WATCH: 3 IN THE KEY – ANDRE DRUMMOND
Friday brings us a typical nine-game slate with plenty of star power. I’ll provide you with the best and worst 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 – Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,300) vs. Denver Nuggets – It’s been eight games since The Greek Freak exceeded value, but his salary doesn’t reflect that. It makes him a little less safe tonight, but this banged up Nuggets team has been horrible against opposing guards. Ranking 29th vs. PGs and allowing nearly 68 DKFP on average over the past five games, Giannis could be worth a shot tonight. The 30th ranked team is the Nets, of course, which leaves Jeff Teague ($7,500) in a nice spot if you need a cheaper option.
WORST – Damian Lillard ($8,000) vs. Dallas Mavericks – Lillard has been very inconsistent since returning from injury, only exceeding value three times in his last 10 contests. That’s not good news entering a matchup with the Mavericks — who’ve limited opposing PGs to the fewest DKFP this season. Dallas has limited PGs to 43.7 DKFP over the last 10 games, nearly six points fewer than the next best team.
Shooting Guard Matchups
BEST – James Harden ($12,500) vs. Chicago Bulls – Having Harden eligible at SG is a great way to stash another stud PG on your lineup. The Bulls rank eighth-worst in the league vs. PGs, surrendering over 56 DKFP on average this season. Having bounced back from consecutive poor games, Harden makes for a pretty safe option. Dwyane Wade ($7,000) makes for a decent option on the other side — Houston ranks 27th vs. SGs and Wade’s topped 40 DKFP in four of his last six.
WORST – Evan Fournier ($5,000) vs. Toronto Raptors – Fournier has played two games since returning from a foot injury, and neither one went well. He scored just 12.75 DKFP in 23 minutes off the bench in his first game back, followed by 22.25 DKFP in 30 minutes as a starter. Considering his recent production, he would be tough for me to recommend him tonight against the Raptors, who rank second in the league vs. SGs.
Small Forward Matchups
BEST – Paul George ($8,100) vs. Brooklyn Nets – George saw a hot streak in which he exceeded value in four straight come to an end in his last game, scoring just 19.25 DKFP against the Magic. The stinker kept his salary from rising entering tonight’s slate, where he’s matched up with the worst team in the NBA defending SFs — the Nets. George couldn’t be in a better spot for a bounce back game.
WORST – Andrew Wiggins ($7,000) vs. Detroit Pistons – Wiggins has been playing well overall lately, but struggled mightily against the Cavs on Wednesday. The Pistons shouldn’t make it any easier on Wiggins tonight, ranking fifth in the NBA vs. SFs allowing just over 39 DKFP on average this season. Even without some of the top SF names on this slate, I think there are better options.
Power Forward Matchups
BEST – DeMarcus Cousins ($10,900) vs. Phoenix Suns – Phoenix has been getting clobbered by both power forwards and centers, so wherever you want to slot Boogie in, I think he makes for a monster play tonight. Scoring just 31.75 DKFP in 25 minutes during a blowout loss to the Rockets caused Cousins’ salary to drop $300 entering a great matchup. I think this a solid spot for a bounce back.
WORST – Al-Farouq Aminu ($4,800) vs. Dallas Mavericks – Aminu has been a consistent value play recently. His minutes and versatility always give him a chance to reach value, but tonight’s matchup with Dallas isn’t favorable. There aren’t really any terrible matchups that stand out at PF, so given the price, Aminu could still work out. But the Mavericks rank third vs. PFs on the season, so tread carefully.
BEST – Robin Lopez ($4,200) vs. Houston Rockets – Here’s an extra value play for you — the Rockets rank 29th vs. centers and have given up a whopping 70 DKFP to the position over the last five games on average. Lopez has faced some tough competition lately, but in his last favorable matchup he posted 44 DKFP against Philly. Al Horford ($6,800) and Brook Lopez ($6,500) make for other options.
WORST – Steven Adams ($4,900) vs. Memphis Grizzlies – The price is right on Adams, but the matchup is not. Failing to reach value in three of his last four games, Adams now has the task of matching up with Marc Gasol ($7,800) and the top ranked Grizzlies’ defense vs. centers. Even with Enes Kanter sidelined, Adams hasn’t separated himself as OKC’s go-to big man.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
DeMarcus Cousins ($10,900) – I just love the spot Boogie is in tonight given his matchup and salary. That said, Harden is also in play and Westbrook is a tough fade no matter the matchup. One guy I’ve failed to mention thus far is Isaiah Thomas ($10,000) who’s salary has skyrocketed over the past month. He’s been worth every penny, though, and seems to just keep churning out monster games.
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
P.J. Tucker ($4,400) – Tucker just always seems so underpriced to me. He’s consistently a threat to post 30 DKFP (he had 37 in his last game and has three 30+ games in his last five) and his salary never seems to eclipse $4,500. Marquese Chriss has also come on lately for the Suns, averaging 31 minutes and over 29 DKFP in his last two games.
Next Man Up
Wilson Chandler ($5,700) – Danilo Gallinari is out against the Bucks on Friday and Will Barton is listed as questionable after missing a couple of games. That should mean a whole lot of Chandler against a Milwaukee team that’s been the second-worst in the NBA against SFs.
As usual, plenty of value is sure to arise leading up to lock. So download DK Live and follow all the latest breaking news 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.