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 Wednesday’s eight-game slate:

Defense vs. Position

Point Guard Matchups

BEST

Atlanta Hawks at Sacramento Kings, 30th
Indiana Pacers at Washington Wizards, 29th
Denver Nuggets at New Orleans Hornets, 28th

With Jamal Murray (ankle) already confirmed out, I think targeting Denver’s backup PGs makes sense. New Orleans is coming off an unexpected, hard-fought victory in Houston on Tuesday night, so this could be a down spot. Malik Beasley ($4,200) is my favorite play in the Denver backcourt. The Pacers’ Edmond Sumner ($3,700) is at least a name to consider. He isn’t very good, but with both Victor Oladipo (knee) and Tyreke Evans (back) out, he earned the start and played 28 minutes against the Warriors.

WORST

Washington Wizards vs. Indiana Pacers, 1st
Chicago Bulls at Miami Heat, 3rd
Charlotte Hornets at Boston Celtics, 4th

This isn’t the best spot for Kemba Walker ($8,200), but you can consider him for tournaments. Kemba’s looking for a bounce-back game after failing to even come close to reaching value in two straight games. Boston actually has been an opponent he’s performed well against this season, averaging more than 48 DKFP in two games.


Shooting Guard Matchups

BEST

Sacramento Kings vs. Atlanta Hawks, 30th
Dallas Mavericks at New York Knicks, 28th
Chicago Bulls at Miami Heat, 27th

I think you can get away with playing any of Sacramento’s SGs on this slate, with my favorite of the group being Bogdan Bogdanovic ($5,500). Bogdanovic has flashed a high ceiling this month, and the Hawks are the type of team that could help him reach that. Wesley Matthews’ ($4,200) game log has been all over the place lately, but he generally plays more than 30 minutes and should be in a safe spot against a Knicks team he reached value against earlier this season.

WORST

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Utah Jazz, 1st
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Denver Nuggets, 2nd
Atlanta Hawks at Sacramento Kings, 6th

The Pelicans are the only spot you potentially can interest me in here. Again, it’s not an easy situation for them, so I’d prefer to wait and see what their injury report looks like — DK Live has you covered there. Jrue Holiday ($8,900) is the only one I’d consider a strong play regardless of who plays for New Orleans.


Small Forward Matchups

BEST

Denver Nuggets at New Orleans Hornets, 30th
Memphis Grizzlies at Minnesota Timberwolves, 29th
Sacramento Kings vs. Atlanta Hawks, 28th

Justin Holiday ($4,300) is going to go off for a big game at some point. Until then, he’s going to remain one of the most intriguing values on every slate he’s on. He hasn’t been playing that well since being traded to Memphis, but he’s played at least 38 minutes in four of his past five games. Eventually those minutes are going to turn into production. Maybe it’s in a favorable matchup against the Wolves.

WORST

Washington Wizards vs. Indiana Pacers, 1st
Indiana Pacers at Washington Wizards, 3rd
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Memphis Grizzlies, 4th

None of these teams have players you’d go out of your way to roster at SF to begin with, and they’re going against three of the four toughest teams against SFs in the NBA. I’ll fade each of these spots unless the news dictates otherwise.


Power Forward Matchups

BEST

Dallas Mavericks at New York Knicks, 30th
Sacramento Kings vs. Atlanta Hawks, 29th
Indiana Pacers at Washington Wizards, 27th

None of these stand out as fantastic spots to take advantage of, but there are some targets to consider. Harrison Barnes ($5,200) is discounted slightly and in a great matchup at MSG. Marvin Bagley ($5,400) feels like he’s in a good spot to look at in a GPP. He’s inconsistent, but when he gets big minutes he provides 40-50 DKFP upside. That upside should be on the table against a team like Atlanta.

WORST

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Utah Jazz, 1st
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Memphis Grizzlies, 3rd
Utah Jazz at Portland Trail Blazers, 8th

The matchups are all just as bad as they look on paper. No injury situations give us any edge, and both of these games should be two of the slowest paces of the night.


Center Matchups

BEST

Miami Heat vs. Chicago Bulls, 26th
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Utah Jazz, 25th
Atlanta Hawks at Sacramento Kings, 24th

Jusuf Nurkic ($8,300) stands out in this spot, as he continues to have a dominant month of January. His run includes 54 DKFP against Utah just last week, so we know he can thrive in this spot. While Utah continues to be one of the better defensive teams in the league, it just hasn’t carried over to the center position this season.

WORST

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Denver Nuggets, 2nd
Chicago Bulls at Miami Heat, 5th
Memphis Grizzlies at Minnesota Timberwolves, 6th

Because of the injuries in New Orleans, Jahlil Okafor ($6,600) has come storming back to fantasy relevance. Averaging more than 41 DKFP in his past five games, Okafor remains underpriced, regardless of matchup until his salary spikes or the Pelicans get some bodies back in their frontcourt.


Lineup Quick Hits

Superstar Worth Paying For

Nikola Jokic ($10,900)— For as long as New Orleans’ frontcourt is as thin as it is, we can target big men playing against it. Jokic has averaged 49 DKFP against the Pelicans this season, and now will face them without any of the defenders he’s accustomed to going against. Okafor has no shot here, leaving Jokic in position to scratch a very high ceiling.

Save The Big Bucks By Drafting …

Justin Holiday ($4,300) — If the rotation remains unchanged, Holiday’s going to see 38-40 minutes in this game. I’ll pay $4,300 for that every time. The matchup dictates a potential breakout spot for Holiday.

Next Man Up

Boston Celtics— Kyrie Irving (hip) is not expected to play against the Hornets, which opens up value across the board with the Celtics. Pending injury news, the Pelicans might still be the best team to target for value, but pay attention for the rest of the Celtics’ first unit to get a boost with Kyrie out, as was the case Monday.


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.