Here are the best and worst matchups from Wednesday’s 10-game slate. Never hesitate to hit me up on Twitter with any comments or questions: @julianedlow.
Defense vs. Position
Point Guard Matchups
BEST – Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,000) vs. Detroit Pistons –Detroit ranks as the eighth-worst team in the league defending PGs, but has been allowing the second-most DKFP to the position in the last five games. Giannis has been a beast lately, scoring 50+ DKFP in eight of his last 10 games.
WORST – Jrue Holiday ($6,300) vs. Los Angeles Clippers – The Clippers rank third in the NBA defending PGs and have allowed a mere 37.6 DKFP per game over the last five. Having scored less than 30 DKFP in three of his last six games, Holiday could struggle reaching value in such a difficult matchup.
Shooting Guard Matchups
BEST – Dwyane Wade ($6,600) vs. Brooklyn Nets – Brooklyn ranks 27th in the NBA against SGs entering the matchup with a red-hot Wade. Wade’s scored 39.25 DKFP in consecutive games against IND and SAS; however, the matchup with the Nets could provide even more upside.
WORST – Klay Thompson ($6,500) vs. Toronto Raptors — Toronto is the worst matchup in the NBA for opposing SGs, despite C.J. McCollum going for 44.75 DKFP against them on Monday. Thompson has failed to reach value in four of his last five games, including three games with less than 26.75 DKFP. Klay’s ceiling is always high with his crazy scoring ability, but his floor is also extremely low, which makes him tough to trust in a matchup like this.
Small Forward Matchups
BEST – Nikola Mirotic ($4,600) vs. Brooklyn Nets – Mirotic’s price continues to rise, but at $4,600 he’s still a heck of a value. He’s now exceeded value five games in a row and topped 29 DKFP in three consecutive contests. Eligible at both forward positions against the lowly Nets, who struggle to defend every position, Mirotic remains a fantastic play.
WORST – T.J. Warren ($4,700) vs. San Antonio Spurs — Warren’s been back on the court for five games now, and after easing into things, has played 29+ minutes in his last three games. When priced under $5,000, Warren should be a solid value play, but not against the Spurs, who rank first in the NBA vs. SFs thanks to Kawhi Leonard.
Power Forward Matchups
BEST – DeMarcus Cousins ($11,400) vs. Portland Trailblazers – As the Cheat Sheet reminds you every week, nobody gets run over by PFs like the Blazers. Sure his salary is peaking, but Boogie dropped 55 real points on Portland just last week — good for 83.5 DKFP. This matchup is as good as it gets. Not much more to say.
WORST – Jabari Parker ($6,900) vs. Detroit Pistons – Parker’s price has been on the rise lately, and remains high even after scoring just 27.5 DKFP in 40 minutes vs. Washington. The Pistons rank second in the NBA vs. PFs, and Parker posted just 13 points and six boards in a game against them earlier this season. So although he’s playing well overall right now, there should be better places to spend salary at PF tonight, especially with the matchup Boogie’s in.
BEST – Dwight Howard ($7,300) vs. New York Knicks — Howard’s been battling through a back injury, but playing really well anyway. He’s scored 42.5 DKFP or more in each of his last four games, shooting a ridiculous 32-of-38 from the field during that stretch. After missing a week, Dwight played just 21 minutes vs. MIN on Monday, but was able to produce 44 DKFP. Assuming he can go more minutes tonight, he’s got a great matchup with the Knicks who rank 28th in the league against centers — and dead last over the past five games.
WORST – Andre Drummond ($7,100) vs. Milwaukee Bucks – The Bucks rank 10th in the NBA vs. centers this season, but have only allowed 32.7 DKFP to the position over their past five games (by far the best in the league). Drummond’s been wildly inconsistent this season, and his price has gone up after a strong showing in a favorable matchup with Cleveland.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
DeMarcus Cousins ($11,400) – Remember what we talked about?! 83.5 DKFP vs. Portland last week. Boogie undeniably has the best matchup on this slate.
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
Tony Parker ($4,100) – Parker churned out 29.25 DKFP on Christmas Day against the Bulls, so his salary is up $400. His matchup with Phoenix couldn’t be better, though. The Suns rank 27th in the NBA vs. PGs and have allowed a whopping average of 77.3 DKFP over the last five games. Parker’s played 24+ minutes in his last six games, so he should get enough run in this one to exceed value.
Next Man Up
Sean Kilpatrick ($5,400)/Isaiah Whitehead ($3,400) – Jeremy Lin will miss tonight’s game against the Bulls, which should yield plenty of extra minutes to Kilpatrick and Whitehead. The duo should be handed the task of running Brooklyn’s offense and have plenty of opportunity to exceed value with the Bulls ranking below average vs. PGs.
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.