WATCH: 3 IN THE KEY – KEVIN LOVE
Here are the best and worst matchups at each position for tonight’s six-game slate. Be sure to monitor injury and lineup news leading up to lock on DK Live, as potential opportunity and value can always change. Hit me up on Twitter with comments or questions: @julianedlow.
Defense vs. Position
Point Guard Matchups
BEST – Chris Paul ($9,400) vs. Orlando Magic – Orlando ranks 23rd in DKFP allowed to PGs this season — the worst on tonight’s slate. Over their last five games, the Magic have been giving up an average of 61 DKFP to PGs, leaving Paul in an intriguing spot. CP3 is coming off a 59 DKFP game in just 29 minutes against the Heat, so he can get it done in limited minutes (which is encouraging because he hasn’t played more than 31 in his last five games).
WORST – Russell Westbrook ($11,800) vs. Memphis Grizzlies – So we all know Westbrook can go off on any given night, but the matchup tonight certainly works against that. Russ is coming off a disappointing 55.75 DKFP performance against a Bulls team that’s been the worst in the NBA vs. PGs recently. Now he finds himself up against the Grizzlies, who rank third in the NBA against his position and limited him to an insanely human 29.25 DKFP in 23 minutes just a couple of weeks ago (Westbrook did get ejected so he still had about another 12 minutes to do damage, but it still would’ve been an off-night).
Shooting Guard Matchups
BEST – James Harden ($12,000) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves – The matchup with the Wolves on the second night of a back-to-back isn’t ideal, but in a smaller slate with Eric Gordon already confirmed out, Harden’s usage might just be too high to pass on. He’s had consecutive games with 78.5+ DKFP against respectable competition, so no need to fear Minnesota.
WORST – Evan Fournier ($6,000) vs. Los Angeles Clippers – Fournier has failed to reach value in two of his three games since returning, the outlier being against the Lakers (who rank near the bottom of the league vs. SG). Tonight he gets the Clippers, who will be the best team vs. his position that he’s faced since returning, allowing just 35.8 DKFP to SGs over the past five games.
Small Forward Matchups
BEST – LeBron James ($9,700) vs. Portland Trailblazers – Portland is the seventh-worst team in the NBA against SFs, which obviously leaves LeBron in a favorable position. Both of these teams are in a weird spot with Portland’s airport shutting down and both teams on the second night of a back-to-back. The Cavs actually may benefit since they arrived in Portland early in the morning, while the home team actually had to fly to Seattle and then travel back home from there.
WORST – Andrew Wiggins ($6,400) vs. Houston Rockets – Houston ranks right in the middle of the league this season when it comes to defending SFs, but have been much better than average lately, allowing just 38.7 DKFP on average over the past five games. Meanwhile, Wiggins has been struggling lately, failing to reach value in four of his last five games, including a pair of games with fewer than 20 DKFP.
Power Forward Matchups
BEST – Kevin Love ($8,100) vs. Portland Trailblazers – You may remember Love dropped 34 in a quarter earlier this season … that was against the Blazers. It was in Cleveland (and he probably was running on much more sleep), but the matchup constitutes mentioning here. He finished that game with just 40 points (eight three pointers) and eight rebounds, but if he can come close to replicating that performance his fantasy owners would be pretty pleased.
WORST – Ryan Anderson ($5,000) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves – I’ll be honest, I struggled to find a poor matchup at PF tonight. If Ibaka plays against LAC, he’s not in a favorable spot, and then there’s Anderson, who has failed to reach value in five of his last seven games and faces a Minnesota squad that’s been solid against PFs. But with so many solid options besides Love (Porzingis, Towns, Randolph), you shouldn’t need to struggle much at PF tonight.
BEST – Joel Embiid ($8,000) vs. New York Knicks – The price is high on Embiid, but the matchup has been incredible for centers against the Knicks. The lowly Knicks rank 28th in the NBA allowing a 62.8 DKFP average over last five games. Embiid has topped 40 DKFP in five of his last six games, so he’s in a favorable spot to reach value once again. One of the things I like about tonight’s slate is the flexibility. With Embiid, Towns, Love and Randolph all in great matchups with PF/C eligibility, there’s a lot to work with.
WORST – Steven Adams ($5,700) vs. Memphis Grizzlies – Adams is a beast of a matchup for any opposition, but Memphis has been the top-ranked team in the league vs. centers this season. Both he and Enes Kanter should have their hands full with the Grizzlies’ bigs in the paint.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
James Harden ($12,000) – There are a lot of mid-tier options that I like tonight, but if you’re paying for a stud, I think Harden is the way to go. Pending late injury news, there is a noticeable lack of value on tonight’s slate, so you’re really going to have to pick wisely to work Harden in.
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
Kelly Olynyk ($3,600) – I mentioned the lack of value tonight, but Olynyk has been a consistent source for points at just $3,600 recently. He’s now scored 20+ DKFP in four consecutive games (and eight of his last 11 games), so getting 6X value out of him isn’t out of the question.
Next Man Up
Keep an eye on the news – I’ve got nothing written in stone for you as of writing, but there are plenty of situations to monitor tonight. Zach LaVine and Avery Bradley are both questionable. Derrick Rose is supposed to start after his disappearing act on Monday, but there’s clearly an issue there, so things could change quickly. With the travel situation in Portland some Blazers or Cavs could wind up getting the night off. Just be sure to monitor DK Live for the most up-to-date news.
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.