Fantasy Basketball Cheat Sheet: Best, Worst Matchups for December 28

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.
 
It’s crucial to have all the latest lineup and injury news when constructing your fantasy basketball lineups. Make sure you’re following @DKLive for every update, and also feel free to hit me up on Twitter with any comments or questions — @JulianEdlow.
 
Here’s what stands out on Friday’s 10-game slate:
 

Defense vs. Position

Point Guard Matchups

BEST
 
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers, 30th
Charlotte Hornets vs. Brooklyn Nets, 28th
Chicago Bulls at Washington Wizards, 27th
 
Lonzo Ball ($5,900) did exactly what we hoped he would on Thursday against the Kings with LeBron James (groin) and Rajon Rondo (finger) out of the lineup. He’s in an equally good spot here against the Clippers, just one night removed from 57.75 DKFP in 37 minutes (one rebound shy of a triple-double). Brandon Ingram ($6,300) is another fantastic spot as well and should be one of the most popular plays on the slate alongside Ball. Kemba Walker ($9,100) is an interesting tournament consideration. He’ll have revenge on his mind after a wild OT loss to Brooklyn on the front end of this home-and-home after scoring 55 DKFP in the loss. Kris Dunn ($6,900) and Zach LaVine ($6,500) are also in very strong spots — LaVine with a very cheap salary in his expected return to the starting lineup.

WORST
 
Detroit Pistons at Indiana Pacers, 1st
Toronto Raptors at Orlando Magic, 2nd
Phoenix Suns vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 5th

There can only be so many PG plays, so focus on the stronger matchups here. Fred VanVleet ($5,600) is a fine play with Kyle Lowry (back) still out, but we can do better.



 

Shooting Guard Matchups

BEST
 
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Atlanta Hawks, 30th
Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat, 29th
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Dallas Mavericks, 28th
 
This slate is loaded with PG plays, and many of them carry SG eligibility. You’ll want to focus on most of those guys. Working within these matchups, Derrick Rose ($7,100) is in a really strong spot against the Hawks. Jeff Teague (ankle) remains out, and Rose has reached 43 or more DKFP in two of his last three.

WORST
 
San Antonio Spurs at Denver Nuggets, 1st
Charlotte Hornets vs. Brooklyn Nets, 2nd
Oklahoma City Thunder at Phoenix Suns, 6th
 
DeMar DeRozan ($8,100) has been running hot lately, playing 38 minutes in consecutive games and surpassing 50 DKFP in both. One of those came on Wednesday against this Denver team, so we know he’s capable of producing numbers in this spot. Charlotte and OKC make for easy spots to fade.



 

Small Forward Matchups

BEST
 
Atlanta Hawks at Minnesota Timberwolves, 30th
Dallas Mavericks at New Orleans Pelicans, 29th
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers, 28th
 
As was the case on Thursday, the Lakers will be the focus of this slate. Ball and Ingram are elite plays, but Kyle Kuzma ($7,700) can be lumped in with them. He played 40 minutes and went for 48.25 DKFP against the Kings.

WORST
 
Detroit Pistons at Indiana Pacers, 1st
Indiana Pacers vs. Detroit Pistons, 3rd
Phoenix Suns vs Oklahoma City Thunder, 5th
 
The DET vs. IND matchup might be the worst fantasy game to target on the slate, while the Suns just don’t get much production at the SF position. Full fade on these spots for me.



 

Power Forward Matchups

BEST
 
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Atlanta Hawks, 29th
Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat, 26th
Phoenix Suns vs. Oklahoma City, 24th
 
There are some great PF targets on this slate, but the strongest matchups don’t do a good job of capturing them. Think Lakers, Pelicans and Hawks for the top plays at the position.

WORST
 
Miami Heat vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, 5th
Washington Wizards vs. Chicago Bulls, 6th
Oklahoma City Thunder at Phoenix Suns, 7th
 
Again, these spots don’t offer much at the position. But Washington newcomer Trevor Ariza ($5,600) has fit in really nicely and is playing a huge role. More on him later.



 

Center Matchups

BEST
 
Charlotte Hornets vs. Brooklyn Nets, 30th
Washington Wizards vs. Chicago Bulls, 29th
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers, 28th

Center is always a position to pay up at with so many stud options. If you need value, you can find it in any of these spots, though. Ivica Zubac ($5,900) was a dud on Thursday, but we should still be able to trust him with him scoring at least 33 DKFP in his three previous games. Markieff Morris ($4,400) is the only reliable big body Washington has, so they’ll need to lean on him some against Chicago. Finally, Cody Zeller ($4,500) and Willy Hernangomez ($4,000) have an extremely favorable matchup against Brooklyn.

WORST
 
Miami Heat vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, 1st
San Antonio Spurs at Denver Nuggets, 2nd
Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat, 4th
 
If you want to dig even deeper for value, here are a couple considerations given their price tags: Ante Zizic ($3,400) and Davis Bertans ($3,500) both have 20-25 DKFP upside. They’re GPP punt plays, though.



 

Lineup Quick Hits

Superstar Worth Paying For

Russell Westbrook ($10,900) — This spot depends a lot on the status of Paul George ($9,900) — who’s a game-time decision with a quad injury. If he doesn’t play, Westbrook is a spectacular play to lock in as your anchor in both cash games and tournaments. If PG-13 plays, Anthony Davis ($11,600) makes for the safer cash game play against Dallas.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Paul George (quad) has been ruled out of tonight’s game.

Save The Big Bucks By Drafting …

Trevor Ariza ($5,600) — Since being traded from the Suns to the Wizards, Ariza is averaging 38.6 minutes and 33.3 DKFP in five games with Washington. He’s too underpriced for his new role and has a great matchup against the Bulls to continue to take advantage.

Next Man Up

Lonzo Ball ($5,900)— A Lakers stack is in play once again, and there are 5-7 names you can consider mixing in. Ball is where your considerations should start, though. You can’t build a cash lineup without him, and fading the free square in GPPs would qualify as a bold move.

*DKFP = DraftKings Fantasy Points
 



 
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) 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.