It’s that time of the season where a lot more goes into matchups than just good and bad teams. Many teams are playing for nothing at this point, or have their playoff seeds locked in. Other teams are playing for their playoff lives, or are still battling for seeding. With that said, I’ll do my best to identify tonight’s best and worst matchups on this nine-game slate.

Be sure to check in on the DK Live app throughout the day to monitor injury and lineup news. Hit me up on Twitter with comments or questions: @julianedlow.

Defense vs. Position

Point Guard Matchups

BESTIsaiah Thomas ($8,300) vs. Brooklyn Nets – Thomas is in an awesome spot all the way around. The Celtics are still fighting for playoff position, and also happen to be playing one of the worst teams in the NBA. Brooklyn lets up an average of 56 total DKFP to PGs, and IT has topped 45 DKFP in consecutive games.

WORSTStephen Curry ($9,000) vs. Utah Jazz – The Jazz are still battling for playoff position here, while Golden State is locked into the top seed out west. Curry is probable to play in this one, but will likely be trying to get Kevin Durant back into the swing of things rather than chase a big game for himself. The Warriors don’t need to play their starters big minutes here, not to mention Utah is a poor matchup to begin with.


Shooting Guard Matchups

BESTNicolas Batum ($7,100) vs. Milwaukee Bucks – Kemba Walker is considered doubtful for this one, and with the Hornets out of it all together, there’s no reason to push him to play. That should open up plenty more looks for Batum, who’s already averaging more than 44 DKFP over his last two games.

WORSTC.J. McCollum ($6,900) vs. San Antonio Spurs – This game simply doesn’t matter to anybody. San Antonio is locked into the 2-seed, and Portland is locked into the 8-seed after batting hard to earn it. This would be a good time for the Blazers to get some rest and not push their starters for big minutes. C.J. has already failed to surpass 33 DKFP in his last four outings, and the Spurs never make things easy on anyone.


Small Forward Matchups

UPDATE: The Cavaliers may rest LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love tonight, per Joe Vardon. Be sure to check their statuses closer to lock.

BESTLeBron James ($10,600) vs. Miami Heat – The Cavs suffered embarrassing back-to-back losses to the Hawks, including dropping a 26-point lead in the fourth quarter yesterday. Cleveland will be looking to lock down the 1-seed, and LeBron should be playing with the kind of motivation he did in Boston last week. He’ll be looking to potentially knock his former team out of the playoff mix in the process, so this should be full steam ahead. Honestly, the four highest priced SFs on this slate are all playing for a lot tonight.

WORSTKawhi Leonard ($8,500) vs. Portland Trail Blazers – I just don’t see why Kawhi has to push himself in this game. Leonard played just 14 minutes against the Lakers last week, which could certainly happen again. With so many great options at SF, I can’t recommend going with Kawhi.


Power Forward Matchups

BESTPaul George ($9,900) vs. Philadelphia 76ers – George is one of those SFs I love tonight that you can sneak into your lineup at PF. The Sixers are a great matchup from the jump, but PG is trying to get his team into the postseason, and has been absolutely on fire in the process. He has all the motivation in the world to keep it going tonight.

WORSTDraymond Green ($7,000) vs. Utah Jazz – Pretty much just going with the same approach as Steph here … there’s really no reason to go with any Warriors’ starters tonight. None of them have a very high ceiling given where they stand/who they’re playing.


Center Matchups

BESTBlake Griffin ($8,400) vs. Houston Rockets – Any of the big name Clippers should be in consideration for tonight. They’re trying to get a win to hang onto the 4-seed and get home court in the first round against Utah, while Houston is already locked into the 3-seed. Houston struggles against bigs and has the upside of a rapid pace of play. I also love DeAndre Jordan ($7,300) in this matchup too. Kevin Love ($7,800), Hassan Whiteside ($8,100) and Myles Turner ($6,400) all have a lot to play for in solid matchups as well.

WORSTAndre Drummond ($6,600) vs. Washington Wizards – Drummond’s opponent doesn’t matter. He’s playing way too few minutes now with the Pistons giving everyone a look, and Drummond seems like he’s checked out. He hasn’t reached 30 DKFP in any of his last three games, so it’s an easy call for me to stay away.


Lineup Quick Hits

Superstar Worth Paying For

UPDATE: The Cavaliers may rest LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love tonight, per Joe Vardon. Be sure to check their statuses closer to lock.

LeBron James ($10,600) – I think LeBron comes out for another statement game tonight after those two terrible losses to the Hawks. It just feels like a good spot for him. Jimmy Butler ($10,500) and George are both in huge games tonight, though. So if you like them better I have no problem looking there.

Save Big Bucks by Drafting

Brian Roberts ($3,000) – Roberts should see a ton of playing time assuming Kemba is out tonight. At the bare minimum, these are the types of situations you look to capitalize on.

Next Man Up

Follow DK Live! – It’s the end of the season and plenty of players are going to wind up sitting out tonight that we didn’t expect. Follow the news and plenty of value will be made available so you can fit your studs battling for playoff position.

 


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.