The Toronto Raptors are finally healthy and are back in the hunt for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Toronto has won five in a row and has Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, Marc Gasol and Norman Powell all back in the lineup. At 30-14, the Raps sit just 1.0 game back of the Miami Heat for second place in the East. They should close that gap slightly or keep pace with a win over the New York Knicks at MSG on Friday. Let’s go over lineup strategy for tonight’s featured Showdown contest on DraftKings.
Who should you pick at Captain?
Pascal Siakam ($10,000)
Spicy P has been working his way back from a groin injury. In six games since returning, Siakam is averaging 16.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists, well below most of his regular-season marks prior to the injury. He’s not shooting the ball well from 3-point range (20%) or the field (43.7%). We did see Siakam put together a nice game vs. the 76ers on Wednesday, scoring 18 points with 15 boards and three dimes in 34 minutes. Coach Nick Nurse is slowly giving Siakam more playing time, so he’s close to being back to playing 36-38 minutes a game. The Knicks are a poor defensive team and Siakam’s price is affordable for the Captain slot.
Who should I stack with Siakam?
Kyle Lowry ($8,800)
Lowry has struggled a bit in terms of fantasy production, but remains the Raptors heart and soul. His minutes have been up and down with Toronto playing in lopsided games, but I don’t think it will take a lot for him to get to value against the Knicks. Nobody can defend the perimeter for New York really and there’s some narrative for Lowry. He played at Villanova in the old Big East and is familiar with Madison Square Garden. Normally Big East Alum relish a chance to play at the basketball Mecca.
Where can I find value in the contest?
Taj Gibson ($2,400)
Gibson has been starting at center for the Knicks and is seeing around 20 minutes per contest. Mitchell Robinson has been seeing more time at $5,400, but we’re looking for savings here. Gibson has a solid floor with rebounds, plus the Raptors are surprisingly a below-average rebounding team this season. I think if we want to pay up for Siakam and Lowry and fit in one Knicks player, Gibson makes some sense.
Who should I fade?
Julius Randle ($10,200)
I’m not crazy about Randle being the highest priced player in this entire contest. Sure, he’s got a solid ceiling given his scoring acumen, but the Raptors have a lot of length and big bodies to throw at Randle. This also could be a lopsided game, so I would imagine Randle doesn’t play more than 30 minutes in that scenario. I also like Marcus Morris ($8,000) and Robinson a lot more than paying top dollar for Randle.