this week and that may still be too high when you consider that he's missed 17 of the last 18 games and has no timeline for a return.

With Embiid out, Robert Covington has turned himself into a top 50 player -- averaging 2.8 threes and 3.1 steals in nine games this month -- and he moves all the way up to No. 43 this week. Not to be forgotten, fellow 76ers forward Dario Saric comes in at 62.

Other big movers this week include new Dallas Mavericks Nerlens Noel (72), rising Knicks rookie center Willy Hernangomez (85) as well as Kings big men Willie Cauley-Stein (102) and Kosta Koufos (124).

Noel averaged 27.5 minutes in his first two games with the Mavs, making a big impression on his new team, and has a chance to approach double-double averages while chipping in with over a steal and block per game. That's hard to find.

Hernangomez is currently dealing with a sprained left ankle but with Joakim Noah now out for the season, the opportunity is there for the rookie to shine in extended minutes as the team's primary option at center. When provided the minutes this season, he has proven that he can produce.

Cauley-Stein and Koufos are more valuable as their minutes rise in the post-Demarcus Cousins era in Sacramento. The younger Cauley-Stein ranks higher, though, because he is being counted on to provide more minutes (in the 30 MPG range) and is more of a shot-blocking threat than Koufos, the 28-year-old veteran who is mostly a scorer and rebounder at this stage in his career.

Here is the full rundown of the updated Top 150 rankings: