I can’t remember the last time there was a 14-game slate, but that’s exactly what we have tonight. Needless to say, there are a lot of options to examine on this slate. The Cheat Sheet will bring you the best and worst statistical matchup 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 – Ricky Rubio ($7,300) vs. Denver Nuggets – The Nets rank last in the NBA vs. PGs (more on that later), but the Nuggets are creeping up right behind them. Denver is allowing an average of 60 DKFP to PGs over the past 10 games (5.5 more than Brooklyn). Rubio’s been fantastic in his own right recently, surpassing 41 DKFP in four of his last five games, including three straight. Eric Bledsoe ($8,600) and Jeff Teague ($7,400) are are also in great matchups.
WORST – Kemba Walker ($7,600) vs. Toronto Raptors – Kemba had failed to reach value in six consecutive games before finally breaking loose against the Sixers on Monday. However, he could be in a tough spot Wednesday against the Raptors — who’ve limited opponents to an NBA-best 38.2 DKFP over the past five games to PGs on average. Jrue Holiday ($7,500) and Damian Lillard ($7,800) also have difficult matchups. It’s also worth noting that both Russell Westbrook ($12,500) and James Harden ($12,200) play defenses that rank in the top-5 vs. PGs over the last 10 games.
Shooting Guard Matchups
BEST – Klay Thompson ($6,500) vs. Sacramento Kings – Klay is questionable tonight after missing the Warriors loss to the Nuggets. But reports indicate he should be good to go for a fantastic matchup with the Kings. Sacramento ranks 28th in the NBA vs. SGs, and is allowing over 50 DKFP to the position over average over the past five games. I think DeMar DeRozan ($7,900) is also a strong consideration given his matchup.
WORST – C.J. McCollum ($7,400) vs. Utah Jazz – The Jazz are the top team in the league against SGs, consistently limiting the opposing position to about 35 DKFP per game. The Blazers are shorthanded, but Lillard has been the guy picking up most of the slack. C.J. can be hit or miss, but given the matchup on a slate this big, I think there are better options to explore. Nicolas Batum ($7,600) and Eric Gordon ($5,200) are also both in tough spots.
Small Forward Matchups
BEST – Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,800) vs. Brooklyn Nets – I think Giannis is tough to go against tonight. Giannis is eligible at both PG and SF — both positions the Nets rank last in the NBA at defending. He’s been a bit up-and-down lately, but against the Nets, he’ll have a favorable matchup at either position (PG or SF). Andrew Wiggins’ ($7,900) matchup also warrants mention.
WORST – Kevin Durant ($9,700) vs. Sacramento Kings – There’s no single matchup that stands out as the absolute worst SF matchup of the night, so I figured I’d mention an interesting note here on KD. Durant has failed to reach value in six of his last 10 games, and the Kings are quietly dominating SFs recently. Sacramento has ranked highly against SFs all season long, but over the last five games, the Kings are allowing an average of just 26.8 DKFP to them. Of course Durant could go off, but it’s worth noting the tough matchup.
Power Forward Matchups
BEST – DeMarcus Cousins ($11,300) vs. Golden State Warriors – Cousins continues to be the focal point of everything this banged up Kings team does. He’s scored 60+ DKFP in six of his last nine games, and should thrive with the pace of play against the Warriors. The Dubs have actually been a bottom-5 team vs. PFs in the last 10 games, allowing over 52 DKFP on average.
WORST – Paul Millsap ($7,900) vs. Los Angeles Clippers – Millsap’s been on a roll in his last three games, but the opposition hasn’t been very difficult. The Clippers rank sixth overall against PFs, and Millsap will likely have his hands full with Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan when he plays in the paint.
BEST – Rudy Gobert ($7,400) vs. Portland Trailblazers – Dwight Howard just dropped 53 DKFP on the Mason Plumlee-less Blazers, and now it’s Gobert’s turn to shred them in the paint. Portland has zero answer for Gobert without Plumlee, so I’m looking for him to dominate around the rim. Hassan Whiteside ($8,500), Marc Gasol ($7,500) and Al Horford ($6,800) are also in a good position to succeed given matchups.
WORST – Anthony Davis ($10,000) vs. Memphis Grizzlies – On paper, Memphis is the best team in the NBA defending centers — allowing just 41.8 DKFP on average. Davis hasn’t had any terrible games recently, nor has he been injured. He’s building much more trust than he’s had in the past, so a salary of just $10k is attractive. But strictly going by the matchup, it’s not a good one for AD. Nikola Vucevic ($7,000) could also have trouble with the Spurs.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,800) – I love the Greek Freak tonight against the Nets no matter how you fit him into your lineup. But having the ability to plug him in at SF and roster more PGs gives us really nice flexibility. There are a lot of ways you can go from there with so many options tonight, but I like Giannis as my building block at SF.
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
Rapid Fire! – There’s 14 games, so just brace yourself for all the potential value. Here are some guys for $5k and under worthy of consideration: Willy Hernangomez ($5,000), Channing Frye ($5,000), P.J. Tucker ($5,000), Juancho Hernangomez ($4,600), Kelly Olynyk ($4,300), Larry Nance Jr. ($4,200), Mason Plumlee ($4,000), Jamal Murray ($3,900), Ish Smith ($3,900), Norman Powell ($3,900).
Next Man Up
Maurice Harkless ($4,700) – With Plumlee gone, Evan Turner out and Al-Farouq Aminu doubtful, Harkless should get a ton of run. He scored 37.75 DKFP in 32 minutes in his last game, and although it’s a difficult matchup with Utah, the opportunity should be too great given his price tag.
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.