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 eight-game slate:


Defense vs. Position

Point Guard Matchups

BEST
Orlando Magic at Sacramento Kings, 29th
Memphis Grizzlies at New Orleans Pelicans, 26th
Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets, 25th
 
Memphis is in for a clash in styles when it faces New Orleans on this slate, which should be helpful for both Mike Conley ($7,500) and Kyle Anderson ($5,200). Anderson provides an extremely safe floor along with elite upside — just look at the 52.75-DKFP outburst he had against the Pelicans earlier in the season.

WORST
Sacramento Kings vs. Orlando Magic, 2nd
Utah Jazz at Milwaukee Bucks, 5th
Denver Nuggets at Houston Rockets, 7th

These aren’t great spots to target, but De’Aaron Fox ($6,900) has become near matchup proof this season. More importantly, a stretch of three cold games has dropped his salary $1,300 in a week, making him a very intriguing GPP play.


Shooting Guard Matchups

BEST
New York Knicks at Portland Trail Blazers, 29th
Memphis Grizzlies at New Orleans Pelicans, 26th
Los Angeles Lakers at Dallas Mavericks, 22nd

Justin Holiday ($3,500) is extremely affordable in his new role with Memphis. He had a rough game in his debut against the Spurs on Saturday, but did play 21 minutes. Holiday reached $5,800 during the month of December, so if his role increases just a little bit to around 25 minutes in a terrific matchup like this, he provides some really nice value.

WORST
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Utah Jazz, 1st
Houston Rockets vs. Denver Nuggets, 2nd
Brooklyn Nets at Boston Celtics, 7th

You can take matchups with James Harden ($12,000) and just toss them right out the window. Per usual, the run down Houston backcourt leaves Harden in a spot where he can continue to thrive. This price tag remains a bargain for a guy averaging 72.4 DKFP over his last five games.


Small Forward Matchups

BEST
Memphis Grizzlies at New Orleans Pelicans, 30th
Orlando Magic at Sacramento Kings, 27th
New York Knicks at Portland Trail Blazers, 26th

Anderson is conveniently PG/SF eligible, so there’s plenty of places you can slot him in. Orlando has a couple of nice options to offer as well against the fastest paced team in the NBA. Aaron Gordon ($6,700) and Terrence Ross ($4,000) are both high-upside players who have taken advantage of this matchup already this season. Gordon went for 44.5 DKFP, while Ross just missed dropping 30 DKFP on the Kings when they visited Orlando.

WORST
San Antonio Spurs at Detroit Pistons, 3rd
Brooklyn Nets at Boston Celtics, 6th
Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets, 7th

With Rudy Gay (wrist) sitting this one out for the Spurs, we can expect Davis Bertans ($3,600) to see an expanded role. When Gay sat out against the Celtics on New Year’s Eve, Bertans was extremely productive, filling in with 27.25 DKFP in 31 minutes.


Power Forward Matchups

BEST
Portland Trail Blazers vs. New York Knicks, 30th
Utah Jazz at Milwaukee Bucks, 28th
Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets, 26th

Derrick Favors ($5,200) has scored 30-36 DKFP in three of his last four outings, playing at least 25 minutes in each of those contests. That’s been a slight boost in playing time for Favors, so with a hot hand heating into a favorable matchup, you can at least consider Favors on this slate.

WORST
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Utah Jazz, 1st
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Memphis Grizzlies, 3rd
Denver Nuggets at Houston Rockets, 5th

Going between Harden and Anthony Davis ($11,600) is going to be a close call as to which stud you anchor your lineup with. You’ll get my choice in the quick hits section, but AD is playable against Memphis, and already scored 55 DKFP against them this season. Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,400) could be the odd-man out against Utah, but that leaves him as a good GPP target due to ownership.


Center Matchups

BEST

Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets, 30th
Orlando Magic at Sacramento Kings, 26th
Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 25th

DeAndre Jordan ($6,100) and Nikola Vucevic ($9,500) are both in tremendous spots on this slate. DJ’s underperformed in both of his matchups against the Lakers, but checks it at an extremely low salary in an ideal matchup. Vucevic dominated the Clippers for 63 DKFP on Sunday, and scored 45 against the Kings earlier this season.

WORST
Utah Jazz at Milwaukee Bucks, 2nd
Houston Rockets vs. Denver Nuggets, 3rd
Sacramento Kings vs. Orlando Magic, 4th

Willie Cauley-Stein ($5,700) was able to handle this matchup the previous time, scoring 32.25 DKFP in Orlando. He scored 44.25 DKFP in his last outing, and carries a high ceiling into any game. WCS is a GPP consideration here.


Lineup Quick Hits

Superstar Worth Paying For

James Harden, HOU vs. DEN ($12,000) — It’s close than it has been on recent slates, but I still believe Harden’s the guy to pay up for. Houston’s injuries give him higher upside, and he’s the toughest of the studs on this slate to defend. The red-hot run Harden’s on right now leaves me far more concerned with what his salary is versus his matchup.

Save The Big Bucks By Drafting …

Reggie Bullock, DET vs. SA ($3,700) — Bullock’s too cheap for someone playing as many minutes as he is. He’s averaging 30 minutes on the season, and just went for 27.25 DKFP in 39 minutes in a tough matchup against Utah.

Next Man Up

Shabazz Napier, BKN at BOS ($3,400) — The Nets are slammed with injuries right now, leaving them extremely shorthanded in Boston with DeMarre Carroll (knee) and Joe Harris (ankle) both out tonight. Napier’s playing a much larger role and brings a high ceiling — he went off for 51 DKFP against the Bucks back on Dec. 29.

*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.