Fantasy Basketball Cheat Sheet: Best, Worst Matchups for December 6

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 Thursday’s three-game slate:

Defense vs. Position

Point Guard Matchups

BEST

Houston Rockets at Utah Jazz, 23rd
New York Knicks at Boston Celtics, 20th
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Phoenix Suns, 18th

Chris Paul ($7,700) is coming off a tough game against Minnesota, but with limited PG options on this slate, he’s worth consideration. Damian Lillard ($10,100) is clearly in the better spot considering C.J. McCollum ($7,400) has been ruled out due to an ankle injury. But with how poor the Suns have been playing without Devin Booker (hamstring) and T.J. Warren (ankle), this game could get out of hand quickly. Lillard has the highest ceiling on the slate, but the blowout potential is also about as high as it can get.

WORST

Utah Jazz vs. Houston Rockets, 5th
Phoenix Suns at Portland Trail Blazers, 7th
Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks, 17th

The Rockets have found themselves in higher scoring games of late, so I think Ricky Rubio ($6,400) is worth considering as a target given how thin the options are. Kyrie Irving (9,000) makes for a potential GPP target. He seems to be off the radar compared to the other pricey options on this slate.


Shooting Guard Matchups

BEST

Phoenix Suns at Portland Trail Blazers, 25th
Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks, 15th
Utah Jazz vs. Houston Rocket, 9th

This is another tough position to gauge on this slate. Gordon Hayward ($6,100) is priced up after nearly dropping a triple-double off the bench in Minnesota on Saturday night. He could be worth a try in tournaments to see if he can keep this momentum going. I think the Suns are the best place to find value here, which I’ll touch on more in quick hits.

WORST

New York Knicks at Boston Celtics, 1st
Houston Rockets at Utah Jazz, 5th
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Phoenix Suns, 6th

Tim Hardaway Jr. ($6,600) has failed to reach value on five of his last six slates, including a game in Boston, despite the Knicks prevailing with a victory. I’d stay away from New York and Portland at this position, but James Harden ($10,800) is another option to go over in quick hits.


Small Forward Matchups

BEST

Phoenix Suns at Portland Trail Blazers, 29th
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Phoenix Suns, 27th
Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks, 15th

Both Trevor Ariza ($5,600) and Josh Jackson ($5,400) are in very safe spots for the Suns. Given the lack of bodies, they pretty much have to play big minutes against Portland, regardless of game script. I prefer the upside of Jackson, but playing both of them in the same lineup isn’t a bad idea at all.

WORST

Houston Rockets at Utah Jazz, 7th
Utah Jazz vs. Houston Rockets, 8th
New York Knicks at Boston Celtics, 13th

Jae Crowder ($4,900) is a viable value play, although the SF position has some of the best cheaper targets on the slate. You can slot Crowder up at PF if you need to, but the rest of the HOU/NYK options at SF here are fades for me.


Power Forward Matchups

BEST

Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks, 27th
Phoenix Suns at Portland Trail Blazers, 21st
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Phoenix Suns, 9th

Somehow we’re talking about Richaun Holmes ($4,300) on this slate, but that’s where the Suns are at in terms of healthy/capable players. With 20-plus DKFP in seven of his last eight contests, Holmes is one of the top values to rely on for this slate. If you have more salary to pay up with, Al Horford ($6,200) is worth targeting. He scored 44.25 DKFP in this matchup against the Knicks two weeks ago.

WORST

New York Knicks at Boston Celtics, 3rd
Houston Rockets at Utah Jazz, 4th
Utah Jazz vs. Houston Rockets, 6th

Full fade in this spot for me. I mentioned Crowder as a guy to slot in at either forward spot, but outside of him, there’s not a PF target that I like on any of these three teams.


Center Matchups

BEST

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Phoenix Suns, 27th
Houston Rockets at Utah Jazz, 23rd
Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks, 13th

The center position has been my favorite to target all season, and that doesn’t change on this short slate. Both Jusuf Nurkic ($7,300) and Clint Capela ($8,000) make for two of the stronger targets on the slate. I’d lean Capela given the blowout factor in Portland if you have the extra salary. Holmes and Horford can be slotted in at center as well.

WORST

New York Knicks at Boston Celtics, 7th
Utah Jazz vs. Houston Rockets, 9th
Phoenix Suns at Portland Trail Blazers, 10th

Rudy Gobert ($8,300) has been on fire over his last four games, averaging just about 51 DKFP during that span. Houston is a tougher matchup compared to the teams he’s been dominating, but you have to consider Gobert as yet another center option on a slate like this.


Lineup Quick Hits

Superstar Worth Paying For

James Harden ($10,800) — It’s almost hard to avoid Harden on this slate since you have to pay up somewhere. Lillard would be the other target to pony up the cash for, but the game in Utah should stay much closer, making Harden the safer play in the end.

Save The Big Bucks By Drafting …

Evan Turner ($4,200) — ET has topped 25 DKFP in three of his last four and should see his 25-30 minutes regardless of game script. The matchup against the Suns could help him be more productive in his limited role, as could the ankle injury McCollum’s dealing with.

Next Man Up

Mikal Bridges ($4,100) — Bridges is just another Sun that’s being forced into big minutes on the perimeter. With Phoenix’s two best scorers out of the lineup, Bridges is averaging 32.5 minutes and close to 24 DKFP. We can lock him into a similar role on this slate, but the matchup is tougher against Portland.

*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.