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 Monday’s four-game slate:


Defense vs. Position

Point Guard Matchups

BEST
Utah Jazz vs. Portland Trail Blazers, 13th
Portland Trail Blazers at Utah Jazz, 12th
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Houston Rockets, 11th

It’s pretty easy to see the PG matchups on this slate are lacking, but there are still plenty of big names to roster. Damian Lillard ($8,300), Ben Simmons ($8,600) and Donovan Mitchell ($8,200) are all in strong spots to pay up for here. Lillard and Mitchell have struggled head-to-head this season, while Simmons is averaging over 54 DKFP over his last five.

WORST
Houston Rockets at Philadelphia 76ers, 2nd
Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat, 4th
Miami Heat at Boston Celtics, 6th

Again, the slate is loaded with star power at PG. Kyrie Irving ($9,000) has been carrying the C’s at home lately, scoring over 63 DKFP in each of his last two in Boston. Then we have James Harden ($13,200), who hasn’t scored less than 70 DKFP in a game in two weeks. Having launched at least 15 times from downtown in each of his last nine games, Harden’s appeal is pretty obvious at this point, even at this price.


Shooting Guard Matchups

BEST
Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Lakers, 29th
Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat, 28th
Utah Jazz vs. Portland Trail Blazers, 24th

Klay Thompson ($6,400) has been a nice mid-priced value since finding his shot earlier this month. Having reached value in seven of his last 10 games, Thompson and the rest of the Warriors will be looking for revenge after a dud against the Lakers earlier this season.

WORST
Portland Trail Blazers at Utah Jazz, 1st
Houston Rockets at Philadelphia 76ers, 4th
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors, 6th

Harden’s an obvious one you can still play here, but Lance Stephenson ($4,000) should make for one of the slate’s top values with Lonzo Ball (ankle) sidelined. Lance stepped up for 26 DKFP in 25 minutes against the Rockets on Saturday.


Small Forward Matchups

BEST
Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Lakers, 24th
Utah Jazz vs. Portland Trail Blazers, 21st
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Houston Rockets, 15th

Kevin Durant ($9,500) is in a solid spot, and at his cheapest salary in six games. He makes sense against a shorthanded Lakers team that the Dubs should be looking to bury. The 76ers likely have more value at the position, starting with Jimmy Butler ($7,100), who has been in a nice groove lately. Wait for official news on his status, as a wrist injury leaves him as questionable. Wilson Chandler ($3,700) has seen his role grow lately, averaging over 30 minutes per game in his last four games. That’s enough time on the floor to pay $3,700 every time.

WORST
Houston Rockets at Philadelphia 76ers, 4th
Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat, 7th
Portland Trail Blazers at Utah Jazz, 8th

Gerald Green ($4,400) is getting some extra minutes with Houston’s lack of bodies. You can consider him just because the Rockets are so thin, but overall these matchups make good fade spots.


Power Forward Matchups

BEST
Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat, 27th
Houston Rockets at Philadelphia 76ers, 24th
Utah Jazz vs. Portland Trail Blazers, 12th

The Rockets and Jazz don’t have much to offer at this position, so I’m looking to Al Horford ($5,800) here. It’s a tough spot for Horford starting the game at center, but as things go on the Celtics will move him to PF at times, which could be good spurts for him to put up numbers.

WORST
Portland Trail Blazers at Utah Jazz, 1st
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors, 2nd
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Houston Rockets, 5th

This could be the last game we can target Kyle Kuzma ($7,600) with LeBron James (groin) sidelined. Going for more than 50 DKFP in each of his last two games, Kuzma’s worth riding against the Warriors.


Center Matchups

BEST
Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Lakers, 26th
Portland Trail Blazers at Utah Jazz, 24th
Miami Heat at Boston Celtics, 17th

Jusuf Nurkic ($7,900) andHassan Whiteside $6,000) stand out in these spots. The Celtics contained Whiteside to just 26.5 DKFP earlier this season, though. I’m looking to Nurk here, even though he’s also underperformed against Utah this season. Nurk’s ceiling is extremely high on any given night, but he tends to be able to take advantage of favorable matchups in general.

WORST
Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat, 5th
Utah Jazz vs. Portland Trail Blazers, 8th
Houston Rockets at Philadelphia 76ers, 12th

Rudy Gobert ($8,500) might be the hottest fantasy play in the league right now, so I can’t tell you to fade him just because it’s a tough matchup. Gobert’s scored 50 or more DKFP in four straight games, two of them coming against teams that rank highly defending the center position.


Lineup Quick Hits

Superstar Worth Paying For

Joel Embiid, PHI vs. HOU ($10,100) — Embiid’s questionable for this game with back tightness, so we’ll need to wait on confirmation that he plays. But if he does, the matchup against Houston right now is too perfect for any big man. With Clint Capela (thumb) sidelined, the Rockets have been dominated on the interior. Embiid will have his way in this one if he’s able to suit up. Harden makes for an obvious pivot if Embiid sits, but you were probably already playing him anyway.

Save The Big Bucks By Drafting …

Wilson Chandler, PHI vs. HOU ($3,700) — Chandler’s a good play on this slate regardless of the injury report for the Sixers. He’s been playing well in a growing role lately, and the matchup against a banged up Rockets team should help. But if Butler or Embiid wind up sitting, Chandler could become more valuable.

Next Man Up

Lance Stephenson, LAL vs. GS ($4,000) — LeBron, Ball and Rajon Rondo (hand) should all be off the floor in this one. While Kuzma has the most upside here, the Lakers have to get some ball handling elsewhere. The blowout potential shouldn’t hurt Lance’s value, as he’s a candidate to stay on the floor until late in the game no matter the situation.

*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.