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Greetings, and happy hump day, everyone! We have nine games on tap in the association, and we, of course, have plenty to talk about! We have six games with projected totals over 215 points, a Spurs with a total yet to be posted, and a Pistons/Jazz matchup that is likely to be a low-scoring slogfests. As always, injury news will be important to monitor. 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.

Anthony Davis, PF/C, New Orleans Pelicans

Projected Minutes

Team Total

DvP

FPPG Allowed

Usage Rate

DK Projection

FD Projection

36 111 15 45.2 28.68 52.18 52.88

DK Salary: $10,800 / FD Salary: $11,800

It isn't often that I include a stud in my GPP article, mostly because I prefer building balanced lineups in tournaments, but I feel like there is a great opportunity here to take advantage of an ownership angle with the New Orleans frontcourt with DeMarcus Cousins coming off his monster 100+ fantasy point outing. Davis, himself, was solid against the Bulls in that game, posting 34 points with five assists and six boards, but that will be overlooked by most. With the exception of his dud against the Hawks, Davis has been outstanding of late, posting 57.75, 43.5, 75, and 83.75 fantasy points in four of his last five games. In two of those five games, both overtime affairs, Davis hoisted at least 30 field goal attempts and 15 free throw attempts, to go along with double-digit rebounds. We obviously know the upside is there for him, as we have seen it countless times this season, so there really is no reason why he should be being overlooked, outside of the dominance Cousins showed last time out. While Cousins gets all the credit for being a great rebounder, people should be reminded that Davis is no slouch, either. He is 12th in the NBA in rebounding chances per game at 17.2 and his is converting at an impressive 61.3 percent rate.

The Charlotte Hornets have their own rebounding machine in the paint with Dwight Howard and I expect him, for reasons I outline below, to be a great option tonight, as well. He should spend time trying to lock up DeMarcus Cousins, a job he has been successful at in the past, meaning Davis should have free reign to steamroll the likes of Marvin Williams and Frank Kaminsky. After getting demolished by Skal Labissiere just a couple of nights ago, the Hornets power forward defensive numbers have fallen into the tank. They now rank 29th in defensive efficiency to the position over the last ten games, giving up 26 points, 10.5 rebounds, four assists, a combined 1.9 blocks and steals, while allowing opposing power forwards to shoot 50.5 percent from the floor during that span. Charlotte is giving up 43.7 rebounds per game to opponents this season, which is slightly worse than league average, but they are giving up the seventh-most rebounds (24.4) per game to the forward position over the last ten games. Charlotte's recent weakness against power forwards is a trend that I am going to continue to ride for the time being, and Davis is my favorite stud to target in GPPs tonight.

Dwight Howard, C, Charlotte Hornets

Projected Minutes

Team Total

DvP

FPPG Allowed

Usage Rate

DK Projection

FD Projection

32

113

8

49.1

20.03

38.97

39.09

DK Salary: $8,200 / FD Salary: $9,200

I promised y'all some Dwight Howard Love, and some Dwight Howard love you will get! I have been using centers against the Pelicans for the majority of the season, and with much success, so why stop now? Look, I get that there is risk associated with taking anyone that has to battle DeMarcus Cousins down low, mostly with foul trouble, but there is also plenty of upside to be had! Howard, especially, is an interesting option tonight as he has been on an absolute tear recently, averaging 44 fantasy points on 14.3 PPG and 15.5 RPG. Coming off his 14 points, 16 rebounds, six blocks performance against the Kings, Dwight is now on a streak of five consecutive double-doubles. Additionally, Howard has double-doubles in eight of his last ten outings. His minutes, of late, have been solid, averaging 33.2 over his last six games, and he will spend plenty of time on the court tonight to match up against Cousins. Howard is third in the NBA in rebounding chances, with 20.9, and he is converting 60.1 percent of those chances this season. His 4.2 second-chance points per game rank fifth in the NBA and he is 11th in the NBA with 10.7 points per game in the paint. The matchup against Cousins is one that he has succeeded in previously, with 41.8 and 52.5 fantasy points in two of their four matchups over the last three seasons. There are two really poor games in there as well, so I don't want to cherry pick data, and it should be noted these games took place with Howard on the Rockets and Hawks, with Cousins in Sacramento, so do with that data what you want.

While the Pelicans are one of the worst matchups, normally, in the NBA for opposing big men, giving up only 49.1 fantasy points per game to the position, they do have their weaknesses down low. They are giving up 43.6 rebounds per game to opponents, 46 points in the paint, and 13.9 second-chance points. They rank 16th in defensive efficiency to the position over the last ten games, and they rank as a 24th percentile defense against post-ups. While Howard isn't terribly efficient posting up, averaging 5.1 points per game on the play type, it is a weakness he can exploit. In addition to Howard, I feel like we could see solid games out of Frank Kaminsky or Marvin Williams, with my lean towards Kaminsky who could get extra run against Davis.

