WATCH: NBA RECAP – MALCOLM BROGDON
Here are the best and worst matchups at each position for tonight’s nine-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 – Russell Westbrook ($12,100) vs. Golden State Warriors – Forget the matchup (GSW is a little bit above average vs. PG), the pace of this game should be right up Westbrook’s alley. He’s not only coming off a poor game against the Clippers on Monday, but he also had a bad game by his standards earlier this season against the Warriors (20-10-6 in 29 minutes on just 4-of-15 shooting). I’m looking for Russ to dominate this one.
WORST – John Wall ($8,600) vs. Memphis Grizzlies – Wall is a very tempting option with his salary down $2,000 since earlier this month. For that reason I’m not totally against rostering him, but his matchup with Memphis is a difficult one. Wall has failed to reach value in three of his last five contests. Asking him to bounce back against the NBA’s sixth-ranked defense vs. PGs is a tall task.
Shooting Guard Matchups
BEST – James Harden ($11,700) vs. Milwaukee Bucks – Truth be told, the Bucks have been one of the top teams this season in defending PGs, which has been Harden’s true position. But as I’ve said in the past, Harden is Houston’s PG/SG all rolled into one — and the Bucks struggle against scoring guards. Maybe Harden doesn’t drop another 77.5 DKFP like he did last night in Miami, but with his salary down $500, he’s still in play for another big night.
Update: Klay Thompson, who was previously listed as out, is now upgraded to questionable for tonight’s game against Oklahoma City.
WORST – Klay Thompson ($6,500) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder – Thompson has hit value in his last two games after failing to do so in the three previous. He’s a tough player to predict given the options GSW has offensively. But if we’re going by the matchups, tonight should be a game in which the Warriors get the majority of their offense from other positions. The Thunder have held SGs consistently under 40 DFKP this season, ranking fifth overall in the league.
Small Forward Matchups
BEST – Trevor Ariza ($5,500) vs. Milwaukee Bucks There are some interesting matchups to pay up for at SF — I like Giannis, and Carmelo has a great matchup in Boston. However, if you want to be a little different, consider Ariza. The Bucks rank dead last in the NBA (by a wide margin of late) in defending SFs. Ariza had a 43 DKFP game against the Nets over the weekend (who rank 29th vs. SFs), so there’s recent evidence of him succeeding in favorable matchups.
WORST – Kevin Durant ($9,900) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder – I’ll go bold here and try and back it up. KD went off for 39 against his former team in the first meeting, but I don’t expect that same result tonight. OKC is going to be out for revenge, and I’m thinking we see a totally different game. I think Westbrook is going to turn his performance around offensively, and defensively this team is not going to let their old star kill them again. After all, the Thunder have been one of the top teams in the league vs. SFs this season — ranking third in the NBA over the past five games – allowing under 35 DKFP.
Power Forward Matchups
BEST – DeMarcus Cousins ($10,600) vs. Indiana Pacers – The Pacers really struggle against bigs (both PF/C), and you can catch Boogie at a real bargain this evening. Despite exceeding value in four of his last five games, he remains under $11k, making him a great target for tonight’s slate.
WORST – Markieff Morris ($6,100) vs. Memphis Grizzlies – ‘Kieff has been en fuego lately, as I’m sure you know if you’ve been rostering him. He’s exceeded value in four of his last five games, including 50 DKFP in his last game against Portland (who rank 30th in the NBA vs. PFs — shout out to Hornets PFs as a value play tonight). This is when I’ll want to start fading Morris — after a huge game in a perfect matchup with his salary now on the rise against an elite defensive team.
BEST – Jonas Valanciunas ($5,900) vs. Philadelphia 76ers – With a lot of attractive options to pay up for at center, here’s an option to save you a bit of salary. I really like the spot Jonas is in tonight. Although he disappointed in his last game against the Nets, that just brings his salary down for an even better matchup with the league’s worst team at defending against centers. In his three previous games prior to Brooklyn, Valanciunas exceeded value easily.
WORST – Marcin Gortat ($5,700) vs. Memphis Grizzlies – Sorry to go too heavy against the Wiz tonight, but if I’m fading just one, it’s Gortat. The Polish Hammer has failed to reach value in his last five games, and now finds himself in a matchup with the league’s top ranked team against his position. You couldn’t really ask for a worse situation on paper.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
Russell Westbrook ($12,100) – As I mentioned, I’m more using my head here than looking at any numbers. Westbrook is a freaking beast, and he’s got a sour taste in his mouth about his last shot at taking down KD and the Warriors. OKC may not win this game, but I don’t think it will be because Russ fails to put on a show.
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
Kelly Olynyk ($4,500) – Olynyk hasn’t been getting much respect for just how good he’s been lately. His salary has been slowly creeping up, but he’s now topped 20 DKFP in seven straight games and has averaged nearly 40 DKFP over his past two games. He’s been earning more minutes over Amir Johnson at PF and is clearly making the most of it. He’s got a great matchup against the Knicks tonight to put the cherry on top.
Next Man Up
OKC Bigs – There’s a lot of news to follow tonight with Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid and Joakim Noah all questionable. That could open up plenty of front court value so monitor all those situations. The big opening though is Steven Adams remaining out with a concussion. We all assumed last night that would result in huge minutes for Enes Kanter, but he wound up not even starting. The two huge value plays were Joffrey Lauvergne ($3,200) who played 30 minutes off the bench and scored 28.25 DKFP, and Jerami Grant, who started and played 34 minutes while scoring 27 DKFP. These guys present extreme value again tonight in The Bay.
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.