Here are the best and worst matchups from Friday’s nine-game slate. Never hesitate to hit me up on Twitter with comments or questions: @julianedlow.
Defense vs. Position
Point Guard Matchups
BEST – John Wall ($10,300) vs. Brooklyn Nets – Wall has scored 50+ DKFP in six of his last 10 games, including 67.25 vs. Indiana on Wednesday (one assist shy of a triple-double). Wall will attempt to stay hot against the Nets, who rank dead last vs. PGs and allow over 62 DKFP to the position.
WORST – Stephen Curry ($8,400) vs. Dallas Mavericks – Utah has overtaken Dallas as the league’s best defense vs. PGs, but the Mavs have still been fantastic this season. Curry posted a pedestrian 24-6-3 line against them earlier this season, failing to reach value. James Harden has been the only PG consistently able to carve them up.
Shooting Guard Matchups
BEST – James Harden ($11,700) vs. Los Angeles Clippers – The Clippers rank in the middle of the pack against SGs … and Harden’s technically a PG that’s eligible at SG. It’s just that kind of night at the position, though. Klay Thompson or Wes Matthews are certainly cheaper options if you can’t pay up, but Harden is the only SG at the position I trust.
WORST – Josh Richardson ($5,000) vs. Boston Celtics – Richardson’s been rolling lately, topping 33 DKFP in consecutive games. However, the C’s are equally hot on defense, as Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart have been limiting opposing SGs to just 28.5 DKFP over the past five games. SG may be thin tonight, but I think you can still do better than Richardson given the matchup.
Small Forward Matchups
BEST – Jabari Parker ($7,200) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves – It’s time to give in on Parker after his dazzling 56.25 DKFP in a tough matchup with Detroit. Minnesota represents a much easier matchup for Jabari, who’s now averaging 41.5 DKFP in his last five games. It’s a strong night at SF, though. Kevin Durant has been red-hot, Harrison Barnes should be chomping at the bit to face his old team and Andrew Wiggins is in just as good a matchup as Parker in the same game.
WORST – Carmelo Anthony ($7,300) vs. New Orleans Pelicans – SF is the opposite of SG tonight. There’s a lot to love. KD might be in a tough matchup, but he’s almost impossible for me to go against looking at his recent numbers. ‘Melo is in an interesting spot with his price down after getting ejected on Wednesday; however, his matchup with the Pelicans isn’t as juicy as it may seem. They rank eighth in the NBA vs. SF, and Anthony’s failed to reach value in half of his last 10 games.
Power Forward Matchups
BEST – LaMarcus Aldridge ($7,300) vs. Portland Trailblazers – Aldridge has exceeded value in five of his last six games, the best game being 52 DKFP vs. Portland just last week. The Blazers continue to get stomped on by PFs, and have shown no signs of improvement. Aldridge might be my favorite play on tonight’s slate.
WORST – Tobias Harris ($6,000) vs. Atlanta Hawks – The Hawks ranks fifth in the NBA vs. PFs, but have been allowing fewer DKFP than any of the teams ahead of them over the last five games. Harris’ price is up as he’s been playing extremely well over the past few games, but he has struggled on the season. Could he stay hot? Sure, but a tough matchup like this could be when he reverts back to his season-long form.
BEST – Anthony Davis ($10,500) vs. New York Knicks – AD’s price dropped $600 after a bad game against the Clippers, which is perfect entering a matchup with the Knicks. New York struggles mightily on the interior, ranking in the bottom third of the league vs. PF and 29th overall vs. centers. Dwight Howard just ripped down 22 boards with an injured back earlier this week, so look for Davis to have his way. Hassan Whiteside and Al Horford make for cheaper options going head-to-head in Boston.
WORST – Karl-Anthony Towns ($8,900) vs. Milwaukee Bucks – Towns isn’t an ideal fade, but there’s reason to consider it. His salary has been on the rise in three consecutive games, but he’s been playing slightly fewer minutes over that span. The Bucks rank eighth in the NBA against centers, and have been improving over the last five games to allow just over 40 DKFP.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
Anthony Davis ($10,500) – I’m a fan of the four most expensive players on the slate, but I’m giving the nod to Davis because of his ceiling. If I’m pairing two and fading two, I’d go with Davis and Wall, while fading Durant and Harden.
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
Joakim Noah ($4,600) – The Pelicans (28th) are almost as bad as the Knicks (29th) in terms of allowing DKFP to centers. Noah has exceeded value in three of his last four games, including 45.5 DKFP vs. Atlanta in his last game on Wednesday.
Next Man Up
T.J. McConnell ($3,300) – Sergio Rodriguez (ankle) is going to miss Friday’s game against the Nuggets — who rank 27th vs. PGs. That puts McConnell, who’s been very solid playing around 20 minutes as the backup, in line for the start. In his only other start this season, McConnell played 37 minutes and scored 44 DKFP in a road game against the Pistons.
*DKFP DraftKings Fantasy Points
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.