In alphabetical order:
Tyson Chandler, New York Knicks
If you haven't read Nate Taylor's excellent New York Times article about Chandler's "new rebounding strategy," you're probably skeptical of seeing him on an MVP contenders list.
Those tap-back rebounds, however, are one of the reasons the Knicks' four-out, one-in system works so effectively. Throw in the fact Chandler ranks fifth in the league in win shares (5.8), according to Basketball Reference, and you've got a legitimate fringe MVP contender in the making.
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
The Warriors' four-game win streak was snapped in the 115-89 thrashing at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers on Jan. 5, but aside from that game, Curry has been on fire lately.
He dropped 31 points, eight assists and six rebounds against the Clips three nights earlier, and he had 22 points, nine assists, four rebounds, three steals and two blocks on Dec. 29 against Boston. He's averaging 20.1 points, 6.5 dimes and 4.3 boards per game on the season.
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
In case you haven't noticed, the Portland Trail Blazers are currently sitting in the eighth spot in the Western Conference, largely due to their rookie point guard Lillard, who's averaging 18.2 points, 6.5 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game.
He's playing a huge number of minutes per game (38.1) and Portland is entering a rough four-game stretch, which could knock him back out of the MVP race soon enough. For now, though, he deserves a hint of recognition for how well he's playing as a rookie and how well the Trail Blazers are playing as a result.
Zach Randolph, Memphis Grizzlies
Randolph didn't have a great start to January, only putting up six points and eight boards in a Jan. 2 win over the Boston Celtics and then missing a Jan. 4 game against the Portland Trail Blazers due to illness.
He bounced back in the Grizzlies' next two games, though, putting up a combined 38 points and 15 rebounds. Z-Bo currently ranks third in the league with 12 rebounds per game.
Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics
The Celtics appear poised to go on another one of their patented mid-season hot streaks after a slow start to the season, which could only help Rondo rise into the top 10 of these rankings.
He busted out a triple-double of 14 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists against the Atlanta Hawks on Jan. 5, but he also earned a one-game suspension for coming in contact with a referee and failing to cooperate with the league's investigation.
Dropped from rankings: Jrue Holiday, Philadelphia 76ers
Just missed the cut: Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers; Josh Smith, Atlanta Hawks