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 – Jeff Teague ($7,900) vs. Los Angeles Lakers – The Lakers rank 28th in the NBA defending PGs, allowing over 57 DKFP per game to the position (and nearly 60 over the past five games). Teague has exceeded value in four of his last five games, including a pair of 50+ DKFP games in favorable matchups, as tonight provides.
WORST – Kemba Walker ($8,000) vs. Toronto Raptors – Limiting PG production has become one of the most difficult tasks in the NBA. Even the best teams get lit up, but going by the recent numbers, Toronto has been solid lately. They rank sixth in the NBA over the past five games vs. PGs, and second on the slate (behind New Orleans). Meanwhile, Walker has failed to reach value in three of his last five contests.
Shooting Guard Matchups
BEST – James Harden ($12,200) vs. Golden State Warriors – The Warriors have been pretty average against guards this season. But as I continuously mention, Harden is your PG/SG all rolled into one. The pace of play in this matchup alone has the potential to put Harden on a scary pace.
WORST – Wesley Matthews ($4,600) vs. Utah Jazz – Matthews has been a great value play of late, exceeding value in three of his last four. But a matchup with the Jazz represents the toughest in the league for opposing SGs. Utah has allowed just 36.3 DKFP to the position on average this season, including limiting opponents to under 30 DKFP in the past five games. Seth Curry ($3,900) also falls into the same category as Matthews on tonight’s slate.
Small Forward Matchups
BEST – Tyreke Evans ($5,800) vs. Brooklyn Nets – The lowly Nets rank 29th in the NBA vs. SFs, and have been dead last over their past 10 games. Despite playing minutes in the low 20’s, Evans has been churning out strong fantasy performances lately. That includes 48.5 DKFP last week vs. the Nets (although Anthony Davis missed that game), and 38 DKFP in just 20 minutes in his last game vs. Orlando.
WORST – Gordon Hayward ($7,600) vs. Dallas Mavericks – Typically Utah and San Antonio are the matchups you want to avoid at SF, but tonight Hayward finds himself on the opposite end. Dallas has been a top-5 team vs. SFs this season and they rank as the league’s top team over the span of the last five and ten games. Hayward is coming off a bad game in a prime matchup against the Suns, so Dallas will be looking to keep him off his game.
Power Forward Matchups
BEST – Paul Millsap ($7,500) vs. Chicago Bulls – Chicago has been a solid team vs. PFs this season, but its been coming undone lately — they have allowed over 55 DKFP during the past five games (29th in the NBA). Millsap has been one of the most consistent PFs this season, maintaining a very high floor (no fewer than 36 DKFP in his last 10 games). He still has the ability to go off, though, which makes him a very attractive play tonight.
WORST – Harrison Barnes ($5,800) vs. Utah Jazz – Utah has been the worst matchup for opposing PFs all season long, which isn’t good news for the slumping Barnes. Barnes has failed to reach value (let alone score 30 DKFP) in three consecutive games.
BEST – Myles Turner ($6,900) vs. Los Angeles Lakers – Turner’s floor can be scary … he’s failed to reach value in three of his last four games and hasn’t reached 30 DKFP in five of his last 10. But he’s also a huge upside GPP play tonight against the Lakers — who rank 29th in the NBA vs. centers and are allowing almost 72 DKFP to the position on average over the past five games. I’m also a fan of Rudy Gobert ($7,100) against a Dallas team that has nobody to cover him.
WORST – Robin Lopez ($4,400) vs. Atlanta Hawks – Lopez has been a strong value play for five games now, scoring 22+ DKFP for $4,200 or less in each instance. With his price on the rise and a matchup against the Hawks (ranked fourth in the NBA vs. centers), I don’t think it’s a bad time to start thinking about looking elsewhere for value at center.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
James Harden ($12,200) – Davis and Giannis have been a little inconsistent lately. Durant is coming off a huge game and a salary rise. Boogie’s in a difficult matchup. That leaves Harden by default, but I would be building my lineup around him anyway. He’ll have the opportunity to put up monster numbers against the Dubs.
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
Michael Beasley ($4,100) – Believe it or not, Beasley has been one of the best DK players this season in terms of fantasy points per $1k. He’ll have his disappointing nights, but he also goes off for 6X-10X value on way more occasions that similarly priced players.
Next Man Up
Magic Guards/Kings Forwards – Starting with Orlando’s backcourt situation, Fournier is going to miss Friday’s game and Meeks is now out long-term. That leaves Mario Hezonja ($3,000), C.J. Watson ($3,000) and D.J. Augustin ($3,300) in line to see expanded roles on Friday, while Elfrid Payton ($6,000) could see more minutes than usual. Even Jeff Green ($3,100) could get into the mix more.
For the Kings, Rudy Gay is now done for the season with a torn Achilles. That means the rest of the way out, Cousins should see an uptick in usage, but Anthony Tolliver ($4,300) and Matt Barnes ($4,100) become great value plays right away.
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.