This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
While there are some contests that span two days to include both playoff contests, the bigger prize pools are in the Showdown Contests for the TOR/MIL game, so we will focus on that slate today.
The last showdown contest between these two teams showcased a perfect example of a player coming out of nowhere to take the Captain spot. The top lineups fielded Brook Lopez ($9,900/$6,600) in the bonus slot. And while I predicted a breakout game from him in my last column, I took Giannis in the Captain role. Giannis was the high scorer, but Lopez came close with a career game. His lower-than-average price allowed for both Leonard and Giannis to be included in the winning lineup, as well as some other spends that you couldn't do with a Giannis Captain designation.
I managed to cash with my Giannis base in cash lineups. But to beat the GPPs, I think we'll have to go another way. Based on the game flow in Game 1, I think I have a couple of reasonable targets to consider. Giannis and Leonard are both givens, so I'm making recommendations around that core.
Nikola Mirotic ($7,200 CPTN, $4,900 UTIL): I previously mentioned we'd need a larger sample size from Mirotic to warrant an add, and Game 1 gave me more confidence in his overall value. He only yielded a 22.5 DKFP score, but it could have been much higher with some of his long-range balls just slightly off the mark. It's apparent that going big with Lopez and Mirotic is the best way to fend off Toronto's interior defense, so I expect this duo to see similar usage tonight. As expected, Lopez's price has risen to a whopping $2,400 above his Game 1 number, so a return to Lopez won't be as profitable. We should instead look at someone like Mirotic in hopes that he turns in a whopper tonight.
Marc Gasol ($8,700 CPTN, $5,800 UTIL): Gasol played almost 40 minutes in Game 1, and he's another example of someone who had ample shot opportunities but ran into some bad luck. He missed some contested shots as well as some open looks, which put him well short of a double-double. A change in fortune with his shooting could put him back on track to a much higher total, especially when you consider his current minutes average.
Kyle Lowry ($11,700 CPTN, $7,800 UTIL): Lowry is on the cusp as a Captain play for me tonight. After going 7-for-9 from beyond the arc in Game 1, it's hard to ignore Lowry as a universal add - although his floor might not be strong enough to warrant spending up this much for the 1.5x bonus. Still, I believe in his potential as a GPP play, and putting him at the top will allow you to buy Giannis, Leonard and at least one other mid-level option.
George Hill ($3,400): Choosing between Hill and Pat Connaughton at this level is no longer a toss-up for me, as Hill is getting much more court time. If you want to spend up, It's almost a requirement to field someone like Hill, and I suspect many will shy away from him after he failed to convert a single shot in Game 1. There's no question the Bucks will rely on Eric Bledsoe's veteran presence often, but Bledsoe's shot can be as streaky as Hill's. If Bledsoe goes cold, we should see more options for Hill, who will likely bounce back from his poor Game 1 performances. Don't expect miracle numbers, but he's so cheap a moderate number will be more than enough to reach value.
In summary, I would tinker with various combinations of Lowry, Gasol and Mirotic as your captains, and I think they both play well as utilities as you swap through all three. I will probably construct a lineup or two with Giannis as Captain again, and try to fit in as many mid-range guys as possible. Brook Lopez's price is good enough for a utility spot, but going to the well with him again at Captain is probably not the wisest option in Game 2.