Fantasy Basketball Cheat Sheet: Best, Worst Matchups for February 12

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 Tuesday’s five-game slate:

Defense vs. Position

Point Guard Matchups

BEST

Orlando Magic at New Orleans Pelicans, 27th
Los Angeles Lakers at Atlanta Hawks, 26th
Memphis Grizzlies vs. San Antonio Spurs, 24th

I’m not sure exactly what position we want to qualify Brandon Ingram ($5,500) as, but in the new rotation, he’s essentially one of the starting guards. That leaves him in an awesome spot against this terrible Hawks’ defense, and there should be more run for him with Josh Hart (knee) sidelined.

WORST

Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers, 2nd
Golden State Warriors vs. Utah Jazz, 5th
Utah Jazz at Golden State Warriors, 6th

Terry Rozier ($6,900) is always a popular play when Kyrie Irving (knee) is off the floor, but we’ve been able to snag him in the starting role for as little as $3,500 this season. At twice that price, he’s far less appealing. I’d rather roster Marcus Smart ($4,900) if I’m looking for a discount in Boston’s backcourt.



Shooting Guard Matchups

BEST

Los Angeles Lakers at Atlanta Hawks, 30th
Atlanta Hawks vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 29th
Orlando Magic at New Orleans Pelicans, 26th

SG is a deep position on this slate. You can slot Ingram in here as well, or look to both of the other matchups for solid plays. Evan Fournier ($5,200) is fresh off a 33.25 DKFP game, while Kevin Huerter ($4,800) has also been really solid since his role expanded.

WORST

Golden State Warriors vs. Utah Jazz, 1st
Utah Jazz at Golden State Warriors, 2nd
Memphis Grizzlies vs. San Antonio Spurs, 4th

The depth at this position leaves plays even in poor matchups on paper. A competitive game between Utah and Golden State would make Klay Thompson ($6,100) and Joe Ingles ($5,000) both good plays. The Jazz have covered the spread in their last five games against the Warriors, so if they keep this one within nine points, this game could be a better fantasy game to target than expected. Delon Wright ($3,500) is a value consideration at a cheap salary in a new role in Memphis.



Small Forward Matchups

BEST

Orlando Magic at New Orleans Pelicans, 30th
Atlanta Hawks vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 29th
Los Angeles Lakers at Atlanta Hawks, 27th

Taurean Prince ($4,500) has shown a higher ceiling in some of his recent games, but his salary is on the decline. He isn’t a safe play yet, but his upside leaves him as a tournament target. On the opposite end of the matchup, Kyle Kuzma ($6,000) is a much safer play. He’s attempted 21 field goals in two straight games, averaging 42.5 DKFP in those outings.

WORST

San Antonio Spurs at Memphis Grizzlies, 5th
Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers, 7th
Golden State Warriors vs. Utah Jazz, 10th

With Irving off the floor, we can look for value at any position on the Celtics. Jaylen Brown ($5,100) and Gordon Hayward ($4,700) are both worth considering in this spot.



Power Forward Matchups

BEST

Los Angeles Lakers at Atlanta Hawks, 29th
Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers, 23rd
Orlando Magic at New Orleans Pelicans, 20th

My preferred play on the Celtics is Marcus Morris ($5,000), though. Philly really struggles against the PF position, and Morris enjoys playing in his hometown. He’s averaging 36 DKFP in two games against the Sixers this season, and without Kyrie on the floor there’s more usage to be had. Aaron Gordon ($6,400) is another consideration given his upside.

WORST

Golden State Warriors vs. Utah Jazz, 1st
Utah Jazz at Golden State Warriors, 2nd
Atlanta Hawks vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 5th

I’ll keep insisting this game in Golden State isn’t as bad of a spot as the matchup numbers indicate. Draymond Green ($6,000; questionable) and Jay Crowder ($4,400) are both viable plays, although I prefer other plays.



Center Matchups

BEST

Atlanta Hawks vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 28th
Golden State Warriors vs. Utah Jazz, 25th
Orlando Magic at New Orleans Pelicans, 23rd

There are plenty of viable centers plays on this slate. The Hawks give us one to pay up for and one to save salary with John Collins ($7,600) and Dewayne Dedmon ($4,600). Meanwhile, we can stick with the Warriors, as DeMarcus Cousins ($6,200) gets his price slashed $600 after proving he can still provide 40-plus DKFP once again. Finally, Nikola Vucevic ($9,500) is impossible to ignore against a defense as cushy as the Pelicans.

WORST

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Orlando Magic, 2nd
Utah Jazz at Golden State Warriors, 9th
San Antonio Spurs at Memphis Grizzlies, 11th

Rudy Gobert ($8,200) is worth considering here. Golden State still has a tough time with size, even with Boogie in the rotation. Gobert has some extra motivation here given the grief he took from Draymond after crying when he didn’t make the All-Star game, if you believe in that kind of stuff. Yes, this is the NBA, not a fourth-grade league.



Lineup Quick Hits

Superstar Worth Paying For

LeBron James ($10,500) — It may finally be a LeBron night once again! This game should have ferocious pace, so as long as the Hawks can hang around at home, it provides some elite upside for LeBron to scratch his ceiling. Something we haven’t seen in a while outside of last week’s game in Boston.

Save The Big Bucks By Drafting …

Trae Young ($6,700) — I’m sticking with the same game here, as the pace could really dictate a lot of fantasy production. Young scored 46 DKFP against the Lakers in Los Angeles this season, so we know he can thrive in this matchup.

Next Man Up

Kenrich Williams ($4,900) — This undrafted rookie has come out of nowhere to play at least 30 minutes in each of his last seven games. Williams is averaging 33.4 DKFP during that span, exceeding the 40-DKFP mark twice. He’s a terrific play right now while his salary is still way too cheap.

*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.