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 fantasy basketball 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 Friday’s nine-game slate:
 

Defense vs. Position

Point Guard Matchups

BEST
 
Milwaukee Bucks at Washington Wizards, 28th
Toronto Raptors vs. Brooklyn Nets, 25th
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Atlanta Hawks, 24th
 
Ben Simmons ($8,900) makes for a solid target to pay up for, his only downside being the blowout potential hosting the Hawks. Atlanta’s been playing better of late, though. Simmons’ salary conveniently takes a little dip entering this matchup despite dominating the Hawks for 52 DKFP earlier this season. Malcolm Brogdon ($5,700) has been a super consistent option for the Bucks and has picked his game up recently, scoring 32 or more DKFP in each of his past three contests.

WORST
 
New York Knicks vs. Indiana Pacers, 1st
Atlanta Hawks at Philadelphia 76ers, 3rd
Washington Wizards vs. Milwaukee Bucks, 4th

Trae Young ($6,000) has some appeal here just based on volume, but he struggled to get 26 DKFP last time against Philly. Consider Young as a high-upside tournament play. Emmanuel Mudiay ($5,700) also could be a sneaky play with New York’s backcourt banged up. Mudiay was able to score 30 DKFP against Indy earlier this season.


Shooting Guard Matchups

BEST
 
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Atlanta Hawks, 30th
Charlotte Hornets at Portland Trail Blazers, 28th
Utah Jazz vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 27th
 
The Jazz are an awesome team in general to target on this slate, as they’re riddled by injuries but have a terrific matchup against the Lakers. Donovan Mitchell ($7,900) is coming off a monster 50-plus DKFP game, while Joe Ingles ($5,700) and Kyle Korver ($3,500) are also being forced into expanded roles.

WORST
 
Los Angeles Lakers at Utah Jazz, 1st
Toronto Raptors vs. Brooklyn Nets, 2nd
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Charlotte Hornets, 6th
 
If you want to try and capitalize on targeting Lakers’ wings while LeBron James (groin) remains out, I can’t blame you, but the matchup against Utah is a tough one. I don’t think any of these matchups are worth going after on this slate.


Small Forward Matchups

BEST
 
Dallas Mavericks at Minnesota Timberwolves, 30th
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Atlanta Hawks, 26th
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Charlotte Hornets, 25th
 
You can slot Simmons in at the SF position if you plan on rostering him, which gives you the flexibility to play more of the great guard values on this slate. If you would rather pay down at SF, I’d continue to look at Utah. Four of its perimeter players normally in the rotation are sidelined, so it’ll be all hands on deck in an ideal home matchup.

WORST
 
New York Knicks vs. Indiana Pacers, 1st
Atlanta Hawks at Philadelphia 76ers, 4th
Golden State Warriors vs. Chicago Bulls, 5th
 
Kevin Huerter ($4,700) has been playing a ton of minutes, scoring more than 30 DKFP in each of his past two games. I’d consider him in this spot, but his salary is starting to rise. With the Warriors’ blowout potential over the Bulls, these three matchups likely will make for fades for me.


Power Forward Matchups

BEST
 
Indiana Pacers at New York Knicks, 30th
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Atlanta Hawks, 29th
Atlanta Hawks at Philadelphia 76ers, 28th
 
John Collins ($7,800) was awesome chalk Wednesday, scoring 51.5 DKFP in a smash spot against Brooklyn. This matchup is more difficult, but there’s still plenty of upside at lower ownership. Thaddeus Young ($5,600) also makes for a solid play. He’s averaging more than 31 DKFP in his past four outings and is averaging 35 DKFP in a pair of games against the Knicks this season.

WORST
 
Chicago Bulls at Golden State Warriors, 1st
Los Angeles Lakers at Utah Jazz, 2nd
Cleveland Cavaliers at Houston Rockets, 5th
 
If there’s a play here, it’s Lauri Markkanen ($5,900), who provides a pretty safe floor and always has the ability to go off if Chicago can keep this one close. The Warriors can struggle at times to defend versatile bigs. Overall, I think this slate gives us enough elite value to fade these matchups.


Center Matchups

BEST

Toronto Raptors vs. Brooklyn Nets, 30th
Golden State Warriors vs. Chicago Bulls, 28th
Utah Jazz vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 26th

Rudy Gobert ($8,000) was a bust against the Lakers earlier this season, but he’s averaging 40 DKFP in difficult matchups over his past two games. This is a great spot for him and Derrick Favors ($5,200), who could see more minutes as a trickle-down effect of the backcourt injuries.

WORST
 
Houston Rockets vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, 1st
Charlotte Hornets at Portland Trail Blazers, 4th
Atlanta Hawks at Philadelphia 76ers, 5th
 
Clint Capela ($7,600) went for 37.5 DKFP in this matchup in Cleveland this season, so there’s obvious upside with him. There’s always blowout risk with the Cavs, so you’ll want to be careful.



Lineup Quick Hits

Superstar Worth Paying For

James Harden ($12,500) — On a larger slate like this you can fade Harden in tournaments, but in terms of the safest play/stud to target in cash game, no need to overthink this. We’re working with roughly a 60-DKFP floor here.

Save The Big Bucks By Drafting …

Maxi Kleber ($3,600) — Kleber got the start for Dallas on Wednesday against the Suns, and he turned it into 32.25 DKFP in 34 minutes. If he gets the nod again versus the Timberwolves, he’d be in another spot to flirt with 10X value.

Next Man Up

Utah Jazz — I have no problem with half of my lineup featuring Jazz players on this slate. They’re extremely under-manned in a near perfect matchup at home.

EDITOR’S NOTE: With Giannis Antetokounmpo listed as doubtful, the Bucks also should be a team to target for value tonight.
 



 
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.