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 Tuesday’s six-game slate:


Defense vs. Position

Point Guard Matchups

BEST
Indiana Pacers vs. Phoenix Suns, 27th
Oklahoma City Thunder at Atlanta Hawks, 25th
Golden State Warriors at Denver Nuggets, 19th

Russell Westbrook ($11,600) checks in as the most expensive play on the slate, but also one of the most obvious. The Hawks are a horrible defensive team across the board, and Russ has finally been producing those numbers we are used to seeing — 62.25 DKFP per game over his last five. In terms of pace and matchup, Westbrook should carry the highest ceiling on the slate.

WORST
Phoenix Suns at Indiana Pacers, 1st
Minnesota Timberwolves at Philadelphia 76ers, 3rd
Miami Heat at Milwaukee Bucks, 4th

None of these spots stand out to me, but the Suns make for a particularly easy fade. Not only do they go on the road to face the league’s best defensive team, but the return of Devin Booker ($8,400) complicates all of the salaries. Booker could be tough to trust in his first game since injuring his back, while the rest of the Suns players who were strong values are now too overpriced.


Shooting Guard Matchups

BEST
Oklahoma City Thunder at Atlanta Hawks, 30th
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Miami Heat, 29th
Chicago Bulls at Los Angeles Lakers, 28th

The Thunder don’t offer much at SG, but Milwaukee and Chicago have some value to capitalize on. Zach LaVine ($6,800) has exceeded value in four of his last five games, none of which presented a favorable matchup. This could be a breakout spot for him with the pace of play likely to be much more his style against the Lakers. Malcolm Brogdon ($5,700) is just a quiet but solid play per usual. He’s exceeded value in five consecutive games for his current price point, and the Miami defense isn’t one that should keep you from targeting against.

WORST
Golden State Warriors at Denver Nuggets, 3rd
Indiana Pacers vs. Phoenix Suns, 6th
Denver Nuggets vs. Golden State Warriors, 8th

The well balanced Nuggets probably make for the safest fade here, but there’s a lot of star power in these bad SG matchups. If I had to play one, I’d go with Klay Thompson ($6,600) in a GPP lineup. His salary is affordable, and he’s gotten his shooting touch back with some big games recently. Victor Oladipo ($7,800) is extremely cheap, but it’s warranted given his struggles. He’s failed to reach value by a pretty wide margin in his last four games, also not reaching the 5x mark in seven of his last nine overall.


Small Forward Matchups

BEST
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, 30th
Chicago Bulls at Los Angeles Lakers, 28th
Oklahoma City Thunder at Atlanta Hawks, 27th

Paul George ($9,200) has seen his salary return back to the norm after it inflated on us, so like Westbrook, he’s in a strong spot against the Hawks. With Westbrook likely the more popular option, PG-13 could be a nice pivot play or stack with Russ if you think the game stays close. If you’re feeling the revenge narrative, Jimmy Butler ($7,600) could be looking to show up his former team when the 76ers host the Timberwolves.

WORST
Phoenix Suns at Indiana Pacers, 1st
Minnesota Timberwolves at Philadelphia 76ers, 5th
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Chicago Bulls, 6th

Kyle Kuzma ($7,300) has continued his tremendous play. Even though the Bulls rank strongly on paper here, this isn’t a matchup that would scare me away. You should be able to continue to trust Kuz at home against Chicago.


Power Forward Matchups

BEST
Oklahoma City Thunder at Atlanta Hawks, 29th
Miami Heat at Milwaukee Bucks, 28th
Minnesota Timberwolves at Philadelphia 76ers, 27th

Not to pile on the Thunder, but they have a lot of strong plays on this slate. Jerami Grant ($5,100) is another one of them, and should continue to play an expanded role with Nerlens Noel (concussion) sidelined. Taj Gibson ($4,400) has been playing the majority of the PF minutes for Minnesota, so you can trust him as a value play on this slate. Dario Saric ($4,600) has been the odd-man out over the last two games, averaging just 17.5 minutes. He’s far from a sure-thing, but playing the revenge narrative in tournaments is never the worst idea.

WORST
Denver Nuggets vs. Golden State Warriors, 1st
Indiana Pacers vs. Phoenix Suns, 4th
Chicago Bulls at Los Angeles Lakers, 5th

Paul Millsap ($6,000) and Lauri Markkanen ($6,100) have both been inconsistent since returning from their respective injuries. They also carry high ceilings, so they’re at least worth mentioning here as GPP targets, but neither of them need to be on your radar as elite pays of any kind.


Center Matchups

BEST
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Chicago Bulls, 29th
Indiana Pacers vs. Phoenix Suns, 28th
Chicago Bulls at Los Angeles Lakers, 26th

This spot is fine if you want to go after a JaVale McGee ($5,300) or Wendell Carter Jr. ($5,300) type of play. But there are some really strong center plays on this slate. With three guys priced up over $10,000, I think each of them are strong options to pay up for if you can carve out the salary.

WORST
Golden State Warriors at Denver Nuggets, 2nd
Atlanta Hawks vs Oklahoma City Thunder, 4th
Miami Heat at Milwaukee Bucks, 5th

The Hawks could be really shorthanded in this game, which could lead to some value. I’ll touch on that later, but regardless of the injury report in Atlanta, John Collins ($7,500) will remain a really strong play.


Lineup Quick Hits

Superstar Worth Paying For

Russell Westbrook, OKC at ATL ($11,600) — If you prefer to pay for one of the centers that’s fine, but you might even be able to pair one with Westbrook if we get the kind of value we did on Monday’s slate. If I have to pick just one player to pay up for, it’s Russ. This is the type of matchup he should dominate, with the only downside being limited minutes in a potential blowout. The Hawks have been competitive of late, so there’s reason to believe Westbrook may need to go all out to earn the win.

Save The Big Bucks By Drafting …

Jerami Grant, OKC at ATL ($5,100) — I think Grant could go a little overlooked on this slate. But a deeper dive shows us that he’s really in a spectacular spot. Since Noel’s been out, Grant’s averaging over 37 DKFP in two games. Combine that with a matchup against the Hawks, and we’ve got awesome upside on a very affordable play.

Next Man Up

Atlanta Hawks — So the Hawks have a laundry list of players who could potentially be sidelined against the Thunder. It looks like the frontcourt should open up some minutes for Omari Spellman $3,800), who would then make for one of the top values on the slate. Spellman went for 31 DKFP in 30 minutes in his last game, a tough matchup against Milwaukee. Follow the news on DK Live, but the Hawks should provide us with some salary relief here.

*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.