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A new week of basketball is upon us and as we approach the trade deadline things will heat up in the NBA. It is Monday so we have a pretty large slate on tap, with nine games in the association tonight. Every game on tonight's slate should be projected to score over 200 points with Chicago and New Orleans being in the highest projected total (226.5) of the night. We have a whole lot of players listed questionable tonight, too many to list here, and we have Giannis Antetokounmpo, Marquese Chriss and Kris Dunn already ruled out. In addition to injuries, we must start paying attention to trade rumors and news. The February 8th trade deadline is approaching fast and there are many players on tonight's slate that are rumored to be on the trading block. The best advice I can give for those playing the next couple of weeks is to turn on tweet notifications for @Wojespn, @ShamsCharania, @WindhorstESPN, and @TheSteinLine to make sure you get all the latest trade rumors pushed directly to you the moment they happen.

Damian Lillard, PG, Portland Trail Blazers

Projected Minutes

Team Total

DvP

FPPG Allowed

Usage Rate

DK Projection

FD Projection

36 103.75 25 47.2 29.07 45.32 43.65

DK Salary: $8,800 / FD Salary: $9,300

Whether you want to consider Lillard an excellent play because of the matchup, or you want to ride the #AllStarSnub narrative, the fact remains that Lillard is in a spot to smash tonight. Lillard continued to build his All-Star resume with a 31 point, 9 assists performance against the Mavericks on Saturday and will look to continue his impressive play against the Nuggets. Lillard has now scored 30-plus real points in two of his last three games and has scored at least 20 points in six consecutive outings. Over his last six games, he has averaged 36.3 minutes and has shot 50.5 percent from the field. He has struggled, at times, with his 3-point shot but he went 7-of-9 from beyond-the-arc against the Mavericks on Saturday. He now has at least 50 fantasy points in two of his last three games, and three of his last six games, and five of his last ten. Dame is one of the league's top pick-and-roll ball handlers, averaging 12.5 points per game out of the pick-and-roll, and is outstanding in isolation, as well, averaging almost four points per game.

While early on this season it looked like we would finally have to stop picking on Denver with point guards, due to their defensive scheme that brought both Jokic and Millsap up to trap the pick-and-roll, things have taken a turn for the worse and we are back to days of taking just about any point guards we can find against them. Denver ranks 25th in the NBA in fantasy points allowed to point guards, giving up 47.2 per game, and they are giving up .87 points per play to the pick-and-roll ball handler. They are only giving up 14 points per game out of the pick-and-roll, the eighth fewest in the NBA, but they are allowing opponents to shoot 45.7 percent coming out of it and are a 24th percentile defense defending the pick-and-roll. They are the third-worst team defending in isolation this season, as well, and are allowing 7.5 points per game and 44.4 percent shooting to players in isolation situations. Over the last ten games, Denver has surrendered 23 points, 5.6 rebounds, 8.9 assists, 2.6 combined blocks and steals to point guards, and they have allowed them to shoot 43.9 percent from three-point range and 50.6 percent overall. I expect Dame, and his backcourt partner CJ McCollum to torch the Nuggets tonight.

Jrue Holiday, PG/SG, New Orleans Pelicans

Projected Minutes

Team Total

DvP

FPPG Allowed

Usage Rate

DK Projection

FD Projection

36

115.75

22

47.2

22.86

39.90

39.50

DK Salary: $7,200 / FD Salary: $8,300

After posting at least 47 fantasy points in four of his last five games, it is time to recognize Jrue Holiday as a legitimate threat in this offense, and one that can produce even with Cousins and Davis in the lineup. Holiday now has at least 16 field goal attempts in four consecutive outings, and over his last six games he has shot the lights out, connecting on 57 percent of his attempts, and has averaged almost 40 minutes per game. Holiday has been chipping in with peripheral stats, as well, and has five or more assists in five of the last ten games and multiple steals in six of the last ten. Holiday has been a catalyst in a Pelicans offense that has averaged 112.4 points over their last five games. Additionally, Holiday has eclipsed the 40 fantasy point mark in four of the last five games. This is a great matchup for the entire Pelicans squad, with DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis likely sharing the limelight, and Holiday possibly being the overlooked third option.

While the Bulls offense has been impressive of late, averaging 114.6 points per game over their last five games, their defense has struggled and allowed 110.2 over that span. They are surrendering 108.6 points per game to opponents, on the season, and rank near the bottom of the NBA in defense versus position to both point guards and shooting guards. Chicago is surrendering the second-most fantasy points per game to shooting guards, allowing 45.5 per game, and they rank 30th in defensive efficiency to the position over the last ten games. During that time, they have allowed 33.1 points, 7.4 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 1.9 steals. Opposing shooting guards have connected on a staggering 46.2 percent of their three-point attempts in those ten games while connecting on 50 percent of their overall attempts. Holiday should continue his current hot streak tonight, oh, and he is facing off against his brother Justin tonight.

