September 9, 2020, 11:53 pm
Showdown Slate Strategy: By Aaron Asmus (@AsmusSports)
We’ve finally arrived at the showdown slates for the NBA playoffs and gaining some edge back in the process. Showdown as a game has still not been solved in any sport, leaving players to make a multitude of mistakes that you wouldn’t normally see on a regular slate of games.
Overrating the Captain Spot
Players generally feel they have to jam in the best player in the 1.5x captain spot and build their lineup from there. For the most part though, there are far more effective ways to build and maximize your total lineup output when you find a quality value play to put at captain that lets you massively upgrade your team. Let’s take this upcoming Houston and LAL showdown slate for example:
LeBron James Captain price: $19,200
Rajon Rondo Normal price: $5,200
This leaves $6,400 left per spot which makes it near impossible to use more than one of Westbrook, Harden or Davis into your lineup. You’re left sifting through the “Value” plays like Caruso, Jeff Green, Markieff Morris to fill in 3 of your 6 spots, while only having 2 of the 4 major upside plays on the slate. Your lineup is basically solely tied to LeBron being the top scorer and severely outproducing his projection to find a ceiling with that roster construction.
Rajon Rondo Captain Price: $7,800
LeBron James Normal Price: $12,800
Remaining per slot: $7,350
This leaves significantly more flexibility as you’re able to add a 3rd star to your roster if you wish, or go more balanced with two stars and the high minutes players on Houston (Covington, Gordon, Tucker). You’re sacrificing the possible monster game from LeBron, but you’re giving yourself a much better floor/ceiling outcome.
How to be contrarian:
One key strategy for showdowns to employ is not making my team overtly different and throwing names like J.R Smith or Dion Waiters because they’ll be low owned. It’s as easy as thinking LeBron is going to be the highest owned player on the slate, so I’m going to run the same exact lineup with James Harden in his place and gaining a 15-20% ownership edge. Or going into this slate that Rondo is likely going to be one of the most popular captains, so running Jeff Green in that spot gives me a shot at similar upside at far less captain ownership. Be thoughtful with how you’re building tournament teams and don’t feel like you have to drastically change your optimal lineup in order to build a winning team.
James Harden – $18,600
Anthony Davis – $17,400
Russell Westbrook – $15,000
Robert Covington – $11,100
Rajon Rondo – $7,800
Jeff Green – $6,900
Rajon Rondo – $5,200
Jeff Green – $4,600
Alex Caruso – $4,000
Markieff Morris – $3,200
That’s it! Let me know on twitter @AsmusSports if you like the format of this showdown article so I know for next week if I should continue to format this way. Be sure to try some tournaments on this showdown as I think there’s a real edge left in this game format. Best of luck!