NBA Fantasy Cheat Sheet: Best, Worst Matchups For Jan. 12

WATCH: Looking for a value big? Domantas Sabonis provides huge upside


The purpose of the Cheat Sheet is to inform you each day of the best and worst matchups at each position and to break down some NBA fantasy players who should be in notable spots to perform. We’ll use defense-versus-position statistics, and at the bottom, you’ll find some quick-hitting notes on lineup building.

NBA lineups require you to pay attention to the news leading up to tip-off. If you haven’t already, download the DK Live app (on iOS and Android), which will provide you with breaking news and analysis all season.

Hit me up on Twitter with comments or questions @julianedlow

Defense vs. Position

Point Guard Matchups

BEST: Phoenix Suns vs. Houston Rockets — With Isaiah Cannan ($3,900) listed as questionable, we could have a big role opening up for Tyler Ulis ($4,000) in an attractive game for fantasy points. Ulis is averaging 33.5 minutes in the past two games without Cannan, scoring 21 or more DKFP in each. With a good matchup, those numbers could improve. Monitor Cannan’s status.

WORST: Charlotte Hornets vs. Utah Jazz — Kemba Walker ($7,600) is coming off nearly a 60-DKFP game against Dallas on Wednesday and yet still sees his price come down $300 due to the matchup here. It’s likely a spot you want to avoid, but if you want to take a shot at riding Kemba’s hot streak in a GPP, go for it. John Wall ($9,400) did just torch Utah on Wednesday.


Shooting Guard Matchups

BEST: Portland Trail Blazers vs. New Orleans Hornets — C.J. McCollum ($7,700) is riding a nice little streak, scoring 41.5 or more DKFP in four straight. Even with Damian Lillard ($8,600) back in the fold (and probable on Friday), McCollum has managed to exceed value. Given the matchup, this is another good opportunity for him to keep it going.

WORST: Charlotte Hornets vs. Utah Jazz — No player jumps out at me in the Charlotte backcourt, so this is a position I plan on fading. Nicolas Batum ($5,500) has been ice cold lately, so no reason to force him in when the matchup dictates against him.


Small Forward Matchups

BEST: Brooklyn Nets vs. Atlanta Hawks — If DeMarre Carroll ($4,700, questionable) suits up in Atlanta for a revenge game, I think he’s too underpriced and can take advantage. If Carroll remains out, Caris LeVert ($5,500) would be on my radar.

WORST: Denver Nuggets vs. Memphis Grizzlies — Denver has been getting good production from the SF spot recently. While I do think most of these plays should be considered fades on this slate, the consistency of Trey Lyles ($5,800) keeps me interested in him.


Power Forward Matchups

BEST: Atlanta Hawks vs. Brooklyn Nets — The Hawks have brought back some bodies to the frontcourt recently, which makes it tougher to find value. Ersan Ilyasova ($5,700) is the target I think provides the most upside in this matchup, but it’s not a home run spot for him by any means.

WORST: Charlotte Hornets vs. Utah Jazz — This game just isn’t on my fantasy radar for this slate. None of the PFs standout to me as targets based on recent play alone, so factoring in their matchups, I’m still not interested.


Center Matchups

BEST: Atlanta Hawks vs. Brooklyn Nets — Ilyasova remains the best option here, in my mind, and he does carry center eligibility. Dewayne Dedmon ($5,400) has some upside but is just two games returned from a stress fracture in his leg.

WORST: Phoenix Suns vs. Houston Rockets — The Suns’ rotation of bigs has been difficult to figure out. Essentially it’s a new rotation each game, so you need to follow the news to see who is resting. Marquese Chriss will be out with a hip injury, which could open up some room. Tyson Chandler ($4,400) could make for a good play given the cheap salary and fast-paced game.


Lineup Quick Hits

Superstar Worth Paying For

Chris Paul ($10,600) — Although I’d rather not see Paul’s salary up $900 after a 70-DKFP game, I still think the matchup with the Suns is too much to ignore with James Harden still sidelined. You should get a safe floor with an incredibly high ceiling from CP3 on this slate. The only reason for caution would be a blowout.

Save The Big Bucks By Drafting …

T.J. Warren ($6,200) — This should be the game of the night from a fantasy perspective, so you’re going to want to consider multiple options. If you can’t afford Paul, or want to stack the game, Warren’s in a great position to succeed. Chriss’ absence could lead to some extra minutes at PF for Warren, who should thrive in the uptempo pace this game projects at. With 30-plus DKFP in nine of his last 10, Warren’s been a consistent source of value.

Next Man Up

Thaddeus Young ($5,400) — Domantas Sabonis ($6,400) is the value many will target with Myles Turner out. But it was Young who made for the much better play on Wednesday. With $1K savings in salary, Young should provide similar upside.


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.