Saturday’s NBA slate features Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Portland Trail Blazers at 9:00 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?
Steph Curry continues to stand out in his own category with Kevin Durant sidelined. He’s scored at least 58.0 DraftKings points in each of the first two games of this series, and he posted a usage rate of 37.2% in his most recent contest.
He should maintain his role as the focal point of the Warriors’ offense with Durant and DeMarcus Cousins out of the lineup. Curry has played 355 minutes with both players off the court since Cousins joined the rotation on Jan. 18th, and he’s averaged 1.59 DraftKings points per minute and led the team with a usage rate of 39.5%.
The Blazers have had absolutely no answer for him on the defensive end. Four players have served as his primary defender for at least 22 possessions through the first two games of the series, and Curry has torched all of them:
- Damian Lillard: 45 possessions | 75% shooting | +11.5 points per 100 possessions
- Rodney Hood: 28 possessions | 66.7% shooting | +5.5 points per 100 possessions
- Seth Curry: 23 possessions | 44.4% shooting | +1.8 points per 100 possessions
- C.J. McCollum: 22 possessions | 75.0% shooting | +44.4 points per 100 possessions
With that in mind, he’s way too cheap at $16,800 on DraftKings. He only costs $1,200 more than Lillard, $2,400 more than Draymond Green, and $3,300 more than Klay Thompson, but his ceiling is exponentially higher than everyone else’s.
Lillard put together a strong outing in Game 2, scoring 49.25 DraftKings points in 42.5 minutes. That said, he did it in a different way than usual. He still struggled with his scoring — he posted a usage rate of just 22.3% and shot 37.5% from the field — but he was able to hand out 10 assists and pull down five rebounds. That’s more assists than Lillard has handed out in any other playoff game this season.
Banking on him to repeat that kind of peripheral production seems unwise, and he should continue to struggle with the on ball defense of Thompson and Iguodala. Thompson in particular has smothered him during this series, holding him to -22.3 points per 100 possessions below his regular season average.
C.J. McCollum seems like the stronger option in the Blazers’ backcourt. His usage rate of 31.8% in Game 2 was significantly higher than Lillard, which makes sense considering he has an easier individual matchup vs. Curry. His median, ceiling, and floor projections in our NBA Models are comparable to Lillard’s, and he costs nearly $2,000 less on DraftKings.
On the Warriors side, Draymond Green has increased his production by a massive amount during the postseason. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus on DraftKings in eight of his past nine contests.
He’s continues to pile up peripheral statistics as good as anyone not named Giannis Antetokounmpo, and he’s also been more aggressive offensively over his past two contests. He’s posted a usage rate of at least 21.0% in each, which is a big increase from his average of 13.1% during the regular season. His lack of scoring is usually the only black mark on his resume, so he has huge upside if he continues to post that kind of usage rate.
Thompson is sort of like the anti-Draymond. He gets nearly all of his production from scoring, so poor shooting nights typically result in poor fantasy production. That’s exactly what happened in Game 2, where he shot just 36.4% from the field. Still, the fact that he’s taken at least 20 shots in all three games without Durant this postseason is encouraging, and makes him a nice bounce back candidate on today’s slate.
There aren’t a ton of appealing options in the mid-range on today’s slate. That said, Kevon Looney deserves some attention at $5,400 on DraftKings. He’s coming off nearly 30 minutes in Game 2 and responded with 29.75 DraftKings points. He’s averaged 0.93 DraftKings points per minute this season and has been one of the biggest beneficiaries from a playing time perspective from the injury to Durant.
He also has one of the best individual matchups on the slate, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.68.
Today could be a nice day to target some of the value options on the Blazers. Role players notoriously play better at home during the postseason, and the Blazers’ implied team total is slightly higher than the Warriors. Two options in particular stand out:
- Zach Collins ($3,200): He played just eight minutes in Game 2 and scored -1.0 fantasy points, but he should see more minutes on today’s slate. He’s currently projected for 19.5 minutes in our NBA Models and has averaged 0.88 DraftKings points per minute this season.
- Seth Curry ($3,000): The “other Curry” has performed well in this series and is coming off 29.75 DraftKings points in his last game. His ownership will probably be inflated after that performance, but he’s still underpriced on DraftKings.
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Pictured: Warriors PF Draymond Green (23)
Credit: Cary Edmondson- USA Today Sports