WATCH: PLAYER TO WATCH – DEMARCUS COUSINS
Here are some of the best and worst matchups from tonight’s seven-game slate. For questions or comments hit me up on Twitter: @julianedlow.
Defense vs. Position
Point Guard Matchups
BEST – Stephen Curry ($9,300) vs. Atlanta Hawks –In short, Russell Westbrook has the best PG matchup every night because he’s a freak. But in an effort to stay away from him, Steph has himself a strong matchup tonight as well. Atlanta ranks 27th in the NBA against PGs and will be facing Curry in Oakland — where he’s coming off a 56-DKFP performance.
WORST – Ricky Rubio ($5,300) vs. Utah Jazz – Utah has topped the league in limiting opposing PGs, and now find themselves in a matchup with the inconsistent Rubio. Scoring 18.5 DKFPs or fewer in three of his last five matchups, there are far more promising options on this slate than Rubio, even at his salary.
Shooting Guard Matchups
BEST – Bradley Beal ($6,900) vs. Sacramento Kings – There’s no fantastic SG matchup tonight that features a team who ranks horribly against the position, but Beal’s in a solid spot. He’s topped 45 DKFPs in three of his last four games and is set to host the Kings — who are still below average at defending SGs.
WORST – Rodney Hood ($5,600) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves – Only the Raptors have been more effective against SGs than the T-Wolves so far this season. That leaves Hood in a really tough spot, coming off just 15 DKFPs in his last game. On the opposite side, Zach LaVine has been red hot, but will also be in a difficult matchup with the Jazz ranking third in the NBA against SGs.
Small Forward Matchups
BEST – Carmelo Anthony ($7,700) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder – Melo’s been pretty inconsistent this season, mostly taking over as a scorer only when he has too. Tonight’s matchup with OKC (who ranks in the bottom-third of the NBA against SFs) could put Anthony in a position where he needs to step up scoring the ball.
WORST – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist ($4,900) vs. Memphis Grizzlies — MKG is only averaging 9.0 PPG this season and really relies on putting up numbers across the board to have a good fantasy night. However, he’s posted 21.5 DKFPs or fewer in three straight games, and now has a matchup with the best team in the league in terms of defending his position.
Power Forward Matchups
BEST – Ersan Ilyasova ($4,600) vs. Toronto Raptors – Despite their fantastic perimeter defense, the Raptors really struggle against PFs. That leaves Ilyasova in a great spot, playing a larger role for Philly of late.
WORST – Frank Kaminsky ($5,200) vs. Memphis Grizzlies – Kaminsky has stepped into a starting role with Marvin Williams sidelined and has been performing well. Memphis is a brutal matchup for both forward positions, that said, Kaminsky did drop 32 DKFPs on the Grizz in just 20 minutes last week. Just going off the matchup on paper here, it’s not a good one, though.
BEST – Celtics Center(s) vs. Miami Heat – Al Horford will not play tonight, but he had been sensational since returning from his concussion. The matchup with the Heat on the interior seems intimidating, but Hassan Whiteside has been allowing centers to score more DKFPs on his team than anyone but the Sixers (leaving Toronto centers in a nice spot tonight as well). Kelly Olynyk ($3,700) has produced well when Horford has missed time, and along with Tyler Zeller, should see an increase in minutes/opportunities tonight.
WORST – Marcin Gortat ($6,000) vs. Sacramento Kings – Gortat has scored just 25 DKFPs in back-to-back games entering Monday’s matchup with Sacramento. The Kings obviously haven’t been great this season; however, they do rank seventh in the NBA when it comes to shutting down centers — the only position they have any success defending.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
Russell Westbrook ($12,500) – Westbrook is absolutely matchup proof. The Knicks actually do a good job defending PGs, but it doesn’t matter. Even at his price, Westbrook will probably put up a jaw-dropping stat line at MSG tonight that makes him worth his salary.
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
DeMarre Carroll ($4,200) – Carroll has been performing well lately, exploding for 40 DKFPs against the Rockets last week. Nothing helps SFs get going like a matchup with the 76ers — who allow the most DKFPs in the league to the position.
Next Man Up
Josh Richardson ($4,900) – With Justise Winslow sidelined, Richardson has been posting solid numbers in extended minutes. Even with Jae Crowder back for the C’s, they’ve been one of the worst teams in the league at stopping SFs, where Richardson will see some time tonight.
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.