Before the season, nobody could have predicted that the Suns would be playing the Clippers in an intriguing primetime matchup. Obviously, we knew the Clippers would be good, but the Suns competing for a playoff spot is one the biggest early surprises. The question going into this game is how healthy will Phoenix be? It is playing on the tail end of a back-to-back and Devin Booker ($9,000) is questionable to play after missing the last two games with a forearm injury.
The Clippers are dealing with a bunch of injuries. Lou Williams ($7,600), Patrick Beverley ($6,000) and JaMychal Green ($3,400) are all questionable to play. We saw all three of them ruled out on Friday and it led to Paul George ($14,400) and Kawhi Leonard ($15,000) combining to score 88 points. After a brief shooting funk, Leonard is averaging 33 points in his last three games, so he appears to be back on track. I wouldn’t consider anybody other than the two Los Angeles’ stars for the captain slot.
One of the most interesting storylines from this game is the return of Deandre Ayton ($8,000). He’s only played in one game this season because of a PED suspension, which ends tonight. Ayton was the top pick in last year’s draft and he figures to build on his rookie campaign with another solid season. As long as he doesn’t have a minutes restriction, he’s a play to consider since he averaged 35.3 DKFP last season.
If Williams and Beverley are ruled out, look for the Clippers to lean on Derrick Walton Jr. ($3,800) to soak up minutes. In the last two games, he’s averaging 30 minutes with Los Angeles shorthanded. Terance Mann ($2,000) would also become an interesting value play since he recently moved into the starting lineup in place of Beverley. He hasn’t done much the last couple games, but he has scored as many as 31.5 DKFP as a starter.
If Booker is ruled out, Ricky Rubio ($8,200) is going to have a much greater role in the offense. He leads the Suns with a 26.6% usage rating when Booker is off the court and he scored 53.8 DKFP against the Spurs when Booker was inactive. Kelly Oubre ($7,400) would also be worth considering since he sees a 3.1% usage increase without Booker on the court.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is gehrenberg) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.