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 eight-game slate:
Defense vs. Position
Point Guard MatchupsBEST
Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Clippers, 28th
Golden State Warriors vs. New Orleans Pelicans, 25th
Houston Rockets vs. Brooklyn Nets, 24th
Slot James Harden ($13,000) into your lineups at whatever position you want, but just don’t get caught without him in cash games. He’s in a terrific spot at home against Brooklyn, and is riding an insane run that includes 70-plus DKFP in each of his last four outings. An 88-DKFP game in 30 minutes against Cleveland suggests Harden has 100-DKFP type of upside if this game stays close. Stephen Curry ($10,100) is a nice tournament pivot, as he’s shot 19-for-32 from behind the arc against strong defenses in his last two games combined, and now gets a chance to face one of the cushiest defensive units in the league.
Detroit Pistons vs. Orlando Magic, 3rd
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Milwaukee Bucks, 4th
New Orleans Pelicans at Golden State Warriors, 5th
With Kyle Anderson (ankle) sidelined for Memphis, we can go after some deeper value plays here. Shelvin Mack ($3,800) and Jevon Carter ($3,300) should both see extended roles.
Shooting Guard MatchupsBEST
Golden State Warriors vs. New Orleans Pelicans, 27th
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, 25th
Cleveland Cavaliers at Portland Trail Blazers, 24th
With the Warriors catching fire heading into what should be a fast-paced game against New Orleans, Klay Thompson ($6,500) makes a ton of sense to roster. Klay’s scored 41 or more DKFP in three of his last four, and now his salary’s on the decline in his best matchup yet.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Utah Jazz, 1st
Houston Rockets vs. Brooklyn Nets, 2nd
Dallas Mavericks vs. San Antonio Spurs, 5th
Lou Williams ($6,100) is cheap enough to consider slotting in, as his scoring upside is enough to overcome a bad matchup at times. Luka Doncic ($8,400) is the preferred option if you have the cash. The star rookie is as hot as he’s been in his brief NBA career, and ripped off 50 DKFP against the Spurs earlier in the season.
Small Forward MatchupsBEST
Golden State Warriors vs. New Orleans Pelicans, 29th
San Antonio Spurs vs. Dallas Mavericks, 27th
Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Clippers, 26th
The Jazz remain extremely undermanned for the time being, so the value plays that’ve become staples over the last few Cheat Sheets remain — Joe Ingles ($5,900), Royce O’Neale ($4,500) and Jae Crowder ($4,300). If you have the salary to go for a stud here, Kevin Durant ($9,800) makes for another Warrior to target. The Dubs seem to have found their stride since that OT home loss to Houston.
Orlando Magic at Detroit Pistons, 3rd
Toronto Raptors at Boston Celtics, 5th
Detroits Pistons vs. Orlando Magic, 8th
These spots are all going to be fades for me. There are just too many studs in better spots to consider Kawhi Leonard ($9,600) a safe play, but if you want to roster him to be contrarian in a GPP you should be able to get some low ownership on him.
Power Forward MatchupsBEST
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Milwaukee Bucks, 28th
Boston Celtics vs. Toronto Raptors, 24th
Houston Rockets vs. Brooklyn Nets, 21st
With Clint Capela (thumb) out, the Rockets are really desperate for bodies. Gary Clark ($3,400) stepped up in the last game with 16.25 DKFP in a little more than 26 minutes. Getting some kind of production from the frontcourt should be key against Brooklyn. With Marc Gasol ($7,100) questionable due to an elbow injury, be ready to react to some news that would open up value in the Memphis’ frontcourt.
New Orleans Pelicans at Golden State Warriors, 1st
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Utah Jazz, 2nd
Milwaukee Bucks at Memphis Grizzlies, 4th
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 needs to be on your radar as elite plays of any kind.
Houston Rockets vs. Brooklyn Nets, 30th
Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Clippers, 29th
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Utah Jazz, 24th
Rudy Gobert ($8,500) has seen his DKFP total rise in each of his last three games, topping 52 in his past two outings. He should make for a strong play against a Clippers’ defense that really struggles against size.
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, 1st
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Milwaukee Bucks, 2nd
Detroit Pistons vs. Orlando Magic, 4th
This spot’s a full fade for me, aside from the potential Gasol absence opening up value. Keep an eye on this situation.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying ForJames Harden, HOU vs. BKN ($13,000) — At this point Harden could easily be $15,000 and reach 5x value, particularly in a matchup against the Nets. For a GPP, you can risk fading him for other plays, but that won’t be the case in cash games.
Save The Big Bucks By Drafting …Gary Clark, HOU vs. BKN ($3,400) — Assuming Clark plays in the 25-plus minute range once again, you won’t find a cheaper value play with the upside Clark brings. He plays in an elite offense and will be at home against a terrible road team which struggles defending frontcourt players.
Next Man UpMultiple Injury Situations to Follow — Memphis, Utah and Houston stand out the most, but there will be plenty of news to keep up with on the DK Live app to get the best edge on this 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.