Monday brings us an interesting NBA slate. With so much action on Sunday, there are only six games tonight, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Four of the 12 teams will be on the second night of a back-to-back, meaning we may need to keep an eye out for players resting on a slate that already has some big names in doubt — DeMarcus Cousins, Gordon Hayward, Marc Gasol and Carmelo Anthony.
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.
Hit me up on Twitter with comments or questions: @julianedlow.
Defense vs. Position
Point Guard Matchups
BEST – Mike Conley ($7,500) vs. Sacramento Kings – The Grizzlies are one of the teams that played yesterday, getting smashed by the Warriors. That should leave Conley pretty fresh tonight after scoring 40 DKFP yesterday. The Kings are coming off a shocking win over the Clippers, but are still hardly putting an NBA roster on the floor — yielding an average of 68.4 total DKFP to PGs over the past five games on average.
WORST – Jrue Holiday ($6,700) vs. Utah Jazz – Holiday is coming off two strong games, but notice that they were against Denver and Houston (two of the worst teams defending guards). Utah has allowed the third-fewest DKFP to PGs this season, and Holiday scored just 21.25 DKFP in his last matchup with the Jazz.
Shooting Guard Matchups
BEST – DeMar DeRozan ($8,600) vs. Orlando Magic – There isn’t a single SG on this slate that stands out as a guy you need to roster. That leaves a few not so attractive options, the best of which is DeRozan. Orlando has been about average against SGs, and DeRozan obviously has the highest ceiling of any SG on this slate. I don’t mind Buddy Hield ($5,700) against the Grizzlies, either. Memphis hasn’t been as good against SGs as you’d think, but the real reason you want him is because the Kings just let Buddy do as he pleases. If you’re out on those two guys, I’m punting with a value play.
WORST – Evan Fournier ($5,300) vs. Toronto Raptors – Fournier’s minutes and DKFP have gone down in three consecutive games entering a matchup with the NBA’s third-ranked defense against SGs. Fournier is one of many SGs I don’t like tonight, but his situation appears to be the least favorable.
Small Forward Matchups
BEST – LeBron James ($10,300) vs. San Antonio Spurs – This is a weird slate. With so few high end targets, a lot of you are going to roster LeBron or Kawhi Leonard ($9,500) going head-to-head here. With no other great matchups, I’ll take LeBron is a spot where the Cavs are looking to prove they haven’t lost a step. Cleveland needs a win here, which means LeBron needs to play well.
WORST – Garrett Temple ($4,100) vs. Memphis Grizzlies – On paper LeBron has the worst SF matchup on this slate, but I think he’s too tough to fade in this position.
Power Forward Matchups
BEST – Zach Randolph ($5,000) vs. Sacramento Kings –Randolph dropped nearly 30 DKFP with Gasol sidelined last night, playing just 29 minutes due to the thrashing the Warriors gave Memphis. The Kings are surrendering 55 total DKFP to PFs over the past five games, so Randolph’s in a nice spot no matter what. However, his value should improve if Gasol is forced to miss this game too.
WORST – Anthony Davis ($10,200) vs. Utah Jazz – Davis is probably overpriced against the Jazz unless Cousins sits. Last time out against Utah, Davis scored 40 DKFP with Boogie in the lineup. If Cousins does miss this game, Davis could have a better game than he did previously, but the matchup won’t do him any favors.
BEST – Andre Drummond ($7,600) vs. New York Knicks – Rudy Gobert ($8,000) could be one of the most popular plays on this slate against the Pelicans. He’s in a fantastic matchup and definitely worth considering, but Drummond has an even better matchup. The Knicks rank 28th vs. centers this season, and have given up 64 DKFP per game to opponents over the last five. On a slate without many top options, you could realistically fit both these guys.
WORST – Willie Cauley-Stein ($5,500) vs. Memphis Grizzlies – WCS has been inconsistent since getting his post-Cousins trade minutes bump. The Grizzlies rank tops in the league against centers, and still defend well without Gasol. Memphis could help WCS stay closer to his floor than his ceiling in this one.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
Rudy Gobert ($8,000) – Gobert has 42+ DKFP in five straight, including 63 DKFP against the Knicks (Drummond’s opponent). As I mentioned, I’m starting my lineup building around these two centers in awesome spots.
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
P.J. Tucker ($4,400) – Tucker’s played 33+ minutes and scored 25+ DKFP in three straight games. That includes 32.75 DKFP against Dallas on Saturday when he drew the start and played 34 minutes. He should remain a heavy party of the rotation against the Magic.
Next Man Up
Questionable Studs – As you know, Cousins, Hayward, Gasol and ‘Melo are all in question for tonight. Some big names are going to sit, so just follow the news for the top value plays of the night.
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.