Here are the best and worst matchups on Monday’s eight-game slate. Never hesitate to hit me up on Twitter with comments or questions: @julianedlow.
Defense vs. Position
Point Guard Matchups
BEST – Stephen Curry ($8,600) vs. Denver Nuggets – There are some elite PG plays tonight and the usual matchup-proof studs. However, Curry will be facing the 27th ranked defense vs. PGs on his home floor in an attempt to bounce back from a brutal game against Dallas. If Kyrie Irving suits up, he’s another great option against the 28th ranked Pelicans.
WORST – Russell Westbrook ($12,300) vs. Milwaukee Bucks – Milwaukee’s been fantastic against PGs this season, ranking sixth overall and third in the league over the past five games. Westbrook put together a triple-double in the first half of his last game, so the Bucks will have their hands full. The truth is, even in a bad matchup, Westbrook has the ability to go nuts. But this could be one of the few teams that can just slow him down a little bit.
Shooting Guard Matchups
BEST – Klay Thompson ($6,600) vs. Denver Nuggets – The Nuggets are even worse against SGs than PGs. Thompson’s hit value in three consecutive games, scoring 42.5 DKFP in his last game. Stacking the Warriors’ backcourt isn’t out of the question in my opinion.
WORST – Sean Kilpatrick ($5,500) vs. Utah Jazz – Jeremy Lin is out for this game, so Kilpatrick will continue to see extended minutes. He had exceeded value in his last three games before putting up a mere 9.5 DKFP Friday against Washington. Unfortunately, the Jazz don’t present much of a bounce back opportunity, ranking second in the NBA against both guard positions.
Small Forward Matchups
BEST – Gordon Hayward ($8,100) vs. Brooklyn Nets – The Nets rank 28th vs. SFs and have allowed an average of 52.4 DKFP over the past five games. Hayward’s been a bit inconsistent this season, but he did take advantage of a great matchup with the Lakers (who rank last vs. SF) last week, topping 50 DKFP.
WORST – Nets SFs vs. Utah Jazz – Even though they can be had for cheap, the Nets SFs have one of the toughest matchups in the league tonight. Bojan Bogdanovic, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Caris LeVert can all be had for under $4,000, but Utah (who ranks second in the NBA vs. SFs) has been allowing just an eye popping 21.3 DKFP to SFs over the last five games.
Power Forward Matchups
BEST – Kevin Love ($8,800) vs. New Orleans Pelicans – The Pelicans ranks 27th in the NBA vs. PFs, allowing an average of nearly 50 DKFP to the position on the season. Love’s been hot lately, topping 42.5 DKFP in each of his last three games, and will look to keep it going in a very favorable matchup tonight.
WORST – Markieff Morris ($5,100) vs. Houston Rockets – I could write about the Nets as the worst matchup at every position vs. the Jazz, so here’s an effort to mix it up. Houston’s been above average vs. PFs this season, and Morris has failed to reach value in three of his last four games (including some matchups that haven’t been difficult).
BEST – Marcin Gortat ($6,400) vs. Houston Rockets – With their paint presence out, Houston’s been sliding down the rankings against centers — now 26th in the NBA. Rudy Gobert makes sense as a top play against the Nets, but if you want to save $1,000, Gortat will be looking to top 40 DKFP for the third time in as many games. Nikola Vucevic also is in a great spot against the Knicks.
WORST – Nikola Jokic ($7,000) vs. Golden State Warriors – Jokic has been hot lately, scoring 38.75 DKFP or more in each of his last three contests. The Warriors, however, rank sixth in the league against opposing centers. Jokic should have a really tough time keeping up with the pace of this game, as the last time these two teams met he posted just four points and three boards in 18 minutes of play.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
James Harden ($12,400) – It sounds stupid with his salary skyrocketing after dropping an insane 53-16-17 line on the Knicks for 103.5 DKFP … but Harden should still just keep reaching value. Don’t expect 100 points again, but he’s in a much better matchup than Westbrook.
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
Andre Roberson ($3,400) – Roberson will likely be called upon to attempt to cover “The Greek Freak” in this matchup, which should mean big minutes. His floor is low, but in his last game, Roberson put up a well-rounded line that added up to 23.75 DKFP. The Bucks rank 29th in the NBA vs. SFs, so there’s some potential upside here.
Next Man Up
Knicks’ Backups – Kristaps Porzingis is doubtful against the Magic, and we also need to keep an eye on the status of both Kyle O’Quinn and Courtney Lee. In the Knicks’ last game, it resulted in 30+ minutes for Justin Holiday and Lance Thomas, while Brandon Jennings played 41 minutes and topped 50 DKFP. Carmelo Anthony is expected to play, but did have to exit his last game early because of a knee injury, so his status is worth monitoring as well. Once we know who’s in/who’s out, there should be value to pounce on.
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.