WATCH: 3 IN THE KEY – AVERY BRADLEY
We’ve got an 8-game Friday night slate with a lot of early east coast action tonight. Check out the best and worst matchups below. For questions or comments hit me up on Twitter: @julianedlow.
Defense vs. Position
Point Guard Matchups
BEST – Jeff Teague (IND) vs. Philadelphia 76ers –There are plenty of elite options at PG as usual, but none with quite as attractive a matchup as Teague. The Sixers are the third-worst team in the NBA at defending PGs and Teague is fresh off a 52-DKFP game on Wednesday night against this same Philly squad.
WORST – Kyrie Irving (CLE) vs. Washington Wizards – The Wiz have been the second-best team in the league against opposing PGs thus far. Although LeBron is leaning on Kyrie to do the heavy lifting this season (thus his higher usage rate), Washington is not very good against forwards, meaning ‘Bron may have to play lead dog in this one.
Shooting Guard Matchups
BEST – Avery Bradley (BOS) vs. New York Knicks – I will admit, Bradley’s price has come up significantly in the first couple weeks of the season. However, the Knicks are the NBA’s worst when it comes to stopping SGs, and AB’s been on a tear. He’s yet to have a bad game this season and will be at home playing for a Celtics’ team desperate for a W.
WORST – Victor Oladipo (OKC) vs. Los Angeles Clippers- Oladipo’s been extremely inconsistent to begin this season — nobody said playing alongside Russ is easy. But on Friday he draws a matchup with the third-ranked team against SGs … the same Clippers team he scored a season-low 17.25 DKFPs against last week.
Small Forward Matchups
BEST – Carmelo Anthony (NYK) vs. Boston Celtics- Melo actually remains a heck of a value at just $7,400 with a far better matchup than the studs priced ahead of him. The Celtics have been the worst in the NBA against SFs this season, and the numbers have gotten even worse with Jae Crowder out of the lineup (as he will be in this matchup). Boston is coming off a game in which they allowed 72.5 DKFPs to Otto Porter … Anthony should feast.
WORST – Nicolas Batum (CHA) vs. Toronto Raptors- Batum technically plays SG but will see time at both wing positions with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist out tonight. I couldn’t pass up on Oladipo as the worst SG matchup but needed to find a way to squeeze this info in. Toronto is fantastic defending all perimeter positions, and Batum has already seen his DKFPs decline in three straight games.
Power Forward Matchups
BEST – Tobias Harris (DET) vs. San Antonio Spurs- Harris has been inconsistent this season, but due to his price, I can recommend him here. I’ve been afraid to use players against the Spurs, but one thing is becoming clear — their inability to defend PFs is real. They’re the fifth-worst in the league and have shown no signs of improvement.
WORST – LaMarcus Aldridge (SAS) vs. Detroit Pistons On the flip side, Detroit has been the best in the league at defending PFs, while LMA has struggled mightily since going off on opening night vs. GSW. In his last six games, Aldridge has failed to top 30 DKFPs five times and hit 31.5 in the other game. He’s got everything working against him entering Friday’s slate.
BEST – Marcin Gortat (WAS) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers- Cleveland’s been the third-worst team when it comes to stopping opposing centers this season. Meanwhile, Gortat’s been solid all year, and his consistent effort on the glass makes him easy to trust.
WORST – Andre Drummond (DET) vs. San Antonio Spurs- I whiffed on Drummond on Wednesday night when he scored 46 DKFPs against the Suns, but let’s chalk that one up to Tyson Chandler missing the game for personal reasons. Despite the struggles at PF, the Spurs are the best in the league at shutting down centers. Drummond’s been inconsistent this season, which doesn’t do him any favors on top of the poor matchup.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
LeBron James ($10,200) – Westbrook can go off at any time, but given his salary and tough matchup, LeBron looks like the way to go tonight for me. As I mentioned, Kyrie could struggle tonight, and if that’s the case, look for LeBron to pick up the slack against Washington. He’s has only fallen short of 48 DKFPs once this season, so the King’s floor is quite high.
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
Derrick Favors ($6,200)- Ok, so he’s not that cheap, but Favors is certainly underpriced. After playing banged up earlier in the season, Favors has returned to his usual self over the past two games (44 and 34 DKFPs) while his salary still remains a bargain in a great matchup with Orlando.
Next Man Up
Noah Vonleh ($3,100) – With Al-Farouq Aminu sidelined on Wednesday, Vonleh drew the start and was decent during his season-high 26 minutes — five points, 11 rebounds, one assist. Assuming AFA is out again, Vonleh figures to start with Mo Harkless picking up some extra run as well.
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.