Fantasy Basketball Cheat Sheet: Best, Worst Matchups for January 10

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 four-game slate:
 

Defense vs. Position

Point Guard Matchups

BEST
 
Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Clippers, 30th
Detroit Pistons at Sacramento Kings, 29th
Sacramento Kings vs. Detroit Pistons, 23rd
 
De’Aaron Fox ($7,600) went for over 40 DKFP for the first time in three games his last time out, so he remains slightly underpriced in this matchup. I think the best value of these matchups is Reggie Jackson ($5,000), who was solid against the Lakers on Wednesday, scoring 28 DKFP in 32 minutes. A matchup against the Kings could see even more opportunities for the PG due to a faster pace.

WORST
 
San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 5th
Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics, 7th
Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs, 8th

The Spurs have provided a couple of the better value PG plays recently, and that’s only highlighted on a short slate along with Rudy Gay (wrist) sidelined. Derrick White $4,900) and Bryn Forbes ($4,300) have been really solid plays recently, earning plenty of minutes as the starting backcourt.



Shooting Guard Matchups

BEST
 
San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 18th
Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Clippers, 17th
Sacramento Kings vs. Detroit Pistons, 11th
 
You can slot both of those Spurs plays in at SG as well, but the other teams in the stronger matchups on this slate don’t have any elite SG plays. I’d look to pay for DeMar DeRozan ($8,300) before even targeting the Nuggets or Kings, as DD will be looking to bounce back from a terrible game in Memphis on the front end of this back-to-back.

WORST
 
Los Angeles Clippers at Denver Nuggets, 3rd
Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs, 7th
Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics, 9th
 
I’d consider looking at targeting Dion Waiters ($3,500) while we can still get him at this salary. Waiters will be playing in his third game of the season, struggling in his debut, but then dropping 25.75 DKFP in 25 minutes against the Nuggets. A similar role for Waiters in this game leaves him underpriced.



Small Forward Matchups

BEST
 
Detroit Pistons at Sacramento Kings, 28th
Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Clippers, 27th
Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs, 20th
 
Reggie Bullock ($4,600) is averaging 36 minutes over his last three games. While he won’t light up the scoreboard, he’s still a reliable and safe option. Paul George ($9,800) is worth spending up for on this slate, even with the way the Spurs limited Kawhi Leonard last week. We have limited options on this slate, and PG-13’s salary is on the decline.

WORST
 
Sacramento Kings vs. Detroit Pistons, 3rd
Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics, 4th
Boston Celtics at Miami Heat, 9th
 
These are difficult spots to target. Between the SG/SF position, I think we have enough plays where we can fade these specific matchups. The Celtics make for enticing plays, but have 4-5 players that can be the star on any given night. None of them stand out as cheap options with Boston having its health on the perimeter, but you can consider them given it’s just a four-game slate.



Power Forward Matchups

BEST
 
Boston Celtics at Miami Heat, 23rd
Sacramento Kings vs. Detroit Pistons, 22nd
San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 20th
 
San Antonio provides a really strong stud and value play at PF. LaMarcus Aldridge ($7,200) is extremely affordable given his upside, and he will face an OKC frontcourt missing one of its best rim protectors in Nerlens Noel (concussion). Davis Bertans ($3,700) always carries some extra upside due to a boost in minutes when Gay is out of the rotation.

WORST
 
Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics, 5th
Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs, 8th
Detroit Pistons at Sacramento Kings, 10th
 
Jerami Grant ($4,800) provides some potential value with an expanded role likely due to Noel’s injury. If you want to pay up here, Blake Griffin ($9,200) was a massive bust on Wednesday against the Lakers, unthinkably failing to pull down any rebounds in his return to the Staples Center. You could potentially get low ownership here in a matchup/pace that plays more into his favor.



Center Matchups

BEST

Detroit Pistons at Sacramento Kings, 26th
Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Clippers, 25th
Sacramento Kings vs Detroit Pistons, 20th

Andre Drummond ($9,100) didn’t fail to register a rebound against the Lakers. In fact, he had 17 of them despite shooting just 2-for-12 and scoring six points. He’s another bounce-back candidate in a favorable matchup against the Kings.

WORST
 
Los Angeles Clippers at Denver Nuggets, 3rd
Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs, 10th
San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 11th
 
Jakob Poeltl ($3,600) – often finds his way into the starting five when Gay is absence, so pay attention to the lineup news heading into this slate. Either way, Poeltl should be a strong value play that sees some extended run.



 

Lineup Quick Hits

Superstar Worth Paying For

Nikola Jokic $10,500) — I wrote up Drummond earlier, but it’s Jokic that makes for the best center target and overall target on this slate. I don’t mind paying up for his increased salary since there are so few studs to pay for. The matchup against the Clippers at home helps a lot, and Jokic has been on fire lately — 62.4 DKFP per game over his last five contests.

Save The Big Bucks By Drafting …

Dion Waiters ($3,500) — It’s tough to say Waiters is a safe play, but the value is difficult to overlook. Somehow, Waiters’ salary’s dropped after his breakout game, so there’s very little risk involved here.

Next Man Up

Rudy Gay — Hopefully the slate offers up some better spots to take advantage of, but for now, Gay’s absence is the most notable. DeRozan and the rest of the guards, along with Bertans and Poeltl up front, all see their upside rise with Gay out.

*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.