Scotty C guides you through today’s Showdown slate in the wonderful world of NBA DFS!
Excitement for this series has been dragged down by major injuries to the Heat. The good news though is that no matter how disappointing the actual basketball might end up being, we can still have fun watching the game and sweating our Showdown lineups.
And since this is the NBA and crazy things happen all the time, we can’t completely write off this Heat squad, even with the devastating injuries. The one thing we know about modern basketball is that the three point shot is the great equalizer, and the Heat have some guys who can fill it up, especially Duncan Robinson. Jimmy Butler is also an outstanding competitor and you can be sure he’ll be ready to go tonight.
In the off chance you haven’t heard yet, Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo are both doubtful for tonight’s game. The injury to Dragic hurts the Heat, of course, but the injury to Bam is an absolute killer, both offensively and defensively. Bam is heavily involved in the pick and roll game for the Heat and a main catalyst for this halfcourt offense. He’s also their best rebounder and the Heat will be more susceptible tonight to the length and strength of Dwight Howard and Anthony Davis on the offensive glass.
Adebayo is not only a good interior defender but he’s an excellent perimeter defender as well and replacing him with Kelly Olynyk is a significant downgrade because the Heat have to be much more careful about switching. The absence of Adebayo for the Heat is a huge reason why the Lakers are 10 point favorites tonight, an absurdly high amount for a Finals game.
Dragic is averaging around 20 PPG and 4.5 assists in these playoffs so the Heat are going to have to try to somehow replace his offense. The best bet there is Kendrick Nunn, who has largely been absent from the Heat rotation during the playoffs, but showed he could get buckets during the regular season. Nunn is extremely cheap on FD and will likely be a very popular option there to help pay up for AD/LeBron/Butler in the MVP/Star/Pro slots. It’s a good construction but will likely have many duplicates. He’s priced up a bit more on DK so I don’t think he’ll be quite as popular there, but he should still take on plenty of ownership.
Nunn’s fantasy output is heavily dependant on scoring. When he plays, he takes a lot of threes so an off shooting night and a lack of peripherals means there’s bust potential there. I also expect this to be a scenario for the Heat tonight where they search for a combination out on the court that’s effective for them and they ride with it. Nunn may or may not be included in that scenario if it plays out like that. I don’t think he’s the worst fade here with so much projected ownership.
In the Captain’s spot, I like AD best followed by LeBron James. All respect to Jae Crowder, but he’s no match for AD’s size and skillset and Bam’s absence just further opens up the paint for AD to dominate. LeBron is LeBron and we all know he’s going to bring it too. If I’m not using one of those two, I’d look to either Tyler Herro or Jimmy Butler from the Heat. AD and LeBron are going to soak up the vast majority of the MVP and Captain’s ownership so rolling with one of those two is a great way to get different to try to get to the top of the leaderboard, but the vast majority of the time you won’t be cashing that way.
I think we all recognize that this is a spot for Jimmy Buckets to step up and take over this offense. He’s certainly capable, but it’s been a while since he’s had a dominating performance and this Lakers D will be keyed on him. Herro is extremely interesting to me because he’s coming off a tough shooting game – just 6-18 – and Nunn is not (8-11 from the field) and his price on DK makes it impossible to fit him in a lineup with LeBron/AD/Butler and one of those three in the Captain’s spot. While I think we absolutely want to get both LeBron and AD in our lineups, taking Herro over Butler isn’t a bad way to go there to get a little different.
As always on a Showdown slate, if a guy’s projected to get minutes, he’s viable. That said, I don’t love these Lakers players priced in the midrange on FD, including Rajon Rondo, Danny Green, KCP, Kyle Kuzma and Dwight Howard. If I’m going there, I’m going with Dwight who should have his way in the paint if he gets minutes. For the most part though, I’d rather take a shot on Crowder or Duncan Robinson in that price range over there, guys who will have the opportunity for expanded roles and big minutes because of the injury situation but still make it possible to pay up for the studs.
I like to roster Robinson the game after he’s struggled, when ownership is down. He’s a boom or bust guy because he’s so dependant on the three ball and he’s best taken at low ownership, not chalk. I think a lot of people expect Nunn to take on a bunch of minutes, but there’s certainly a scenario where Robinson gets it going from deep and plays 35-40 minutes, helps jumpstart the offense, and the Heat end up rolling with more defensive minded guys off the bench in Andre Iguodala or a Derrick Jones Jr. If there’s a choice between the Heat having Herro or Nunn out on the floor, it’s almost always going to be Herro.
On DK, where some of these Lakers guys are very cheap, including Dwight, Caruso, Green and Kuzma, they make it possible, along with Olynyk, to pay up for the studs, whereas it’s very difficult if you’re trying to use some of the midpriced guys like Crowder and Robinson. AD and LeBron are really really tough to get away from despite their sky high ownership so studs and scrubs is a great way to go there.
Kelly Olynyk will likely start in place of Bam. He’s insanely cheap on DK at $3000, which makes it easy to pay up for the big two and either Butler or Herro. One thing to note though is he’s a candidate for foul trouble. It’s a bit of a crapshoot how the Heat would deal with that, but Iguodala, Jones Jr., Solomon Hill, or even Meyers Leonard, who didn’t get off the bench the first game even in a blowout, are potential options. Jones Jr. would be my lean there but it’s tough. That said, if Olynyk can stay on the floor, he’s just way too cheap despite the difficult matchup.
One last note. Dwight should rack up boards and get some easy buckets against this weakened Heat interior. The question will be how many minutes he plays. The Heat will try to pull him away from the bucket on the defensive end with Olynyk spotted up from three. If he knocks down a couple early, we could see the Lakers turn to more mobile guys like Kuzma and Markieff Morris. Like I said though, as long as Dwight is out there, he should eat.