This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
DEN vs. PHX (-6), O/U: 222.5
The Suns outscored the Nuggets by 18 in the second half as they won convincingly in Game 1 on Monday. Deandre Ayton looked capable of containing Jokic, and now they're bigger favorites tonight. Recency bias plays a big part in these playoff showdowns, as people follow the box scores when constructing lineups. Keep that in mind when thinking of ways to be unique. For the bigger field GPPs, it also makes sense to leave some salary on the table and use cheaper players in the captain spot. Rather than making the best-projected lineup, play for specific scenarios and build a roster that fits that script.
Injuries to Monitor
Michael Porter (back): QUESTIONABLE
Porter dealt with lower back tightness towards the end of Game 1 and is listed as questionable for tonight. If he were to miss, JaMychal Green or Paul Millsap would start at power forward. Either way, both would be in line for extra minutes.
Will Barton (hamstring): DOUBTFUL
Barton hasn't played since April 23rd due to a hamstring injury, but there is optimism that he will return sometime in this series. Austin Rivers has been starting at shooting guard in his place and will likely lose minutes when Barton returns.
Nikola Jokic ($11,800)
By his lofty standards, Jokic really struggled in Game 1 against a stellar Suns defense, as he scored just 46.75 DK points in 36 minutes. He put up a 22/9/3 line on 10-23 from the field and surprisingly didn't attempt a free throw. Deandre Ayton proved that he's one of few centers that can give him problems. None of this matters all that much, though, for tonight's showdown because Jokic is really the only true spend-up option, and it isn't tough to afford him. However, I think it makes sense to fade him in the captain spot, especially because he's usually too popular there regardless.
Devin Booker ($9,800)
Booker played well in Game 1, but he didn't have a great game from a fantasy perspective. He had 21 points and eight assists in 38 minutes on his way to 38 DK points. He only attempted 12 shots as the Suns won comfortably with big contributions from their other starters. He was rostered on 85% of lineups in the main GPP for Game 1, but I'd expect that number to come down a bit after solid performances from Paul, Ayton and Bridges. I plan on going back to him.
Nikola Jokic ($11,800)
Jokic was rostered on a whopping 95% of lineups in the main GPP for Game 1. There just wasn't anyone else to spend for, and it's a similar story tonight. I'd expect that number to come down slightly after the disappointing performance on Monday. Also, the salary bumps for Paul, Bridges and Green will make it harder to afford him so easily. Nonetheless, Jokic is still going to be the most popular player on the slate. The best chance of him not being on the winner would be an early Suns blowout that sees him play under 30 minutes.
Chris Paul ($8,800)
Paul was great in Game 1, putting up a 21/6/11 line in 36 minutes that helped him to 49 fantasy points. The shoulder injury still appears to be bothering him, but it seems like he can play well when he wants to. His salary jumped by $1,000.
Mikal Bridges ($6,800)
Bridges ended up being the key to Monday's slate when he smashed for 44.25 fantasy points in 36 minutes. He shot 8-12 from the field on his way to a 23/5/5 line. The salary went up by $1,400, but I'd still expect people to chase that game tonight. It seems like a good spot to fade in tournaments.
Aaron Gordon ($6,600)
Gordon topped 30 fantasy points for the third consecutive game in Monday's loss. He's finally found some consistency after struggling since joining the Nuggets at the trade deadline. He'll get a boost if Michael Porter is ruled out, but he's still decent value regardless.
Monte Morris ($6,200)
Morris shot just 1-10 from the field and played only 23 minutes in Game 1. Denver needs him to play well if they're going to stay competitive tonight. I'd expect some people to jump off him after the poor performance, and if that's the case, it's a perfect time to go back.
JaMychal Green ($4,800)
If Michael Porter is out, Green would be amongst the most popular players on the slate, as would Paul Millsap ($2,600). Green has seen 20+ minutes in four consecutive games and is coming off his best showing of the postseason, a double-double and 27.75 DK points. He'd be viable even if Porter plays.