WATCH: MATCHUP TO WATCH – TOWNS VS. PORZINGIS
Here are some of the best and worst matchups for Friday night’s nine-game slate. For questions or comments hit me up on Twitter: @julianedlow.
Defense vs. Position
Point Guard Matchups
BEST – James Harden ($11,900) vs. Denver Nuggets –Harden is coming off a monster triple-double in a win over the Warriors last night and now gets a matchup with a Denver team that ranks 29th in the NBA against PGs. The matchup is ideal, but if it worries you that Harden played 46 minutes in a 2OT game last night, consider Rajon Rondo ($6,500) against Cleveland — the Cavs have allowed over 70 DKFPs (DraftKings Fantasy Points) per game to PGs over its last five games.
WORST – Tim Frazier ($5,600) vs. Los Angeles Clippers – Frazier’s been a great value at times this season and has maintained far more production with Jrue Holiday back in the lineup than anyone thought. However, it won’t be easy to hit value against the Clippers — the NBA’s top team defending PGs over the past two weeks.
Shooting Guard Matchups
BEST – Eric Gordon ($5,200) vs. Denver Nuggets – Whether you’re comfortable pairing Harden and Gordon is up to you, but Gordon also has a fantastic backcourt matchup. Denver’s been the worst team in the league against SGs this season, while Gordon’s exceeded value in three consecutive games. He only played 39 minutes last night, which isn’t a ton considering the game went for two overtimes.
WORST – Lakers SGs vs. Toronto Raptors – The Lakers are mix and matching a lot of units right now while battling through some backcourt injuries. Brandon Ingram got the start last game, while Lou Williams came off the bench and Jordan Clarkson saw minutes at both guard positions. Toronto’s been a brutal matchup for backcourts and is the best team in the league against SGs, allowing just around 30 DKFPs to the position.
Small Forward Matchups
BEST – Aaron Gordon ($4,300) vs. Philadelphia 76ers – Let me preface this by saying Gordon has failed to reach value in each of his last 10 games. That said, Philly has been the perfect team for SFs to get going this season, consistently letting up 50 DKFPs to the opposition. If you want even more of a value, Jeff Green is just $3,100 and has been getting decent minutes off the bench.
WORST – Otto Porter ($6,000) vs. San Antonio Spurs — You never want to find yourself matched up with Kawhi Leonard. Porter’s been a really nice story this season shedding his “bust” label, but the Spurs are tops in the NBA when it comes to shutting down SFs, so this is not an ideal spot to ride Porter’s resurgence.
Power Forward Matchups
BEST – Blake Griffin ($8,500) vs. New Orleans Pelicans – Griffin got the night off in Brooklyn on Tuesday and then only had to play 31 minutes in Thursday’s coast-to-coast victory over the Cavs. He should be very fresh entering Friday’s matchup in New Orleans, which is great news considering the Pelicans rank just 28th in the NBA against PFs.
WORST – Paul Millsap ($7,200) vs. Detroit Pistons – Detroit has been ranked around the top of the NBA at defending PFs all season (currently second-best). Millsap is questionable, but if he does play he’d be in a very tough position. The Knicks have actually been the best team in the league against PFs in their last five games. So, Gorgui Dieng ($5,900), who had just 22 DKFPs against NYK earlier this week, also has one of the worst matchups of the evening.
BEST – Karl-Anthony Towns ($8,900) vs. New York Knicks — Here’s my thinking behind this one — the Knicks and Wolves played on Wednesday and KAT posted 80 freaking DKFPs. Unless New York makes some monster adjustments (keep an eye on if Noah is forced to sit again), Towns seems comfortable in this matchup. Some bonus picks for you because KAT might be too obvious (or you want to fade him after his monster game) — A well rested DeMarcus Cousins ($10,700) after the PPD in Philly on Wednesday against a Boston team that’s been consistently dominated on the interior or Nikola Vucevic ($6,800) against the Sixers (who rank dead last in the NBA against centers).
WORST – Andre Drummond ($7,700) vs. Atlanta Hawks – Drummond has been very inconsistent and extremely matchup sensitive this season. Dwight Howard has had a great season returning home to Atlanta and has the Hawks ranked third in the NBA against opposing centers.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
DeMarcus Cousins ($10,700) – Towns and Harden are also worthy here, but I thought I’d write a bit more on Cousins. As I mentioned, he’s well rested and Boston has been abysmal at containing centers this season. His inside/out game will only create more problems for the C’s.
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
Patrick Patterson ($4,200) – Patterson has exceeded value in five of his last six games, having his best game of the streak (35 DKFPs) on Wednesday in a difficult matchup with Memphis. Friday presents a matchup with a Lakers squad allowing 61.4 DKFPs to PFs over the last five games.
Next Man Up
Sergio Rodriguez ($4,500) – Jerryd Bayless is going to sit out Friday night. Even though Rodriguez is the starter, he’s been seeing increased minutes over the past two games without Bayless, posting 29 and 28 DKFPs respectively over that span.
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.