Fantasy Basketball Cheat Sheet: Best, Worst Matchups for December 4

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 Tuesday’s five-game slate:


Defense vs. Position

Point Guard Matchups

BEST
Phoenix Suns vs. Sacramento Kings (26th)
San Antonio Spurs at Utah Jazz (25th)
Orlando Magic at Miami Heat (23rd)

Plenty stands out at these positions from both a matchup and situational standpoint — so look for more on these spots in the quick hits section below. Derrick White ($4,200) and Elie Okobo ($4,400) stand out as two of the better plays on the entire slate.

WORST
Chicago Bulls at Indiana Pacers (1st)
Miami Heat vs. Orlando Magic (3rd)
Dallas Mavericks vs. Portland Trail Blazers (4th)

The Mavericks PG position is a total toss up right now with multiple questionable players. You’ll need to keep up with their status’ on DK Live. As for concrete plays, it’s tough to tell you that Ryan Arcidiacono ($4,000) is a fade given his recent outbursts. He’s at least a GPP consideration given his 10x-plus value potential.


Shooting Guard Matchups

BEST
Portland Trail Blazers at Dallas Mavericks (30th)
Orlando Magic at Miami Heat (29th)
Indiana Pacers vs. Chicago Bulls (28th)

The Magic offer some solid plays given how bad the Heat have been defensively, which you’ll notice as a trend in today’s article. But the bigger place we can take advantage is Indy continuing to be without Victor Oladpio (knee). Bojan Bogdanovic ($5,600) has seen his role expand even more over the last two games, surpassing 37 minutes in both. Obvious opportunity to produce comes along with the extra minutes/usage, so facing one of the worst defenses in the NBA is just the cherry on top.

WORST
Sacramento Kings at Phoenix Suns (3rd)
San Antonio Spurs at Utah Jazz (4th)
Phoenix Suns vs. Sacramento Kings (14th)

The Suns might “stand out” against SG so far this season, but let’s face it, they’re terrible overall defensively.Three Sacramento wing players make for solid targets on this slate (I’d rank them in this order): Bogdan Bogdanovic ($5,800), Buddy Hield ($6,000) and Iman Shumpert ($3,700).


Small Forward Matchups

BEST
Dallas Mavericks vs. Portland Trail Blazers (29th)
Portland Trail Blazers at Dallas Mavericks (27th)
Miami Heat vs. Orlando Magic (26th)

SF feels like a position to pay down for mid-low priced value on this slate, with Indiana and Sacramento providing those dual SG/SF eligible options. If I’m trying to take advantage of one of these matchups, you could consider paying for Josh Richardson ($7,000). Richardson is generally a lock for 30-40 minutes, but his production has been scattered lately. He did score 35.35 DKFP in his lone game against Orlando this season.

WORST
Orlando Magic at Miami Heat (3rd)
Indiana Pacers vs. Chicago Bulls (8th)
San Antonio Spurs at Utah Jazz (11th)

Once again, most of the rotational players on Orlando are fine options to me, but they don’t have a play that sticks out to me as elite. The Spurs are an easy fade at this position, so just stick to that SAC/IND value and build with that.


Power Forward Matchups

BEST
Indiana Pacers vs. Chicago Bulls (30th)
Phoenix Suns vs. Sacramento Kings (26th)
Orlando Magic at Miami Heat (25th)

This is a terrific spot for Domantas Sabonis ($7,200), who perplexingly continues to come off the bench for the Pacers. Regardless, he’s one of the most efficient big men in the NBA, and has an extremely ideal matchup against this lacking Chicago frontcourt. Averaging 40 DKFP over his last five, Sabonis makes for one of try favorite plays on this slate.

WORST
Portland Trail Blazers at Dallas Mavericks (1st)
San Antonio Spurs at Utah Jazz (4th)
Miami Heat vs. Orlando Magic (8th)

The combination of matchups and salaries keeps Spurs’ PF options off the radar for me on this slate. It terms of the Blazers and Heat, they just hardly have any bodies at this position to capitalize on regardless of matchup. These matchups are a full fade for me.


Center Matchups

BEST
Indiana Pacers vs. Chicago Bulls (28th)
Sacramento Kings at Phoenix Suns (27th)
Phoenix Suns vs. Sacramento Kings (24th)

I’m focusing on this Kings/Suns matchup from both sides. Willie Cauley-Stein ($6,400) broke out of his slump and is averaging over 32 minutes and 36 DKFP in his last two games. He can be trusted in this matchup, but Deandre Ayton ($6,500) is my preferred play. Ayton’s failed to reach value in three straight games, but all were blowouts. Assuming this one stays closer, we could get a big game from the No. 1 overall pick at a discounted price tag.

WORST
Chicago Bulls at Indiana Pacers (2nd)
Dallas Mavericks vs. Portland Trail Blazers (9th)
Miami Heat vs. Orlando Magic (11th)

The center position is almost matchup-proof this season, which you’ve noticed in this section on a daily basis. I think Hassan Whiteside ($7,700), DeAndre Jordan ($7,300) and Wendell Carter Jr. ($4,800) are all fine plays on this slate. I’d prefer Ayton and WCS over paying up for Whiteside or DJ, but Carter makes for solid value.


Lineup Quick Hits

Superstar Worth Paying For

Damian Lillard, POR at DAL ($9,800) — There’s really not much to pay up for on this slate, but Lillard has been playing around 40 minutes per game recently, and has scored 60-plus DKFP in two of his last three. He’s certainly a consideration against a terrible Dallas defense, but you can also just go the balanced approach on this slate.

Save The Big Bucks By Drafting …

Derrick White, SA at UTA ($4,200) — I made mention to White earlier, and he feels like the best value on this slate pending any news. Utah actually does struggle defensively against the PG position, and White’s found himself playing 33 minutes in consecutive games — scoring 25-plus DKFP in each.

Next Man Up

Phoenix Suns — With Devin Booker (hamstring) and T.J. Warren (ankle) out, the Suns need to find a way to score. That leaves the rest of the rotation in a good spot for big games. Ayton and Okobo should be two of the more popular plays, but feel free to go off the board with this weird Suns team.

*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.