WATCH: CHOP SHOP – JANUARY 27th
We’ve got another star-studded 10-game slate loaded with options Friday night. 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 – Isaiah Thomas ($9,600) vs. Orlando Magic – Thomas’ salary keeps creeping up, but he continues to exceed value. Although he doesn’t provide 70+ DKFP upside like James Harden ($12,300), Thomas has shown the ability to score 60 DKFP (three times since Christmas) for $3,000 less than Harden. Having scored over 49 DKFP in five straight, a matchup with the 23rd ranked Magic shouldn’t slow him down much. John Wall ($9,900) and Kyrie Irving ($8,300) are also in fantastic matchups.
WORST – Jrue Holiday ($7,500) vs. San Antonio Spurs – Holiday has become rather pricey lately, which doesn’t set him up well for a matchup with the fourth-ranked Spurs, who are allowing just 45 DKFP to PGs over the past 10 games. Holiday has only exceeded value three times in his last 10 outings, and keep in mind that 67 DKFP explosion you’ll see in his game log came with Anthony Davis ($9,700) sidelined.
Shooting Guard Matchups
BEST – Bradley Beal ($6,800) vs. Atlanta Hawks – Let me preface this by saying that I’m not a big fan of paying up at SG on this slate and would probably look for some value options given all the studs at other positions. Even Harden, dare I say, hasn’t been himself lately and the 76ers have been fantastic defending guards. Beal makes for a nice option if you have the salary, though, scoring 32+ in three straight games squaring off against a Hawks’ squad allowing 50 DKFP to SGs over the past five games.
WORST – Dion Waiters ($6,800) vs Chicago Bulls – This is a bad matchup all the way around. The Bulls rank fifth in the NBA against opposing SGs, and Waiters is going to cool off at some point — leaving him way overpriced in my opinion. That night could be tonight, but have you been paying attention to the Bulls? Their locker room is a dumpster fire at the moment. Having gone for 42+ DKFP in three straight games, I don’t mind going after Waiters once again tonight given the state of affairs in Chicago.
Small Forward Matchups
BEST – LeBron James ($10,200) vs. Brooklyn Nets – The Cavs have been playing poorly as of late, dropping three consecutive games. LeBron hasn’t necessarily been the issue, though, surpassing 60 DKFP in three of his last four games. LeBron’s been playing a TON of minutes lately for the Cavs, and has a plum matchup with the Nets — the worst team in the NBA vs. SFs. I’m looking for James to let out some frustration tonight.
WORST – Tyreke Evans ($5,600) vs. San Antonio Spurs – Evans has been playing well lately, but his minutes are what really concerns me. He’s super efficient when playing 20+ minutes and almost always exceeds value; however, he’s played 13 minutes or less in two of his last three games. Pair that with a matchup against the Spurs (ranked second vs. SFs) and you’re not looking at a very attractive situation.
Power Forward Matchups
BEST – DeMarcus Cousins ($11,000) vs. Indiana Pacers – The Pacers are the sixth-worst team vs. PFs and the ninth-worst team vs. centers, so wherever you want to slot Boogie in, he’s in a great position. Cousins dropped 63.5 DKFP on Indy last week, and that was before Rudy Gay went down for the season (boosting Cousins’ usage through the roof). Boogie’s now averaging 26.3 shot attempts over his last three games, and missed a triple-double by an assist his last time out.
WORST – Nerlens Noel ($5,800) vs. Houston Rockets – The fun is over for Noel, who averaged 41.6 DKFP in two games with Joel Embiid ($8,400) and Jahlil Okafor ($4,700) sidelined. Tonight, it’s been confirmed Okafor will play and Embiid has been upgraded to questionable. The Houston front court isn’t too scary, but the log jam in Philly takes away any value in Noel’s salary.
BEST – Marc Gasol ($8,000) vs. Portland Trailblazers – The $500 bump in Gasol’s salary might scare you off, but even if he was priced this high over each of his last five games, he still would’ve exceeded value. Fresh off 61.25 DKFP against the Raptors, Gasol should have no problem against a Portland defense that struggles mightily against skilled bigs.
WORST – Mason Plumlee ($6,100) vs. Memphis Grizzlies – On the opposite end, Plumlee finds himself in the most difficult center matchup of the slate, and his salary makes him an easier fade for me. Plumlee has significantly exceeded value in each of his last three games, but they’ve been three of the softest center matchups in the league. Now Plumlee’s price tag is up $900 since last Saturday facing the NBA’s top ranked defense against centers.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
DeMarcus Cousins ($11,000) – Boogie slightly edges out LeBron as my top play on this slate, but if I can use some value plays to pair the two, I will. Harden just hasn’t been playing as well as he needs to at his current salary, and will likely be popular in a sneaky not-so-great matchup with the Sixers. It’s worth noting that Anthony Davis is only $9,700 (albeit in a horrible matchup with the Spurs), so that’s a potential monster discount to take advantage of.
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
Guillermo Hernangomez ($3,900) – After destroying the Celtics for 33.25 DKFP in 20 minutes, “Billy” (as his teammates call him and is much easier to type) got a DNP in the Knicks’ next game. They’ve finally realized what they have here and have played Billy 24 minutes in back-to-back games — reaching 10X value or better in both … talk about a value play.
Next Man Up
Norman Powell ($4,600) – Powell has been the primary (and only) beneficiary of DeMar DeRozan being sidelined. He’s played an average of 36 minutes over Toronto’s last two games, posting 30 of more DKFP in each. With DeRozan out again on Friday, I like looking to Powell again.
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.