The Brooklyn Nets unexpectedly lost the last time they faced the Detroit Pistons, but the two Eastern Conference teams will run it back on Saturday as part of the day’s seven-game main slate. Harden and Irving have figured things out since then, though, and several Brooklyn role players have stepped up in recent weeks to help make the Nets one of the most formidable teams in the league. Let’s go over how to attack Showdown contests centered around this matchup.
Power forward is the Nets’ weakest position with Kevin Durant (hamstring) out of commission. That means Jerami Grant ($13,200) should be a threat to follow up his 32-point performance against the Charlotte Hornets with another big game. Grant scored 32 in a win over the Nets without KD earlier this year and has enough of a green light to do something similar this time around. The Nets are prone to getting into shootouts, and Detroit’s offense runs through Grant.
The Nets’ best option will be a toss-up between Harden ($17,700) and Irving ($15,900) until Durant is back. The reinvented Harden is still a triple-double machine and boasts the highest DKFP average (56.7) in the field but takes a back seat to Irving, who scored 40 points in his last outing, at times. Harden’s playmaking gives him the higher floor and ceiling of the two, but I’d suggest going with a cheaper option if you think you’ve found an edge through a mid-tier flex play.
Isaiah Stewart ($3,600) is my favorite under-the-radar play in this contest. Mason Plumlee ($7,600) will likely be rostered at a much higher percentage, but the rookie out of Washington has shown that he can match the starter’s production now that Blake Griffin is out of the frontcourt rotation. Stewart has eclipsed 20 DKFP six times in the 11 appearances since Griffin last played.
The two Brooklyn role players who stand out in this one are Bruce Brown ($6,800) and Joe Harris ($6,000). Both players are undersized forwards playing in a starting lineup that’s essentially four guards. Brown does a ton of dirty work and can rack up DKFP with hustle, but Harris is a far better scorer. Rostering both players probably won’t be optimal, but picking the right one could make a huge difference in your GPP placement.
Dennis Smith Jr. and Svi Mykhailiuk were injured in Detroit’s last game, so expect the Pistons to delve into their bench slightly more than usual. While someone like Saben Lee ($3,000) might get a healthy boost while Killian Hayes is out, be wary of Josh Jackson ($7,200). The swingman has been relegated to the bench for Saddiq Bey and has fallen well short of his DKFP average in his last two games.
Brooklyn has perfected playing without Durant and will be at home for this match. I fully expect to see a Nets blowout against the understaffed Pistons.
Final score: Nets win 125-108