This article aims to highlight some of the best plays for today’s showdown NBA slate. Keep in mind that the following player write-ups were constructed earlier in the day, and sometimes injury/rest situations can alter the fantasy landscape. Monitoring our NBA News & Headlines Feed throughout the day will keep you in the loop. Today’s showdown slate on FanDuel and DraftKings features Houston at LA at 8:00 ET.
DraftKings format uses six players with one captain earning 1.5X fantasy points (and costing 1.5X salary). FanDuel format uses five players with MVP (2.0X fantasy points), Star (1.5X), Pro (1.2X) and two utility. Yahoo does not have NBA DFS today.
James Harden – Houston (at LA) – DK $18,000 (Capt)/$12,000, FD: $15,000
Don’t get too fancy; a stud in the Captain/MVP spot is a must. Harden is the top fit for FanDuel’s format tonight, and is our NBA DFS Optimizer’s best dollar per fantasy point value there. His shot was off Thursday night, but he still managed a 50-fantasy point night thanks to his ability to get to the free throw line. He also made a difference in notching three blocks and two steals in that game. Bottom line is that Harden needs to be in your lineups tonight, because you know he’s going to go all out for this must-win game.
Anthony Davis – LA (vs. Houston) – DK $17,400 (Capt)/$11,600, FD: $15,000
Davis checks in just behind Harden in the value projections today, and he has offered a similar return on value to Harden in this series (54-56 fantasy points per game). It’s been four straight double-doubles for Davis, and that bonus makes it worth considering him in your Captain spot on DraftKings. He’s the next top priority for tonight’s showdown.
Rajon Rondo – LA (vs. Houston) – DK: $7800 (Capt)/$5200, FD: $11,500
Rondo has been the difference maker in this series. He’s been averaging about eight assists per game, and has scored double-digit points in three of the last four, where he’s put up 35-40 fantasy points per game. There aren’t many mid-range options on this showdown slate, and between Rondo and Robert Covington or Eric Gordon, I’m rostering Rondo most often. Using Rondo in the Captain slot on DK allows me to make a lineup I don’t hate including all three top studs.
LeBron James – LA (vs. Houston) – DK: $18,000 (Capt)/$12,400, FD: $16,000
James needs no explanation here. Is he worth the highest salary of the day? Sure. Can you fit him? At the Captain slot, it’s tough, but yes, you can. Diversity is key on these one-game slates. Some lineups should have James, and on FanDuel you can try swapping him among the premium slots.
Markieff Morris – LA (vs. Houston) – DK: $3400, FD: $7000
Morris started Game 4, and though he didn’t live up to expectations (nine points and four rebounds in 22 minutes), he has been playing in that 22-23 MPG range. With three dominant play-makers around him, the usage is never going to be high, but when you’re looking to scrape the bargain barrel, opportunity is key.
Alex Caruso – LA (vs. Houston) – DK: $4800, FD: $8500
Caruso has been erratic, but he, too gets the opportunity nod here. Between 25-30 minutes in the last three games of the series, he has been valuable enough to the team effort to keep on the floor. He’s coming off his only really good fantasy game, in which he scored 16 points (two threes), with three rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal.
Ben McLemore – Houston (at LA) DK: $2600, FD: $7000
Yikes. McLemore is the path to rostering Rondo, Harden, James and Davis tonight in my estimation. He’s played 10 and 14 minutes the past two games, and while he hasn’t necessarily played well, he is the kind of player that can get hot once in a while. He had two 20-point games in the bubble back in August. If Harden’s and/or Gordon’s or Russell Westbrook’s shots are off early tonight, it’s possible Houston tries to get McLemore involved in the perimeter fun. He made all three of his three-point attempts Thursday night.