WATCH: DK SALARY WATCH – DEMARCUS COUSINS
There is plenty of action on Friday night with an 11-game slate, which means we have tons of matchups to sift through. I’ll 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 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 – Kemba Walker ($8,100) vs. Denver Nuggets – The Nuggets rank 30th in the NBA against PGs this season and are giving up an impressively horrible 68.2 total DKFP per game over the last five. Maybe Kemba will go overlooked coming off a bad game with so many other expensive options. He recently torched a similarly bad Suns’ defense for 53 DKFP.
WORST – John Wall ($9,200) vs. Utah Jazz – On paper Wall is in a terrible spot on this slate. The Wizards are on their fourth game of a tough west coast trip, and the Jazz have limited opposing PGs to less than 40 total DKFP in their last five games — best in the NBA. That said, Wall has scored 65+ DKFP in all three games on this road trip and is priced down because of this poor matchup. I can’t argue with you if you feel like riding his hot streak at his current salary, however.
Shooting Guard Matchups
BEST – Klay Thompson ($7,100) vs. Houston Rockets – That’s right, we’ve got a Houston vs. Golden State game on this slate, so feel free to just consider every player in that game in a fantastic matchup. James Harden ($12,200) had a bad game last night and is battling a wrist injury, so I figured we’ll highlight Klay here. The Rockets have surrendered an average of 53.6 total DKFP to opponents over the past five games, and Thompson got them for 42.25 DKFP earlier this week.
WORST – Victor Oladipo ($5,800) vs. San Antonio Spurs – The Spurs are allowing an absurd 31.1 DKFP to SGs in their last five games on average. Oladipo has been somewhat shaky lately, failing to reach 25 DKFP in two of his last four. With Mr. Triple-Double running the show, it’s just really difficult to trust Oladipo, especially in an unfavorable matchup.
Small Forward Matchups
BEST – Giannis Antetokounmpo ($9,300) vs. Detroit Pistons – The Pistons are falling apart defensively, allowing a league-worst 51.7 total DKFP to SFs in their last five, and more than 50 total DKFP to PGs on the season. As is the case with most teams, they have nobody with a chance at guarding Antetokounmpo, who seems way too underpriced to me on this slate as the Bucks keep climbing up the standings in the East.
WORST – Carmelo Anthony ($6,600) vs. Miami Heat – ‘Melo is questionable tonight, so make sure you track his status. Like everyone else, I was fooled by Anthony’s giant drop in salary. He seemed just too cheap not to roster, but in reality, he’s overpriced. His minutes have been cut back, and he scored just 18.75 DKFP against this same Heat team on Wednesday.
Power Forward Matchups
BEST – DeMarcus Cousins ($9,600) vs. Sacramento Kings – Let’s forget the fact that the Kings are giving up 58.8 DKFP to PFs in their last five games. Let’s also forget the fact that Cousins is averaging 63.3 DKFP in his last three games. This is the revenge game Boogie has been waiting for. Nearly everything lines up for him to dominate his former team tonight.
WORST – Markieff Morris ($5,000) vs. Utah Jazz- The Jazz are one of the best defensive teams in the league, which keeps them in play as a poor matchup for pretty much every position — but they rank first in the NBA against PFs. Morris has topped 20 DKFP just twice in his last seven games … there are just much better options.
BEST – Jonas Valanciunas ($5,200) vs. Indiana Pacers – Valanciunas has been trending up lately, scoring 30.25 DKFP in 27 minutes Monday, and 42.25 DKFP in 29 minutes on Wednesday. Tonight he gets a Pacers team yielding a league-worst 65.2 total DKFP to centers over the past five games.
WORST – Nerlens Noel ($5,100) vs. Memphis Grizzlies – Sure, Marc Gasol is still out for this game, but Memphis has still been fantastic defending centers — giving up just 37.5 DKFP to the position over the past five games. Noel has failed to even score 20 DKFP in five of his last 10 games, leaving no question in my mind that a similarly priced guy like Valanciunas is the way to go.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
DeMarcus Cousins ($9,600) – Please … Boogie is way too underpriced for the thrashing he’s going to try and put on the Kings. Ownership will likely be high, but his ceiling is as high as it has ever been.
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
Andre Iguodala ($4,600) – I’m sticking with my guy from Wednesday. Iguodala has been huge for the Warriors lately, exceeding value in three straight games (averaging 32.75 DKFP). The matchup with Houston is great, and his minutes have been up lately with the Warriors turning it up before the playoffs get underway.
Next Man Up
Short Handed 76ers – Philly doesn’t have many active players these days. Richaun Holmes ($6,800) will start for Jahlil Okafor, while Shawn Long ($3,900) will be the backup. T.J. McConnell ($6,200) is getting most of the PG minutes with Sergio Rodriguez out. And plenty of wings are filling in for Robert Covington — Nik Stauskas ($4,600), Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot ($4,500), Justin Anderson ($4,000).
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.