This article is part of our Category Strategy series.
Saturday's slate on DraftKings utilizes the Showdown format as we tackle the GS/HOU game. If you've never played a Showdown contest, your task is to select six players from either team at any position, with one of the players given the designation of Captain. This player will receive 1.5x DKFP, but the added wrinkle is that the selected player also gets his salary multiplied by 1.5x as well.
While your assumed goal is to assign the Captain spot to a player that you think will score the most points, you must also take care to keep the totals of your other five players at a high level. In some cases, this means the highest scorer's price at Captain compromises your stable of core players. I don't think that is the case today as I can narrow my field of Captain choices down to two guys, filling out my roster with players on the team that is up against the wall today: the Rockets.
Despite my own subjective bias about enjoying a competitive series, I no longer think the Rockets have the mettle to close this series out, although a return to Houston could bolster their chances. While my utility picks are going to favor Houston, I'll also be presenting a couple of other options for Golden State.
Kevin Durant ($16,500 CPTN, $11,000 UTIL): Both of my captain's picks are very similar in price so it will be possible for me to throw out two lineups and alternate them between Captain and Utility positions without too much disruption. Durant is my first pick at Captain due to his absolute dominance in the playoffs and his superbly consistent two-game run versus the Rockets. His two DKFP totals against Houston are identical (47.25), and his playoff totals against the Clippers were even more impressive. You're also guaranteed to see around 40 minutes for Durant unless the game gets out of hand, but I think Game 3 will turn out to be a competitive matchup.
James Harden ($16,800 CPTN, $11,200 UTIL): Harden's production will have a bit more variance than Durant, but both of them can explode way above value. The problem with Harden is that he's only converted 10 of 35 three-point attempts over the last three games, leaving him to rely on ancillary categories to give him a big total. I would favor switching up Harden for Chris Paul (see below) as a contrarian pick due to his reasonable Captain salary, but with the Rockets up against it in this series, you have to go with what works, and for Houston, it's all about the Beard.
Draymond Green ($13,800 CPTN, $9,200 UTIL): I can only see going with Green if you pick only one of the above players today, as going this high with three players will compromise my other utility spots a bit too much. It's hard to argue with Green's totals against Houston, with results of 44.5 and 40.25 DKFP over the first two games of the series. Green's shooting accuracy is what's keeping his totals at a high level. A 60 percent shooting percentage over the past three games, when coupled with his typically high ancillary numbers, makes him a contrarian wild card for the Captain spot, but also a reliable utility option.
Chris Paul ($12,600 CPTN, $8,400 UTIL): Paul should have every chance to put up a significant number today, and you can make an argument for putting Paul in the Captain spot, as his ability to get 40 DKFP or more could make the 1.5 salary boost worth every penny. His playoff totals have been excellent, but a little all over the place, with DKFP results varying from 56.5 to 30.25. Regardless of today's outcome, he's one of the best utility options you'll be able to find.
P.J. Tucker ($6,200 UTIL): I think a big game from Capela will come eventually, but Tucker could end up delivering similar numbers for $1K less. He had almost equal amounts and the same number of rebounds as Capela in Game 2. A few more chances with his shot could help vault him above Capela today, so he could be a great money saver.
Andre Iguodala ($5,800 UTIL): Iguodala comes at a great price and is the cheapest member of Golden State's starting five. He's averaged a solid 30 minutes per game over the last four contests, so the opportunity is there for a good total today. He has an innate ability to get involved in almost every defensive play, and when he has an off night of shooting he frequently manages to offset that deficiency with a few assists and steals.
Eric Gordon ($5,200 UTIL): Gordon continues to hold down the fort at the three for the Rockets, and can get hot at any time. He's shooting almost 47 percent from the floor and nearly 40 percent from long range over the past three games, so he has an excellent chance to remain locked in today, taking a bit of pressure off of Harden and Paul.
Nene Hilario, ($1,200 UTIL): I don't see a huge reason to go super low today, as there is enough salary disparity to get plenty of guys in. You may find yourself overspent if you opt for Durant, Harden, Green and Paul, which makes Hilario an intriguing play. I think he'll come with lower ownership than Andrew Bogut, and I'd rather go with Hilario after he came in handy in Game 1. Bogut comes at an identical price, so it mostly comes down to personal preference. Both are high-variance punt plays.
The Showdown format can be frustrating because you'll often see a roster you'd never consider topping the GPP field. If you're playing the tournaments, I encourage you to give a little love to alternate captains like Paul and Green as it could reap huge benefits if Durant and Harden have off nights.