We have a nine-game slate on this Friday evening, but it’s one of those nights all the best matchups on paper come from the horrible defense we can expect in the SAC/LAL and NO/DEN matchups, while all the worst matchups are likely to stem from the SA/DAL and MIN/UTA games. I’ll do my best to mix it up here, factoring in that many teams are playing for nothing at this point.
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 – Ish Smith ($6,200) vs. Houston Rockets – The Rockets should have their studs on the floor, but knowing that they’re going to be the 3-seed could keep them from going all-out. Houston’s rapid offense has led to them allowing tons of points on the other end, including 63.3 DKFP to PGs over the past five games. Ish has been good for 30+ fantasy points with Reggie Jackson out of the picture. The Rockets leave him in his best spot yet.
WORST – Ricky Rubio ($6,900) vs. Utah Jazz – Utah is allowing just 38.9 DKFP to opposing PGs over its past five games. Rubio’s had a strong second half of his season, but has taken advantage of poor defenses in most of his fantasy outbursts. The Jazz just completely shut down Damian Lillard this week, so Rubio could have a tough time in this one.
Shooting Guard Matchups
BEST – Jrue Holiday ($7,500) vs. Denver Nuggets – If you follow this article then you already know Denver gives up the most DKFP to guards. DeMarcus Cousins is questionable tonight, and Anthony Davis may start seeing his minutes limited. Holiday scored 47.5 DKFP against the Nuggets on Tuesday, and should keep seeing close to the 39 minutes he played in that game.
WORST – DeMar DeRozan ($7,800) vs. Miami Heat – DeRozan had been on somewhat of a cold steak prior to Wednesday anyway, but the return of Kyle Lowry didn’t do him any favors. Lowry had a loud return, with 53.75 DKFP, while DeRozan posted just 32. Miami allows the least DKFP to SGs, so not much is on DeRozan’s side tonight.
Small Forward Matchups
BEST – Danilo Gallinari ($6,300) vs. New Orleans Pelicans – The Pelicans are allowing an average of 54.7 total DKFP to SFs over the past five games. Gallinari has already contributed to that number, scoring 41.25 DKFP against them on Tuesday. Gallo’s been consistent lately, scoring 32+ DKFP in four straight.
WORST – Knicks SF vs. Memphis Grizzlies – Carmelo Anthony is doubtful for tonight’s game, but even if he was in, this matchup definitely isn’t positive. So, with that, whichever Knicks SF get the nod tonight isn’t in a favorable matchup with the Grizzlies defense.
Power Forward Matchups
BEST – Julius Randle ($7,300) vs. Sacramento Kings – There aren’t many bigs in trustworthy spots on this slate, but there should be some players in great spots in the Kings/Lakers showdown. Randle’s been struggling lately, but has produced in tough spots. This is the type of game he could break out in, with the Kings getting dominated by PF/Cs.
WORST – Anthony Davis ($10,400) vs. Denver Nuggets – I’m going contrarian here after AD put a 58.25 DKFP hurting on the Nuggets this week. But he also played 41 minutes in that game, something that sounds like it won’t happen again this season. Alvin Gentry could play Davis a ton of minutes tonight and rest him tomorrow, but it seems unlikely he’d discuss rest for his star if he wasn’t serious about it for each of the remaining four games.
BEST – Willie Cauley-Stein ($6,700) vs. Los Angeles Lakers – The Lakers are equally as bad against PF/Cs, and you can get Cauley-Stein for a little cheaper than Randle. WCS has been hot lately too, scoring 32+ DKFP in each of his last three, including 41 against the Mavs.
WORST – Hassan Whiteside ($7,900) vs. Toronto Raptors – Toronto’s bigger lineup has been limiting centers to just 40.7 DKFP over the past 10 games — about seven fantasy points below its season average. Whiteside’s had his way with some soft defenses lately, but this one could be a wake-up call as the Heat battle to get into the postseason.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
LeBron James ($10,600) – I’m going to keep building around LeBron at this point. After a statement win against the Celtics, I feel LeBron is playing as hard as anyone at a time in the season a lot of teams/players might not be trying their hardest. James wants to close out the season with the 1-seed and his team beginning to round into peak form for the playoffs.
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
Taurean Prince ($4,600) – Prince did play 41 minutes last night against the Celtics, posting 34.25 DKFP, so you’d think he’d be in line for a lighter workload. But with Paul Millsap sidelined tonight against the Cavs, the rookie will likely be called on to do it again. If anything, the minutes will be there.
Next Man Up
The Spurs! – Here’s who’s sitting for the Spurs: Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol, Danny Green, Manu Ginobili and Dejounte Murray. That leaves PLENTY of value. Here is a list of potential value plays from the Spurs: David Lee ($4,800), Patty Mills ($4,000), Jonathon Simmons ($3,900), Kyle Anderson ($3,600), Bryn Forbes ($3,000), Davis Bertans ($3,000), Dewayne Dedmon ($3,000).
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.