WATCH: DK MINUTE REPORT – NEMANJA BJELICA
We’ve got eight games tonight and a lot of potential injury news to digest.I will do my best to provide you with the best and worst matchup focusing on statistics at each position, plus some bonus lineup building picks.
Be sure to check in on the DK Live app throughout the day to monitor injury and lineup news. Another great way to help build your lineup is to tune into DKTV at 6 PM EST for Pre-Lock Live — a one hour show that will keep you posted on up to the minute news along with plenty of analysis.
Hit me up on Twitter with comments or questions: @julianedlow.
Defense vs. Position
Point Guard Matchups
BEST – D’Angelo Russell ($7,700) vs. Denver Nuggets – This Nuggets/Lakers game is projected to be a high scoring shootout, and the rest of the slate has some pretty unfavorable matchups. In short, I think this is definitely a game to stack, and Lakers guards are a good place to start. Denver ranks 29th vs. PGs and is allowing almost 55 total DKFP per game this season. Russell’s also been fantastic lately for L.A.
WORST – Mike Conley ($7,800) vs. Milwaukee Bucks – On top of a very slow-paced matchup with Memphis, Milwaukee ranks third in the league defending PGs. Conley’s fallen off his hot streak and has now had two poor outings in a row. At $100 more than Russell, it’s an easy call for me who to play when it comes to matchups.
Shooting Guard Matchups
BEST – Evan Fournier ($5,600) vs. Sacramento Kings – Sacramento has fallen to dead last defending SGs, thanks to surrendering an average of 55.5 total DKFP to the position over the past five games. Fournier’s had some bad games lately, but it has kept his salary down entering the best possible matchup he could have. Considering he’s also shown a high ceiling recently, I think he’s a great GPP play.
WORST – Clippers SGs vs. Utah Jazz – The Clippers have three SG eligible players that are all in horrible matchups tonight. Whether you’re considering J.J. Redick ($4,100), Jamal Crawford ($4,000) or Austin Rivers ($3,500) for a value spot tonight, they’re all in a tough spot. All three have been way too inconsistent, so I can’t advocate giving them a roster spot against the NBA’s best team defending SGs.
Small Forward Matchups
BEST – Kawhi Leonard ($9,900) vs. Atlanta Hawks – Take this with a grain of salt because Kawhi is questionable tonight with a concussion that cost him Saturday’s showdown with the Warriors. If he does play, he had been red-hot prior to the injury and Atlanta ranks just 29th vs. his position. If he sits, get ready for value plays, led by Kyle Anderson ($3,600).
WORST – Raptors SFs vs. Dallas Mavericks – Dallas is a top-three team against SFs this season — a position where the Raptors are already weak. DeMarre Carroll ($3,700) is questionable, but not a very attractive play if he does suit up. At the same time, even if he does play, backups Norman Powell ($4,200) and P.J. Tucker ($3,900) don’t provide much upside.
Power Forward Matchups
BEST – Blake Griffin ($8,300) vs. Utah Jazz – On paper this matchup doesn’t look great until you realize Derrick Favors has already been ruled out, and Rudy Gobert is listed as questionable. With Utah’s depleted frontcourt, Griffin could make for an awesome play while many will be scared off with Utah as the opponent.
WORST – Marvin Williams ($5,900) vs. Chicago Bulls – No, the Bulls aren’t very intimidating when it comes to defense, but they do rank top-10 against PFs. This isn’t about that, though. With Frank Kaminsky ($6,400) potentially returning tonight, Marvin’s usage would likely drop WAY off. It’s been an impressive run for Williams, but it may come to an end tonight.
BEST – Nikola Jokic ($10,400) vs. Los Angeles Lakers – I refrained from featuring this matchup too much, as you can essentially pick a Nugget or Laker at any position in this game and get a favorable matchup. Jokic might have the best matchup of them all, though. The Lakers rank 29th in DKFP allowed to centers at nearly 55 total DKFP per game. Jokic is as trustworthy a play as you can ask for tonight with 45+ DKFP in five straight games and a fantastic matchup.
WORST – Greg Monroe ($5,500) vs. Memphis Grizzlies – Monroe has been an awesome value play at times, and his high ceiling keeps him an interesting tournament play. But why mess around and pay for him against a Grizzlies’ defense that ranks first against centers? As mentioned, the pace of play here is going to definitely limit opportunities compared to this juicy DEN/LAL matchup.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
Nikola Jokic ($10,400) – If I’m going to hype this game up so much then I’d better stand behind it … Jokic is an easy call for me as the first player to build around. He should be easy to pay up for with all the value opening up as well.
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
Buddy Hield ($4,000) – Hield is starting to see the type of minutes we expected him to when the Kings made him the centerpiece of the Boogie trade. He’s now played 67 minutes over his past two games and is averaging over 28 DKFP in those contests.
Next Man Up
Track Questionable Studs – There’s a ton of news tonight. Nerlens Noel has already been ruled out, Kaminsky is likely to return and the following players are all questionable: Kawhi Leonard, Nicolas Batum and Rudy Gobert. The Spurs will also be without LaMarcus Aldridge, Tony Parker and Dejounte Murray, so there is also plenty of value there.
Plenty of injury news is sure to open up lots of value, so make sure you check the DK Live app prior to lock for all the latest breaking news regarding injuries, lineups and analysis.
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.