WATCH: NBA CHOPSHOP
We have plenty of star power and value plays on tonight’s 10-game slate. For any questions or comments hit me up on Twitter @julianedlow.
Defense vs. Position
Point Guard Matchups
BEST – Damian Lillard (POR) vs. Phoenix Suns –The Suns are dead last in the league against opposing PGs and now face the task of stopping one of the best in the game. Lillard boasts the fifth-highest usage rate in the NBA (36.4%) and comes in averaging 51.2 DKFP per game. He should get plenty of good looks against a Suns team letting up an astounding 112 points per game (PPG).
WORST – John Wall (WAS) vs. Toronto Raptors – The Raps are in the top-5 when it comes to defending PGs this season. Wall has struggled scoring the ball in the early going, averaging only 17.0 points (although he’s been distributing well). With so many elite options at PG, Wall doesn’t present the same amount of upside in my opinion, especially against a team allowing only 95.7 PPG.
Shooting Guard Matchups
BEST – Nicolas Batum (CHA) vs. Philadelphia 76ers – Philly is in the bottom-5 in the league when it comes to defending SGs despite being middle of the pack when it comes to total PPG allowed. Despite Kemba running the show, Batum has been very consistent while averaging 30 DKFP. He’ll have his best matchup of the season tonight against the 76ers.
WORST – Victor Oladipo (OKC) vs. Los Angeles Clippers – Only the Spurs are better at stopping opposing SGs than the Clippers. Seeing Russell Westbrook has a 40.4% usage rate at the other guard position, Oladipo could have a tough time producing — especially with LAC allowing a mere 93.0 PPG.
Small Forward Matchups
BEST – Carmelo Anthony (NYK) vs. Houston Rockets – Nobody has been worse at stopping SFs from scoring DKFPs this season than the Rockets. Facing ‘Melo and his 30.4% usage rate likely won’t help Houston’s cause. Anthony’s scored 30+ DKFPs in every game this season — all coming against teams ranking near the top in defensing SFs.
WORST – T.J. Warren (PHX) vs. Portland Trail Blazers – This one surprised me as Warren has shined in a lot of fast paced matchups this season. But Portland (who allows a league-worst 114.5 PPG) is in the top-5 when it comes to stopping SFs. Warren is coming off his worst game of the season against a Clippers team who also rank highly against his position.
Power Forward Matchups
BEST – Taj Gibson (CHI) vs. Boston Celtics – Despite being known for a strong defense, the Celtics have been in the bottom-5 in defending PFs thus far. Gibson torched the C’s for a season-best 32.5 DKFPs just last week, and tonight will have the luxury of not having to deal with Al Horford (concussion).
WORST – Dirk Nowitzki (DAL) vs. Utah Jazz – Utah’s the best in the NBA at limiting production from the opposing PF position this season. Despite a touch matchup with Dirk (who dropped a cool 44 DKFPs in his only game of the season), Harrison Barnes has been much more involved in the offense and should limit Dirk’s upside on top of the brutal matchup.
BEST – Dwight Howard (ATL) vs. Los Angeles Lakers – The Lakers are among the worst in the league at defending centers (28th overall) with a matchup against old friend Dwight Howard. They will be without their own starting center Timofey Mozgov and have already been allowing 110 PPG. There figures to be plenty of work for Howard cleaning up the glass tonight, and with 41+ DK points in 2-of-3 games this season, Dwight has a lot of upside in this matchup.
WORST – DeAndre Jordan (LAC) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder – The Thunder’s size down low has helped them achieve top-5 status in defending centers. Jordan’s low 18.6 usage rate can make him very matchup sensitive, as he’s scored under 29 DKFPs in 2-of-3 matchups so far this season.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
Anthony Davis ($10,900) – A lot of people will pay up for Westbrook and Harden, and rightfully so. But Davis has arguably been hotter than any of the three if you take away getting blown out by the Spurs. Even adding that game to the mix, AD is averaging an unthinkable 37.0 points, 13.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.5 steals and 3.0 blocks (68.5 DKFP). Memphis fares well against bigs, but Davis’ inside/out ability practically makes him matchup proof.
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
Tyson Chandler ($4,200) – Portland is 27th in the league when it comes to defending opposing centers, and this fast paced matchup with Phoenix should only enhance those numbers. These two teams combined allow a total of 226.5 PPG on average. This is a great game to look for value in, and, for me, it starts with Chandler’s fantastic matchup.
Next Man Up
Tyler Zeller ($3,000) – As mentioned, Horford will miss tonight’s matchup with the Bulls. This leaves a huge role open for Zeller, who was already averaging 17.9 DKFPs playing behind Horford at minimum price.
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.