This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
Wednesday's two-game slate on DraftKings presents us with two elimination games. One contest's outcome is considered to be an industry-wide given, while the other game poses some uncertainty as to the eventual result.
While most people will count the Clippers among the litany of teams that Golden State dismantles on the way to the NBA Finals, the overall efficacy of the Warriors' starters proves to be a head-scratcher in terms of usage. We've seen starters like Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson get considerable time on the court well into the fourth quarter, but this trend could change if the looming elimination of the Clippers becomes more apparent in the second half. I've found ways to get Durant and Thompson into my builds, but as with any selection, this duo carries some risk due to the blowout potential. As a result, I've elected to also mix in some second and third-unit talent as my better value targets.
On the other end of the slate, I don't see any way around firing up James Harden ($10.400), even though Vegas has Houston's expected total at an anemic 110 points. The sole blemish on Harden's record in the series was a 30-point outing in Game 4 where his ancillary stats and eight turnovers tarnished what could have easily been another 50 DKFP tally. Aside from that game, he's averaged 61.1 DKFP over the other three games. Simply put, make room for him.
I'll avoid putting Durant, Thompson or Harden in any of the following recommendations. I like any or all of them as potential cores for your lineup builds, and I'll instead focus on ways to fill up the rest of your rosters below.
Stephen Curry, GS vs. LAC ($8,300): I think Curry is one of the most likely elites to sit in the second half if this game gets out of hand, but his $8,300 price tag is suitable for the potential value you should get while he's on the court. His 72 DKFP total in Game 1 has vaulted his four-game DKFP average into the high 40's, but a look at his individual-game totals yields a different tale altogether, with totals of 45, 41, and a 29 DKFP total in the Game 3 blowout. We're looking at an expected value of around 5.5x the salary, but we could definitely see more from him. He only got into about 25% of my builds when I elected to switch him with Thompson, but I still feel he's worthy of consideration.
Chris Paul, HOU vs. UTA ($7,100): Paul came into fantasy relevancy big-time as Houston struggled to keep pace with Utah, so it's a reasonable proposition to see him come up with another high-end total tonight. His five steals in Game 4 were the big highlight of his stat line, and his other ancillary stats bolstered his total, countering a less-than-stellar shooting night.
Ricky Rubio, UTA at HOU ($5,700): While Donovan Mitchell ($7,600) was the linchpin in saving this series in Game 4, it's highly unlikely that he'd even be in a position to will Utah to victory without Rubio's 11 assists. His 3-point shot is noticeably absent in the first round, with a paltry 20 percent conversion rate on only 15 attempts, but otherwise, his series field-goal percentage of 41.2 percent is decent enough. While Mitchell is the best play overall, Rubio is an excellent fit for the price as I attempt to diversify.
Derrick Favors, UTA at HOU ($5,300): If Favors can scrape his way to 6x value, he'll end up as a nice way to fill up your requirements at forward. There's not a whole lot to get excited about once you get past $6k at this position, and I don't have the heart to give many Clippers consideration tonight. Granted, I may lose out on GPP value there, but with Utah up against the wall, I feel a lot more confident in Jazz role players. Favors helped spur Utah to the win in Game 4 with a series-high 32 DKFP total.
P.J. Tucker, HOU vs. UTAH ($4,600): Tucker's had an impressive series for Houston, averaging 27.4 DKFP over four games. That's almost a 7x value for the forward, who's fared better than Kenneth Faried and Gerald Green in the series. Eric Gordon's ($4,500) totals have almost mimicked Tucker's, but Gordon's history as the Rockets' sixth man will likely yield a higher ownership percentage.
Andre Iguodala, GS vs. LAC ($4,200): Without question, Iguodala is the first guy I would consider in Golden State's second unit. He's running about 7 DKFPs higher than his regular season average in this series and is seeing an average of about two minutes more on the court as well. With three 20-plus DKFP outings out of four games, he's almost a cinch to beat value here, and his forecast is bolstered by the potential for garbage time in the fourth quarter.
Rudy Gobert, UTA at HOU ($6,800): It's been an up-and-down series for Gobert, as his average of 33.3 DKFP over three games is well below his season average. Still, at $6,800 and in an elimination game, I think Gobert might surprise us with his best total of the first round as Utah tries to stay alive. It will all come down to rebounds and enough looks at the basket for the big man, but he managed to find a place in several of my lineups.
Andrew Bogut, GS vs. LAC ($4,800): Like most of the industry, my exposure to Bogut will be exceptionally high. There's not much to do about it, as he's undoubtedly the best value at this position and will likely mimic or eclipse guys that are much more expensive. It's just one of those chalky plays that erupt on a small slate when an injury crops up. Since DeMarcus Cousins went down in Game 1, he's averaged 6.3 points, 11 rebounds and surprising 3.6 assists over three games.
PUNT PLAY OF THE NIGHT
Landry Shamet, LAC at GS ($3,700): If this game goes off the rails, I think Doc Rivers will be wise and give Shamet some valuable playoff experience against a quality opponent, as he knows that the sharpshooter's potential will probably be a key piece if his lineup next season. The same could be said for a few other players on the Clippers' bench, but I single out Shamet due to the explosive potential he's shown in his short tenure with the team.