Difference-makers to consider

The Top 130

Note: Brian McKitish's top 130 players are ranked for their fantasy value from this point forward in the 2012-13 NBA season. Previous rank is indicated in parentheses.

1. Kevin Durant, OKC (1)
2. LeBron James, MIA (2)
3. Chris Paul, LAC (3)
4. James Harden, HOU (5)
5. Russell Westbrook, OKC (4)
6. Stephen Curry, GS (6)
7. Kobe Bryant, LAL (8)
8. Dwyane Wade, MIA (9)
9. Kyrie Irving, CLE (10)
10. Paul George, IND (13)
11. Carmelo Anthony, NY (11)
12. Marc Gasol, MEM (14)
13. Serge Ibaka, OKC (12)
14. Ty Lawson, DEN (17)
15. Nicolas Batum, POR (7)
16. Joakim Noah, CHI (25)
17. Brandon Jennings, MIL (34)
18. Dirk Nowitzki, DAL (16)
19. Paul Pierce, BOS (21)
20. Brook Lopez, BKN (19)
21. Josh Smith, ATL (18)
22. Jrue Holiday, PHI (20)
23. Al Horford, ATL (26)
24. David Lee, GS (22)
25. Jeff Teague, ATL (23)
26. Damian Lillard, POR (32)
27. LaMarcus Aldridge, POR (24)
28. Blake Griffin, LAC (27)
29. Larry Sanders, MIL (30)
30. Ersan Ilyasova, MIL (29)
31. Ricky Rubio, MIN (33)
32. Rudy Gay, TOR (15)
33. Deron Williams, BKN (35)
34. Greg Monroe, DET (28)
35. Al Jefferson, UTAH (31)
36. Mike Conley, MEM (39)
37. Greivis Vasquez, NO (41)
38. Kemba Walker, CHA (37)
39. Kevin Garnett, BOS (40)
40. Goran Dragic, PHO (42)
41. Dwight Howard, LAL (43)
42. J.R. Smith, NY (51)
43. Monta Ellis, MIL (53)
44. Anthony Davis, NO (49)
45. Klay Thompson, GS (52)
46. Danilo Gallinari, DEN (46)
47. Ryan Anderson, NO (44)
48. John Wall, WSH (36)
49. Zach Randolph, MEM (45)
50. Chris Bosh, MIA (47)
51. DeMarcus Cousins, SAC (38)
52. Tim Duncan, SA (55)
53. Nikola Vucevic, ORL (57)
54. Jose Calderon, DET (48)
55. George Hill, IND (54)
56. Jameer Nelson, ORL (66)
57. Bradley Beal, WSH (79)
58. Kyle Lowry, TOR (50)
59. Kenneth Faried, DEN (56)
60. Isaiah Thomas, SAC (64)
61. Chandler Parsons, HOU (75)
62. Paul Millsap, UTAH (58)
63. Wesley Matthews, POR (62)
64. Luol Deng, CHI (60)
65. Andre Iguodala, DEN (70)
66. Thaddeus Young, PHI (85)
67. Tyreke Evans, SAC (61)
68. David West, IND (69)
69. Roy Hibbert, IND (73)
70. Tyson Chandler, NY (65)
71. Jeremy Lin, HOU (67)
72. Omer Asik, HOU (72)
73. Tristan Thompson, CLE (74)
74. O.J. Mayo, DAL (76)
75. J.J. Hickson, POR (77)
76. Jamal Crawford, LAC (78)
77. Carlos Boozer, CHI (71)
78. Manu Ginobili, SA (82)
79. Steve Nash, LAL (68)
80. Daniel Green, SA (83)
81. Kawhi Leonard, SA (86)
82. Joe Johnson, BKN (80)
83. Jeff Green, BOS (84)
84. Kevin Martin, OKC (81)
85. Nikola Pekovic, MIN (63)
86. Evan Turner, PHI (87)
87. Jarrett Jack, GS (59)
88. Emeka Okafor, WSH (88)
89. Raymond Felton, NY (90)
90. Kevin Love, MIN (91)
91. Amir Johnson, TOR (93)
92. Arron Afflalo, ORL (95)
93. Marcus Thornton, SAC (99)
94. Eric Gordon, NO (100)
95. Gordon Hayward, UTAH (96)
96. DeMar DeRozan, TOR (98)
97. Shawn Marion, DAL (102)
98. Andrei Kirilenko, MIN (92)
99. Nene Hilario, WSH (104)
100. Derrick Williams, MIN (116)
101. Brandon Knight, DET (117)
102. Mo Williams, UTAH (NR)
103. Carlos Delfino, HOU (101)
104. J.J. Redick, MIL (107)
105. Jermaine O'Neal, PHO (125)
106. Tobias Harris, ORL (120)
107. Dion Waiters, CLE (105)
108. Moe Harkless, ORL (114)
109. Luke Ridnour, MIN (115)
110. Metta World Peace, LAL (110)
111. Gerald Henderson, CHA (113)
112. Derrick Favors, UTAH (121)
113. Al-Farouq Aminu, NO (NR)
114. Jason Thompson, SAC (NR)
115. Nate Robinson, CHI (112)
116. Danny Granger, IND (97)
117. Vince Carter, DAL (119)
118. Tony Allen, MEM (123)
119. Derrick Rose, CHI (118)
120. Trevor Ariza, WSH (126)
121. Kyle Korver, ATL (103)
122. Andrew Bogut, GS (NR)
123. Andre Drummond, DET (124)
124. Jason Kidd, NY (NR)
125. Devin Harris, ATL (NR)
126. Dorell Wright, PHI (NR)
127. JaVale McGee, DEN (NR)
128. Avery Bradley, BOS (130)
129. Wilson Chandler, DEN (NR)
130. Jason Terry, BOS (NR)

