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 – Stephen Curry ($8,700) vs. Miami Heat – The Heat rank as a strong team against PGs this season, but that’s changed recently. Miami is now allowing an average of 60 DKFP over the last 10 games, which ranks just 27th in the NBA. Curry remains slightly underpriced, having scored 43 DKFP or more in eight of his last nine games.
WORST – Kyrie Irving ($7,900) vs. New Orleans Pelicans – The Pelicans have been fantastic against PGs recently, limiting the opposition to less than 40 DKFP on average over the last five games. Kyrie hadn’t scored more than 40 DKFP in five games before scoring 50 Saturday night vs. the Spurs; however, he needed 41 minutes to do so.
Shooting Guard Matchups
BEST – Bradley Beal ($6,700) vs. Charlotte Hornets – The Hornets rank as the sixth-worst team vs. SGs this season, and have fallen to just 29th overall in the past 10 games (allowing 47 DKFP on average). Beal comes in at a very affordable price despite his high ceiling. He’s had his inconsistencies, but a matchup with Charlotte is one for him to take advantage of.
WORST – Klay Thompson ($6,300) vs. Miami Heat – If you’re going to be rostering Steph tonight, I don’t think it’s the best time to pair him with his backcourt-mate. Also, Klay has failed to reach value in three consecutive games, and Miami ranks fourth in the NBA vs. SGs (allowing just 31 DKFP over the past five games).
Small Forward Matchups
BEST – Kawhi Leonard ($9,400) vs. Brooklyn Nets – The Nets rank dead last in the NBA vs. SFs, giving up over 50 DKFP on average to the position over the past 10 games. Kawhi is obviously in a fantastic matchup tonight. However, LeBron James ($9,900) is also in an extremely favorable spot against a Pelicans’ squad that’s surrendered 51 DKFP to SFs over the past five games.
WORST – Matt Barnes ($4,000) vs. Detroit Pistons – With Rudy Gay shutdown for the season, Barnes would appear to be one of the better value plays the rest of the way out (at least until his salary climbs too high). Somehow, Barnes has been even worse without Gay, barely topping 20 DKFP in the Kings’ last two games combined. Add in a matchup with the Pistons, who rank fifth vs. SFs, and this becomes an easy fade for me despite the value you’d think Barnes should be.
Power Forward Matchups
BEST – Kevin Love ($7,600) vs. New Orleans Pelicans – Just like SF, I really like the Cavs and Spurs options here. The Nets rank 28th vs. PFs while the Pelicans rank 27th in the league, so both matchups are just as favorable as LeBron and Kawhi’s. I believe mixing and matching some Cavs and Spurs forwards tonight could work well. I especially like that Love and LaMarcus Aldridge’s salaries are relatively low.
WORST – Kristaps Porzingis ($6,800) vs. Indiana Pacers – There’s no horrible matchup at PF on tonight’s slate. I think Porzingis actually could be a great GPP play considering his salary is low and he has a decent matchup with the Pacers. That said, Porzingis’ injuries are what makes his matchup tougher. He still doesn’t seem recovered from his Achilles injury, which has held him under 26 DKFP in four consecutive games.
BEST – Hassan Whiteside ($7,700) vs. Golden State Warriors – Whiteside has really been struggling lately, only exceeding value in one of his last 10 contests. That’s pretty brutal. But this represents a great opportunity to roster Whiteside at a crazy low price against a team getting WORKED by centers. Hassan’s lone game exceeding value was a 59.5 DKFP effort against the Warriors — who are giving up a bonkers average of 70 DKFP to centers over the past 10 games.
WORST – Enes Kanter ($6,300) vs. Utah Jazz – Rudy Gobert and the Jazz are consistently one of the worst matchups for opposing centers — currently ranked fourth overall. Kanter could have a tough time against his former team, and his upside would be particularly limited if Steven Adams makes his return.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,600) – We’ve made is this far without discussing both James Harden and Russell Westbrook on this slate. I don’t hate either of those guys, but Utah is never a great matchup in Russ’ case. In Harden’s situation, I just feel there are cheaper options with almost as much upside. Nobody will ever have the ceiling those guys do, but Giannis produced the same fantasy line as Harden when the two matched up last week. I also like using guys like LeBron, Kawhi and Steph rather than paying up for the top guys.
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
Sam Dekker ($4,200) – Dekker has been coming on strong lately for Houston in his sophomore season. He has played 25+ minutes in four consecutive games, including 35 in his last outing — resulting in 42 DKFP vs. a strong Memphis defense. He’s a very hot value play right now.
Next Man Up
Spurs’ Value Plays – With Tony Parker and Pau Gasol out, a lot of value opens up for the Spurs against a terrible Nets team. Leonard and Aldridge should look to carry the offense, but David Lee ($5,500), Dejounte Murray ($4,100) and Patty Mills ($4,000) all have the potential to return big time value given their salaries.
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.