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 Wednesday’s seven-game slate:


Defense vs. Position

Point Guard Matchups

BEST
Houston Rockets at Sacramento Kings, 30th
Utah Jazz vs. Phoenix Suns, 29th
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Washington Wizards, 28th

Chris Paul ($7,100) had an encouraging performance Monday in Phoenix, playing 33 minutes en route to 38.25 DKFP — both high marks since he returned from a hamstring injury four games ago. Sacramento is one of the fastest paced teams in the league, so Paul could make for a sneaky tournament pivot off his backcourt-mate for almost half the price.

WORST
Washington Wizards at Milwaukee Bucks, 4th
Phoenix Suns at Utah Jazz, 7th
San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors, 9th

Jordan McRae ($3,400) jumped into Washington’s rotation four games ago, breaking out against the Hawks on Monday with a 36.25-DKFP outburst in 26 minutes. While he’s not safe enough to trust in cash yet, there’s enough upside here to consider playing McRae in tournaments. The real story on this slate will be the Spurs, who despite a rough matchup against the Warriors, offer tons of value with DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge both ruled out for rest purposes.


Shooting Guard Matchups

BEST
New Orleans Pelicans at Chicago Bulls, 26th
Chicago Bulls vs. New Orleans Pelicans, 25th
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Washington Wizards, 22nd

Zach LaVine ($6,600) is one of the most intriguing plays on this slate. While he had a poor game against Charlotte, he’s also surpassed 40 DKFP in two of his last four games. LaVine’s salary has inexplicably dropped from $8,100 just three games ago, down $1,500 entering one of the best matchups in the league. LaVine is simply the most underpriced player on the slate, with the exception of San Antonio playing without both its studs.

WORST
Phoenix Suns at Utah Jazz, 1st
Brooklyn Nets vs. Denver Nuggets, 2nd
San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors, 3rd

DeRozan’s absence alone means we can easily roster all these cheap guards. Bryn Forbes ($4,200), Patty Mills ($4,200) and Marco Belinelli ($4,000) are all strong considerations.


Small Forward Matchups

BEST
Chicago Bulls vs. New Orleans Pelicans, 25th
Golden State Warriors vs. San Antonio Spurs, 24th
Dallas Mavericks vs. Charlotte Hornets, 23rd

Dallas might look like a strong spot on paper, as Harrison Barnes ($5,700) has been killing it over the last two games. However, Tim Hardaway Jr. ($4,900) is likely set to make his team debut, crowing the wing scoring a little bit more. I hate to keep hammering it home, but the Spurs have some strong options here. Rudy Gay ($5,900) should be San Antonio’s go-to scorer.

WORST
New Orleans Pelicans at Chicago Bulls, 6th
Denver Nuggets at Brooklyn Nets, 7th
Phoenix Suns at Utah Jazz, 8th

This spot is likely a fade for me. We know that Anthony Davis (finger) has been cleared to play, but will continue to sit out through the Trade Deadline. But the Pelicans might be getting a couple other bodies back into the rotation, so we may lose some of the value plays we’ve been targeting over the last week. We’ll need to pay attention to New Orleans’ final injury report as lock approaches.


Power Forward Matchups

BEST
Washington Wizards at Milwaukee Bucks, 28th
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Washington Wizards, 27th
Denver Nuggets at Brooklyn Nets, 26th

Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,400) is appropriately priced on this slate, having scored 54 DKFP in Washington on Sunday. The Bucks won that game by 16 on the road, so the blowout potential in this matchup in Milwaukee limits his ceiling. Denver’s frontcourt would offer some extra value if Paul Millsap ($4,900) sits out another game with an ankle injury, but he entered the day listed as questionable.

WORST
Phoenix Suns at Utah Jazz, 1st
San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors, 2nd
Utah Jazz vs. Phoenix Suns, 3rd

Yup, you guessed it. You can roster the Spurs here. Gay is SF/PF eligible, and Davis Bertans ($4,100) should see a much larger role in this game.


Center Matchups

BEST
Denver Nuggets at Brooklyn Nets, 30th
Utah Jazz vs. Phoenix Suns, 29th
New Orleans Pelicans at Chicago Bulls, 26th

Nikola Jokic ($10,600) is in a spectacular spot against Brooklyn. The Joker was rolling up until a dud in Detroit, but this is the ideal matchup for a bounce-back spot. Jokic tagged the Nets for 72.75 DKFP earlier this season, showing just how high his ceiling is in this spot.

WORST
Washington Wizards at Milwaukee Bucks, 2nd
Charlotte Hornets at Dallas Mavericks, 6th
San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors, 7th

I’m sorry I have to keep doing this, but the Spurs have value here. This time it’s Jakob Poeltl ($3,200) and Pau Gasol ($3,200) who are both dirt cheap, but should see plenty of run. Poeltl is the safer play between the two, as a blowout may not effect his minutes.


Lineup Quick Hits

Superstar Worth Paying For

James Harden, HOU at SAC ($12,600) — With Paul back for the Rockets and Jokic’s earlier performance against the Nets, it was tough not to save a couple $1,000 and go with Jokic here. In the end, I just had to give into what Harden’s doing. Removing the 86-DKFP game against Utah that CP3 sat out, Harden still has essentially scored 72 DKFP in three of the four games that he’s shared the floor with Paul since he came back from injury. Somehow, Harden’s still finding ways to post almost as insane numbers as he was with Paul off the floor. The pace of play here should help Harden continue to scratch that ridiculous ceiling.

Save The Big Bucks By Drafting …

Zach LaVine, CHI vs. NO ($6,600) — I went over LaVine earlier in the article. Even coming off a bad game, it makes no sense to see LaVine’s salary down $1,500 entering a matchup against the Pelicans. LaVine should be much closer to $8,000 in this spot.

Next Man Up

San Antonio Spurs at GS — I listed seven plays from the Spurs in the article above. Once again, no DeRozan or Aldridge leaves tons of value. You could easily wind up with 3-4 values from San Antonio in a lineup.

*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.