Friday features one-game contests for Game 6 of Warriors-Rockets (9 p.m. ET on ESPN).
If you’re new to single-game formats, be sure to check out my previous work on the subject:
- 5 Tips to Dominate the DraftKings NBA Showdown Format
- How Does the Single-Game NBA Format on FanDuel Differ From DraftKings?
Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets (-7.5), 214.5 total
The choice at Captain on DraftKings boils down to a choice between James Harden and Steph Curry. They have the highest median, ceiling and floor projections in our NBA Models by a comfortable margin.
We know exactly what we’re getting with Harden at this point. He’s been the most dominant fantasy asset all season, and he’s continued that production in the postseason. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in five of his past six games on DraftKings, including each of his past three.
He managed to score 58.5 DraftKings points in his last game despite taking just 16 shots from the field and posting a usage rate of 22.9%. He’s posted a usage rate of at least 38.6% in every other game during this series, so expect him to be aggressive in a must-win Game 6.
Harden also has the edge in Vegas data. The Rockets are solid 7.5-point favorites, giving them a better implied team total.
That said, it’s hard to ignore Curry’s upside with Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins both out of the lineup. Cousins joined the Warriors’ rotation on January 18, and Curry has logged 140 minutes with Cousins and Durant off the court since then. He’s seen a team-high usage bump of +15.0% in that situation, resulting in an average usage rate of 44.4% and 1.74 DraftKings points per minute. That’s insane production.
Curry has had a brutal series so far, but he did show signs of breaking out during the fourth quarter last game. He also costs $2,100 less at the Captain spot than Harden on DraftKings, which gives him the slight edge.
Playing Curry and Harden together is also possible, although it will require you to get a little creative with some of your other selections.
If you’re looking to go with a stars-and-scrubs approach, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson are two other high-priced options worth considering.
Like Curry, Thompson has also seen a boost in usage with Durant and Cousins off the court this season. He ranks second on the team with a usage rate of 30.0% in that situation, which represents an increase of +5.2% compared to his regular season average. The result is an average of 1.1 DraftKings points per minute, and he’s currently projected for 41.3 minutes in our NBA Models.
Green doesn’t see nearly the same boost in production with Durant and Cousins off the court. He’s a low-usage player to begin with, so it makes sense that he doesn’t see a huge usage bump with the injuries. That said, it is a bit surprising that his rebound rate has been lower with both Durant and Cousins off the court this season.
He has increased his fantasy production over the postseason, scoring at least 40.25 DraftKings points in each of his past six games, but his salary has risen steadily over that time frame. He’s the third priciest option on both DraftKings and FanDuel for today’s contest, and he’s tough to justify at his current salary.
Chris Paul’s decline has to be a major concern for the Rockets. He was dreadful in Game 5 of this series, scoring just 30.0 DraftKings points in 38.5 minutes, and was very passive offensively. When he did shoot the ball, he was a dreadful 3-of-14 from the field.
That said, he did post a positive Plus/Minus in each of his three prior games, and it’s hard to envision him playing any worse in tonight’s contest. His salary has also cratered on DraftKings, dropping from $9,600 in Game 2 to just $7,800 for Game 6. He doesn’t have a lot of bust potential at his current price tag.
Eric Gordon is essentially the Rockets’ version of Thompson. He has the ability to get red-hot from the outside and should see a healthy amount of shot attempts in tonight’s contest. He doesn’t offer much in terms of peripheral statistics, but he has a big ceiling when his shot is falling. He’s a particularly nice value on FanDuel, where he checks in at $1,000 cheaper than Clint Capela.
The injury to Durant opens up a lot of intriguing value options with the Warriors on DraftKings:
- Kevon Looney ($3,800): He’s the top candidate to replace Durant in the starting lineup. He contributed 22.75 DraftKings points in 22.4 minutes in his last game and has averaged 0.91 DraftKings points per minute with Durant and Cousins off the court this season. He should be one of the highest-owned options on the slate, but he’s tough to fade at his current price tag.
- Alfonzo McKinnie ($2,000): The Warriors have played an extremely shallow rotation during this series, and McKinnie has been one of the only bench players to get consistent run. That said, he did play just 5.5 minutes in his last game and has been pretty pedestrian in terms of fantasy points per minute this season.
- Jonas Jerebko ($1,800): He got minutes in the fourth quarter after the Durant injury in Game 5, which makes him a really interesting punt play in tonight’s contest. He’s currently projected for a similar amount of playing time to McKinnie and is much more capable of filling the stat sheet when on the court.
- Shaun Livingston ($3,400): He’s played at least 11.5 minutes in each game of this series but has yet to post a positive Plus/Minus on DraftKings. He could see a few additional minutes on today’s slate, but McKinnie and Jerebko figure to be the bigger winners in that department. Still, Livingston has had some big moments for the Warriors in the past, so it wouldn’t be shocking to see him have a good game tonight.
There is much less value available on the Rockets’ side of this contest, but Austin Rivers is one player who deserves some consideration. The Rockets have chosen to play Capela less and less as this series has progressed, and Rivers has been one of the biggest winners in terms of playing time. He played 33.4 minutes in Game 4 of this series, which gives him a solid ceiling at $4,400 on DraftKings.
After this piece is published, FantasyLabs is likely to provide news updates on a number of players. Be sure to stay ahead of your competition with our NBA News Feed.
Pictured above: Warriors PG Steph Current (30) and Rockets SG James Harden (13)
Photo Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports