We have a great late-night hammer matchup between two star-studded teams in the NBA DFS Showdown streets for this Friday night. The Denver Nuggets are heading to the desert to take on the Phoenix Suns. The big headline heading into tonight's Western Conference showdown is Devin Booker is OUT for tonight's game in Phoenix. That is HUGE news. Let's chat about this game!
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Spread: Nuggets (-2.5)
Denver Nuggets Injuries
Phoenix Suns Injuries
NBA DFS Showdown CPT/MVP Top Plays
Any slate that Jokic plays on, he has the ability to go nuclear and nothing changes that fact here for tonight. The Suns have actually been really good at limiting the Center position in terms of fantasy points this season, only giving up just the 4th FEWEST in the league currently on average per game overall, however, Jokic is match up proof and there is literally no one in the league that can stop this machine. He does tend to play a bit better on his home court, but that doesn't really move the needle that much on a single-game slate. Jokic Jokic has cleared 67 fantasy points in his last four-straight games, with two of those over 70 and one over 80. There is simply no one on this slate with his type of ceiling.
Kevin Durant (PF), Phoenix Suns
Durant is easily a cheaper option if you want to try to fit in some of the medium-tier players. We know that Durant is the usage monster on this team with Booker taking on a more facilitator-type role this season with the departure of Chris Paul in the off-season. Now, with Booker OUT tonight, this makes KD the easy number one option here at home. Looking at usage rates with both Booker and Beal OUT this year, in a 318-minute sample - Kevin Durant is hoisting a hefty 37.4% usage rate! This equates to roughly a 4.1% usage rate boost, while also averaging roughly 53 fantasy points in this scenario. Jokic and Durant are the clear 1-2 captain/mvp spots for tonight.
NBA DFS Showdown UTIL Top Plays
Jusuf Nurkic (C), Phoenix Suns
The next up in seeing a nice usage bump with Booker off the floor is no other than Nurk. We typically would not love playing opposing centers against Denver and Jokic as he is profoundly good at attracting fouls, but at the same time Nurk is the 2nd highest fantasy point producer behind KD and he is not exactly very far behind on a per-36 basis, seeing around 46 fantasy points in a 222-min sample. Obviously, we do not exactly figure Nurk for 40+ fantasy point game, however, he should be highly involved tonight and he is likely a top UTIL play.
Michael Porter Jr. (SF), Denver Nuggets
For me, Porter comes in just a smidge higher in my ranks for tonight's game over a guy like Jamal Murray, who is also questionable with not even the injury he was out for 11 games with, but an ankle. If he plays, he still could be limited and if Murray happens to sit, wheels up for MPJ. Porter has played well being one of the main options lately for the Nuggets with guys like Gordon and Murray being hurt/injured. He is over 32 fantasy points in 6 of his L7 games, and went off for 57 fantasy points last game against the Rockets.
Jamal Murray (PG), Denver Nuggets
In the event Murray does play, he has to be worth an above average look here. The problem is he only saw 23 minutes in his return game, BUT he did record 34 fantasy points in minimal minutes. If he is a go, then we likely could see 22-25 minutes once again and obviously if he puts up 30+ fantasy points, that is something you likely could use in a showdown slate. We know he will be one of the main focal points of this offense, and he will get the usage for the time on the floor.
Eric Gordon (SG/SF), Phoenix Suns
Gordon has really played well when given the usage bump, just like he should be getting tonight with Booker out of the lineup. Grayson Allen should likely get the start, but even if Gordon does happen to come off the bench, he will essentially be well in the mix and likely play close to 30+ minutes easily. Gordon sees roughly a +1.2% usage bump w/Booker off the floor this year and has seen almost 60 more minutes on the floor in this scenario compared to Allen. He also is averaging around 30 fantasy points in this situation, so I like the spot here at home.
NBA DFS Showdown Top Value Plays
Grayson Allen (SG), Phoenix Suns
We have to give Allen his credit as he will start and play over 30 minutes, meaning he needs to be in consideration as one of the better values tonight, even though I like Gordon more than Allen. Allen seems to need to hit more shots and needs defensive stats to really give you a ceiling. Gordon is in the same boat, but he can dish dimes too, which ups his value for me. Allen should be able to give you 20-25 fantasy points, however he doesn't really get a usage bump with Booker out.
Reggie Jackson (PG), Denver Nuggets
Even if Murray does happen to play, Jackson is still the direct back up and will still get 24-28 minutes or so. Jackson has played really well in spell of Murray while he has dealt with the injury, and was a driving factor in the Nuggets upset over the Clippers a few games ago with Jokic and AG out alongside Murray. Jackson saw 22 minutes last time out against the Rockets with Murray in and still managed 23 fantasy points, so in most scenarios he does have a decent floor.
Jordan Goodwin (PG), Phoenix Suns
Goodwin sees more minutes with Booker out, as he is a back up PG for the Suns. Goodwin has seen 20, 22, and 29 minutes in his last three games and recorded 22, 25, and 35 fantasy points as a result. He is a solid play on tonight's slate and will see extra run with Booker out of the game.
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