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Best lineup strategy for Suns vs. Pelicans NBA Showdown

We take a look at the Showdown contest on DraftKings between Phoenix and New Orleans, giving you Captain’s Picks and who to fade.

Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns looks on during the game against the Brooklyn Nets on February 16, 2021 at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona.  Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images

The Phoenix Suns will head on the road to meet the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night. There are plenty of NBA Showdown contests available for this matchup on DraftKings, so here’s a little advice and analysis of how to go about building up your roster so you can make some money to start off the weekend.

Captain’s Picks

Devin Booker ($15,000 CP): Devin Booker could be in for monster numbers against this New Orleans defense. The Pelicans rank 28th out of 30 NBA teams in defensive efficiency, and a volume shooter like Booker should find plenty of scoring opportunities. He hasn’t been able to knock down the threes in his last two games combining for 1-for-7, but he should land closer to his 35.3% three-point shooting percentage. Booker went for at least 30 points in three straight games prior to his last two. He should be able to get back on track and put up a high number on Friday night.

Chris Paul ($14,100 CP): Phoenix’s guard combination should have a big night against New Orleans. Paul is averaging 38.3 fantasy points per game. Against the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night, Paul played 35 minutes and went for 29 points on 12 of 20 shooting including 4 of 8 from the three-point line. He also added seven assists and four rebounds. As we mentioned earlier with Booker, there will be plenty of scoring opportunities for the Suns, and Paul should increase his assists average, which is at 8.2 heading into this game.

FLEX Plays

Deandre Ayton ($8,600): Phoenix’s big man is going up against the fourth best defense against the center position this season, but Steven Adams is listed as doubtful for the Pelicans. Ayton is averaging a double-double this season with 13.9 points and 12.2 rebounds, and he should be active on the boards on Friday. His scoring numbers are down from last year, but this should be a good matchup for Ayton to find success.

Lonzo Ball ($8,000): The Pelicans’ point guard averages 30.3 fantasy points per game and this is a tough matchup with the Suns ranked No. 2 against the position defensively in terms of fantasy points per game. He continues to shoot very well from three-point range and hit 5 of 10 his last time out against Portland. Ball is shooting 46.8% on 3-pointers this month, so it might make sense to continue riding the hot hand.


Brandon Ingram ($9,800): Brandon Ingram is averaging 40.9 fantasy points per game this season, but his price is too high to justify entering him into your lineup on Friday night. Phoenix comes in with the No. 1 ranked defense according to fantasy points against Ingram’s position, and the Suns are at full health at this point of the season. In his last time out, Ingram scored just 14 points, knocking down 4 of 12 shots from the floor. Stay away in this matchup.

The Outcome

The Suns will find plenty of success against this Pelicans defense, and New Orleans will not be able to keep up. Phoenix will be led once again by solid guard play with Devin Booker and Chris Paul putting up a ton of points with Paul distributing double-digit assists.

Final Score: Phoenix 120, New Orleans 110