This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
We're set for a single-game slate Saturday night as the Bucks and Nets meet in Brooklyn for Game 1 of what projects to be an epic semifinal-round series. Each team is loaded with star power, and both clubs come into Saturday night's opening salvo well-rested after making quick work of their quarterfinal-round opponents.
With just one game on the ledger, we're dealing with DraftKings' Showdown contest rosters, which are comprised as follows:
· Captain's Spot- (Garners points at 1.5x the normal rate)
· Five Utility spots- (Garner points at normal rate)
With players carrying markedly higher salaries when rostered in the Captain Spot, there are definitely strategic elements particular to single-game lineups. Picking the right player for that multiplier spot becomes particularly key to success, as the higher salary that player carries naturally affects the composition of the rest of your roster.
Milwaukee Bucks at Brooklyn Nets (Projected total: 239.5 points):
As just mentioned, both teams are loaded with explosive players, and the three regular-season meetings between the teams finished with totals of 248, 231 and 242 points. Moreover, Kevin Durant was the only one of the Nets' Big Three to play in all three of those contests for Brooklyn, so this number could actually be an underestimation. Additionally, it's worth noting Milwaukee and Brooklyn are No. 1 and No. 2 in points per game, including the playoffs, with the Bucks averaging 120.0 points per contest and the Nets right behind them at 118.9 points per game. All of Jrue Holiday, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden enjoyed plenty of statistical success against their Saturday opponent in the regular-season games they played against them, further supporting the notion of a fast-paced, high-scoring affair.
Injury Situations to Monitor
NOTE: Injury reporting is especially fluid in the NBA, where the status of multiple players can change during the course of a day. Therefore, although the following serves as a foundation for the latest injury report as of the time the article is written (usually late morning Eastern time), check back throughout the course of the day with RotoWire for the latest news regarding the status of all players on that night's slate.
Jeff Green, BKN (foot)/ Status: OUT
Alize Johnson, BKN (ankle)/ Status: GTD
Thanasis Antetokounmpo, MIL (knee)/ Status: OUT
There are three players with five-figure (non-Captain's spot) salaries on the slate: James Harden ($12,000), Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,800) and Kevin Durant ($11,000). The three are also the top candidates for the Captain's spot, given their typically diversified fantasy contributions and massive usage.
Harden scored 65.8 DK points or more in each of the last three games of the Nets' first-round series against the Celtics and put together a 34-point, 12-assist double-double in his one encounter with Milwaukee this season.
Antetokounmpo cleared 60 DK points in three of the four games against the Heat in the first round and averaged a stellar 39.7 points, 10.7 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.0 block in three games vs. Brooklyn this season.
Durant scored over 50 and over 60 DK points twice apiece during the five-game series against the Celtics, and he averaged 34.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.3 blocks while shooting an outstanding 52.0 percent from three-point range versus Milwaukee during the regular season.
Kyrie Irving ($9,800), Khris Middleton (9,000) and Jrue Holiday ($8,600) are three other players with salaries in the high four figures that are capable of posting elite production. However, they're clearly second-tier candidates for the Captain's spot below the aforementioned trio. Irving arguably has the highest ceiling between him, Middleton and Holiday, and he averaged 50.8 DK points in two games versus the Bucks during the season. However, he had some erratic production during the first-round series against the Celtics with 36.8 or fewer DK points in three of the five games.
With only one game on the ledger, all of the players mentioned in the previous section will certainly be very popular. Additionally, the Nets' Joe Harris should be relatively popular considering his ability to occasionally explode for a ceiling game due to his three-point marksmanship.
Note: On a multi-game slate, I typically try to highlight players that would be considered under-the-radar plays in this section. Naturally, with such a limited player pool, there will be very few low-rostered players that are likely to also be viable from a DFS perspective, so I'll instead focus on two of the best candidates to provide a strong return relative to salary.
Brook Lopez, MIL at BKN ($6,400)
Lopez averaged 22.4 DK points across his three games versus the Nets this season, as he endured some atypical shooting struggles versus Brooklyn. However, the Nets are ranked in the bottom 10 in offensive efficiency allowed to centers (33.6 percent) and have given up 43.8 DK points per game to fives over the last 10 contests overall. The ultra-fast pace of this game should also give Lopez some additional opportunities to offer a strong return, and it's worth noting he put up 30 and 38.0 DK points in two of the four games against the Heat in the first round.
Bryn Forbes, MIL at BKN ($5,600)
Forbes should continue logging a higher workload with Donte DiVincenzo out for the remainder of the playoffs with his foot injury, and the sharpshooting wing already delivered 28.0 and 30.3 DK points in two of the four games of the series against the Heat. Forbes shot 50.0 percent from three-point range against the Nets over his three regular-season encounters against them, and with his long-range marksmanship, he should also thrive in the fast-paced environment this game should boast.