WATCH: SLATE STRATEGY – STACKS TO TARGET
It’s a different type of Friday here at DK. There are 10 games tonight, but the two late games are on their own slate, making the main slate (which is the one the Cheat Sheet covers) just eight games. I will do my best to provide you guys 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 in to 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 – John Wall ($9,600) vs. Brooklyn Nets – In general, it doesn’t get any better than a matchup with the Nets … pretty much at any position. Brooklyn is allowing nearly 56 total DKFP to PGs on average this season. But catching the Nets on the second night of a back-to-back is taking things to a whole new level. Wall is questionable for this one, though, so if he’s unable to go, Jeff Teague ($7,300) makes for a great option against Denver.
WORST – Jameer Nelson ($5,400) vs. Indiana Pacers – The best team in the NBA defending PGs over the past 10 games? That’d be the Pacers, giving up an average of just over 42 total DKFP. With just 20 and 20.25 DKFP in consecutive games, Nelson doesn’t make for a very attractive option in my opinion.
Shooting Guard Matchups
BEST – James Harden ($12,200) vs. New Orleans Hornets – With all the flexibility DK offers in lineup construction, I think getting as many PGs in your lineup is a sound strategy (which is why I’m giving you PGs that are eligible at SG and SF on tonight’s Cheat Sheet). The Pelicans rank just 27th defending PGs this season, while Harden’s dropped 72+ DKFP in four of his last five games.
UPDATE: Avery Bradley is OUT tonight.
WORST – Devin Booker ($6,900) vs. Boston Celtics – Booker exceeded value in last night’s romping by the Nets, but he also played 40 minutes and failed to reach value in his previous three games. With a healthy Avery Bradley, the Celtics rank second in the NBA defending SGs in the last 10 games. This should be a very difficult back-to-back for Booker to have a big night on.
Small Forward Matchups
BEST – Giannis Antetokounmpo ($9,700) vs. Atlanta Hawks – Yet another PG to try and jam in your lineup at another position. Giannis finally got back on track against the Kings on Wednesday, topping 65 DKFP. He’ll have a chance for another big game tonight against a short-handed Hawks’ squad that’s surrendered 62.5 DKFP on average to PGs in the last five games.
WORST – Jimmy Butler ($9,200) vs. Philadelphia 76ers – Consider this my bold choice of the evening. Butler just played a ton of minutes on a difficult back-to-back on Tuesday and Wednesday, and had a pair of stellar games which drove his price tag up for this slate. All those minutes earlier in the week could catch up to him tonight, but even more importantly, Philly’s been no joke against SFs. They Sixers are giving up just 36.3 total DKFP over the past five games on average to that position.
Power Forward Matchups
BEST – DeMarcus Cousins ($10,000)/Anthony Davis ($9,800) vs. Houston Rockets – I’m not sure how you pick between these guys, but they’re both in a strong matchup against Houston (which struggles against both PF/C). It’s going to be a fast-paced game, so stack them if you dare to be contrarian. But with Boogie coming off the better game, and costing more in salary, maybe it’s a good night to pivot to Davis.
WORST – Thaddeus Young ($4,800) vs. Denver Nuggets – It’s obviously not a very bad night for PF options when I have to dig to Young in the Cheat Sheet. Somehow the Nuggets are just outside of the top-five defending PFs, allowing just over 42 total DKFP. Young hasn’t scored more than 25 DKFP in any of his last seven games.
BEST – Al Horford ($6,600) vs. Phoenix Suns – Horford’s hot streak is up to six games now, and having him more involved seems to be working well for the C’s. The Suns have been horrible against centers all season, but have been getting dominated far more than usual in the last five games to the tune of nearly 70 total DKFP — and that’s after Brook Lopez had a bad game against them last night. Being the second night of a back-to-back on the east coast for Phoenix, Horford is left in an even better spot.
WORST – Nikola Vucevic ($7,800) vs. Detroit Pistons – Vooch has been on fire since returning from an Achilles injury, scoring 41 or more DKFP in six of seven games. He may just be playing too well for a bad matchup to hold him back, but squaring off with Andre Drummond certainly isn’t going to help Vucevic have a good game tonight. Drummond at least has Detroit ranking in the top-10 vs. centers, so Vooch will have to work for it if he continues his hot streak.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($9,800) – With the Bucks in the playoff picture and Giannis finding his stride in Sacramento, I really like the spot he’s in tonight. As I mentioned, the Hawks are short-handed, and getting rocked by opposing PGs.
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
Robin Lopez ($4,200)/Paul Zipser ($3,800) – RoLo will be returning from his suspension after going full MMA with Serge Ibaka, and stepping into a great situation. His price remains really low, and the Sixers are letting centers walk all over them for more DKFP than any team in the league. Meanwhile, Zipser is quietly playing huge minutes, and has consecutive games with 27+ DKFP. For under $4K, that’s a nice deal.
Next Man Up
Dwight Howard ($7,300) – This isn’t your typical next man up that features an affordable option behind a star player. But with Paul Millsap still out, nobody has really climbed up the depth chart to try and take over his role. Howard’s just simply been called upon to do more. He’s scored 34+ DKFP in three straight, and 41+ DKFP in two of those games. His matchup with the Bucks is favorable as well.
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.