3 IN THE KEY – GORAN DRAGIC
Friday brings us a balanced nine-game slate with no players over $10,800. The Cheat Sheet will bring you the best and worst player and each position. Remember to use the DK Live app to monitor all the injury and lineup news leading up to lock. Hit me up on Twitter with comments or questions: @julianedlow.
Defense vs. Position
Point Guard Matchups
BEST – Derrick Rose ($6,300) vs. Denver Nuggets – The Nets still rank last in the NBA against PGs this season, so Goran Dragic ($7,900) has a fantastic matchup himself. However, Denver ranks 29th in the league, and has allowed nearly 7 DKFP more to opposing PGs on average over the past 10 games. With Rose scoring 41 DKFP on Wednesday, he should have no problem handling a Nuggets’ D allowing 62.4 DKFP to PGs over that 10-game span.
WORST – D’Angelo Russell ($5,900) vs. Milwaukee Bucks – Russell’s cooled off from his hot streak, playing a total of just 43 minutes over his last two games. Somehow, Russell has taken just six shots in those 43 minutes, thus averaging a mere 13 DKFP. The Bucks rank fourth against PGs and are allowing an average of just 41.4 DKFP in the past five contests. Not a good combo for Russell.
Shooting Guard Matchups
BEST – Tim Hardaway Jr. ($5,700) vs. Sacramento Kings – Hardaway has become a staple in Atlanta’s rotation, fresh off another 38 minutes on Wednesday. The Kings have allowed the fourth-most DKFP to SGs this season, including a 48.2 DKFP average in the last five outings.
WORST – Klay Thompson ($6,200) vs. Memphis Grizzlies – There aren’t any brutal SG matchups that clearly standout on this slate, but anytime you’re up against the Grizzlies, it isn’t the best matchup. Thompson’s actually been playing very well lately, exceeding value in five consecutive games. If anything, this would be a difficult position to keep the streak rolling.
Small Forward Matchups
BEST – Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,800) vs. Los Angeles Lakers – It’s pretty convenient having Giannis eligible at both PG and SF — two positions the Lakers rank in the bottom-four in the league defending. Although, the Greek Freak has been struggling to reach value for a while now, so he could be under-owned as the most expensive player on the slate. The absence of Jabari Parker combined with such a favorable matchup should give Giannis a high ceiling in this game.
WORST – Marcus Morris ($5,100) vs. San Antonio Spurs – Morris has been slowly coming down from his recent tear, and eventually will return to his typical inconsistent play. A matchup with the Spurs (who rank second in the NBA vs. SFs) has the potential to bring Morris back down to his typical production.
Power Forward Matchups
BEST – James Johnson ($6,000) vs. Brooklyn Nets – The Nets, as they do at most positions, rank dead last against PFs. Johnson has surpassed value in five of his last seven games, including his previous matchup with the Nets in which he scored 39 DKFP. Taj Gibson ($4,900) also has a favorable matchup against the Lakers if you need a cheaper option.
WORST – Trevor Booker ($5,500) vs. Miami Heat – Like SG, there are no glaring fades at PF due to the matchup. Miami does rank fifth in the league vs. PFs though, and are allowing just over 40 DKFP to the position over the last 10 games. Solid enough numbers to consider fading Booker despite exceeding value in his past six games.
BEST – Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,000) vs. New Orleans Pelicans – The Pelicans rank just 27th in the NBA against centers this season, but they’ve been even worse over the past 10 games — allowing an average of 58.5 DKFP. Towns has been super consistent, exceeding value in eight of his last 10 games. He feels like one of the safest studs to play on this slate to me.
WORST – Draymond Green ($7,500) vs. Memphis Grizzlies – Wherever you want to slot Draymond into your lineup, he’s still going to qualify as a poor matchup facing the Grizzlies. The last time he faced Memphis, Green fouled out with a line of 11-8-4. Not terrible, but also not exactly what you’re looking to get for $7,500.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,000) – As I mentioned, Towns’ consistency on a slate without the likes of Westbrook, Harden and LeBron makes him a really attractive option. Building around KAT doesn’t even involve coughing up that much salary, so you can still maintain a balanced lineup.
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
Robin Lopez ($4,700) – Lopez has been crushing it over Chicago’s last five games — averaging more than 27 DKFP. The Suns rank near the bottom of the league vs. centers, allowing more than 57 DKFP to opponents over their last 10 games. Other options include: Rajon Rondo ($4,900), Brandon Ingram ($4,400), Shabazz Muhammad ($4,300), C.J. Miles ($4,100), Ish Smith ($3,700).
Next Man Up
Bucks Front Court – Milwaukee received crushing news upon learning that Jabari Parker re-tore the same ACL that he injured in his rookie season. That opens up a ton of minutes for the Bucks up front. For starters, both Roy Hibbert ($3,000) and Spencer Hawes ($3,000) are expected to make their team debuts on Friday. Both should be playing more are center behind Greg Monroe ($5,100) and John Henson ($4,100), but you never know. Perhaps Jason Kidd will try and pair some centers. Khris Middleton ($3,600) figures to help pick up the slack for Parker long-term, but this will be just his second game back from a torn hamstring (and he’ll be on a restriction of 15-20 minutes). For now, Michael Beasley ($3,900) might be where the Bucks chose to go, but it could take a game or two to figure out exactly how to play this with so many moving parts.
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.