Cover Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Once you bring home the NBA MVP trophy, awarded to the best player in the league each season, the bar is set extremely high. It gets even higher when you're the reigning MVP like James Harden and is so high in the sky when you're in the conversation for the greatest player of all time a la LeBron James.

But the two former MVPs haven't played the part thus far this season, with their latest MVP odds moving in the wrong direction. And as the two former MVPs fall, Giannis rises.

James can't be considered a disappointment while averaging 27.8 points per game, 6.7 assists and 7.7 rebounds. If anyone else in the world was putting up those numbers, they'd likely be the favorite for the MVP. ​He continues to prove that he's an all-time great pushing the Lakers into fifth place in a loaded Western Conference.

Harden, on the other hand, is nowhere near where he once was. After coming into the season with the fourth-best odds, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, he now sits at +1500, being surpassed by Stephen Curry (+600) and Joel Embiid (+1100).

But if you look at Harden's stat line, it's hard to comprehend. He's averaging more than 30 points per game with near identical assist and field-goal percentage numbers as last season. He'a also increased his 3-point field goal percentage. But the kicker is that he's averaging a career-high in turnovers and the Rockets sit at 13th in the West.

There's plenty of basketball yet to be played, but these two former MVPs are being outshined by other stars at the quarter pole of the season.

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Dan O'Shea is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Dan O'Shea also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Doshea93. While the strategies and player selection recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and plater selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.