September 9, 2020, 1:45 am
By Santino Caccone (twitter: @SantinoCaccone)
(Note: DraftKings Pricing) Continue to watch the news, as especially in that opening game, the availability of Serge Ibaka (ankle/questionable) changes things quite a bit.
Toronto Raptors vs Boston Celtics
Kyle Lowry ($8,200)
Both Lowry and Fred VanVleet $7,500 are in play in this one in good spots. Lowry gets the edge for me but if you don’t have the extra money, FVV isn’t a bad fallback option. Lowry has played well this series and is averaging over 50 DraftKings points in the three games that the Celtics didn’t run away with. With their backs against the wall I expect this game to be a tight one, and Lowry to play at least 40 minutes as the Raptors try to claw to a game 7.
Marc Gasol ($4,100)
Serge Ibaka (ankle) is listed as questionable for this one, and if he can’t suit up Gasol should see closer to 30 minutes in a win-or-go-home game 6. The younger and more athletic Chris Boucher $3,000 would find himself on the DFS map in this one as well with his minimum price tag, but it should be the veteran who the team relies on more, at least in the first half. This price tag is very reasonable on a light slate for C options.
Tentatively Fading Pascal Siakam ($7,800)
Under normal circumstances I’d be fully fading Siakam as he just hasn’t shown me enough in the bubble to trust him. And while I’m still not in on him and going to mostly fade him, I’m curious to hear any blurbs or notes about lineup switches pregame before I fully decide. As we stand at the moment, Serge Ibaka is questionable to play in this one and him missing the game changes a lot of the dynamics on both sides. Common knowledge tells us that Marc Gasol and Chris Boucher will get a bump, but there is still the possibility that they throw a bunch of those minutes to Norman Powell and bump OG Anunoby and Siakam down to PF and C. I personally think that’d be better for them if Ibaka is out. If I get a hint that Nick Nurse is leaning towards going smaller against this Celtics team, Siakam becomes more appealing to me and I’ll have a few shares of him. If Ibaka is ready to go or I don’t get that hint, then I’ll let someone else roster Siakam.
Jayson Tatum ($9,300)
An absent Serge Ibaka (questionable) would open up extra minutes for Marc Gasol, Chris Boucher, or Norman Powell who aren’t the rim protectors that Ibaka is. This would open up a safer floor for Tatum who can take advantage at the rim and the free throw line, and make him in play for me as he is sure to have lower ownership than the other two big guys. A healthy Ibaka would change things a bit, and I’d rather spend a few extra hundred to get Kawhi Leonard and Nikola Jokic.
Jaylen Brown ($7,600)
This is a solid price tag for Brown, and in such a slugfest of a matchup/series, I’m more inclined to take the savings in Brown than pay up for a Tatum in most scenarios. Brown is averaging 36.8 DraftKings points in nine games against the Raptors, which is higher than his average on the season.
Los Angeles Clippers vs Denver Nuggets
Kawhi Leonard ($10,300)
Klaw is the best player on this docket both in real life and in fantasy, and while the price tag has been inflated to over 10K in this series with just two games per day, it’s still a good price for a guy with blowup potential. He started to hit shots to close out game 3, but even still he’s shooting a combined 13-of-36 from the field and 1-of-9 from deep in the past two games and he’s still averaging 49.25 DraftKings points during that stretch. The versatile superstar has a floor that is on the second level of the house and if his shot is falling he could break open the slate.
Patrick Beverley ($3,600)
This is such a cheap price that a healthy looking Beverley should walk into value on. I’m not particularly high on P-Bev as a basketball player, I think he is simply average, but people see him running around and think he’s better because of that. With that said, this is a no-harm no-foul price tag and he should see 20-25 minutes in this one as it will be his fifth game back from injury and he looks to be good to go. In the game with more offense and a higher over-under, his price tag will help me get more firepower elsewhere in the lineup.
Nikola Jokic ($9,900)
I promise I didn’t plan on putting the top guys on each team as one of my plays, but that’s just how it worked out in this one. Take out the clubbing game 1 where the Nuggets were coming off of a grueling seven game series where they battled back from a 3-1 deficit, and Jokic is averaging 60 DraftKings points per game over the last two. It’s business as usual for the big man as the Clippers have no answer for him with Ivaca Zubac looking to slow and Montrezl Harrell struggling to even find the floor with his poor play. I like Leonard on a point per dollar basis better, but if you don’t like any of the C alternatives, then play Jokic.
Michael Porter Jr. ($5,200)
I’m in the camp that they need MPJ’s offense in this series, and his minutes should creep closer to the 30-minute mark in this one. That makes this price tag a no-brainer as he’ll definitely see the usage to outplay this. Porter Jr. comes with some volatility as he could once again fall short of 24 minutes and lay off the glass, but the leap of faith knowing the upside he possesses, and that the Clippers have so many guys that they can throw at Jamal Murray, makes Porter a guy that I will be having a heavy dose of.
Fading Jamal Murray ($8,600)
It’s because of the last sentence from above, that I am going to let someone else have shares of Jamal Murray at this price tag. He has the ability to go off at a moments notice, as we saw in the first round, but the Clippers are another beast for the young upstart guard. The Clippers have Paul George and Kawhi Leonard as primary defenders of Murray, and even Patrick Beverley to annoy Murray for stints. It’s a lot of different looks from all-defense caliber players to make me comfortable in shying away from him. And while Porter could theoretically see the same first two guys, Murray’s impressive first round showed that the Nuggets need him to play at their best, and that’s where the Clippers are focusing their attention.
By Santino Caccone (twitter: @SantinoCaccone)