WATCH: PICK AND ROLL – 2 PLAYER STACK
Tonight we’ve got a monster 10-game slate loaded with star power. Be sure to monitor injury and lineup news leading up to lock on DK Live, as potential opportunity and value can always change. Here are the best and worst matchups at each position so far. Hit me up on Twitter with comments or questions: @julianedlow.
Defense vs. Position
Point Guard Matchups
BEST – Damian Lillard ($8,600) vs. Los Angeles Lakers – It’s worth mentioning that Goran Dragic ($7,300) has the best matchup of the slate on paper vs. BKN, but with eight PGs priced over $8,000, it’s tough not to be rostering one of the top end guys. Lillard hasn’t gone off for a monster game since returning from injury, but he’s been very solid. Maybe the 28th ranked team vs. PGs is just the matchup he needs — as the Lakers have been allowing an average of 58 DKFP over the past 10 games. Steph Curry’s ($8,500) homecoming in Charlotte with a salary reduction also sticks out.
WORST – Derrick Rose ($6,000) vs. Dallas Mavericks – The Mavericks rank first in the NBA in limiting PG production this season, and have been especially hot over the past five games — allowing an average of just 36.5 DKFP (8.5 less than any other team). Although Rose’s salary is attractive with his production lately, the matchup is not.
Shooting Guard Matchups
BEST – James Harden ($12,300) vs. Boston Celtics – The Celtics have been allowing over six more DKFP to SGs over their past five games (most of which Avery Bradley has missed), and just got lit up by the Wall/Beal backcourt in D.C. last night. Having lost three in a row, the C’s are going to be playing hard tonight on the second end of a back-to-back, but they’ve been atrocious defensively of late. Harden is just the type of nightmare matchup that should drive them crazy tonight without their best perimeter defender.
WORST – Dwyane Wade ($6,400) vs. Atlanta Hawks – So the Hawks are average vs. SGs, but don’t think of Wade in a matchup vs. them, think of him in a matchup vs. father time. Wade’s going to be playing in his second back-to-back of the season, the previous time playing 20 minutes on the first night, followed by 35. Although Wade has been red-hot over his past two games, he played 34 minutes last night, so there’s a chance he plays around just 20 minutes tonight (as he did last week, which resulted in 13.25 DKFP).
Small Forward Matchups
BEST – Robert Covington ($5,600) vs. Milwaukee Bucks – Covington is one of my favorite plays on tonight’s slate as he’s buried down on the SF list. The Bucks are the league’s 29th ranked team vs. SF, and Covington has been producing across the board for a shockingly good Philly team. He’s produced three consecutive games of 35+ DKFP and is in a good spot to keep rolling.
WORST – DeMarre Carroll ($4,500) vs. Memphis Grizzles – Without DeMar DeRozan in the lineup, Carroll can make for a tempting play. Don’t be fooled, though. Memphis ranks third vs. SF, and Carroll has been killing his own value of late. He’s failed to reach value in four of his last five games, scoring single-digit DKFP on three of those occasions!
Power Forward Matchups
BEST – DeMarcus Cousins ($10,800) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers – Cleveland ranks just below average vs. PF on the season; however, they’ve allowed nearly 10 DKFP more per game on average over the past 10 games — 55.8. Boogie has hoisted up 49 total shots in his last two games with Rudy Gay sidelined, and should continue to see an uptick in usage.
WORST – Draymond Green ($7,500) vs. Charlotte Hornets – Draymond has failed to reach value in consecutive games, let alone reach 25 DKFP. He’s averaged 36 minutes over those contests too, so this has nothing to do with the Warriors resting stars against lesser competition. Charlotte ranks sixth in the NBA vs. PFs, so this doesn’t present a great bounce back opportunity for Green.
BEST – Mason Plumlee ($6,200) vs. Los Angeles Lakers – Plum’s been hot lately, averaging 38.75 DKFP in his last two outings. He’ll have an opportunity to continue dominating against a Lakers’ squad that ranks 29th in the NBA vs centers, and they are allowing a league-worst 67.5 DKFP to the position over the past 10 games.
WORST – Jonas Valanciunas ($6,000) vs. Memphis Grizzlies – Valanciunas has improved his stock over the past eight games or so, but a date with Marc Gasol and the Grizzlies can bring that to a halt. Memphis ranks atop the league against centers, which makes Jonas pretty tough to rely on in this slate.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
James Harden ($12,300) – If you’ve got the salary for Russell Westbrook tonight then feel free to go for it, but his salary took a jump up. I just like Harden better overall tonight given the current state of the Celtics. Boogie and LeBron ($10,000) also stand out to me as guys worth paying up for on this slate. Isaiah Thomas ($9,300) is a more affordable stud if you need one- he should thrive on the pace of play with Houston.
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
Nerlens Noel ($4,300) – Noel had a monster night in a comeback win over the Clippers last night with both Jahlil Okafor and Joel Embiid sidelined. They are both out again tonight, and after Noel posted 46 DKFP in 29 minutes last night, he could get another shot at the starting role.
Next Man Up
Raptors’ Wings – As mentioned, DeRozan is out tonight. Although a matchup with Memphis isn’t ideal for the Raps, neither was last night’s matchup with San Antonio. Norman Powell ($3,600) started and scored 30 DKFP in 39 minutes against the Spurs, while Terrence Ross ($4,500) came off the bench for 30 minutes and 28.25 DKFP. Both are in play as strong value options tonight.
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.