WATCH: 3 IN THE KEY – AL HORFORD
Here are some of the best and worst matchups from Wednesday’s 10-game slate. For questions or comments hit me up on Twitter: @julianedlow.
Defense vs. Position
Point Guard Matchups
BEST – Eric Bledsoe ($7,600) vs. Atlanta Hawks – Bledsoe has topped 50 DraftKings Fantasy Points (DKFP) in three of his last four games and is fresh off a 60 DKFP effort against the Nuggets. The Hawks rank 28th in the league against opposing PGs, so Bledsoe is going to look to keep rolling.
WORST – Emmanuel Mudiay ($5,900) vs. Miami Heat – Mudiay is coming off a pair of solid games, but he has shown some wild inconsistencies, especially in tough matchups — like 4 DKFP last week against Utah (one of three games in his last eight he’s failed to score more than 10 DKFP). Miami sits atop the NBA when it comes to shutting down PGs, so Mudiay is not in a good spot.
Shooting Guard Matchups
BEST – Zach LaVine ($6,300) vs. New York Knicks – Bradley Beal will be the hot name at SG tonight, but LaVine has also been playing well and finds himself in a far better matchup. The Knicks are the third-worst team in the league at defending SGs, and Lavine has scored 41.75 and 51 DKFP in his last two games.
WORST – Bradley Beal ($7,300) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder – You guessed it. OKC has been a top-5 defense against SGs and Beal has proven to be very matchup sensitive. I think he’s going to get a lot of love tonight for his recent play, but the majority of his success has been against teams that do not defend his position well.
Small Forward Matchups
BEST – Jimmy Butler ($9,000) vs. Los Angeles Lakers – The Lakers continue to impress, but they simply haven’t been good at defending SFs in the process. Butler has topped 57 DKFP twice in his last three games and gone over 66 DKFP in another two of his last nine outings. Earlier this month he dropped 40 on the Lakers en route to nearly a 60-DKFP evening.
WORST – Jae Crowder ($5,500) vs. Detroit Pistons — Detroit has worked its was into the top-3 teams in the NBA in defending SFs. Crowder has started to play better since returning from an ankle injury, but still has yet to show a very high ceiling. The C’s will likely look to their stars Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford to do the heavy lifting in this one.
Power Forward Matchups
BEST – Thaddeus Young ($5,700) vs. Portland Trailblazers – Young has been pretty inconsistent, but the Blazers have been atrocious at defending PFs this season. Given his low salary, Young has shown a high enough ceiling in certain matchups to seem trustworthy against the team that ranks last in the league against his position.
WORST – DeMarre Carroll ($4,500) vs. Memphis Grizzlies – Carroll has been an awesome value play lately and is easy to fit into your lineup with his eligibility at either forward position. However, Memphis is one of the best teams in the NBA at defending forwards in general, and rank top-5 against PFs.
BEST – DeMarcus Cousins ($10,800) vs Philadelphia 76ers – Philly ranks dead last in the league in defending opposing centers … making it pretty easy to see why Boogie is in such a good spot here. Cousins has scored 55+ DKFP in seven of his last eight games — twice reaching 72 DKFP or more.
WORST – Jonas Valanciunas ($5,800) vs. Memphis Grizzlies – Memphis has been a matchup nightmare for front courts, and they thrive on limiting center production. The Grizz rank first in the NBA at shutting down centers, which makes Valanciunas a tough player to trust.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
DeMarcus Cousins ($10,800) – Westbrook is almost always the answer here, as his floor is practically 60 DKFP. BUT, Boogie should be in a position to produce a similar fantasy output to Westbrook for a much cheaper price. He’s my favorite play on this slate.
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
Brandon Ingram ($4,300) – I’ll give you two “Next Men Up” tonight — The No. 2 overall pick has been working his way deeper into the rotation with his solid play. But with Luol Deng’s minutes limited, D’Angelo Russell’s scoring sidelined, and now Nick Young likely unable to play, Ingram should be given even more playing time to see what he can do.
Next Man Up
Wade Baldwin ($3,200) – With Mike Conley set to miss extended time with what is basically a broken back, the rookie is going to be asked to step up big time. There’s some uncertainty, in that we don’t know exactly how much he’ll be called upon right away, but the price is right with Baldwin.
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.