Check out the best and worst matchups of Friday’s 10-game slate below. For questions or comments hit me up on Twitter: @julianedlow.
Defense vs. Position
Point Guard Matchups
BEST – Russell Westbrook ($12,300) vs. Brooklyn Nets – There are some fantastic matchups for PGs tonight, but Russ and his league leading usage rate hosting the second-worst team at defending PGs in the NBA certainly stands out. Other elite options to consider are Kyle Lowry ($7,900) against Denver (worst in the NBA vs. PGs) and Kemba Walker ($8,200) against Atlanta (third-worst in NBA vs. PGs).
WORST – D’Angelo Russell ($6,300) vs. San Antonio Spurs – Russell is coming off his best game of the season against the Nets, but it also came in his best matchup. Tonight he’ll face a Spurs team that ranks in the top-3 against opposing PGs and has been really improving of late to get there. SAS allows just 96.8 points per game this season, another bad sign for Russell.
Shooting Guard Matchups
BEST – DeMar DeRozan ($8,600) vs. Denver Nuggets – I mentioned Lowry above, but Denver is even worse at covering the SG position — last in the league actually. DeRozan’s been practically matchup proof to this point, so a matchup with the Nuggets figures to yield some pretty positive results for the top scorer in the NBA.
WORST – Devin Booker ($6,500) vs. Indiana Pacers – Booker has been hitting value in his last two games, but both have been favorable matchups. Friday he’ll face an Indy squad that ranks sixth in the NBA against opposing SGs and has improved to second over its last five games.
Small Forward Matchups
BEST – Kevin Durant ($9,500) vs. Boston Celtics – Only Philly has been worse at defending the SF spot than the C’s, which doesn’t bode well for them entering a matchup with KD. Durant’s scored over 50 DKFPs in three of his last four games entering Friday’s showdown in Boston.
WORST – Rudy Gay ($6,800) vs. Los Angeles Clippers – Gay was the pick here on Wednesday when he faced Kawhi and the Spurs coming off a 56-DKFP effort and promptly went for 20 DKFPs. Things don’t get much easier for him on Friday in a matchup with the Clippers, who are top-3 in the NBA against SFs and allow just 93.8 PPG.
Power Forward Matchups
BEST – Terrence Jones ($6,200) vs. Portland Trailblazers – Portland has been in the bottom-5 all season long when it comes to limiting opposing PFs, but have slipped into the bottom-2 over the last five games. With Anthony Davis questionable, Jones obviously hold more value if “The Brow” doesn’t play (coming off 42.75 DKFPs in 38 minutes without Davis on Wednesday). However, Jones also managed to play 30 minutes with Davis in the lineup Monday, putting up 36.5 DKFPs. I like Jones either way here.
WORST – Tobias Harris ($6,100) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers – Harris has been on fire in his last three contests, averaging 37+ DKFPs. However, Friday leaves him matched up with the NBA’s top team in terms of limiting production from PFs. Harris has had some brutal games in bad matchups this season, including four straight games under 22 DKFPs.
BEST – Draymond Green ($8,000) vs. Boston Celtics – The matchup with Boston typically has dictated a lot of small-ball in the past between these two games, so Green could be playing a good amount of center in this one. Regardless, Boston has been horrible on the interior, particularly rebounding the ball. Draymond figures to be a pest in the paint on both ends with averages of 9.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks.
WORST – Myles Turner ($6,000) vs. Phoenix Suns – Tyson Chandler has been the anchor of a horrible Suns’ defense this season. Although they allow the most PPG in the NBA, Chandler has been able to shut down opposing centers this season — Phoenix ranks third in the league overall against the position. Turner’s already having a tough time hitting value this season, so this matchup isn’t ideal.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
Kevin Durant ($9,500) – If I can fit Westbrook in my lineups, I’m going to do it, but that’s a tall task. The next best matchup among superstars has to be Durant, who should give the Celtics hell with Jae Crowder doubtful to play once again. Durant is averaging 50 FPPG this season, and he’s been on the top of that average his last 2 games (52.75 vs. PHX and 51.75 @ TOR).
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
Tony Parker ($4,400) – Parker will face a Lakers’ team that ranks in the bottom-third of the league at defending PGs, and has been playing well since returning to the lineup. He’s increased his DKFPs in four consecutive games, scoring a season-best 29.25 against the Kings on Wednesday.
Next Man Up
Seth Curry ($5,200) – Curry made the most of his opportunity with Deron Williams out of the lineup, posting a pair of games with over 38 DKFPs. In D-Will’s return on Wednesday, J.J. Barea went down with a muscle tear in his leg after 28 minutes, thus opening the door for Curry once again. This time he should be firmly in the rotation for 4-6 weeks.
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.