The NBA Playoffs have been in full swing for a little while now. The slate for tonight (Thursday, April 25th) consists of one game – Game 6 between the Denver Nuggets and San Antonio Spurs, which starts at 8:00 P.M. EDT.
With there not being many options for your Showdown lineup, let’s evaluate some of the top Captain options, depending on your strategy:
Value Captain Plays
SG Gary Harris, DEN ($10,500, $7,000 regular)
My most expensive value play of the night, Harris has been struggling over his last two games. He’s scored less than 25 DK points in both games, while adding little statistical contribution other than in points (23 points combined during the aforementioned span).
I’m predicting a rebound night for Harris, which will land him somewhere in the 30-35 DKP range (the 32.3 DKP on 04/16 being his highest total of the series thus far). His rebound totals over the series thus far have been modest at best, landing between averaging between 3-5 most nights. For Harris to be worth playing in your Captain spot tonight, he needs to put up 15+ points, 5+ rebound and at least 2 assists. A block, steal or both would be nice as well. Like I said, 30-35 DKP is a good night for Harris, although you may want to go cheaper with guys like…
C Jakob Poeltl, SAS ($8,400 Captain, $5,600 regular)
Poeltl has been getting steadily better over the series, scoring double-digit points in two of his last three games and consistently putting up 7+ boards as his assist numbers slowly rise. He’s up against a tough matchup in Denver’s Nikola Jokic (an obvious top play of the slate), but he’s getting 23-26+ points out of a guy this cheap is not a bad idea to help stack the rest of your lineup. Ideally, Poeltl needs at least 10+ points and get himself close to a double-double with 8+ rebounds. If he can notch a block or two, any assists are just gravy on top of the mashed potatoes. Getting ~40+ DKP out of Poeltl in your Captain slot is a good night (that mean’s he’ll need at least 26.75 DKP normally).
SG Torrey Craig, DEN ($5,700 Captain, $3,800 regular)
Okay, so Craig had a relatively bad night in an 18-point win Tuesday night, scoring just one point.. but he salvaged what would have been a terrible night with 10 boards. Keep in mind Craig only attempted one field goal (1-2 FT). He attempted 16 FGs over the previous two games, so look at Tuesday’s performance as an outlier. With Craig being implemented as a starter over teammate Will Barton, he’s seen heavy minutes over his past two games, and I don’t see that changing tonight. As long as Craig is starting, expect him to be a candidate for 25+ DKP (although admittedly, it’s a little more of a gamble than guys like Harris or Poeltl). I can see Craig scoring 13 points tonight, hitting 4 of 8 FG attempts (2-5 3PM/A, 2-2 FT). Along with 13 points, a rebound total of 7+ along with a steal or two would solidify Craig’s justification in the Captain slot, ending his night at 26.75 (40.125 in Captain slot) assuming he gets two steals.
Stud Captain Plays
C Nikola Jokic, DEN ($17,400 Captain, $11,600 regular)
Not really much to say, he’s clearly going to be a top Captain play due to his consistent numbers across the stat sheet. Jokic has failed to get above 45 DKP just once thus far in the series, which means he’s almost a lock for 67.5+ DKP in the Captain slot tonight.
The one downside to putting Jokic at Captain of course is the limitations it places across the rest of your lineup. Of course, Craig and Poeltl normally only take up $9,400 your $50,000 salary.. but Jokic alone takes almost 2/5th of that at $17,400. So the three combined at $26,800 leaves $23,200 for three positions.. not a lot of room to add another top stud like LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMar DeRozan or Jamal Murray.
PF LaMarcus Aldridge, SAS ($14,700 Captain, $9,800 regular)
Aldridge is not as strong of a lock in the Captain slot as Jokic, however he’s put up 35+ DKP over his last four games. Aldridge is a constant candidate for an explosive night as the Nuggets continue to place defensive attention on teammate DeMar DeRozan (as evidenced by the latter’s FG% over his last two games, not so coincidentally due to the change-up by Denver to bring Torrey Craig into the starting lineup).
Of course, in your Captain slot, Aldridge would ideally score 60+ DKP (40+ regular).. this isn’t out of the realm of possibility, since it’s happened twice thus far this series, but it’s not a guarantee. A great part of choosing Aldridge is the $2,700 you save over having Jokic at Captain. That extra flexibility could be a good thing and help set your lineup apart.
PG Jamal Murray, DEN ($13,500 Captain, $9,000 regular)
Murray’s had a strong series overall, albeit a miserable Game 3 on April 18th, only scoring 11.3 DKP in the 118-108 loss. In all of Murray’s strong games this series, he’s topped 20+ points scored – his last two games have also seen him notch 13 assists.
I don’t think Murray will score 40+ DKP again tonight, however 35-39 is a strong possibility. His last two strong games AGAIN correlate with the implementation of Craig in the starting lineup. Murray is, in my opinion, one of the safer plays of the slate.