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Best lineup strategy for Grizzlies vs. Lakers NBA Showdown

We break down how to craft a winning lineup for Friday night’s featured Showdown contest on DraftKings.

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James talks with center Anthony Davis during a break in the action against the Golden State Warriors in the fourth quarter at the Chase Center. Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

There’s not many things I find myself pining for as a sports fan, but the Grizzlies holding onto the eight-seed in the Western Conference would certainly be nice. Memphis has overhauled what was once an aging roster with an influx of young and exciting players, all while playing at a pace that would be giving Zach Randolph nightmares. The squad is the epitome of fun and a first-round matchup with Los Angeles would essentially become must-see TV for all NBA junkies.

Fortunately, we don’t have to wait two months to get a sneak peek. The Lakers will welcome the Grizzlies to the Staples Center this evening to kick off their post All-Star Break schedule. Let’s dive into the matchup from a Showdown perspective.

Who should you play in the Captain’s slot?

Anthony Davis ($18,000 CP)

Davis is almost $2K less expensive than LeBron James ($19,800 CP) would be at 1.5x value and those savings should come in handy on a top-heavy slate. It’s not like Davis lacks James’ upside, either. In fact, the center has produced more DKFP than his teammate in three of the past four games in which they’ve both started - a span that’s seen Davis record a double-double each night. Memphis has done a pretty good job defending the rim in 2019-20, only surrendering a 61.1% opponent field goal rate inside the restricted area; yet Davis should still thrive in an uptempo script.

Who should I stack with Davis?

LeBron James ($13,200)

Look, you don’t get extra points for originality. Is it somewhat obvious to want to utilize the two most expensive players available on Friday night? Yes. However, Los Angeles is about as clear a duopoly as exists in the NBA. Of the nine men on the Lakers’ roster who have played over 400 minutes and aren’t named James or Davis, only one has a usage rate above 20%. Of that same grouping, only one is averaging over 1.00 DKFP per 60 seconds of on-court action. Los Angeles’ offense is a two-pronged attack and you want to have both of those prongs in your lineups.

Where can I find value in the contest?

Avery Bradley ($3,600)

As mentioned above, there isn’t a lot of easy to determine value on the Lakers once you get past their top two options. However, I’d suggest that Bradley is a little underpriced considering his recent form and role. Across the team’s past seven games - a stretch where Bradley is averaging 21.6 DKFP - the veteran is third on Los Angeles in minutes (25.2) and second to just Davis in points scored per touch (0.42). He’s been consistent enough to be thought of as a high-floor asset and there’s simply no reason for Danny Green’s ($3,800) salary to dwarf Bradley’s.

Who should I fade?

Dillon Brooks ($7,400)

Brooks has the potential to be a productive scorer on any given evening, it’s a skill that helped him earn a shiny new contract with the Grizzlies last month; yet he’s been in a massive shooting slump as of late. Brooks is a putrid 6-for-34 (17.6%) from 3-point range dating back to Jan. 31, which has translated into the Canadian averaging a mere 11.1 points per game. Maybe the All-Star Break changes Brooks’ momentum, but without much to speak of in terms of secondary statistics, I’d be wary of the Oregon standout.

I am an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.