With just a little more than a month left in the season, it's time for owners to start preparing themselves for the stretch run. For some of you, that might mean you'll have to take more risks than you're used to. If you are still hovering in the middle of the pack or lower this late in the season, you will have to make some drastic moves to get back into the race.

That may include dropping players who aren't getting the job done, even if you've relied on them all season. I don't know about you, but if I'm within striking distance of the leaders and still have some ground to make up, I'm not going to be waiting around for players who aren't getting it done when there are plenty of viable options waiting on the waiver wire.

Unfortunately, the trade deadline has already passed in most fantasy leagues, so the only way you can improve your squad is through the waiver wire. With that in mind, let's take a look at some players who have been bouncing on and off the most-added/dropped list over the past few weeks:

• Just in case there's any confusion, Bradley Beal should not be available in any leagues despite the fact that he's missed his past three games with an ankle injury. Make no mistake, as soon as Beal is ready to return, he'll be earning big time minutes for the 20-41 Wizards. Beal was averaging a cool 20.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 2.1 3-pointers in his past seven games before going down with the injury. If someone dropped him in your league, get him as soon as possible.

• I would be worried about how Derrick Williams will fare once the Timberwolves are fully healthy, but with all the injury-prone guys on this roster, I'm starting to think he might be safe for the rest of the season even when Kevin Love returns to the lineup. With 18.0 points, 8.6 rebounds, 0.7 steals, 0.7 blocks and 0.8 3-pointers in nine games since the All-Star break, Williams is beginning to show flashes of the talent that made him the second overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft. With the 21-38 Wolves on the outside looking in at the playoff race, expect Williams to earn heavy minutes the rest of the way.

• I'd be lying if I didn't say I was a little worried about Marcus Thornton's relative lack of minutes catching up to him at some point, but I'm not going to argue with his averages of 19.9 points and 3.3 3-pointers in 27.7 minutes per game since the All-Star break. Like I said last week, Thornton is a great fantasy play when he's on the court, so owners should continue to ride him while he's hot. Teammate Isaiah Thomas, meanwhile, continues to rise in the rankings after posting 17.1 points, 5.2 assists, 1.3 steals and 2.0 3-pointers in his past 10 games.

Al-Farouq Aminu has been in and out of the top 130 throughout the course of the season, but a recent uptick in minutes has made him valuable once again. Aminu won't score much, but he can contribute on the defensive end in a big way when he's seeing minutes. With 7.0 points, 9.4 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 2.1 blocks in 32.7 minutes since the All-Star break, Aminu has been very productive for fantasy owners in recent action. With the New Orleans sitting in the basement in the Western Conference, I'd be shocked if they don't continue to give the 22-year-old plenty of run the rest of the way.

Mo Williams might be rusty for a week or two after missing 32 games with a thumb injury, but that oft-injured point guard should be added in all leagues after averaging 12.3 points, 6.5 assists, 0.8 steals and 1.3 3-pointers prior to the injury. Williams has averaged 6.0 points, 4.3 assists and 1.0 3-pointers in 26.0 minutes in three games since his return, and fantasy owners should expect his minutes and production to increase in the coming weeks.

• The 22-42 Phoenix Suns haven't offered us much fantasy value this season outside of Goran Dragic, but with Marcin Gortat potentially out for the season with a foot injury, we might actually find some more value here. Veteran 34-year-old Jermaine O'Neal has played surprisingly well in recent action, with 12.1 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in seven games since the All-Star break, and he's an intriguing pickup option if he can keep himself on the court. Those in deeper leagues may want to try their luck with one of the Morris twins, although I'm not sure anyone can predict if Marcus or Markieff is the better play. Marcus appears to have the upper hand at the moment, averaging 12.0 points, 1.8 steals and 1.6 3-pointers in 25.2 minutes in his past five games.

• I know that Andre Drummond still doesn't have an official timetable for his return, but I'd still keep him rostered in most leagues given his upside. Remember, Drummond averaged 8.8 points, 9.2 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 2.0 blocks in only 22.2 minutes in the month of January before going down with a back injury. Obviously there is quite a bit of upside in Drummond, so he should be able to offer some value during the stretch run even if the Pistons play it safe and hold him out for another week or two.

• In eight games since joining the Magic, Tobias Harris has averaged 15.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 0.9 steals, 1.0 blocks and 1.0 3-pointers in 27.8 minutes per game. That's a lot of production for the 20-year-old, so owners should be patient with his night-to-night inconsistencies that can be blamed almost entirely on foul trouble. I don't think Harris will suddenly learn how to curb his fouling tendencies before the season is through, but he should remain valuable thanks to his tremendous per-minute production.