Big names are on the move as we enter the race to the finish in fantasy hoops, and none are bigger than Russell Westbrook.
Oklahoma City's superstar edges past Houston's James Harden for the top spot this week after averaging 38.2 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists, 2.4 steals and 2.4 3s in his last five games.
As great as Harden has been and continues to be during Westbrook's torrid stretch, it's not enough to hold off the Thunder point guard any longer.
That's just one of the many storylines since the last rankings update, and there are plenty more.
Portland center Jusuf Nurkic is proving all of his believers right, moving all the way up to No. 39 after a week that was highlighted by a ridiculous 28-point, 20-rebound, 8-assist, 2-steal, 6-block performance in the win over Philadelphia. He has exceeded all expectations from a fantasy perspective since being dealt to the Trail Blazers and earns the big leap up the rankings.
The other big riser is Minnesota point guard Ricky Rubio, who is simply doing it all -- even shooting the 3-ball -- over the past few weeks. Rubio comes in right behind Nurkic at No. 40, having put up 17.4 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 12.4 APG, 1.8 SPG and 1.2 3PG in his last five games. The Timberwolves are probably glad they didn't trade him before the deadline. Most impressive about Rubio is his shooting; the career 37.4 percent shooter is at 44.2 percent in his last 10 games and has raised his season mark to 40.1 percent.
Dropping out of the rankings this week is San Antonio big man LaMarcus Aldridge, who is out indefinitely as he undergoes a battery of tests for heart arrhythmia. Pau Gasol becomes someone who can average something in the neighborhood of 15 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 block with Aldridge out of the lineup, elevating him to No. 55 this week.
Another injured big man to fall out of the rankings is Utah's Derrick Favors. Even before missing the last few games because of knee soreness, his numbers were underwhelming virtually all season long. Given how important it is to have healthy players who can be counted on during the fantasy playoffs, Favors is simply too risky to own in anything other than leagues with 14 teams or more.
Looking ahead, the status of Kevin Love (114) and Kevin Durant (135) are two of the most important things to watch carefully. Love is said to be close to a return, and that will have a direct impact on LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Channing Frye, but Durant isn't expected back until the end of the month, making him a very risky player to hold on to in leagues that don't have an IR spot, especially those with lineups that lock weekly. Consider that carefully before deciding whether to play the waiting game with KD.
Lastly, don't forget to pay close attention to the amount of games each team plays in the weeks ahead. The Knicks, for example, play a league-low two games this week, which limits the value of their top fantasy options like Kristaps Porzingis, Carmelo Anthony and Willy Hernangomez. On the flip side, the Clippers are the team to load up on next week -- if your team is still alive -- as they play a league-high five games in a week when every other team is limited to three or four games.
Here is the full rundown of the updated Top 150 rankings: