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 seven-game slate:

Defense vs. Position

Point Guard Matchups

BEST

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Washington Wizards, 29th
Houston Rockets vs. New Orleans Pelicans, 28th
San Antonio Spurs vs. Phoenix Suns, 27th

With DeMar DeRozan (knee) ruled out, the Spurs’ perimeter plays will be a popular place to find value. Both Derrick White ($5,700) and Bryn Forbes ($4,300) should see some extra opportunities in a favorable matchup against Phoenix.

WORST

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 2nd
Oklahoma City Thunder at Orlando Magic, 4th
Philadelphia 76ers at Los Angeles Lakers, 6th

Each of these matchups are unique enough that we shouldn’t have to fade them. Rajon Rondo ($6,700) has seen a huge role since returning from a hand injury, averaging about 40 minutes and 40 DKFP in the last two outings. Russell Westbrook ($10,600) seems to get overlooked these days, but he has three straight triple-doubles with pretty big overall numbers. He’s destroyed Orlando for some of his best games over the last two seasons, so he has to remain in consideration.



Shooting Guard Matchups

BEST

Philadelphia 76ers at Los Angeles Lakers, 29th
Orlando Magic vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 26th
Oklahoma City Thunder at Orlando Magic, 25th

Jimmy Butler ($6,900) stands out in this spot, even after missing three games with a wrist injury. Butler played really well against the Lakers, even with Minnesota this season, averaging over 50 DKFP in a pair of games.

WORST

Phoenix Suns at San Antonio Spurs, 3rd
San Antonio Spurs vs. Phoenix Suns, 5th
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 8th

The Spurs are a team that we can disregard the matchup on this slate because of DeRozan’s absence. Any of the perimeter plays are going to be strong values with all over DeRozan’s usage and minutes off the floor. Mikal Bridges ($3,900) is cheap enough to consider on the other side of the matchup. He’s been averaging 36 minutes over his last two games, which is difficult to find at this price point.



Small Forward Matchups

BEST

Houston Rockets vs. New Orleans Pelicans, 30th
Philadelphia 76ers at Los Angeles Lakers, 27th
Phoenix Suns at San Antonio Spurs, 24th

Butler and Bridges are plays you can slot in at SG/SF, so they give you some flexibility here. While he plays more at SG, Eric Gordon ($5,000) is a nice target to consider in this spot. Gordon’s really been helping provide Houston with another scoring option since he returned to the lineup in mid-January. He’s played well against the Pelicans in two games this season, yet checks in at a very affordable salary.

WORST

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Washington Wizards, 3rd
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 4th
Oklahoma City Thunder at Orlando Magic, 6th

Cedi Osman ($5,200) has been playing a large enough role that his matchup is irrelevant given his salary. Osman’s averaging 37 minutes and 39.5 DKFP over his last three games, so $5,200 sounds like a discount against the Wizards, a squad that’s a weird outlier in terms of limiting SF production this season.



Power Forward Matchups

BEST

Detroit Pistons vs. Milwaukee Bucks, 28th
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Washington Wizards, 27th
Brooklyn Nets vs. Chicago Bulls, 25th

You can slot Osman at PF as well, which is a position he’s seeing some minutes at due to how banged up the bigs are on Cleveland’s roster. Detroit and Brooklyn are also great spots to find value. Stanley Johnson ($3,200) should see an expanded role with Reggie Bullock (ankle) sidelined. I’ll touch more on the Nets later.

WORST

San Antonio Spurs vs. Phoenix Suns, 3rd
Philadelphia 76ers at Los Angeles Lakers, 5th
Phoenix Suns at San Antonio Spurs, 6th

With the Suns’ frontcourt in shambles, Richaun Holmes ($4,700) has been a popular value play. Even with his salary creeping up and a tough matchup in San Antonio, Holmes should still see a large enough role to exceed value. Holmes came back into the lineup on Sunday and scored 37.5 DKFP in 27 minutes against the Lakers.



Center Matchups

BEST

Chicago Bulls at Brooklyn Nets, 30th
San Antonio Spurs vs. Phoenix Suns, 29th
Philadelphia 76ers at Los Angeles Lakers, 27th

Joel Embiid ($10,200) is in a spectacular spot against the Lakers, even with Butler returning. Embiid’s scored over 60 DKFP in consecutive games, and the matchup against the Lakers is one of the most favorable a talented big man with this type of skill set could have.

WORST

Washington Wizards at Cleveland Cavaliers, 1st
Detroit Pistons vs. Milwaukee Bucks, 2nd
Oklahoma City Thunder at Orlando Magic, 5th

Steven Adams ($6,500) is a potential target here, but he’s listed as questionable with an ankle injury. There are some really strong center plays on this slate, so I likely won’t be looking at Adams, or any of these matchups, regardless.



Lineup Quick Hits

Superstar Worth Paying For

Joel Embiid ($10,200) — Embiid is one of the reasons I won’t be looking to get fancy at center. It’s a near perfect spot for Embiid, and we save a ton of salary coming off James Harden ($13,600) — who while still dangerous, loses some appeal with Houston finally getting some bodies back in the rotation.

Save The Big Bucks By Drafting …

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson ($3,800) — RHJ was my Nets’ tease from earlier in the article. This guy used to cost double this salary, but he was reduced to a bench role. Now back in the starting lineup on Monday, RHJ managed 33 DKFP in 27 minutes. He has 8-10X value upside at this discount.

Next Man Up

Spurs’ Wings — All of the wings in San Antonio have the most value intrigue on this slate with a player like DeRozan out. But Rudy Gay ($5,900) stands out as the most intriguing play. Gay’s had some big games recently, even with DeRozan in the lineup. But this sets up as a spot that Gay can have a throwback game.

*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.