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One Day Fantasy Baseball One Day Fantasy Baseball

The NBA is back tonight and we have a rather interesting two-game slate to kick things off! We get a narrative game with Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics taking on the team he requested a trade from, the Cleveland Cavaliers. We also have the Houston Rockets heading to the Bay Area to take on the Golden State Warriors in what should be an incredibly high-scoring game. Vegas has both of these contests projected to stay fairly close so we should be in line for a great night of basketball. With the Rockets/ Warriors game pegged at a 230.5 O/U it makes sense to get a lot of exposure to that game tonight, while sprinkling in some players from the Boston/Cleveland game.

James Harden, SG, Houston Rockets

Projected Minutes

Team Total

DvP

FPPG Allowed

Usage Rate

DK Projection

FD Projection

29 110.5 15 37.6 - 48.51 46.55

DK Salary: $10,000 / FD Salary: $11,000

Coming off a second-round exit in the playoffs, and a nuclear arms race in the Western Conference, the Houston Rockets elected to get James Harden some extra help this season as they hope to knock off the all-powerful Golden State Warriors. They added arguably one of the best PGs in the game in Chris Paul while adding two defensive-minded forwards with P.J. Tucker and Luc Mbah a Moute. The addition of Paul has led many to believe that Harden will take a huge step back in production versus last season, and that thinking should allow us to get Harden at lower ownership tonight. It is going to take some time for Paul and Harden to get used to playing together, but if the preseason is any indication, Harden will still shoulder much of the load offensively for this team as those two feel each other out. Harden posted a 33 percent usage rate while on the floor with Paul in 38 minutes this preseason, while averaging over 1.3 fantasy points per minute during that time together. Those numbers are obviously lower than his over 1.6 fantasy points per minute he averaged last season, but that shouldn't scare us off too much as his price is also much lower than it was for the majority of last season. Harden had some up-and-down performances against Golden State last season, scoring 75.3, 41, 61.3, and 45.5 fantasy points against them, and given the new playmaking ability of this offense, I expect Harden to put up a great game.

Klay Thompson, SG, Golden State Warriors

Projected Minutes

Team Total

DvP

FPPG Allowed

Usage Rate

DK Projection

FD Projection

32

120

27

37.1

-

37.57

35.85

DK Salary: $6,200 / FD Salary: $6,800

As I mentioned above, tonight's matchup between the Rockets and Warriors is expected to be a high-scoring affair, and Klay Thompson is an excellent way to save salary while also getting exposure to the game. Chris Paul will presumably be defending Stephen Curry for the majority of the night, meaning Thompson will be "guarded" by James Harden for the majority of the night. As we all know from last season, James Harden's defense is the equivalent of an airport turnstile, which is a situation we definitely want to take advantage of. Thompson averaged 19 points, 5 boards, and just over two dimes in his four games against Houston last year while scoring over 40 fantasy points in two of those contests. During the preseason, Thompson lit the nets on fire shooting 54.5 percent from beyond-the-arc and while I don't expect Thompson to continue shooting over 50 percent from three, I do expect that he will have a great night and will likely go overlooked based on how roster construction should shake out.

Kevin Love, PF/C, Cleveland Cavaliers

Projected Minutes

Team Total

DvP

FPPG Allowed

Usage Rate

DK Projection

FD Projection

30

104.5

8

48.1

-

32.09

31.87

DK Salary: $7,800 / FD Salary: $7,000

Kevin Love comes into tonight as a player who could be rather popular but has an immense amount of upside in his matchup against the Celtics. Love will get the start at center for the new look Cavaliers, and he will spend the majority of the time against Al Horford and Jayson Tatum in the paint. The Celtics will struggle to defend big men that can stretch the floor, and they will struggle on the glass, which are two areas where Love can exploit them tonight. Love pulled down 26.3 percent of opponent rebounds last season, which ranks in the 94th percentile among PFs, while the Celtics ranked in the 23rd percentile in offensive rebounding, meaning Love should have a chance at double-digit rebounds tonight, a mark he eclipsed twice in three matchups against Boston last season. In addition to his rebounding, Love will be relied upon heavily for his mid-range and perimeter shooting as the Cavaliers replaced J.R. Smith (coming off the bench) and Kyrie Irving with two-sub par perimeter shooters this offseason. Love stands to benefit even more if LeBron is unable to suit up tonight, and while he will likely garner a decent amount of ownership at a weak PF position, he should be a player we lock in tonight as he is a safe bet to exceed value at his salary.

Jaylen Brown, SG/SF, Boston Celtics

Projected Minutes

Team Total

DvP

FPPG Allowed

Usage Rate

DK Projection

FD Projection

30

104.25

9

42.1

-

24.6024.30

DK Salary: $3,700 / FD Salary: $3,700

According to coach Stevens, Jaylen Brown is expected to get the start tonight against the Cavaliers, alongside Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, and Al Horford. Both Brown and Tatum will garner some ownership, although I think Brown will get less attention to Tatum, there just aren't a lot of places to go for salary relief on a two-game slate. The second-year forward has impressed many in the preseason, and Brown looks to benefit a lot from an offense that wants to push the pace. Brown flashed glimpses of upside last season, especially in transition, where he shot 58.4 percent. That continued into the preseason where early on he showed he was confident forcing defenders to backpedal as he drove to the basket. I specifically mention the how Brown performed in transition last season because the Cavaliers were really bad at times in defending plays in transition. On the season, the Cavaliers ranked 21st out of the 32 NBA teams in points allowed per possession and things aren't looking any better for them with their slew of additions this season. Another one of Brown's strengths is attacking defenders in the paint, specifically within three feet of the basket, where he shot 61.4 percent from the floor last season.The Cavaliers have allowed opponents to shoot an extremely-high 65.8 percent this preseason within five feet of the basket, meaning Brown should be able to get in the paint and score with ease. That was a lot of advanced statistics to digest, but it should illustrate how much I like his potential tonight. It should be noted that Brown's usage has been fairly low this preseason, so there is bust potential if he doesn't get the ball in his hands, but he has the ability to pay off his incredibly cheap salary using his particular skill set against the Cavaliers.



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