Friday features Game 4 of the NBA Finals between the Toronto Raptors and Golden State Warriors at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.
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?
Toronto Raptors @ Golden State Warriors (-4.5) – 215.0 total
The Warriors were really shorthanded in Game 3, but they are getting Klay Thompson back for tonight’s contest. That said, their offense is still going to flow through Steph Curry. He scored 73.0 DraftKings points in his last game, thanks in part to a 37.7% usage rate. He attempted 31 shots from the field and 14 shots from the free throw line and responded with 47 points scored.
However, he struggled vs. Fred VanVleet in the second half of that contest, and he’s held him to -13.6 points per 100 possessions below his scoring average when matched up against him. Curry is going to need to figure out how to succeed in that matchup if the Warriors are going to take home their fourth title in five years.
Curry ultimately possesses the highest ceiling in our NBA Models, but he’s probably not looking at another outing with 70+ DraftKings points.
Kawhi Leonard has made a strong case as the best player in the NBA during the postseason, and that production has continued vs. the Warriors. He’s scored at least 54.75 DraftKings points in each of his past two games and has filled up the stat sheet in a variety of ways.
He’s an elite offensive option – he’s posted a usage rate of 31.8% and a true shooting percentage of 65.5% over his past two games – and he combines that with the ability to grab rebounds and pile up blocks and steals. His ceiling may not be as high as Curry’s, but his floor is slightly safer.
Draymond Green is coming off a poor performance in his last game, but he should benefit from the team being a little healthier tonight. He’s not the type of player who sees a big bump in usage when the team is shorthanded, and playing with better teammates gives him a greater opportunity to rack up assists. He only had four assists in his last game, which was his lowest mark of the entire postseason. He’s a prime candidate for some positive regression in Game 4.
DeMarcus Cousins is the biggest X-Factor for today’s DFS slate. He was vital to the Warriors’ success in Game 2 and rewarded fantasy owners with 37.0 DraftKings points in 27.6 minutes, but he looked like a shell of himself in Game 3. He shot just 1-7 from the field and managed just three rebounds and two assists.
That said, he still figures to feature a prominent role in the Warriors rotation if Kevon Looney is unable to suit up. Looney has been upgraded to questionable, but it still seems like a long shot that he’ll actually be able to play. Cousins is capable of doing a lot of damage when on the court — he led the team with an average of 1.40 DraftKings points per minute during the regular season — and he’s currently projected for 23.4 minutes in our NBA Models. He has a lot of bust potential, but he also offers tremendous upside at just $6,800 on DraftKings.
Thompson is another intriguing option. He should see reduced ownership due to his injury, which obviously increases his appeal in the single-game format. He’s coming off 42.25 DraftKings points in his last game despite playing just 32.1 minutes. He always seems to have big performances when the Warriors have their backs against the wall, and this is the first time since 2016 that the Warriors haven’t been favored to win the title.
Kyle Lowry continues to rewrite the narrative surrounding his ability to perform in the postseason. He’s really struggled in previous years, but he’s put together some huge moments for the Raptors this season. He’s coming off 46.5 DraftKings points in Game 3 and found himself in the winning lineup on DraftKings.
Should you bet on another big performance tonight? I’m skeptical. He continues to post pedestrian usage numbers but made up for it by shooting 50% from the field and 55.6% from 3-point range in his last game. He also handed out nine assists in that game but has averaged just 12.0 potential assists per game during the Finals (per NBA.com). It wouldn’t be surprising to see some regression in both categories in Game 4.
VanVleet posted a Plus/Minus of -0.66 in his last game, but his outlook in this series is still positive. He continues to play a ton of minutes as the primary defender on Curry, which gives him plenty of opportunities to rack up fantasy points. He posted a usage rate of just 11.0% in Game 3, but he was at 20.3% in Game 2 and 16.7% in Game 1. I’d expect a few more shot attempts in tonight’s contest.
Serge Ibaka is not playing a ton of minutes in this series, but he’s made the most of them recently. He’s averaged 26.4 DraftKings points per game over his past two contests. That said, his production from his last game seems unsustainable. He recorded eight combined blocks and steals, and he’s unlikely to repeat that production. Still, he’s shown a nice ceiling at just $4,400.
Andre Iguodala remains one of my favorite values on DraftKings. He’s still priced very reasonably at $5,600, despite the fact that he was priced at $6,600 in Game 1. He’s averaged 28.5 DraftKings points per game over his past two contests and is capable of providing production in every statistical category across the board.
It’s becoming harder to find punt plays on DraftKings as the series has progressed. Still, finding a cheap player who outperforms their salary remains the easiest way to build a winning GPP lineup. A few cheap options stand out above the rest:
- Danny Green ($4,800): He’s not exactly a punt, but he remains the player in this price range with the safest minute expectation. He’s also found his shooting stroke during the Finals, shooting 50% from 3-point range on 22 attempts.
- Andrew Bogut ($4,000): His production from his last game feels fluky, but he was the only member of the Warriors who played at least 20 minutes and wasn’t outscored when on the court. He could see another decent workload if Cousins struggles again today.
- Shaun Livingston ($2,600): He doesn’t provide a ton of upside but has played between 16.1 and 17.5 minutes in each of the past three games. He was in the winning Showdown lineup in Game 1 despite scoring just 16.5 fantasy points, so he can be useful if you pair him with the right studs.
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: Golden State Warriors PG Steph Curry (30) during the 2019 NBA Finals
Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports