We are back with NBA basketball after a one-day hiatus. The Pheonix Suns host the Clippers for game two tonight, after the Suns took the advantage in game one. Both teams are missing a huge piece in this one, as Kawhi Leonard and Chris Paul remain sidelined. We have a few priorities with Leonard and Paul out, but both teams have already been priced up due to there absence. We want to get to the two stars on this slate, but it is going to be a challenge finding good value. We will go over the three plays that will be the basis for all our lineups tonight, as well as some priorities at both ends of the price range.
Devin Booker is the obvious play at captain with the news that Paul is out, as we expect him to see a massive opportunity on offence. We saw a fantastic outing from Booker last time around, as he put up 77.75 FPTS in 44 minutes. Booker took a huge playmaking role last game while putting up 29 shot attempts. Given the nature of this slate, you will probably be captaining either Booker or Paul George. George does look good with Leonard out, but we definitely like Booker more at a slightly lower price tag.
Cameron Payne is the biggest recipient of minutes with Paul unable to play. Payne is one of our favorite plays on this slate at $6,200, as we like him more then anyone else under $8,000 regardless of price. Payne got the starting nod at point guard last game, which we expect to see again tonight. He put up 32.3 FPTS in 29 minutes, last game which is very enticing for this one. 32.3 FPTS at $6,200 may not seem too spectacular, but when you compare his recent production to the guys priced around him it is not even close.
Although we prefer to go to Booker at the Captain spot, we want to roster Paul George as well tonight. George and Booker are the only stars on this slate, so there is little opportunity cost to just rostering both. George has been great lately, scoring 71, 56.75 and 55.5 FPTS respectively in his last three games. We expect George to continue playing a massive role as Leonard remains out. George is a strong captain and the logical pivot from Booker, if you are playing a lot of lineups we recommend getting a solid amount of both Booker and George at the captain spot. Given the situation tonight, it is likely Booker and George both have a good game. If that is the case, you will need them both in your lineup.
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Deandre Ayton – ($9,200 DK)Ayton is in something of a tier of his own tonight, as he is not on the same level with the stars but a far superior producer to anyone below him. If you are not playing both Booker and George tonight, your are almost definitely playing Ayton. You can play Ayton alongside the two studs, but you will have to roster a punt or two. Ayton played 36.3 minutes in game one and put up 33.75 FPTS. The Clippers are bad against centers so we could see a nice series here from Ayton. With that said, it is hard to fit Ayton alongside our core guys.
Reggie Jackson – ($8,600 DK) Jackson is expensive here, but we still like getting to him with the offensive role he plays when Leonard is off the floor. Jackson has played 38 and 39 minutes respectively in the past two games, scoring 54.25 and 39 FPTS. Jackson must do a lot more on offence with Leonard out, so there is upside for him to deliver another big game. Jackson is not a great play value wise at this tag, but no one on the slate is in this price range.
Rajon Rondo – ($2,600 DK) Rondo is a risky play, as we never know what is going to happen with his minutes. However, we do really like Rondo tonight given the lack of value on this slate. Rondo played 22 minutes in game to score 25.25 FPTS. We expect him to see some floor time with Leonard out and he is a great play at this price if he can keep playing over 20 minutes.
DeMarcus Cousins – ($2,000 DK) Cousins is an even riskier play then Rondo here, as he has only seen floor time in three games all playoffs. However, he did play over 13 minutes in the last one and went for 19 FPTS. A performance like that could make Cousins one of the top plays on this slate, which is why we need to mention him.
This slate feels particularly good for Cash games, as using a lot of our salary for Booker and George is a very safe call. Getting different for tournaments however may be tough as we really want to captain one of the two studs regardless of ownership. One strategy to get different is to leave a little salary leftover on the table, as to not have the same lineup as all the other people captaining Booker or George.
Go win your lineup and tell us how you did. Twitter (@FantasyDFSX) is a good place for that.
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