Here are the best and worst matchups from Friday night’s 10-game slate. Feel free to reach out on Twitter with any questions or comments: @julianedlow.
Defense vs. Position
Point Guard Matchups
BEST – Kyle Lowry ($8,300) vs. Atlanta Hawks – Lowry is coming off back-to-back bad games by his standards, but have no fear … the Atlanta Hawks are here — ranking second-worst in the NBA against PGs this season and allowing over 72 DKFP to the position on average for the last five games. Lowry should be in line for a bounce back.
WORST – Chris Paul ($8,500) vs. Miami Heat – Paul has been very inconsistent fantasy-wise this season. He always seems to play well, but only puts up big numbers when his team needs him to. Miami has been one of the toughest teams to put up numbers against this season for PGs, so Paul could struggle.
Shooting Guard Matchups
BEST – Evan Fournier ($5,900) vs. Brooklyn Nets – The Nets are brutal against SGs, as they are against all positions. But tonight, they face a red-hot Fournier who comes in averaging nearly 40 DKFP over his last three outings. He should keep rolling tonight.
WORST – Bradley Beal ($6,700) vs. Detroit Pistons –Every time I go against Beal he seems to prove me wrong, so beware. He’s been hot over his past couple of games, but the Pistons have been a top-5 team limiting SG production this season. Something’s got to give, but the matchup isn’t favorable for Beal on paper.
Small Forward Matchups
BEST – Robert Covington ($5,300) vs. Los Angeles Lakers – Covington’s salary has come way up, particularly after a 45.5 DKFP outing on Wednesday. However, his matchup with the Lakers is ideal, as they struggle defending the SF position.
WORST – Harrison Barnes ($5,800) vs. Utah Jazz – Conversely, Barnes’ salary has come down due to his poor play. He’ll breakout again at some point, but Utah isn’t a good matchup for him to do so in. They slow the pace down and are particularly good against forwards.
Power Forward Matchups
BEST – 76ers PFs vs. Los Angeles Lakers – The Lakers continue to get manhandled by PFs, the problem is we never know exactly who Philly is playing until close to lock. Jahlil Okafor has been starting at PF and playing well lately, so I think he’s a solid play. It’s worth monitoring the status of Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid to figure out how much each of the slew of bigs will play.
WORST – Blake Griffin ($8,200) vs. Miami Heat – It’s always unlikely that both Paul and Griffin have off-nights, but it happened in their last game in Orlando. On paper this is a poor matchup for Griffin, as Miami has been in the top-5 against PFs all season.
BEST – DeAndre Jordan ($6,700) vs. Miami Heat – I love the spot DJ is in tonight against Miami. With his teammates in tough spots, Jordan will have to battle with Hassan Whiteside, and he just had a huge game in Orlando. You could call him a value play against a Heat squad that’s been the seventh-worst team defending centers this season.
WORST – DeMarcus Cousins ($10,900) vs. Memphis Grizzlies – It’s not often you see Boogie’s name here, but he’s the biggest name of many studs that find themselves in a bad matchup tonight. The Grizzlies are the best team in the NBA defending centers, and it’s not even close. Cousins will have to earn everything he gets tonight.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
James Harden ($12,000) – I left Harden out in the best matchup section, but he’s in equally as good a spot as Lowry. The Pelicans have been horrible against PGs this season, so Harden should feast per usual.
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
Timofey Mozgov ($3,400) – Clint Capela is another option as his matchup with the Pelicans is one of the best on the slate, but Mozgov is a better value. He destroyed the Nets for 33 DKFP in 33 minutes on Wednesday and now faces an even weaker defense against centers in Philly.
Next Man Up
Ramon Sessions ($3,700) – Kemba Walker is confirmed to be out for the Hornets’ game in Boston. Sessions projects as the starting PG and should make for nice value. Nicolas Batum also receives a boost to his outlook tonight as he will likely be the focal point of Charlotte’s offense.
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.