Read below for points-league rankings and reaction.
Points-league rankings and reaction
LeBron James, make your way towards the head of the class.
In this week's rankings, James is the player near the top who made the biggest move upwards. He couldn't quite overtake The Beard or The Greek Freak, but I could no longer ignore what King James has been up to.
It's not that I was necessarily overlooking James before, but there were some truisms that held him back slightly in the rest-of-season rankings. One thing we believed was that James is playing for championships at this point in his career, and thus he would dial it back during the season to stay fresh for the playoffs.
While that seemed to be the case last season, this year he hasn't been able to coast, because the Cavaliers have needed him too badly. Even with their 12 game winning streak, the Cavaliers still trail the Boston Celtics by several games and are only three games in the loss column from the sixth seed.
The obvious counter to that is health, as in the Cavaliers have been missing Isaiah Thomas all season and Derrick Rose for most of the year. Both could return in the near future and help take some of the pressure to create off of James' shoulders.
On the other hand, James is already in the midst of his most efficient scoring season of his career, on pace to top the career-best mark that he set in true shooting percentage in 2014. If he gets help setting the table, and the Cavaliers have another scoring threat on the floor, it could very well help him to score at an even higher rate of efficiency.
Bottom line: While it's possible that LeBron's production or energy level may change with circumstances, so far, he has been lights out. He is No. 1 on the Player Rater, and is the leading scorer in many points-based fantasy formats. For today, that's enough to earn his way up to a top-three slot in these rankings.
Stephen Curry dropped a couple of slots after injuring his ankle on Monday. It is currently being treated like it's minor, but it's his the ankle he previously had surgically repaired ankle and he left the arena on crutches. Until I see him back on the court, he has to drop slightly in the rankings.
Kyrie Irving has scored more than 30 points in five of his past nine games and is taking on a bit more active of a scoring role with Jaylen Brown slowing down in recent weeks. That was enough to get him into the top 20, as volume scoring is rewarded in points leagues.
Jrue Holiday and Rajon Rondo seem to be coexisting well in the backcourt for the New Orleans Pelicans, with Rondo focusing on setting the table and Holiday doing more finishing. Both move up the rankings, though Holiday made the bigger leap.
Victor Oladipo has been playing out of his mind all season, but as we look up, we're almost a third of the way into the season. Oladipo ranks ninth on the Player Rater, and is top 25 in every points-based league that I'm participating in. With health factored in, it was time for him to move into the top 20.
Devin Booker continues to be an up-and-down player, but his ups are getting higher and more consistent, and his downs are also improving. He ranks 16th in the Player Rater, and since scoring is always rewarded in points-based fantasy leagues, his ability to go nova and drop 30-plus points on any given night is valuable.
Austin Rivers and Lou Williams made jumps in the rankings last week, based on the assumption that they'd be carrying more of the offensive load with Blake Griffin out. They've done even better than expected, especially Rivers, so both move up more this week.
Kawhi Leonard, like Thomas, is slowly easing his way up the rankings as his return nears. Leonard, himself, said that he should be back soon, and if he returns near normal speed, then he's easily a top-20 player.
Jimmy Butler moved up a couple of slots, as he has settled in as the primary scoring option as well as a strong floor general figure for the Timberwolves. He's not quite what he was in Chicago last season, but he is getting close.
Carmelo Anthony has scored in single digits in his past two games, and the Thunder won both games. While the sample is tiny, and I'm sure that Anthony will start getting shots again, there has been press buzz about his unselfishness. Since Anthony doesn't do a lot outside of scoring, if his scoring volume decreases at all, then his overall value drops.
Having Anthony Davis on your fantasy team can be nerve-wracking. He's never suffered a major injury, but he seems like he always has a minor issue to deal with. He's been excellent all season, but his current groin/pelvis issue is enough to finally drop him a few slots.
Kristaps Porzingis is the Unicorn, and he says that he's a lizard because of how quickly he recovers from injury, but ... he had a strong start last season, only to struggle with a lingering injury in the second half of the season that kept him either out or attenuated. Thus, his current injury woes were enough to drop him a handful of slots as well.
Nikola Jokic is another unique big in the Porzingis vein, as far as talent goes, but he has never proved that he can play major minutes for a whole season. He has been up-and-down this season, and his current injury was enough for him to slide slightly as well.
Rudy Gobert returned early from his injury, which was enough to move him back up the rankings to a more usual position.
Al Horford has been playing strong ball. He's better in roto than points-based, because of his diverse game, but his overall level has been enough to move him up the rankings a bit.
Hassan Whiteside's knee injury has already lingered a bit and has been left open-ended enough that he slid more than 10 spots in the rankings.