It was a big day for sports yesterday with MLB Opening Day and the college hoops game going on, but that meant an off-night for the NBA (aside from the POR/MIN makeup game from a cancellation earlier this season). That leaves us with a rare 11-game Tuesday night slate. I will do my best to provide you with the best and worst matchup focusing on statistics at each position, plus some bonus lineup building picks.
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
BEST – Jrue Holiday ($7,300) vs. Denver Nuggets – PGs simply continue to dominate the Nuggets. Holiday will get his chance tonight, as Denver’s given up an average of more than 60 total DKFP to PGs in its last 10 games. Holiday’s exceeded value in 4 of his last 6 games.
WORST – Shelvin Mack ($4,100) vs. Portland Trail Blazers – Damian Lillard ($8,600) has a tough matchup with Utah, but the way he’s been balling lately it’s tough to go against him, especially with his salary down $1,000. Portland has been spectacular defending PGs during its recent hot streak, ranking second in the NBA. Mack hasn’t been anything special filling in for George Hill, and this matchup won’t give him any added confidence.
Shooting Guard Matchups
BEST – Gary Harris ($5,400) vs. New Orleans Pelicans – Harris has been playing huge minutes for Denver (37+ in each of his last three games) and should continue to with Will Barton and Jameer Nelson both out. New Orleans is surrendering 51.3 total DKFP to its opponents’ SGs over the last five games, which leaves Harris in a fantastic spot on this slate.
WORST – C.J. McCollum ($6,800) vs. Utah Jazz – Utah ranks second in the league when it comes to limiting opposing SGs, and McCollum’s inconsistencies make him tough to trust. With Lillard playing as well as he is, and such a bad matchup, C.J. isn’t in an ideal position to reach his typically high ceiling.
Small Forward Matchups
BEST – Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot ($5,100) vs. Brooklyn Nets – Brooklyn ranks dead last in the league against SFs this season. With injuries piling up, TLC has come on strong for the Sixers lately, exceeding value in four consecutive contests. His best game in that stretch happened to come against the Nets — 37.25 DKFP.
WORST – Kawhi Leonard ($9,100) vs. Memphis Grizzlies – Leonard hasn’t quite been his dominant self lately, at least in terms of fantasy production. That includes 35 DKFP in 38 minutes against the Grizzlies two weeks ago. Overall, Memphis ranks fourth in DKFP allowed to SFs.
Power Forward Matchups
BEST – Aaron Gordon ($6,400) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers – The Mavericks’ PFs are actually in the best matchup spot for tonight, but we’ll be getting to them later anyway. Instead, I decided to use this space to highlight Gordon, who’s been crashing the glass like a maniac lately. He has 31 boards in his last two games, which has led to a ton of second chance points. He scored 62.5 DKFP on Friday and 55.25 DKFP on Saturday.
WORST – Zach Randolph ($6,300) vs. San Antonio Spurs – It’s unclear which Memphis bigs will be in uniform tonight, but the Spurs present a bad matchup for all of them. Randolph’s had a couple of breakout games with Marc Gasol out, but he’s also been a dud just as often. With the Spurs limiting Randolph to less than 20 DKFP the last time they played, I’m staying away from ZeBo at this price.
BEST – Brook Lopez ($7,300) vs. Philadelphia 76ers – The Sixers are consistently terrible at defending opposing centers, and Brook Lopez will look to continue that trend. He’s gone for 44.75 and 55.75 DKFP in his last two games. His salary is up $600, but it’s so difficult to go against him facing this ‘Sixers interior defense.
WORST – Pau Gasol ($5,300) vs. Memphis Grizzlies – You just know a Spurs vs. Grizzlies game isn’t a good one for fantasy purposes. These teams combined for just 187 points the last time they played, and Gasol scored a mere 17.5 DKFP against his brother’s team — which ranks first in the NBA defending centers.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
Russell Westbrook ($13,500) – We’ve made it this far without talking about Brodie, but there’s no way an NBA DFS article can end these days without doing so. He’s $3,200 more than any other player on this slate, yet I’m terrified of fading him. He would need to score 81 DKFP in order to reach 6X tonight, and guess what? That’s been his average over his last five games … so why the heck won’t he do it again versus a Bucks team allowing normal, human PGs to score 60 total DKFP per game over the last five.
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
Noah Vonleh ($4,000) – The former lottery pick had been playing well prior to Jusuf Nurkic going down, but now has a much larger role for Portland. Sure, the matchup isn’t ideal against Utah, but Vonleh is averaging more than 30 minutes and 30+ DKFP over his past two games.
Next Man Up
Dallas Mavericks Rest – Now eliminated from the playoffs and facing a back-to-back, Dallas has already said it will be resting players. Just keep an eye on the news because value plays are sure to be available here against a brutal Sacramento squad.
Plenty of injury news is sure to open up lots of value, so make sure you check the DK Live app prior to lock for all the latest breaking news regarding injuries, lineups and analysis.
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.