It’s a star-studded 10-game slate here on Wednesday night. The Lakers vs. Rockets and Kings vs. Suns will yield most of the best matchups to target given the monster point projections they feature. I’ll do my best to provide you with the best and worst matchups 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 – James Harden ($12,600) vs. Los Angeles Lakers – Honorable mention to Darren Collison ($6,200), who’s fresh off 48 DKFP and should shred the Phoenix defense in such a fast paced game. The Suns rank at the bottom of the NBA against PGs over the past 10 games, but the Lakers are right there at 29th. Harden should feast on this team, with the only cause for concern being a blowout.
WORST – Isaiah Thomas ($8,500) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves – IT has slowed down significantly of late. Some of it can be attributed to blowouts, but if you go through his game log there have also been some ugly performances. Ricky Rubio ($7,400) has been fantastic on both sides of the ball, and the T-Wolves are limiting PGs to only 41.2 DKFP over the past five games.
Shooting Guard Matchups
BEST – Devin Booker ($6,700) vs. Sacramento Kings – The Kings rank dead last in the NBA against SGs and are allowing an insane 56.3 DKFP over the past five games. Booker’s scored 34+ DKFP and played over 35 minutes in each of his last four games, so he’s in a near perfect situation and feels underpriced to me on this slate.
WORST – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($5,100) vs. Utah Jazz – The Jazz rank first in the NBA in DKFP allowed to SGs, which isn’t good for an ice-cold KCP. Caldwell-Pope hasn’t scored more than 22.75 DKFP in his last five games, and this matchup isn’t the best one to hope for KCP to break out of his slump in.
Small Forward Matchups
BEST – Brandon Ingram ($5,000) vs. Houston Rockets – Luol Deng has been made inactive basically for the sole reason of running out the No. 2 overall pick as much as possible to wind down the season. Houston has surrendered a whopping 56.3 total DKFP to SFs on average over the past five games, and that’s without the Lakers on the opposing end pushing the pace as well. Ingram’s played 35+ minutes in seven of the Lakers’ last nine games and should continue to get the green light tonight.
WORST – Maurice Harkless ($4,600) vs. San Antonio Spurs – Harkless went through a stretch where he was consistently one of the best values available, but the tables have turned. With a total of just 10.75 DKFP in his last two games combined in 42 minutes of play and a matchup with Kawhi on tap for tonight, Mo-Hark is arguably in the worst spot to be a value play.
Power Forward Matchups
BEST – Ryan Anderson ($4,900) vs. Los Angeles Lakers – Based purely on the stats, Anderson has the best matchup here. He is the starting PF for Houston, and the Lakers are giving up 68.9 total DKFP to PFs over their last five. At his price with consecutive games of 28.5 DKFP or more, he could be an awesome play tonight. So could the other top-three PF eligible plays in this game: Julius Randle ($7,300), Trevor Ariza ($5,100) and Larry Nance, Jr. ($4,100). I’d rank Anderson then Ariza at the top, though.
WORST – Markieff Morris ($6,000) vs. Dallas Mavericks – Dallas ranks third in the NBA defending PFs, and Morris has struggled lately for the Wizards. Washington seems to be going as Wall/Beal go, which has meant less big games for Morris — failing to reach value in five of his last six games.
BEST – Willie Cauley-Stein ($5,600) vs. Phoenix Suns – WCS has exceeded value and played more than 35 minutes in three straight games now. The Suns are allowing more than 57 total DKFP to centers in the last five games, so as long as he gets his minutes, he’s in an awesome spot to succeed. I’d probably toss WCS in at PF tonight, though, in an attempt to get more exposure to … well, Lakers/Rockets, of course. The Lakers rank 29th in the NBA against centers, so Clint Capela looks great at $5,500, along with a value guy you can find in the “Save Big Bucks” section. On the opposite side, Houston isn’t much better against centers, which leaves Ivica Zubac ($5,300) in a very good spot coming off 43.25 DKFP in his last game.
WORST – Andre Drummond ($6,800) vs. Utah Jazz – Robin Lopez ($4,200) has the worst matchup statistically with the top-ranked Grizzlies, but his style of play almost works right into that game. On the other hand, Drummond meets his match in Rudy Gobert ($6,900) — one of the only players in the league with the length to limit Drummond.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
James Harden ($12,600) – The bottom line is that Harden’s ceiling is so high against the Lakers that he’s really tough to fade. I don’t think he’s a MUST play; however, he did jus torch the Cavs for 75 DKFP, so his potential against the Lakers is scary good.
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
Nene Hilario ($3,900) – Injuries should open up some value that will be more reliable than Nene, but continuing to build on this LAL/HOU showdown — the Lakers are so bad against centers that there’s no reason Nene can’t have a really nice game even if Capela puts up big numbers. Nene has exceeded value in eight of his last nine games, including a few examples where he got up in the neighborhood of 8X.
Next Man Up
Jeremy Lamb ($5,600) – Nicolas Batum is the only big name that’s already been confirmed out for tonight’s slate, so Lamb is in line to pick up a much bigger role. The issue is that his price reflects that, up $2,100 after starting for Batum on Monday and scoring 38 DKFP. Lamb could still exceed value, but you can also just wait for injury news to find better potential value.
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.