WATCH: MATCHUPS TO WATCH – ROCKETS VS. THUNDER
Plenty of matchups to analyze on an 11-game slate tonight. Here’s the best and worst of the group. For questions or comments hit me up on Twitter: @julianedlow.
Defense vs. Position
Point Guard Matchups
BEST – Eric Bledsoe ($6,900) vs. Denver Nuggets –This has all the makings of a hell of a game for PGs. Bledsoe is matched up with a team that ranks dead last against PGs and has allowed 108.2 points per game (PPG) this season. On the flip side, the wildly inconsistent Emmanuel Mudiay finds himself going against the third-worst team vs. opposing PGs in Phoenix — who also allow a league-leading 115.6 PPG.
WORST – Dennis Schroder ($6,300) vs. Milwaukee Bucks – Schroder has picked it up after his slow start to the season, but he’s also proved to be very matchup sensitive. That doesn’t bode well heading into a matchup with a Bucks squad that ranks seventh in limiting PG production.
Shooting Guard Matchups
BEST – DeMar DeRozan ($8,600) vs. Golden State Warriors – There aren’t any superb SG matchups on the slate tonight, but DeRozan is matchup proof at this point. He torched the Cavs (who’ve been defending SGs well lately) for 45.5 DraftKings Fantasy Points (DKFP) DKFP last night, so a matchup with GSW (who are in the bottom-10 at defending SGs and allow over 108 PPGs) seems favorable.
WORST – Klay Thompson ($6,400) vs. Toronto Raptors – Conversely, Toronto is the NBA’s best at defending SGs, which leaves Klay in a tough spot. Thompson is still capable of going off on any given night with his shooting ability, but the addition of Durant has made him a much more inconsistent fantasy contributor.
WATCH: 3 IN THE KEY: ERIC BLEDSOE
Small Forward Matchups
BEST – Otto Porter ($6,500) vs. Philadelphia 76ers – Philly is the worst in the league at defending SFs, leaving Porter in a fantastic spot. Otto has been inconsistent at times, but has thrived in good matchups — putting up an absurd 72.5 DKFP against the Celtics (second-worst against SF) last week.
WORST – Rudy Gay ($6,800) vs. San Antonio Spurs – Here’s your almost nightly reminder that you don’t want to play whoever is matched up with Kawhi Leonard, even if he’s been hot lately like Gay. San Antonio still ranks tops in the league against opposing SFs and the way Leonard is playing that number won’t be going down anytime soon.
Editor’s Note: LeBron James (rest) is likely OUT tonight against the Pacers, per ESPN.
Power Forward Matchups
BEST – Serge Ibaka ($5,400) vs. New Orleans Pelicans – The Pelicans rank in the bottom-3 at defending PFs entering a matchup with Ibaka, who recently topped 50 DKFP in his OKC homecoming. He’s still got the ability to dominate when the matchup allows for it.
WORST – Kristaps Porzingis ($6,900) vs. Detroit Pistons – Porzingis performed in a touch matchup against Dallas on Monday going for 42 DKFP, but now he’ll face the NBA’s best at shutting down PFs in the Pistons, so the matchup is even worse this time around.
BEST – Marcin Gortat ($6,400) vs. Philadelphia 76ers – Only the Timberwolves have been worse than the Sixers at defending the center spot this season. That leaves Gortat — fresh off a 41 DKFP game — in a prime matchup on Wednesday.
WORST – Nikola Vucevic ($5,900) vs. New Orleans Pelicans- The Pelicans are in the middle of the pack against centers this season, but over their last five games they’ve been by far the best in the league. Aside from a couple 50 DKFP explosions against the two worst in the league at defending centers (MIN and PHI), Vucevic has been held in check all year.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
James Harden ($12,200) – Emphasis on “paying for” – $12,200 isn’t cheap, but the matchup-proof Harden goes home to OKC to face a team in the bottom-5 at defending PGs, and you know he’ll have revenge on his mind after being traded away from the Thunder years ago.
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
Jamal Murray ($3,700) – Murray’s finally shown signs of life, scoring 26+ DKFP in two of his last three games. Combine that with a matchup against the Suns (allowing 54.9 DKFP to SGs over their last five games) and you’ve got a heck of a bargain here.
Next Man Up
Mike Muscala ($3,600) – Dwight Howard is questionable with a quad contusion against Milwaukee, who has allowed the fourth-most DKFP to centers this season. If he’s unable to go, Muscala (who had some success earlier in the season and posted 29.25 DKFP in last night’s game) would be the next man up.
Note: Keep a close eye on the DK Live news section prior to lock for the analysis, injury updates and news you need to see before finalizing your lineup.
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.