This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
The NBA Finals travel to Oakland for Game 3, and the locale proves advantageous to Golden State in more ways than one. Beginning next season, downtown San Francisco will be the Warriors' new home, so their tenure at the Oracle is coming to a close. The players and coaches are vocal about rewarding the Oakland fans in the form of a decisive sweep at home, but the injury bug isn't cooperating with their plans.
Klay Thompson ($8,400 UTIL) is questionable tonight after suffering a hamstring injury in Game 2. I expect him to give it a go even if he's at 50 percent, but he's sure to feel the effects from an injury like this one. With this in mind, I think it's in your best interest to strike Thompson from consideration tonight, especially given his price in the 8k range. We'll take a look at who could see production bumps for Golden State later in this article.
Kevin Durant won't take the floor in Game 3, which is no big surprise at this juncture. Their interior game is now severely impacted by the loss of Kevon Looney (collarbone), and his absence will magnify the need to get the All-Star back on the court. While a certain guy named DeMarcus will be called upon to assume a more significant role, he'll need some additional help. We'll also take a look at who can help fill out the second unit in the frontcourt.
The Raptors are completely healthy, and they appear ready to spoil the Warriors' homecoming, but the Warriors haven't dropped many games at home this year. Despite the injury implications, you have to assume that Golden State will find a way to get it done in the friendly confines of Oracle Arena.
That uphill battle doesn't mean we should be stacking our rosters with Warriors, however. Looney's absence will leave Golden State thin in the frontcourt, and I predict that both Pascal Siakam ($14,100 CPTN, $9,400 UTIL) and Marc Gasol ($6,600 UTIL) will take advantage. The game flow will almost certainly benefit DeMarcus Cousins ($10,800 CPTN, $7,200 UTIL) as well. With few options inside, he'll be called upon to carry a heavy load. Boogie managed to play 27 minutes and was noticeably fatigued at certain points in Game 2, and it's apparent that his quad injury isn't entirely behind him. He chalked up a double-double despite those struggles, and he also added six assists to his stat line. I expect him to be highly owned, so you can safely make Gasol a bit of a contrarian GPP play. Siakam should see similar ownership and carries a similar risk to Cousins.
The big stories involve tonight's interior game, but with Thompson on the mend, Stephen Curry ($17,400 CPTN, $11,400 UTIL) seems on track to further cement his place in history as the best pure shooter the league has ever witnessed. If the Warriors end up taking this series, he's the team's best MVP candidate by a wide margin. I expect him to once again field numbers in the 45-50 DKFP range, making him an obvious play regardless of position. The top DFS scores in Game 2 featured Cousins and Draymond Green ($15,900 CPTN, $10,600 UTIL) as the top plays at Captain, and I think there's merit to those selections again tonight. It makes Curry a utility pick for me despite his enormous potential.
Cost will dictate the viability of Kawhi Leonard ($17,700 CPTN, $11,800 UTIL) in your lineups tonight. I think you can omit him from Captain consideration due to price, and due to salary restrictions, you're probably forced to make a judgment call between Curry and Kawhi if you're going with guys like Green or Siakam somewhere else. I'll probably stick him into a few lineups, but I won't make him the centerpiece – I'll keep my safe picks in and go very cheap at one or two utility spots.
So, where do we go without Thompson? Even if Thompson carries a more significant load than expected, the seemingly ageless Andre Iguodala ($5,600 UTIL) will figure to play a vital role in shoring up the lineup once again tonight. He'll start again in place of Durant, but I predict he'll garner an enhanced role in the backcourt if Klay can't make a go of it. It's all dependent on Klay's abilities at tip-off, but you could see a second-unit scheme where Iguodala stays on the floor and slides to the two, while a guy like Jordan Bell ($1,600) or Jonas Jerebko ($1,400) get a bump as a hybrid 3-4 player. You're also going to see a scheme that features a more reliable source of output in Shaun Livingston ($2,800), who is an excellent candidate to take over the two spot by himself.
Looney's absence probably spells an increased role for Andrew Bogut ($2,200), who had a couple of prime-time moments of glory in Game 2. Bogut is a tricky call with Cousins nearing 100 percent, and you rarely see them on the court at the same time, but Steve Kerr is known for getting creative with his bench. Their current deficiencies inside could put them both on the court together, with Cousins employing his ability to stretch the floor instead of dominating the boards.
We're talking a lot about the Warriors, and I think there are obvious reasons why we're going this route. While you can't discount Fred VanVleet's ($6,200) excellent stat line in Game 2, Klay Thompson's absence favors Danny Green ($3,600) as well. He doesn't possess a shot like VanVleet, but he contributes enough to chip away at his output. While I think VanVleet is a sensible play in most instances, there are a lot of mouths to feed in Toronto's backcourt. That's even without factoring in Kyle Lowry ($7,400) who I think you have to fade based on price alone in this format.
I'll conclude today's column by endorsing Cousins, Green, Iguodala and Curry as the cornerstones of your roster. Depending on where you go with the captain pick, you're left with a decision about where and how to go low. There are plenty of cheap options on both teams to get the kind of production you need to field a winning lineup.