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One Day Fantasy Baseball One Day Fantasy Baseball

The All-Star break is behind us and we have officially entered tank season! As teams enter the last leg of the season, we will see those at the bottom of the standings start to sit out stars and veterans to give young guys more minutes and teams at the top of the standings will start to clamp down on defense while also strategically resting players against bad opponents. Monitoring the news is incredibly important this time of year, and we have already seen teams like the Bulls start to change their lineups around to account for their tanking. Eight of the bottom ten teams in the "tank rankings" are in action tonight, making things difficult, but we do have plenty of great games to attack. We have a total of seven games with projected totals over 215, two over 230, and all the others are around the 210 mark. The Rockets, Pistons, and Pelicans are all on back-to-backs, with New Orleans coming off an overtime game, so there are a couple of teams that could have tired legs.

Julius Randle, PF/C, Los Angeles Lakers

Projected Minutes

Team Total

DvP

FPPG Allowed

Usage Rate

DK Projection

FD Projection

31 112.75 27 48.85 26.13 38.44 37.82

DK Salary: $7,800 / FD Salary: $7,700

Randle should be a popular option tonight as the Lakers take on the Hawks, but I am willing to overlook that, as his price is still too cheap for the upside he has shown of late. With Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance shipped off to Cleveland, and Channing Frye sidelined by an appendectomy, Randle has stepped up his level of play and he has been rewarded with more minutes from Luke Walton. He has seen at least 30 minutes in five-straight games and he has posted three-straight games of at least 40 fantasy points. He posted an 18-point, 13 rebound, 10 assist triple-double on Friday and has pulled down 13 rebounds in back-to-back games. Since the trade deadline, Randle is averaging 1.25 fantasy points per minute with a 23.9 percent usage rate. He has connected on 59.3 percent of his field goal attempts over his last four games and is averaging 41.9 fantasy points per game over that span. In those four games, he has hoisted at least 12 field goal attempts. He gets an outstanding matchup against the Hawks tonight, as they rank 27th in fantasy points allowed to both power forwards (48.85) and 28th to centers, allowing 54.55, along with surrendering 44 rebounds, 13.2 second-chance points and have allowed opponents to shoot 63.2% at the rim this season. They rank as a 27th percentile defense against the post-up, allowing 6.1 points on 49.3 percent shooting on the play, and Randle has been posting up on nearly 20 percent of his possessions this season. All of this adds up to Randle being in a great spot and I won't be fading him here.

I didn't want to dedicate an entire section to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope but I think this is an excellent spot for him, as well. He has been playing extremely well of late, with at least 32 fantasy points in three-straight games, eclipsing 46 fantasy points in two of those games, and he gets a matchup against an Atlanta team that has struggled against SGs this season, as well as spot-up shooters.

Elfrid Payton, PG, Phoenix Suns

Projected Minutes

Team Total

DvP

FPPG Allowed

Usage Rate

DK Projection

FD Projection

33

112.25

22

48.3

23.22

38.94

38.61

DK Salary: $7,700 / FD Salary: $7,500

All it took for Elfrid Payton to be unleashed was being traded, and he has reaped the benefits of extended time in Phoenix. He has played five games for the Suns so far and he has seen at least 29 minutes in each of those games. He has double-digit field goal attempts in all five of those games, a triple-double, and a double-double as well, and has eclipsed 38 fantasy points in four of those five. He has posted a 23.3 percent usage rate with the Suns, but usage hasn't always been the value factor for Payton, as most of his production will come from peripherals. As I mentioned already, he has notched a triple-double and a double-double already in those five games and has come close to a double-double in two more of those contests. The Pelicans have struggled against point guards all season, ranking 22nd in fantasy points allowed to the position, but where Elfrid can really succeed tonight is on the glass. Over the last ten games, all without Cousins, the Pelicans have surrendered a league-high 50.8 rebounds per game to opponents and the third-most rebounds per game (25.8) to guards. They have also allowed seventh-most assists to point guards over that span, and are giving up a combined 2.2 blocks and steals in those games. The Pelicans have allowed a league-high 33.4 field goal attempts per game at the rim since losing Cousins, as well, which bodes well for Payton who is attempting 46 percent of his shots at the rim this season. I always call Payton a "mini-Westbrook" because of his ability to rack up peripherals across the board and I wouldn't be shocked to see him notch another triple-double in this spot tonight.