Ben Simmons, PG/SF/PF, Philadelphia 76ers

Projected Minutes

Team Total

DvP

FPPG Allowed

Usage Rate

DK Projection

FD Projection

27

112.75

21

47.2

25.08

47.00

47.19

DK Salary: $7,600 / FD Salary: $8,700

The Ben Simmons DFS freefall has to come to an end at some point, right? Well, we would be hard-pressed to find a better spot for that to happen, as the Sixers face the Bulls tonight. Maybe he has hit the "rookie wall", maybe teams have figured out how to defend against him, maybe it is a combination of multiple factors, but Simmons has been downright terrible at times over the past couple of months. Over his last four games, for instance, Simmons is only averaging 26.8 fantasy points per game. There has been a drop in his free throw attempts, rebounds, and assists over that span which definitely explains why his fantasy production has been down. Tonight, however, Simmons will be given plenty of opportunities to succeed, as head coach Brett Brown has stated that Simmons will have to play more minutes to make up for T.J. McConnell being out. With McConnell, Fultz, and Redick off the floor this season, Simmons is averaging 1.07 fantasy points per minute with a 24.4 percent usage rate. While this is a matchup that Simmons has excelled in before, posting 19 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists against the Bulls earlier this season, it should be noted that Embiid sat that game out.

The Bulls have been a punching bag for point guards all season, giving up the third most fantasy points per game to the position, and over the last ten days, they have ranked 30th in defensive efficiency to the position. During that time, they have surrendered 30 points, 7.1 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 2.7 combined blocks and steals, and have allowed point guards to connect on 50.7 percent of their field goal attempts. His price has fallen to a point where I absolutely cannot ignore him anymore, and the matchup makes him so much more appealing. Of course, Joel Embiid is in an amazing spot tonight, as well, and we can consider Dario Saric as another solid option.

Wesley Matthews, SG/SF, Dallas Mavericks

Projected Minutes

Team Total

DvP

FPPG Allowed

Usage Rate

DK Projection

FD Projection

34

105

25

42.2

18.32

25.44

24.56

DK Salary: $4,300 / FD Salary: $5,100

The Dallas Mavericks are never a popular source of fantasy options, but that shouldn't be the case, with plenty of fantasy goodness to go around tonight. While Dennis Smith Jr. is getting all the hype of late, and rightfully so, guys like Wesley Matthews and Harrison Barnes often go overlooked. Matthews is an interesting mid-range target tonight with the Mavericks facing the Houston Rockets in what should be a fast-paced affair. We already know that the Rockets play fast, averaging a pace of 102.5 this season, but the Mavericks have been playing faster of late, as well, and they are averaging a pace of 97.24 on the season. Matthews has been a very consistent source of fantasy value of late, posting at least 20 fantasy points in nine of his last ten games, and he has flashed plenty of upside with 34.75, 37.5, and 36.75 fantasy points in that span of games. Matthews has double-digit field goal attempts in nine of the last ten, at least six three-point attempts in eight of those ten games, and has always been a source of defensive statistics, as well. Matthews has some interesting home/road splits that he has exhibited since joining the Mavericks, and this season, he is shooting 42 percent from the floor and 41.3 percent from three at home, compared to 39.3 and 34.4 percent on the road. He shot terribly against the Rockets the last time these teams played, connecting on only three of his eleven attempts, but was still able to put up 21 fantasy points in that game.

While the Rockets defense has been solid at times, they have shown weaknesses against wings and spot-up shooters this season. Houston ranks 25th in fantasy points allowed to shooting guards this season, they have allowed opponents to shoot 37.1 percent from beyond-the-arc against them, and they are the third-worst team in the NBA defending spot-up shooters. They are giving up 22 points per game on spot-ups this season. Given their weaknesses against players like Matthews, and the expected pace of this game, Matthews makes for an excellent, and underpriced, option tonight.

Montrezl Harrell, PF/C, Los Angeles Clippers

Projected Minutes

Team Total

DvP

FPPG Allowed

Usage Rate

DK Projection

FD Projection

30

-

10

41.2

22.52

31.27

32.05

DK Salary: $4,700 / FD Salary: $4,900

With DeAndre Jordan doubtful for tonight's game, Montrezl Harrell finds himself once again in a position to succeed. With the exception of one game against the Jazz, Harrell has been playing a heap of minutes in Jordan's absence and he has not disappointed. He is coming off a 32 fantasy point outing against the Timberwolves and has put up over 30 fantasy points in four of his last six games. He is high-energy, athletic big that is unstoppable as a rim runner. While he doesn't have the greatest of matchups against the Boston Celtics and their strong defense, they have shown a weakness against players of his style this season. They are only giving up 50.76 fantasy points per game to centers, and 41.2 to power forwards, but they are allowing opponents to pull down 44.1 rebounds and 41.7 points in the paint per game. They are especially weak against the roll man in the pick-and-roll, ranking as a 24th percentile defense against the play, and post-ups where they are a 13.8 percentile defense. Harrell ranks in the 94th percentile among players with the NBA in roll man efficiency and he is about league average on post-ups. There isn't a lot to like in the value price range tonight, making Harrell a very intriguing option.



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