WATCH: DK MINUTE REPORT – DARIO SARIC
We’ve got a big 10-game slate here on Friday night. I’ll do my best to provide you with the best and worst matchup focusing on statistics at each position, plus some bonus lineup building options.
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 – Isaiah Thomas ($9,300) vs. Los Angeles Lakers – Let’s take a night off from picking against the Nets and Nuggets at PG. The Lakers still rank just 28th in the NBA defending PGs this season, but how bad they’ve been lately is mind blowing. The Lakers are allowing an average of 45.7 DKFP to starting PGs over the last five games. IT is coming off a strong game against the Cavs, and should have no problem shredding this Lakers D.
WORST – Jrue Holiday ($6,900) vs. San Antonio Spurs – Holiday is an interesting case, as I don’t think we’ve quite figured out what his value is with DeMarcus Cousins in the lineup. But Jrue’s minutes have gone down in three straight games, and he’s failed to reach value in two of his last four. Considering the matchup with the Spurs (ranked third in the NBA vs. PGs, and first over the last five games), Holiday isn’t a very attractive play tonight.
Shooting Guard Matchups
BEST – Utah Jazz SGs vs. Brooklyn Nets – SG is beyond thin tonight, especially when you factor in the Raptors vs. Wizards matchup being a poor one for the two highest priced options. I’m leaning towards punting on the entire position (unless value opens up later in the day). With Rodney Hood out for Utah, guys like Alec Burks ($3,000) and Joe Johnson ($3,300 – SF eligible) could be decent plays against the lowly Nets.
WORST – DeMar DeRozan ($8,900) vs. Washington Wizards – The Wizards are a top-5 team against SGs, and are playing their second game in a row against the Raptors. In the last game, Bradley Beal ($7,000) actually came close to value despite the matchup. However, DeRozan finally cooled off and notched just 31 DKFP in 34 minutes. Tough to recommend him in that exact same matchup.
Small Forward Matchups
BEST – Gordon Hayward ($7,600) vs. Brooklyn Nets – I could give you Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,000) with his dual position eligibility, per usual, but Hayward is in an even better spot tonight. The Nets lack the bodies to defend SF, as they do at every position, but look for Hayward to really attack Brooklyn’s weakness on the perimeter, keeping his upside high. In the same price range, I think both SF options from the Knicks vs. 76ers game make for great options.
WORST – Harrison Barnes ($6,100) vs. Memphis Grizzlies – Barnes is coming off a fantastic game against the Hawks — one of four consecutive games he’s exceeded value. I wouldn’t say Barnes is must-fade tonight, but his salary did rise entering a matchup with the Grizzlies, who rank fourth in the league in DKFP allowed to SF. Considering the other options at the position tonight, it’s tough to recommend the guy with the worst matchup.
Power Forward Matchups
BEST – Serge Ibaka ($6,700) vs. Washington Wizards – Unlike DeRozan, Ibaka finds himself in a great spot against the Wiz — who rank just 27th in DKFP allowed to PFs. Ibaka’s topped 41.5 DKFP in two of his four games as a Raptor, including 44.5 against Washington on Wednesday night. Julius Randle ($6,800) could make for a nice pivot play too, fresh off a monster game and playing a Celtics squad that struggles to rebound. Carmelo Anthony ($7,500) and Robert Covington ($7,200) are both SFs that I mentioned above, and you can also squeeze them in at PF.
WORST – Aaron Gordon ($5,300) vs. Miami Heat – Gordon’s had a couple of solid games since moving over to PF full-time, but he still hasn’t topped 30 DKFP in his new role. Gordon just doesn’t have much upside for his price. Sure, he could reach value, but he doesn’t give you the type of ceiling you’d like. The Heat rank fifth against PFs, so I believe the matchup warrants staying away from.
BEST – Kristaps Porzingis ($6,600) vs. Philadelphia 76ers – The Sixers rank dead last in the NBA against centers, and Jahlil Okafor ($4,900) only makes them worse defensively in the middle. The Knicks are down two centers, meaning Porzingis (who played 33 minutes and went for almost 6X value in his return from an ankle injury) will be asked to do a lot tonight. Kyle O’Quinn ($5,600) is also in play tonight, and I certainly don’t mind pairing the two. Rudy Gobert ($7,300) should be in a strong position to bounce back against the Nets as well.
WORST – Brook Lopez ($5,900) vs. Utah Jazz – Gobert is as difficult a matchup as they come for traditional big men, which is why Utah ranks third in the NBA against centers. Lopez has been really inconsistent this season, and although he’s the Nets’ only legit option, that doesn’t mean he always produces.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
LeBron James ($11,200) – LeBron is more expensive than usual, but with Russell Westbrook ($13,100) priced so high on the second night of a back-to-back and a lot of inconsistent options atop the board, LeBron feels like the safest spot to start a team. I will say that Anthony Davis ($9,400) and DeMarcus Cousins ($9,200) intrigue me at their bargain prices. The big question is, can both of them produce in the 50 DKFP range against the Spurs?
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
Dewayne Dedmon ($4,400) – Dedmon has really stepped up for the Spurs lately, and he’s been a great DFS value. After exceeding value in three straight games, he was a huge bust Wednesday against the Pacers. The good news is that brought his price down $500, and we know he’s going to have to see the floor a lot against the Pelicans, who will have two bigs out there most of the game.
Next Man Up
Doug McDermott ($3,600) – With Victor Oladipo sidelined for OKC, the Thunder have been digging deep for wing options. It has been Alex Abrines ($4,000), but since being traded, McDermott seems to have taken on that role. His minutes have increased in all four games he’s played for OKC — and he saw 37 minutes last night against the Blazers. He didn’t play all that well, but if those minutes are there, he’s hard to pass up at his salary with dual position eligibility.
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.