This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
In Game 3, the Raptors unlocked the most challenging barrier they'll face on the quest to unseat the Warriors: they beat them in their own arena. Many will look at this achievement as a hollow victory that manifested itself through coach Steve Kerr's decision to sit Klay Thompson, who was healthy enough to play and his presence could have been the difference-maker in what was otherwise a convincing win for Toronto. This decision may come to haunt Kerr and the Warriors.
Despite the perceived error in judgment, one has to think a Warriors team against the wall will be a difficult challenge for any team to face. The Raptors will have to bring it to garner a 3-1 series lead. My selections in Game 3 underestimated Toronto and favored a home team without one of their premier playmakers. While I'll alter my preferences somewhat, I will go back to the well with the Warriors tonight.
DeMarcus Cousins ($10,200 CPTN, $8,800 UTIL) destroyed many Showdown lineups in Game 3, including a bulk of my own picks. This error is perhaps the most flummoxing mistake, especially when you consider Kevon Looney's absence. The lineups that came through for me were primarily saved by Andrew Bogut's ($4,000 UTIL) 22 DKFP performance, who proved to be a much better selection from the Warriors' interior game. I was successful in estimating Kerr's experimentation with a larger lineup by giving Bogut more love than usual in Thompson's absence, but I think Klay's return will send Bogut's output back down to normal levels. This should result in an increased involvement for Boogie once again, although my exposure will not be nearly as high as it was in Game 3.
Another critical error I made in Game 3 involved the plug-and-play approach I took with Stephen Curry ($17,700 CPTN, $11,800 UTIL) and Kawhi Leonard ($17,400 CPTN, $11,600 UTIL). Curry was the best Captain selection by a wide margin. And while that was good news for me half of the time, pairing Curry and Leonard together was a winning combination for lineups at the top of most leaderboards. I underestimated Leonard's potential on the road, and my exposure to him will rise as a result. A Curry/Leonard stack will be prevalent in many of my lineups as I attempt to find value elsewhere?
A pressing question for Game 4 is how one should approach Klay Thompson ($8,600 UTIL). When you consider the value at this price point, I'd have to respond in the negative for Klay. I think exposing myself to Pascal Siakam ($14,100 CPTN, $9,400 UTIL) or Kyle Lowry ($8,100 UTIL) would be a more valuable use of your cash in this price range. However, a Leonard/Curry stack will make a successful pick difficult at this price.
With lineups that don't involve a Curry/Leonard stack, I'll keep my ownership high for Draymond Green ($15,600 CPTN, $10,400 UTIL). To diversify my risk, it will likely be a Leonard/Green stack when I go this route.
Assuming a Curry/Leonard stack, we're left with a per-player salary allotment in the low 5Ks, so we'll need to find three or more guys in this range to stay afloat. If we are looking for recent consistency among the budget selections, Fred VanVleet ($6,000) and Serge Ibaka ($4,400) top the list for me in this category. Both players have two-game runs with 20-plus DKFP in each contest. Danny Green ($4,800) enjoyed an impressive Game 3, and I wouldn't count him out either as a risk-reward pick, but I think the solid floor of the former two players presents a more reasonable bet. Bogut is a bit cheaper, but I think the salary difference won't be enough to merit going with the big man this time around.
To conclude today's article, I'll offer up one guy who should come in handy as you fiddle with your lineup, and that's Andre Iguodala ($5,800). He'll be starting in Durant's place once again, and he could prove to be the X-factor for the Warriors in Game 4. His contribution doesn't always translate into fantasy points, but he should get plenty of opportunities to rack up a decent DKFP score in the mid-20s, which would be a respectable number in this price range.