Far be it from me to question the all-powerful NBA scheduling algorithm, but I literally had to triple-check that tonight was, in fact, the first time the Nuggets and the Jazz have met so far in 2019-20. If that seems odd, it is. Both teams currently sit tied atop the Northwest Division in the Western Conference with a record of 32-15. That means, across the season’s final 35 contests, these two rivals will square off four times, including twice in the next week. I guess that means we should all get comfortable with this particular matchup. Honestly, I’m not complaining.
It’s Denver. It’s Utah. Let’s take a deeper look at Thursday’s featured Showdown contest on DraftKings.
Who should you play in the Captain’s slot?
Rudy Gobert ($15,600 CP)
While there’s certainly a case to be made for Nikola Jokic ($19,200 CP), I just can’t say no to saving nearly $4K in salary for a player who’s been almost as consistent as Denver’s perpetual All-Star. In Gobert’s past 11 starts, the former Defensive Player of the Year has exceeded 45.0 DKFP eight times, 40.0 DKFP ten times, and, overall, has possessed an astounding 74.5% effective field goal rate. Gobert’s usage rate within this span of time is a relatively underwhelming 21.0%, however, no member of the Jazz has averaged more DKFP per minute played (1.31).
Who should I stack with Gobert?
Bojan Bogdanovic ($8,200)
Though the simplest move would be to pair Gobert with Donovan Mitchell, Bogdanovic has been on a nice run as of late, cresting the 30.0 DKFP plateau in six of his past nine starts. Honestly, Bogdanovic is just sort of under-appreciated in general. The 30-year-old is averaging 22.4 points so far in the month, doing so with an impressive .644 true shooting percentage and 27.0% usage rate. Still, it’s not like efficiency has ever been an issue for the sharp-shooter. In fact, no player garnering more than 30.0 touches per game is producing more points per touch than Bogdanovic in 2019-20 (0.474).
Where can I find value in the contest?
Tony Bradley ($1,600)
Bradley laid a big ol’ egg in his 10 minutes of work against the Warriors on Wednesday and he comes into tonight’s contest with a questionable tag due to a knee injury; yet, if he’s active, I’ll have the 22-year-old in some lineups. His price tag just makes things work and, to be fair to Bradley, it’s not like his minutes are generally hollow. In fact, for the season, Bradley’s 1.08 DKFP per minute played sit behind only the likes of Gobert and Mitchell on the Jazz. He’s seen the floor for at least 10 minutes in 16-straight games and he needs to do little more to hit value. Jordan Clarkson ($4,400) can also be looked at with Mike Conley (knee) inactive.
Who should I fade?
Michael Porter Jr. ($7,400)
This isn’t so much a knock on Porter as it is a commentary on his price point. Though the former lottery pick has managed at least 20 minutes of action in seven consecutive contests, he’s yet to exceed the 30-minute plateau in 2019-20. You’re simply asking a young talent to be hyper-efficient to have to live up to a salary this high and, as we saw on Thursday, a 3-for-9 performance will outright tank a lineup. I’d rather try and execute a stars-and-scrubs build than find money for Porter in the mid-tier.
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