It’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day and that means NBA all day! The earliest of the Showdown contests on DraftKings is the Philadelphia 76ers vs. the Brooklyn Nets in BK. The Sixers didn’t have to go far, spending the weekend in New York after a Saturday matchup with the Knicks at MSG. Joel Embiid (finger) remains out of the lineup for the Sixers, but they’ve been just fine with Ben Simmons leading the way. The one question mark for this game is Al Horford, who could be held out due to a hand sprain.
The Nets have had Kyrie Irving back in the lineup for four games and things aren’t going well. They’ve lost three in a row and Irving is already starting to call out teammates and stating the Nets need more to become title contenders once Kevin Durant is healthy. Luckily the East is still the East and Brooklyn is in a playoff spot by 3.0 games despite being 18-23. Now that we’ve got some background, let’s take a look at the matchup.
Update: Horford will play vs. the Nets. This hurts the value of O’Quinn and Scott enough to make them less appealing plays. I’d still consider O’Quinn since he’s really cheap and should pick up the minutes Pelle was receiving.
Al Horford is in vs. Brooklyn— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) January 20, 2020
Update: Irving has been ruled out. With no Irving, I like Dinwiddie as a Captain and UTIL option. This also opens things up for Caris LeVert ($5,800) and Joe Harris ($4,400) to see more minutes and usage.
Kyrie Irving is now out for today’s #Nets game vs. Philadelphia— Brian Lewis (@NYPost_Lewis) January 20, 2020
Update: Horford is a game-time decision and Pelle has been ruled out.
Al Horford is a game time decision today. Norvel Pelle is not with the team. #Sixers— Ky Carlin (@Ky_Carlin) January 20, 2020
I liked Pelle as a value play, but now we can at least pivot easily to O’Quinn and/or Mike Scott for the Sixers. If Horford is out, O’Quinn and Scott will have to soak up frontcourt minutes.
Update: Irving (hamstring) is questionable to play vs. the Sixers.
The Nets downgrade Kyrie Irving from available to questionable with hamstring tightness for today’s game against Philadelphia.— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) January 20, 2020
This is a bit of a monkey wrench in our plans here. If Irving is out, Spencer Dinwiddie ($12,000 CP; $8,000 UTIL) becomes almost a must-play and would get Captain consideration. He’d likely start and his usage gets a huge spike with no Irving in there.
Who is the best option for the Captain’s slot?
Ben Simmons ($15,600) is the best Captain option by a decent margin. If Horford is out, another bump to Simmons, though it’s more of a bump to the Nets bigs. Simmons has taken on more offense with Embiid sidelined and is averaging 19.2 points per game over the past six contests. He’s posted at least 43.25 fantasy points in five straight without Embiid and the Nets are among the worst teams at defending PGs this season (and Simmons isn’t your average PG).
I’m not crazy about Irving ($14,100) at Captain in this matchup. If Simmons is guarding him all game, that doesn’t bode well for Kyrie’s scoring upside. Plus he only has a combined 31 points over the past two games, one of which was against the Sixers (14 points). If anything the other option at Captain is whoever will benefit from Horford’s potential absence. Kyle O’Quinn ($4,500) is ridiculously cheap and could start for Horford. He played 16 minutes a few games ago against the Bulls, scoring 22.75 fantasy points. The Nets are a bad rebounding team, so if Horford is out and O’Quinn gets 15-20 minutes, returning value would be relatively easy. Norvel Pelle ($2,400) would also be in play.
Who are the best options in the UTIL spot?
I mentioned a few players to mix in, including Simmons ($10,400) and potentially O’Quinn ($3,000) and Pelle ($1,600). I’d also expect Tobias Harris ($8,800) to play a bit more PF if Horford sits since the Nets don’t have too much size/length in the frontcourt. Matisse Thybulle ($5,400) hasn’t shown much scoring upside, but is getting minutes as a defensive stopper and provides a nice mix of stats.
It’s always tough figuring out the best way to approach a Showdown like this. It should be low scoring, so the lack of offense may force us to leave some salary on the table. I think the best strategy is to Captain Simmons and work from there. Irving has the highest upside of anyone on the Nets and we’ve got enough value to fit in both Simmons and Irving. You could maybe make the case for fading Kyrie, but not in cash games. Jarrett Allen ($7,000) I’d want a piece of if Horford is out and the Sixers frontcourt is thinned out. Pick one of the values between O’Quinn, Pelle and Nic Claxton ($3,600) and you’ll be able to fit in a pretty nice combination of players.