Last night was a major step up for Joel Embiid and Donovan Mitchell, who are no strangers to the spotlight but have been criticized in the past for not getting the job done. There were no such holes to poke in their resumes Tuesday, as both carried their respective teams — and NBA DFS lineups — to the top of contests across the industry. Of course, they were extremely chalky, but sometimes landing aggressively on the right studs can still be a huge plus (ask Kawhi Leonard and Paul George owners). Let’s try to do exactly that tonight, finding the perfect combination of NBA DFS picks tonight to take down the single-game contests on DraftKings and FanDuel.
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Oh No, Not Again
While Game 1 was a mark in the losing column for the Nuggets, the larger loss might be seeing the words “back tightness” and “Michael Porter” in the same sentence again. After back issues cut Porter’s college career short, he became yet another incredible get for the Nuggets when he fell to them at the 14th pick of the 2018 NBA Draft. He sat out his entire rookie year with the injury, then slowly emerged into a monster throughout the 2019-20 season, especially during the Nuggets’ magical bubble run.
And now, already without Jamal Murray and Will Barton, the Nuggets have Porter listed as questionable. On multi-game slates this would certainly make the Nuggets exponentially more intriguing. But considering so much production already throws through newly crowned MVP Nikola Jokic, it does add exponentially more viability to 4-2 and 5-1 builds that focus on the Suns beating down Denver. Still, with the help of a quick on/off query on NBA WOWY, there’s one player that certainly looks like he would benefit majorly in Porter’s absence:
That’s right, Paul Millsap could be the main recipient of a major usage/minutes increase. It is all hypothetical at this point, as it feels like a true 50/50 that Porter plays. And there is no doubt the starting lineup will be revealed before having to finalize any lineup decisions, so no need to panic. But based on the limited sample size above, Millsap becomes the strongest fantasy option of the bunch.
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I’m Gonna Soak Up the Suns
Let’s get this out of the way: Jokic is the highest-projected player by quite a bit, making him the best Captain option on DraftKings and MVP option on FanDuel. But barring the Porter news, the second-, third- and fourth-best options on the board from a raw points perspective will all be Suns. And it’s no secret who those will be either — Devin Booker, Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton.
In fact, how can anyone not love the Suns again in this spot? While the Lakers were an abysmal offensive team with a hobbling Anthony Davis and limited LeBron James, they still held Phoenix to only 104 points per game in the series. That is in no way a reflection on the Suns, as the Lakers were first in defensive efficiency during the regular season and the Suns won the series.
So if not going Jokic up top, the next best Captains are all those three main Suns in whichever order they are lowest owned. Hopefully Porter gives it a go to supply another viable tournament pivot, but there is no doubt the Suns’ scoring outputs should see a sizable boost in this series.
Final Thoughts for NBA DFS Lineups
- For those who think ownership matters on two-game slates, these Showdowns on DraftKings can be much more important when factoring in the Captain slot. That is why it is necessary to be checking Awesemo’s ownership projections leading up to lock to decide which non-Jokic plays stick out the most to take some shots on in the top slot.
- While fields have certainly gotten sharper over the years, recency bias is still a thing. So fading Game 1’s hot shooters (Mikal Bridges) and going overweight on those who played atrociously instead (see below) has its merits in tournaments.
- Just play Monte Morris.
Check out today’s NBA Strategy Show with Loughy and Josh Engleman!
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