Ricky Rubio, PG, Utah Jazz

Projected Minutes

Team Total

DvP

FPPG Allowed

Usage Rate

DK Projection

FD Projection

28

103.75

19

45.3

21

28.56

27.94

DK Salary: $5,200 / FD Salary: $5,400

The return of Rudy Gobert will likely put a damper on several of the players in the Utah Jazz offense, and of course, makes this a tough matchup for their opponents, but one player on the Utah side of the ball that has benefited from Rudy Gobert playing is Ricky Rubio. It hasn't been an enjoyable season for Rubio in Utah, as I referenced last week that reporters are claiming he looks like he lost his passion for the game, but with Gobert back, he has started to turn things around. Rubio has posted back-to-back solid outings, with 30 or more fantasy points in both games against the Clippers and Knicks, and has 11 field goal attempts in both games. Now, Rubio will, of course, cede usage to his backcourt mate Donovan Mitchell, but in 47.1 minutes with Mitchell, Rubio, Gobert, Favors, and Ingles on the floor (the starting lineup they used last game), Rubio is posting a 27.4 percent usage rate with .90 fantasy points per minute. On the whole, Rubio has averaged 28.8 fantasy points per game this season when Gobert has played, compared to 24 per game in games Gobert missed, so it seems he enjoys having the Stifle Tower on the floor with him. In addition to receiving a boost with Gobert back on the floor, we could see additional opportunities for Rubio if Rodney Hood sits tonight's game out. Without Hood on the floor this season, Rubio is posting .97 fantasy points per minute with a 23.1 percent usage rate.

While the Hawks only rank 19th in the NBA with 45.3 fantasy points allowed to point guards per game, their inability to defend the pick-and-roll makes Rubio an intriguing target. The Hawks are allowing opposing ball-handlers to rack up .89 points per play on the pick-and-roll, a total of 15.5 points per game, and they are allowing second-highest FG% (46.2%) to shooters coming out of the pick-and-roll. For the most part, opponents are torching the Hawks on above-the-break three-pointers, mid-range attempts, and paint points. Rubio is attempting 34 percent of his shots between 5 and 14 feet of the rim, where the Hawks are allowing opponents to shoot 42.8 percent. With Rubio's price hovering around the $5K mark, he is just a little too cheap for the upside he has in this matchup.

Robin Lopez, C, Chicago Bulls

Projected Minutes

Team Total

DvP

FPPG Allowed

Usage Rate

DK Projection

FD Projection

26

109.25

9

49.1

15.34

22.82

23.13

DK Salary: $4,500 / FD Salary: $4,400

Much like it always is, the center position on both sites is loaded with top-tier talent, and is fairly slim pickins' once we start hunting for value. That being said, Robin Lopez comes in as a very intriguing value center option on tonight's slate. Now, I understand that his previous game against the Pelicans was an overtime outing but bear with me here as I work through why I like him. First off, we know that he will have to play big minutes tonight, assuming he stays out of foul trouble, to matchup with Cousins and Davis down low. He isn't a prolific rebounding big man, which does hurt his ability to produce at times, but he has been solid on the offensive end of the floor this season. Of late, Lopez has started to heat up and has shot 68.5 percent from the floor over his last five games. He is only averaging 28.1 minutes per game over that span, and 24.2 fantasy points per game, but he has double-digit field goal attempts in four of those five games, which is a promising statistic to look at. Lopez is averaging .88 fantasy points per minute, and a 24.7 percent usage rate, with Kris Dunn off the floor this season, which is a solid 3.2 percent and 2.36 fantasy points per 36-minute boost.

While his matchup isn't terribly appealing, facing off against DeMarcus Cousins, there are some things to like here. The Pelicans do rank as a bottom-10 in fantasy points allowed to centers, surrendering only 49.1 per game, but over the last ten games, they have ranked 18th in defensive efficiency to the position, allowing 20.1 points, 13.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 2.8 combined blocks and steals. DeMarcus Cousins leads the NBA in turnovers per game, which further boosts Lopez's upside if he can snag a couple steals here, and the possibility for a heavy minutes load and increased usage make him an absolute steal at his current price tag.

Skal Labissiere, PF/C, Sacramento Kings

Projected Minutes

Team Total

DvP

FPPG Allowed

Usage Rate

DK Projection

FD Projection

31

100

26

45.2

19.11

16.43

16.53

DK Salary: $4,300 / FD Salary: $5,400

With head coach Dave Joerger and the Kings embracing their youth movement, we have seen more opportunities open up for guys like Skal Labissiere, Bogdan Bogdanovic, De'Aaron Fox, and Willie Cauley-Stein. While all of the names I just listed are interesting, it is Skal Labissiere that is the cheapest and has a heap of upside tonight. Now, I should preface the rest of this by saying that using Skal is still incredibly risky, as we won't know prior to tip which of the Kings' veterans are resting, and he sometimes needs a blowout to get run, but I am hoping that after his last few games he gets extended run. That being said, Skal has played over 20 minutes in eight of the last ten games and he has played over 25 minutes in back-to-back outings. When given the opportunity, Skal has produced, and the young big man is averaging .92 fantasy points per minute this season. In 59.2 minutes sharing the court alongside Fox and Cauley-Stein, Labissiere is posting a 22.9 percent usage rate and is averaging 1.13 fantasy points per minute. He has over 20 fantasy points in two of his last three games, and six of his last ten, including a 36.3 fantasy point outing against the Hornets the last time these two teams faced off.

The Charlotte Hornets have not been the world's best defense defending power forwards of late, as they have given up 24.5 points 11.2 rebounds 5.4 assists over their last ten games. They have given up the most fantasy points in the league over that span, allowing 54.71 per game, and have allowed opposing power forwards to shoot almost 50 percent from the floor. I like Skal's odds to put up a solid outing tonight, and given his fair price, I think he is an excellent GPP option.



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