This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
DraftKings offers yet another single-game Showdown slate for the Western Conference Finals. The Nuggets will attempt to even up the series against the Lakers after holding on for a win in Game 3.
DEN vs. LAL (-6), O/U: 214.5
The Lakers are hopping mad after getting stung by the Nuggets two days ago, which puts the Lakers as slight favorites on Thursday. So that everyone is on the same page, I recommend reading my article about single-game strategy, as it outlines how I approach these contests. Before we dive in, let's take a look at a winning lineup from a single-entry Showdown contest from Game 3.
|Nikola Jokic (CPTN)||$17,100||9.3% (CPTN)||87.75|
The above lineup is a perfect example of how important the budget picks are in a Showdown lineup. Although Jokic and Murray's presence favored a Denver victory, rostership is so high with the elites that you have minimal opportunity for uniqueness unless you make a good play in the bargain basement. The Green/Caruso/Morris combo allowed for three top-tier guys.
FINDING THE VALUE
Torrey Craig, DEN (CPTN $3,000, UTIL $2,000)
Craig is a great place to start if you're looking to field as many elites as possible. He's averaged 16 minutes on the floor in this series, and although he's yet to drain a shot from beyond the arc in the past three games, it's only a matter of time before he sinks one. If he can combine a decent night of shooting and come close to the six rebounds he snagged in Game 3, he should be able to eclipse 4x value.
Monte Morris, DEN (CPTN $4,200, UTIL $2,800)
A correlating lineup with Craig and Morris should probably be avoided, but Morris is definitely a superior choice for $800 more. The big difference here is the opportunity, as Morris gets on the floor quickly and more frequently than his teammate. He's only averaged two more minutes per game over Craig in this series, but he gets a lot more done with the time he's given.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, LAL (CPTN $6,900, UTIL $4,500)
KCP found his way onto the highlight reel throughout the playoffs, but it hasn't translated to substantial fantasy numbers until this series. His success or failure is somewhat tied to what Alex Caruso and Rajon Rondo do in the frontcourt, but he sees enough time at off-guard to make their production less of a factor. I like him better than Caruso and Danny Green tonight. I may even toss a flier with KCP in the CPTN slot to see what kind of UTIL quality I can manage.
Jerami Grant, DEN (CPTN $8,400, UTIL $5,600)
Grant is the bridge between value and elite that we'll need after deciding on who to take at the top. Grant has burned many a DFS player despite his superiority to Michael Porter as a dual threat. He finally flashed an impressive ceiling in Game 3, and I think that's a good indication that the Nuggets won't fix what isn't broken. Porter has struggled, especially on defense, and when he gets into foul trouble, it'll be Grant's show at the wing.
Rather than type out details of what you already know, it's down to LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic who will round out your build. For my money, I think Murray provides you with the most opportunity for CPTN at $15,900 if you want your budget guys to have a higher floor. It only leaves you room for Davis and Jokic to round things out with our better budget guys. In a lot of builds, I came up $100 short for James in the UTIL spot, which meant knocking out KCP or Morris for a flier like Dwight Howard if I wanted James in there as well. Putting James, Davis or Jokic in the CPTN spot means that you'd have to hit the trifecta with your budget picks, and they'd be high variance, bargain-basement options that aren't nearly as appealing as what I've already recommended.
To summarize, I think Murray, Davis and Jokic work out the best with Murray as the CPTN, even though it leaves the potential monster game for LeBron off the table. The only way you get a James/Davis/Jokic stack is by utilizing a budget guy like Kyle Kuzma or Dwight Howard in your CPTN spot, and on this slate, you end up losing more than you gain by taking such a risk.