• LAL-DEN Showdown Strategy: By Aaron Asmus (@AsmusSports on Twitter) 


    Can we afford anybody?

    As we head into game 4 of the series, DK has decided to severely price up the studs, making it next to impossible to jam all 4 as we’ve been doing most of this series in showdown: 


    LeBron James Game 3: $12,000 & Game 4: $12,800

    Anthony Davis Game 3: $11,600 & Game 4: $12,400

    Nikola Jokic Game 3: $11,000 & Game 4: $12,000

    Jamal Murray Game 3: $9,400 & Game 4: $10,600


    So the Dozier-captain, jam-all-4-studs-with-Caruso lineups no longer work. Honestly, this is a good thing for us because of the added uncertainty for people to know who to play. It was too easy to just play the 4 studs with two cheap values and there has been significant overlap in the series. We now get to dive a bit deeper into possible lineup construction whereas the field won’t have the same chalk build to turn to. 


    Lineup Construction: 

    The most effective cash constructions are going to have either two studs in regular spots with a more balanced approach everywhere else or 3 studs in the regular spots with a shakier captain and a shakier rest of your rotation. Both are viable depending on your level of risk tolerance. The price increase makes it incredibly difficult to trust the floor of the 3 stud team and you’d have to be taking tremendous leaps of faith. With two studs, you can fit this sort of player pool around them:

    Rajon Rondo – Captain

    Jerami Grant – Captain

    Paul Millsap – Captain

    Jerami Grant

    Danny Green


    Alex Caruso

    Gary Harris

    Dwight Howard


    With the 3 stud build in regular spot, you’re looking at something along these lines as a player core: 


    Harris – Captain

    Caruso – Captain


    Dwight Howard

    JaVale McGee

    Monte Morris

    Torrey Craig


    It’s a tougher slate for cash than we’ve had in this series and the most important factor is going to be how much higher the ceiling for guys like Grant, Millsap and Rondo are than the cheap punts actually are while allowing you to access the Murray ceiling in a regular spot.


    Jamal Murray ($10,600) 

    It seems crazy to mention Murray in the same vein as Jokic, LeBron and Davis, but Murray has played so well over such a large sample now in the playoffs (17 GP, 39.1 MPG 26.6 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 6.5 SPG, 1.0 SPG, 27.7% USG, 63% TS, 45.9 DKPPG) as the co-star to Jokic for this Nuggets team. Malone just can’t afford to take him off the floor and his minutes expectation in a competitive game has been outrageous (44, 44, 29 in a blowout, 45,41,40,44,38,40,33 in a blowout) over his last ten games. He doesn’t have near the same floor as the other 3 studs do, but on a slate where salary is extremely tight; fitting in Murray’s ceiling for basically $2k cheaper makes a huge difference with the rest of your construction. In tournaments, he should be your heaviest owned stud player with people likely not wanting to pay his big price increase, but still firmly in play as one of your studs for cash games. 


    Gary Harris ($4,200) 

    I’m more than willing to keep going back to Harris as I really think they need his defense on the floor for them to stay competitive. He got a massive price decrease ($5,600 to $4200) and I think he’s the best piece to put in captain when trying to jam in 3 stud players. His floor is extremely low (11.5, 6.5, 7 DKP the last 3 games), but he’s also a far more talented player than his results have shown in this series. I’m willing to bet on that talent showing out at some point and getting a player I know should be on the floor for 30 minutes that lets me play 3 studs on this incredibly price sensitive slate makes him a priority player for my teams.


    Rajon Rondo ($7,400) 

    If you’re not going the Harris at captain route in cash games, I do really like the idea of Rondo in the captain in a 2-stud-more-balanced build with the tighter pricing. He’s shown a solid DKP floor throughout the playoffs (hasn’t gone below 20 DKP in the past 8 games) with 3 games in the high 30’s showing his ceiling potential. There are absolutely scenarios where Rondo outscores Murray and becomes the slate winner. You just aren’t getting that with Harris or the other cheaper punts you play at the captain slot. 


    A few other notes: 

    With regard to salary I’d rank the studs: Jokic–LeBron–Murray–Davis

    Be sure to watch for news if Howard replaces McGee in the starting 5. Not that Howard would all of a sudden play 25+ minutes, but I’d be comfortable projecting him in the 18-19 range, which would put him squarely in play at $3,600

    For the Laker guards (KCP, Caruso, Green) just pick whichever one fits your salary the best. My general preference is Caruso since I think he’s the best player of that threesome, but there’s nothing that stands out in the numbers that differentiates the 3. 


    That’s it! This is one of the more exciting showdown slates we’ve had since they adjusted pricing so much. I’ll be entering a few more tournament teams than normal, hoping to capitalize on more uncertainty with roster construction. Please let me know if you have any questions on my twitter @AsmusSports. I’d be happy to talk roster construction or any of other DFS questions you might have with you. Best of luck!

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