DraftKings DFS NBA Strategy Advice: Clippers at Nuggets (9/13)
After staging a comeback in Game 5 to make it a 3-2 series in favor of the Clippers, the Nuggets find themselves in another elimination game Sunday. With this being the only game on the docket, DraftKings is running their signature single-game showdown contest for Game 6 between the Clippers and Nuggets. This contest is structured with six positions, including one captain spot that earns you 1.5x fantasy points and five utility (UTIL) positions without a multiplier bonus. Let’s take a look at which players you should get into your lineups and those you may want to fade, and also identify which players are deserving of filling your captain spot.
Nikola Jokic (DEN): $16,200 Outside of the blowout loss in Game 1, Jokic has been nothing short of spectacular in this series. In Games 2-5, he’s averaging 56.5 fantasy points in 39 minutes per game. With Jamal Murray struggling to find his shot throughout the series, Jokic has become the focal point of Denver’s offensive attack against the Clippers. The Nuggets big-man provides the high-floor, high-ceiling combination you should be looking for to fill your captain spot.
Kawhi Leonard (LAC): $17,100 Leonard is the most expensive play on the slate, but he may just be worth it. After getting off to a “slow” start (for playoff-Kawhi standards) in the series, he has really picked it up in Games 3-5, averaging 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 2.3 steals, and 1.3 blocks in 40 minutes per game. That’s good for 61.7 fantasy points. After falling to the Nuggets in Game 5, I’d expect Leonard to come out in attack-mode in Game 6, with the hopes of avoiding a potential Game 7. While a bit more expensive and volatile than Jokic, a case can easily be made to pay up for Leonard in your captain spot with the high-ceiling he presents.
Note: I’d suggest playing both Jokic and Leonard, regardless of which you ultimately decide to slot into your captain spot.
Nikola Jokic (DEN): $10,800 See write-up above
Kawhi Leonard (LAC): $11,400 See write-up above
Paul George (LAC): $9,600 After struggling mightily in the Clippers’ first-round series against the Mavericks, George has quietly played much better against the Nuggets. Outside of a uniquely low scoring Game 4 where he scored just 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting, George has averaged 24.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. He has also played 40+ minutes in three of five games in this series. He’ll take somewhat of a backseat to Kawhi Leonard, but he’s still highly capable of scoring 45+ fantasy points on any given night. George is a guy I’d want to try and squeeze into my lineup.
Jerami Grant (DEN): $6,400 Grant has been playing heavy minutes as the starting small forward for the Nuggets. He’s played an average of 38 minutes in his last four games and has scored more than 22 fantasy points in two of those four contests. Grant has been inconsistent at times, but his price point is low enough where he offers a relatively safe floor when compared to some of the other guys priced just above him (notably Michael Porter Jr. and Ivica Zubac, who I will discuss in the “Fades” section).
Marcus Morris Sr. (LAC): $5,800 Morris has scored in double-figures in each of the first five games against the Nuggets. He’s also averaging 2.4 3 PM in the series and has scored over 20 fantasy points in three of five games. He likely won’t go off in Game 6, but you also don’t have to worry about him putting up a dud. At just $5,800, he should be a staple in your lineup.
Paul Millsap (DEN): $5,400 Millsap certainly isn’t the player he once was, but he’s still managed to put up some solid performances in the playoffs this season. If you remove his Game 4 performance, Millsap has averaged 25.1 fantasy points in 28.3 minutes per game. He offers a 30-point upside at a low-cost, making him a solid choice on Sunday.
Gary Harris (DEN): $5,000 Harris’ minutes have slowly been ramped up by head coach Mike Malone in this series. He has now played 30+ minutes in two of the Nuggets last four games against the Clippers. After scoring just 11.8 fantasy points in Game 5, Harris’ salary remains quite low for a starter at just $5,000. In Games 3 and 4, he averaged 25.7 fantasy points, and I’d expect him to come close to that level of output in Game 6.
Torrey Craig (DEN): $2,800 I’m not advocating for Craig as a must-play, but at just $2,800, he’s an option should you need him. He doesn’t score a whole lot, but is a key part of the Nuggets rotation and has played 18+ minutes in four of five games in the series. He’s a bit of a risky proposition, but he’ll at least be on the court and is capable of producing 15+ fantasy points.
Jamal Murray (DEN): $10,000 Murray has had a great run in these playoffs, but his shooting has really tailed off in this series compared to the first-round series against the Jazz. He’s shooting just 20-of-57 (35 percent) from the field in his last three games, averaging 39.8 fantasy points per game. Murray is priced way too high for a guy that has scored fewer than 37 fantasy points in three of five games against the Clippers. He’s a fade for me as I try to fit other guys in his price-range into my lineup.
Michael Porter Jr. (DEN): $7,600 Porter Jr.’s price has now risen to a level where I don’t feel good about playing him. He comes off the bench and doesn’t tend to play when the Nuggets need stops as he’s not the best defender. If his shot isn’t falling, he doesn’t offer enough value in other aspects of the game to be playable at $7,600.
Ivica Zubac (LAC): $7,000 Zubac’s salary went from $5,800 to a whopping $7,000 after a sub-par performance in Game 5 where he had just five points and nine rebounds. His minutes tend to fluctuate based on the flow of the game, and he has scored just 25+ fantasy points in two of five games in the series against the Nuggets. If Zubac was priced closer to $6,000, I’d be giving him a look, but at $7,000, fading him seems pretty easy.
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