This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
Unlike the Bucks-Raptors series, where someone like Brook Lopez could come out of the blue to blister the field as a Captain pick, Showdown Contests in the Warriors – Trail Blazers series have been fairly cut and dry. Although we have a slate in the classic format that spans two games over the weekend, we will go where the money is and take a shot at the GS/POR Showdown once again
Winning rosters have been spearheaded by Stephen Curry ($16,800 CPTN, $11,200 UTIL), and there's no evidence to indicate that firing him up again is a bad play by any stretch. While there are a few players that could surpass him, the point differential among this group is so slight, you're not getting a significant bonus advantage if you go slightly cheaper. Sometimes going low with the bonus is a wise play, but your top-flight producers are all expensive in this game, and filling out your roster with budget fillers becomes a bit of a crapshoot (although that situation is clearer now).
The primary worry in chalking Curry is a return to Rip City for the Blazers, who are incredibly tough at home. I'm going to allow more exposure to both Damian Lillard ($15,600 CPTN, $10,400 UTIL) and C.J. McCollum ($12,900 CPTN, $8,600) in a game that they must win – no team in NBA history has come back from a 3-0 deficit in the playoffs. If you end up with Lillard as your captain, you're depending on an epic return to form in every aspect of his game. Dame was much improved in Game 2, so he may be on the way to a game-breaking total. While McCollum is definitely rosterable, he doesn't explode with enough frequency to warrant a Captain consideration – the benefit you get from a 1.5 salary bump just isn't there.
On the periphery of Captain consideration is Draymond Green ($14,400 CPTN, $9,600 UTIL). You could find Draymond in Captain spots all around the top number in Game 2. The ability for Draymond to hit the bonus is entirely dependent on the temperature of Curry's shot, with a chilly night from Klay Thompson also adding steam to that choice. As the focal point of the offense, Curry should keep it going, but the opportunity is there for Draymond to put up a big number if he falters.
Let's take a look at the rest of the pack and examine how best to fill our utility spots with value. Whoever you decide to go with at Captain, the other candidates mentioned above will also warrant consideration in the utility positions.
Kevon Looney ($5,400): If you've watched this series at all, Looney's contribution is easy to measure as their primary option inside. While Andre Iguodala's veteran presence is invaluable, his intangibles don't produce fantasy points the way Looney's can. After a lukewarm Game 1, we saw a much better stat line from Looney in Game 2. Looney's numbers should be solid in Game 3, as I expect him to be a key part of the leveling game Steve Kerr and Terry Stotts are playing in the frontcourt. Portland's Game 2 plan centered around dropping guys like Zach Collins and Moe Harkless to the baseline to seal off passing lanes, and that worked until Andre Iguodala found a way to smoke them when they kept at it. I think their defensive tactics in Game 3 should favor Looney, as Portland can no longer afford to ignore multiple guys at the perimeter.
Maurice Harkless ($5,000): Speaking of Portland's defensive game plan – it certainly hasn't favored Enes Kanter. It might be his shoulder, but Kanter lacks the speed to seal up those passing lanes that we mentioned, and Harkless has managed to beat the screens the Warriors have thrown at him. If Portland wants to win Game 3 they'll need to stifle Golden State's perimeter game, but on the offensive side, they need another dimension beyond Lillard and McCollum to keep them guessing. My bet is on Harkless to assume a larger role moving forward.
Rodney Hood ($4,800): Although his recent knee issue continues to bother him, it hasn't affected his production too severely. Your only question with Hood is his usage, as his shooting percentages have been consistently strong throughout the playoffs. Lillard has been vocal about his fatigue in the playoffs, and Hood is one of the primary guys who can provide relief at the wing.
Jordan Bell ($2,400): Bell was a part of many winning lineups in Game 2. DFS players smartly predicted a value-beating night from the forward as the Warriors continue to find band-aids for an injured Kevin Durant. Finding the best contributor in Golden State's second unit can be frustrating, but I think he's earned a bigger role in the rotation after a nice all-around stat line.