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 Friday’s 10-game slate:

Defense vs. Position

Point Guard Matchups


Memphis Grizzlies vs. Sacramento Kings, 30th
Orlando Magic vs. Washington Wizards, 29th
Denver Nuggets vs. Phoenix Suns, 28th

The Grizzlies are a tough team to speed up, but the Kings have been able to do that to a degree this season. The teams have squared off three times already, and Mike Conley ($7,700) is averaging over 40 DKFP in those contests. The trade rumors haven’t effected Conley’s play in any way, leaving him as a strong PG play on Friday.


Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Miami Heat, 4th
Charlotte Hornets at Milwaukee Bucks, 5th
Washington Wizards at Orlando Magic, 6th

While I’ll fade Cleveland and Washington’s backcourts, Kemba Walker ($8,100) is priced fairly given his success in this matchup. Walker’s been playing consistent ball lately, and averages over 47 DKFP in his two games against Milwaukee this season. While we know he can succeed in this matchup, I’d still prefer the savings on Conley in a more promising spot.

Shooting Guard Matchups


Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Miami Heat, 28th
Brooklyn Nets vs. New York Knicks, 27th
Orlando Magic vs. Washington Wizards, 23rd

Brooklyn’s backcourt will undoubtedly be a focus on this slate, as we got news on Thursday that Spencer Dinwiddie (thumb) could be out for an extended period of time Assuming that’s the case, we can project the red-hot D’Angelo Russell ($8,600) to see even more opportunities. Already averaging over 50 DKFP in his last five games, DLO’s in as strong a spot as you can imagine. Shabazz Napier ($3,600) is the deep value play. A significantly larger share in minutes should open up for him. Joe Harris ($4,900) could also stand to see a boost.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dinwiddie has been ruled out for tonight’s game vs. the Knicks.

Minnesota Timberwolves at Utah Jazz, 1st
Phoenix Suns at Denver Nuggets, 2nd
Denver Nuggets vs. Phoenix Suns, 5th

The Wolves are in a difficult spot in Utah on the second night of a back-to-back, but injuries could open up some value. Jeff Teague (foot) and Tyus Jones (ankle) have been out for Minnesota, while Derrick Rose ($6,000) exited Thursday’s victory over the Lakers with an ankle injury. Monitoring Minnesota’s backcourt could be a key to this slate. Jerryd Bayless ($3,600) has been reaping the benefits, averaging 34.5 DKFP in his last two games.

Small Forward Matchups


Utah Jazz vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, 30th
Chicago Bulls vs. Los Angeles Clippers, 26th
Detroit Pistons at Dallas Mavericks, 24th

There just aren’t many players that any of these three teams feature at the SF position that worth going out of your way for, even in favorable matchups. Chandler Hutchison ($3,900) has exceeded value in five of his last six. So he’s a value consideration if you need to round out your lineup.


Dallas Mavericks vs. Detroit Pistons, 2nd
Orlando Magic vs. Washington Wizards, 3rd
Los Angeles Clippers at Chicago Bulls, 5th

This spot is primarily a fade, but you might be able to dig up a little bit of value. Jonathan Isaac ($4,700) is averaging well over 30 DKFP in his last two, and a matchup against the Wizards (who have to travel to Orlando after facing the Warriors last night) should be considered a difficult spot.

Power Forward Matchups


Brooklyn Nets vs. New York Knicks, 30th
Charlotte Hornets at Milwaukee Bucks, 28th
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Miami Heat, 27th

Brooklyn’s injury situation should have a trickle-down effect from top to bottom on the roster. DeMarre Carroll ($4,700) should see some extra scoring chances against the Knicks, which should lead to some success against a soft frontcourt defense.


Minnesota Timberwolves at Utah Jazz, 1st
Denver Nuggets vs. Phoenix Suns, 3rd
Sacramento Kings at Memphis Grizzlies, 4th

Denver could be a popular spot to target some PF value. Both Paul Millsap ($5,100) and Mason Plumlee ($3,900) have upside in this spot. Millsap, despite an up-and-down season, scored over 33 DKFP the last time he faced the Suns.

Center Matchups


Denver Nuggets vs. Phoenix Suns, 30th
New York Knicks at Brooklyn Nets, 29th
Chicago Bulls vs. Los Angeles Clippers, 28th

If you got fooled into Enes Kanter ($4,700) on Wednesday’s slate, don’t let that happen again unless the Knicks confirm he’s starting. We thought that was the case, but Kanter wound up with a DNP on Wednesday. Per usual, Nikola Jokic ($10,600) makes for a strong play against the Suns’ banged-up frontcourt.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Jokic has been suspended for tonight’s game vs. the Suns.


Miami Heat at Cleveland Cavaliers, 1st
Phoenix Suns at Denver Nuggets, 2nd
Utah Jazz vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, 3rd

Rudy Gobert ($8,500) has been on his best fantasy stretch of the season, and he now catches Minnesota on the second leg of a tough back-to-back. This spot shouldn’t be nearly as tough for Gobert as it appears on paper. I actually consider him one of the top center plays on this slate with the way he’s going right now.

Lineup Quick Hits

Superstar Worth Paying For

James Harden ($13,800) — Chris Paul (hamstring) isn’t expected to play until Sunday, so this should be our last game to ride this insane Harden hot streak. His price is through the roof, and he faces a tremendous defensive team in Toronto. While I think he’s worth more than worth his salary, I don’t think we can expect Harden in that 80-100 DKFP range he’s shown so much lately. Still, a 5.5-6X return on $13,800 is well worth investing in.

Save The Big Bucks By Drafting …

Jerryd Bayless ($3,600) — One way or another, it looks like Bayless will continue to see a good chunk of minutes on Friday. While the matchup against Utah is less appealing than the last two games he’s averaged 34.5 DKFP in, he’s still going to be playing enough minutes to make investing $3,600 a no-brainer.

Next Man Up

Brooklyn Nets — Russell is my favorite play on this slate, but you can feel good about rostering multiple Nets. Napier could be the most popular play on the slate, while Carroll and Harris make for strong options. I’m locking Russell into lineups before I even get to Harden, but you’re going to have the salary to roster someone over $10,000 given the value on the slate.

*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.