WATCH: DK NBA RECAP – DAMIAN LILLARD
We’ve got an 11-game slate on Monday night, so there’s plenty to examine. The cheat sheet will bring you the best and worst statistical matchups at 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 – Stephen Curry ($10,000) vs. Denver Nuggets – Denver ranks 29th vs. PGs this season, and are allowing an average of 63.2 DKFP to PGs over the past 10 games — the highest on the slate. Curry should be able to take advantage, coming off a 55.5 DKFP game against OKC Saturday night. Although Denver’s been slipping lately, the Nets are still the league’s worst team defending PGs overall on the season. Mike Conley ($7,700) could provide better value in just as good of a matchup.
WORST – Isaiah Thomas ($9,700) vs. Dallas Mavericks – IT has at least returned to putting up human numbers lately — failing to reach value in his last five games. He’s not struggling, and is due for an explosion at some point, but Dallas ranks first in the NBA against opposing PGs this season. The Mavs have been limiting PGs to 41.6 DKFP over the past five games. Reggie Jackson ($5,700), who’s completely fallen out of favor in Detroit, also has a matchup with the Bucks to make matters worse — the third ranked team vs. PGs.
Shooting Guard Matchups
BEST – Nicolas Batum ($7,900) vs. Philadelphia 76ers – The 76ers are allowing over 46 DKFP to SGs over the past 10. Batum has also been producing lately, scoring 43+ DKFP in three straight games. Batum’s peripheral stats have led to increased production the last 3 games, as he’s averaged 7.3 rebounds per game and 7.3 assists per game. I’m looking for Batum to keep it going tonight.
WORST – Clippers’ SGs vs. Utah Jazz – Without Chris Paul, the trio of Austin Rivers ($5,000), Jamal Crawford ($4,800) and J.J. Redick ($4,500) are called upon to scored much more. They’ve been answering the bell lately, but Utah is the best in the league at limiting opposing SG production — allowing just 34.6 DKFP over the past 10 games.
Small Forward Matchups
BEST – Gordon Hayward ($7,700) vs. Los Angeles Clippers – The Clippers have fallen apart lately defending SFs, allowing an average of almost 50 DKFP over the past five games. That’s brought them all the way down to 27th in the NBA vs. opposing SFs. Meanwhile, Hayward’s exceeded value in five of his last six games.
WORST – Paul George ($7,500) vs. San Antonio Spurs – Carmelo Anthony just produced a solid outing against Kawhi and the Spurs on Sunday, so it’s not impossible. The Spurs do, however, rank second in the league against SFs, allowing just 36.7 DKFP on average this season. George had a horrible night against the Bucks on Saturday, who have been limiting SF production well lately. His price tag is attractive, but his recent play and matchup are scary.
Power Forward Matchups
BEST – Zach Randolph ($5,600) vs. Brooklyn Nets – You can pick against the Nets at any position, really, but they’ve been particularly horrible defending PFs lately. Allowing over 55 DKFP on average over the past five games, Brooklyn’s slid to the bottom of the NBA against PFs. That makes Randolph an attractive value play after putting 35.25 DKFP on the Warriors on Friday night. Paul Millsap ($7,600) is also in a favorable spot against Portland, and he is playing well at the moment.
WORST – Blake Griffin ($9,000) vs. Utah Jazz – Griffin is carrying the Clippers lately, so I wouldn’t say his matchup warrants fading him, but Utah is the best team in the league against PFs. Griffin’s scored 50+ DKFP in five of his lat six games, so if he can continue that streak, he’ll obviously exceed value. Just beware that the Jazz allow just 41.1 DKFP to PFs on average this season.
BEST – Anthony Davis ($11,000) vs. Phoenix Suns – The Suns have been the eighth-worst team in the NBA vs. centers this season, but they are now allowing over 55 DKFP on average to big men over the past 10 games. With Tyson Chandler questionable, Davis could have an even better matchup on tap. Nikola Jokic ($9,200) and Marc Gasol ($7,600) also have great matchups on a slate with a lot of centers to consider.
WORST – Brook Lopez ($6,400) vs. Memphis Grizzlies – Lopez has been playing fine lately and doesn’t carry much of a salary, so he’s worth a look. But with so many strong center plays (and value’s we’ll get to), I’m thinking, why play Lopez against the league’s best defense vs. centers?
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
Russell Westbrook ($12,700) – I’m fond of a lot of the studs on tonight’s slate, but Westbrook’s scored 70+ DKFP in three straight games. He should step up to the task of going head-to-head with John Wall, and could thrive given Wall’s injury. Davis, Curry and Giannis (given how good he’s been without Parker) are also attractive options.
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
Nerlens Noel ($5,300)/Frank Kaminsky ($5,700) – The 76ers and Hornets are going up against each other tonight with Philly ranked last and Charlotte ranked seventh-worst against centers. For the Sixers, Joel Embiid will be out due to injury, while Jahlil Okafor is sitting out with all the trade rumors swirling. That leaves Noel as the only center to get big minutes. Kaminsky is in a similar situation with Cody Zeller sidelined, and he scored 45 DFKP in his last game. Both are also eligible at PF, which gives some nice lineup flexibility if you decide to roster both.
Next Man Up
Blazers’ Front Court – Mason Plumlee is headed to Denver, which means Portland is going to be really short handed up front tonight. I’d suspect Myers Leonard ($3,000) and Ed Davis ($3,000) will receive the biggest value boosts, while Noah Vonleh ($3,000) and Al-Farouq Aminu ($5,500) could also see some extra run.
On the opposite end, Dwight Howard ($6,900) becomes another attractive play with nobody on Portland that stands a chance of matching up against him.
Plenty of injury news in sure to open up lots of value, so 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.