No one is going to deny that the Clippers have been a little disappointing so far in 2019-20, yet the squad comes into Friday’s contest against the Nuggets with a fully healthy roster and on the heels of back-to-back wins. That might not seem like too much to get excited about for a team that entered the year with championship aspirations, but this is easily the most optimistic people have felt about Los Angeles in weeks. On the other side of things, Denver is also finally without any serious injuries after being bogged down by ailments all winter. Still, despite all those issues, the Nuggets are currently holding onto the two-seed in the West, one-game up on these very Clippers.
What should we be expecting in a possible Conference semi-finals preview? Let’s dive into it from a Showdown perspective.
Who should you play in the Captain’s slot?
Nikola Jokic ($17,100 CP)
The case for paying up to roster Jokic is two-fold. First, the All-Star has been an absolute monster since playing himself into shape mid-way through the season, as evidenced by the 1.48 DKFP he’s averaged per minute dating all the way back to Dec. 1. Second, with Los Angeles now touting a healthy lineup, the ceilings of guys like Kawhi Leonard ($11,000), Montrezl Harrell ($8,000) and Lou Williams ($7,800) are all decreased. It also helps Jokic’s viability that there’s really no one on the Clippers’ roster with the size to check him in the post. Who is drawing this assignment for Los Angeles? Marcus Morris ($6,400)?
Who should I stack with Jokic?
Jerami Grant ($4,800)
Here’s the thing about stacking the Nuggets: it’s generally not all that rewarding a task. Aside from Jokic, there really isn’t a player on the team with a considerable ceiling. Jamal Murray ($9,600) is a high-floor option - as he’s managed at least 30.0 DKFP in all eight starts he’s made since returning from injury - yet his price point is exceedingly expensive and he’ll be drawing nothing but difficult assignments on the perimeter this evening. So, with that in mind, let’s just take advantage of the man with the lowest salary in Denver’s rotation. Grant’s going to log roughly 25 minutes of action on Friday and, since the All-Star Break, his possesses the second-largest usage rate on the Nuggets (24.3%). Good enough for me.
Where can I find value in the contest?
Patrick Beverley ($4,400)
Beverley really hasn’t done anything special since making his way back from a five-game absence, yet the veteran will likely seen his minutes increase from the 24 he was able to log against Phoenix on Wednesday. If that’s the case, we know Beverley has the potential for a slate-breaking performance with his ability to rack up secondary statistics like assists and steals. Honestly, the clincher here is just the fact that Reggie Jackson ($5,000) is somehow more expensive than Beverley on this slate. I refuse to believe that’s possible under normal circumstances.
Who should I fade?
Paul George ($8,800)
If you want to sell George as a high-variance differentiation play, I guess I can see where you’re coming from; but, when he’s not been injured, the former All-Star has been living below a 30-minute workload since the calendar flipped over to 2020. In George’s past 10 starts specifically, the 29-year-old has produced as many DFS performances of 20.0 DKFP or fewer as he has nights exceeding 40.0 DKFP. I simply don’t see many scenarios where George comes close to 5x value, let alone becomes a player that I regret not getting a piece of.
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