Orlando Magic v Atlanta Hawks

The NBA Cheat Sheet is an article that will come your way five days a week all season with the goal of breaking down the best and worst matchups/spots at each position.

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Here’s what stands out on Monday’s 11-game slate:


Defense vs. Position

Point Guard Matchups

BEST
Chicago Bulls vs. Portland Trail Blazers, 29th
Golden State Warriors vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 28th
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Brooklyn Nets, 27th

The playing time for Tomas Satoransky ($5,100) has been anything but consistent this season. However, this doesn’t mean he lacks upside. Satoransky has scored at least 34 DKFP in two of the past three games, and it’s possible he is starting to cement the majority of the point guard minutes over Kris Dunn ($4,100). Whoever starts at point guard for the Warriors makes for a strong play. Draymond Green ($5,600) is questionable to play and has been solid in recent games when healthy. If his elbow injury holds him out for the third straight game, Ky Bowman ($5,800) likely would stick in the starting point guard role. As a starter, he’s averaging 30 DKFP in five starts.

WORST
Charlotte Hornets at Miami Heat, 1st
Sacramento Kings at Boston Celtics, 2nd
Minnesota Timberwolves at Atlanta Hawks, 4th

Despite the DvP numbers, I tend to think of this as a solid matchup for Jeff Teague ($6,300). Last season, Trae Young ($9,800) finished the year ranked as the worst defender in the NBA by defensive real plus minus. Looking at the Hawks’ schedule, they haven’t faced many good point guards this season. This likely has more to do with the DvP numbers than Young all of sudden being a stopper on defense. Add in that this game has a total of 234.5, and I think this is a good spot for Teague.


Shooting Guard Matchups

BEST
Atlanta Hawks vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, 29th
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Brooklyn Nets, 27th
Oklahoma City Thunder at Golden State Warriors, 26th

Cam Reddish ($3,900) is questionable to play for the second consecutive game. In the past couple of games without him, DeAndre’ Bembry ($5,300) has moved into the starting lineup and crushed both times. Bembry averaged 37.4 DKFP in his two starts. We can roster him if Reddish sits, although we can fade him if Reddish is active and Bembry moves back to a reserve role. He’s averaging only 19.25 DKFP when coming off the bench.

WORST
Golden State Warriors vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 2nd
Orlando Magic at Detroit Pistons, 4th
Toronto Raptors vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 5th

Despite the bad matchup, Alec Burks ($6,400) should take enough shots to be able to put up a good game. With all the injuries the Warriors are dealing with, Burks is one of the only players on the roster capable of creating his own shots, and it’s led to an increased usage rating in recent games. He’s scored at least 20 points in three of his past five games and is averaging 18 points as a starter. Until D’Angelo Russell comes back from injury, Burks figures to play a significant role for the Warriors.


Small Forward Matchups

BEST
Los Angeles Lakers at San Antonio Spurs, 30th
Atlanta Hawks vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, 29th
Minnesota Timberwolves at Atlanta Hawks, 28th

The Spurs broke a long losing streak with a win over the Knicks, although this is no reason to expect a turnaround. They are 27th in the league in defensive efficiency, making LeBron James ($11,200) one of the top targets on the slate. He’s playing much more of a distributor role than we have seen in previous seasons. This is leading to a career-high 10.8 assists per game, the highest assist average in the league. Even though he has a laundry list of accomplishments, James has never led the league in assists. If he keeps this up, James would become the oldest player to lead the league in assists for the first time.

WORST
Philadelphia 76ers at Toronto Raptors, 1st
San Antonio Spurs vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 4th
Toronto Raptors vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 5th

Nobody stands out a strong play from this teams. The Raptors, 76ers and Lakers all have strong defenses, and it’s hard to find a reason to roster any small forwards against them.


Power Forward Matchups

BEST
Chicago Bulls vs. Portland Trail Blazers, 30th
Portland Trail Blazers at Chicago Bulls, 29th
Golden State Warriors vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 28th

Carmelo Anthony ($5,000) has not been good in his three-game return to the NBA. He clearly has rust to shake off, and he’s shooting only 34.1% from the field. In true Carmelo fashion, not making shots hasn’t stopped him from hoisting them. He has a 24.4% usage rating and is averaging 14.7 shot attempts per game. At a cheap price, we probably don’t need him to be efficient if he keeps firing at the same rate.

WORST
Memphis Grizzlies at Indiana Pacers, 1st
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Utah Jazz, 2nd
Atlanta Hawks vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, 3rd

There is a scenario where Giannis Anteokounmpo ($11,800) makes for a reasonable play. The Jazz have an elite defense, although it’s mostly because of the presence of Rudy Gobert ($8,600) in the paint. Gobert missed last game with an ankle injury and is questionable to play tonight. The Jazz allow 3.8 more points per 100 possessions with Gobert off the court, so the matchup for Giannis is a bit more tantalizing if Gobert is ruled out again.


Center Matchups

BEST
Portland Trail Blazers at Atlanta Hawks, 29th
Miami Heat vs. Charlotte Hornets, 28th
Brooklyn Nets at Cleveland Cavaliers, 27th

Hassan Whiteside ($6,100) is probable to play tonight. He sat out the past two games, leading to a dip in his salary. He averages 35.43 DKFP, so the salary is too cheap in a plus matchup assuming he doesn’t have any sort of restrictions. Bam Adebayo ($7,100) also makes for a strong play against the Hornets. Adebayo has at least 45 DKFP in three of his past five games, and the only thing that has slowed him down lately have been blowouts.

WORST
San Antonio Spurs vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 1st
Philadelphia 76ers at Toronto Raptors, 2nd
Detroit Pistons vs. Orlando Magic, 3rd

He isn’t my favorite play of the night, although we never see Joel Embiid ($8,800) at such a cheap price tag. He hasn’t been this inexpensive since opening day of last season, and he scored 65.25 DKFP in his last regular season game against the Raptors.


Lineup Quick Hits

Superstar Worth Paying For

Trae Young, ATL vs. MIN ($9,800) — In an uptempo spot against the Timberwolves, Young has massive upside. He was in a slump for a little while and appeared to break out last game with a triple-double and 64.5 DKFP in a tough spot against the Raptors. Tonight’s matchup is significantly easier.

Save The Big Bucks By Drafting …

Steven Adams, OKC at GSW ($5,400) — Adams hasn’t been the player we have grown used to seeing over the past few seasons, but he is slowly rounding into form. He is coming off a season-high 34 DKFP against the Lakers and scored 31.5 DKFP the last time he played the Warriors. This could be the last chance we get to roster him at this cheap a price.

Next Man Up

Brad Wanamaker, BOS vs. SAC ($4,300) — Kemba Walker is expected to miss tonight’s game following a scary neck injury over the weekend. This opens up increased opportunity for Wanamaker, who could start at point guard. Even with Walker active, Wanamaker has played well recently and has at least 22 DKFP in three consecutive games.

*DKFP = DraftKings Fantasy Points


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is gehrenberg) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.