D'Angelo Russell, PG/SG, Brooklyn Nets

Projected Minutes

Team Total

DvP

FPPG Allowed

Usage Rate

DK Projection

FD Projection

32

110.75

29

43.96

32.8

37.12

36.16

DK Salary: $6,300 / FD Salary: $7,200

I will continue to attack the Bulls any way that I can, especially with them throwing the rest of their season down the drain, so the Brooklyn Nets are all incredibly intriguing tonight. A Nets stack isn't out of the question here but I am primarily focusing on D'Angelo Russell. Russell's minutes have finally started to trend over 30, as he saw 32 against the Hornets in his first game back from the break, and he continues to dominate the team's usage with a 32.8 percent usage rate. He has 16, 14, 17, and 18 field goal attempts in his last four games and has connected on seven of those attempts in each of those games. He has attempted at least seven three-pointers in three of the last four games, although those haven't been able to fall at a high clip for him. He has five or more assists in five-straight games, as well, which has helped him eclipse 30 fantasy points in three of the last four games. Now that he is playing normal minutes, Russell is just too cheap for the upside he possesses. He gets a dream matchup against a Bulls team that struggles to defend both guard positions, allowing the second-most fantasy points per game to both, which is important to note since Russell is spending time at both positions alongside Spencer Dinwiddie. The Bulls have given up 119.5 points per game in their first two games out of the break, a trend that should continue, and 109.3 points per game on the season. Opponents are connecting on almost 37 percent of their three-point attempts this season, so those aforementioned attempts of Russell's should start to fall here, and 46.9 percent of their overall attempts. The pace of this game will benefit Russell, as well, and makes him an excellent option to target tonight.

Dirk Nowitzki, PF/C, Dallas Mavericks

Projected Minutes

Team Total

DvP

FPPG Allowed

Usage Rate

DK Projection

FD Projection

28

103.5

16

42.7

19.67

28.56

28.0

DK Salary: $5,500 / FD Salary: $5,600

The ageless veteran has seemingly turned back the clock of late and has elevated his level of play for Dallas. Dirk is coming off a 12-point, 10 rebound performance against the Utah Jazz on Saturday and has now eclipsed the 30 fantasy point mark in four of his last five games. He notched a massive 16-point, 11 rebound performance against the Warriors just a few games ago, as well, and has seen at least 30 minutes in two of his last four games. He has double-digit field goal attempts in seven of his last ten, one of those was an injury-shortened outing and double-doubles in three of those ten. He has been active on the defensive end, as well, with back-to-back games of three blocks. Many people will overlook Dirk because he has the "old man" reputation but that is definitely a mistake tonight as the Mavericks face off against the Pacers. Indiana's interior defense has been fairly solid of late but they really struggle to defend spot-up shooters, allowing 24.3 points on 40.3 percent shooting, and against post-ups, allowing 5.6 points on 48.6 percent shooting, on both of those plays. Dirk ranks in the 90th percentile in the NBA on spot-ups this season, averaging 4.2 points per game, and is averaging 2.1 points per game on post-ups. Those two play types account for almost 50 percent of his offensive possessions this season, so we should see him attacking those two weaknesses often.

Cristiano Felicio, PF/C, Chicago Bulls

Projected Minutes

Team Total

DvP

FPPG Allowed

Usage Rate

DK Projection

FD Projection

30

106.75

30

55.2

21.6

23.4

23.70

DK Salary: $3,600 / FD Salary: $3,900

The Bulls elected to enter full-blown tank mode after the All-Star break, and with that, Robin Lopez has been benched and Felicio has been inserted into the starting lineup. Things have not been great for Felicio in the two games as a starter but tonight that should turn around. He got in foul trouble early on against the Sixers and ended up playing only 12 minutes but he bounced back against the Timberwolves with 22 fantasy points in 31 minutes. He was incredibly efficient in that game, connecting on five of his eight shots, and he has shot at 59 percent from the floor in his limited minutes this season. He has averaged .74 fantasy points per minute for Chicago over those past two games, which isn't eye-popping by any means, but given the matchup against Brooklyn, that should easily be good enough. Taking centers against Brooklyn has been money in the bank all season long, and they are allowing a league-high 55.2 fantasy points per game to the position. They are giving up 45.8 rebounds per game to opponents, along with 13.4 second-chance points, and 45.9 points in the paint per game. Felicio certainly won't come out and break the slate with a 35-40 fantasy point performance but he should be able to notch 24-26 which is a great return on his cheap salary. Everything that makes Felicio a great play tonight, makes Bobby Portis an excellent option, as well, but his price is significantly higher than Felicio's which is why I went with Felicio for the article.



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