WATCH: 3 IN THE KEY – TAJ GIBSON
We’ve got an interesting nine-game slate tonight with not a lot of superstars in the best situations. For any questions or comments hit me up on Twitter @julianedlow.
Defense vs. Position
Point Guard Matchups
BEST – John Wall ($8,500) vs. Atlanta Hawks-Despite ranking sixth in the NBA in points per game (PPG) allowed, Atlanta has the third-worst DvP at the PG position. That’s good news for a red-hot John Wall that just broke out against a savvy Raptors defense for 60.75 DKFPs. His 34.7 percent usage rate (seventh in the NBA) is attractive as well.
WORST – Kyle Lowry ($7,300) vs. Miami Heat- Miami is tops in the NBA when it comes to defending opposing PGs this season, and by an impressive margin. Kyle Lowry’s had a rocky start thus far, scoring just 30.25 DKFPs or fewer in three of four games in the early going. With so many elite options and values at the position, Lowry’s not an ideal target.
Shooting Guard Matchups
BEST – Klay Thompson ($6,300) vs. Los Angeles Lakers- LAL is in the bottom five in the league when it comes to defending SGs and are also letting up 110.8 PPG to opponents. Thompson is coming off a season-low 33 minutes in Thursday’s blowout of OKC, so he should be fresh for the Lakers. It’s a good night for SG, though. Dwayne Wade and C.J. McCollum are also strong plays based on their matchups.
WORST – Dion Waiters ($4,800) vs. Toronto Raptors- Waiters may appear to be a good value on the surface at just $4,800, but matching up with Toronto so far this season has been brutal, particularly for SGs. The Raptors rank top-three in DvP against SGs, and are seventh best in opponents PPG this season at 97.5. A low-scoring game doesn’t favor Waiters as that’s his primary source of accumulating DKFPs.
Small Forward Matchups
BEST – Jimmy Butler ($7,900) vs. New York Knicks- The Knicks have been absolutely atrocious when it comes to defending SFs this season, allowing 56.1 DKFPs to the position on average (a league worst by nearly eight DKFPs). That’s plenty of reason to love Butler right there, especially with KD and Kawhi priced above him.
WORST – Carmelo Anthony ($7,600) vs. Chicago Bulls- On the opposite end of the spectrum we have Anthony, who’s really been struggling to get accustomed to the Knicks’ new “superteam.” He’s yet to top 36 DKFPs and is coming off a 31.25 DKFP performance against (what at the time was) the worst team in the league at defending SFs. With the Bulls near the top of the league in defending his position and Butler in the same price range, the decision is easy.
Power Forward Matchups
BEST – Julius Randle ($6,100) vs. Golden State Warriors- Who ranks dead last in the NBA when it comes to defending PFs? The Warriors, of course. In a game with two teams averaging a combined 219.4 PPG, the versatile Randle should find multiple ways to contribute tonight.
WORST – LaMarcus Aldridge ($6,600) vs. Utah Jazz Utah’s near the top of the league in most defensive categories and PF is no different. Coming off shutting down Wednesday’s pick for this section (Dirk) for a mere 16.8 DKFPs, the Jazz rank fourth in DvP against PFs and allow just 92.4 PPG (second-best in the NBA). Aldridge should have a tough time getting going, particularly if he sees time against Rudy Gobert at center at well.
BEST – Tyson Chandler ($4,400) vs. New Orleans Pelicans- Chandler was my “save big bucks” pick on Wednesday and he succeeded against Portland for 31 DKFPs. Now he sits in the best center matchup of the slate against a New Orleans team that’s worst in the league at defending centers. At just $4,400, Chandler’s a bargain and a top play all rolled into one.
WORST – Rudy Gobert ($6,600) vs. San Antonio Spurs- Only the Clippers trump the Spurs when it comes to defending centers, but Marc Gasol’s newfound ability to stretch the floor could give DeAndre Jordan trouble tonight. Gobert, on the other hand, figures to be in a grinder of a game involving the second and fourth-best defensive teams in the NBA in PPG. To make matters worse, Rudy scored just 21.5 DKFPs in his lone matchup with SAS this season.
Lineup Quick Hits
Superstar Worth Paying For
Stephen Curry ($8,900)- It’s actually a pretty tough slate when it comes to superstar matchups. The majority aren’t in favorable situations. If you want a pivot play off Wall, Steph could be a strong option. As I mentioned, the Lakers vs. Warriors game should have no lack of scoring, and LAL struggles to defend the PG position. Curry only went 30 minutes last night so he should be ready to go.
Save Big Bucks by Drafting
Sean Kilpatrick ($4,400) –Kilpatrick’s coming off a career game (47 DKFPs) so he could see high ownership. But Kilpatrick also did it against a Pistons team that ranks near the top of the league in defending SGs. Kilpatrick is second on the Nets with a 25.8 usage rate, so there’s no reason he can’t have another good game against a middle-of-the-pack Charlotte squad.
Next Man Up
Isaiah Whitehead ($3,600) – If you want a pivot play off of Kilpatrick’s success, Whitehead’s your guy. The Nets were already missing three guards with injuries when Jeremy Lin went down with a hamstring injury on Wednesday. With Lin gone for at least two weeks, Whitehead is undoubtedly going to get some opportunities to run the offense.
*DKFP DraftKings Fantasy Points
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.