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Best DFS lineup strategy for Mavericks vs. Suns Christmas Day NBA Showdown

We take a look at the Showdown contest on DraftKings for the Christmas Day matchup between the Mavericks and Suns, giving you Captain’s Picks and who to fade.

Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns goes to the basket as Kyrie Irving of the Dallas Mavericks defends in the second half of the game at American Airlines Center on March 5, 2023 in Dallas, Texas. The Suns won 130-126. Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns face off on Christmas Day to wrap up the NBA slate. Here we’ll go over some picks for the NBA DFS Showdown contest on DraftKings for Suns vs. Mavs.

Captain’s Picks

Luka Doncic ($17,700) — Ownership at captain should be split mostly between Doncic, Kevin Durant and Devin Booker. But KD and Book are cheaper options but have lower projections and ceilings. So your core lineup build should have Doncic at captain. Maybe we craft some lineups with a value captain while stacking Doncic, Book and KD as FLEX plays. Dereck Lively could be an interesting option if he’s ruled in. Late lineup swaps may not get on him quick enough.

Drew Eubanks ($6,900) — With Nurkic out due to personal reasons, Eubanks should start in the front court for the Suns. As long as he doesn’t get in foul trouble, Eubanks has an outside shot at a double-double and should see around 20-25 minutes. This play also depends on Lively’s status. If Lively sits, the Mavericks don’t have many bigs to rotate in and out. Eubanks is just cheap enough where we can stack Doncic/KD/Book and still have some room leftover for a decent FLEX play.

FLEX Plays

Dante Exum ($6,400) — Exum at this price feels like a gift. The over/under is 238, which is super high and the public is expecting the over to hit. Exum has been filling in nicely for PG Kyrie Irving, who is out due to a heel injury. Exum is also a decent captain’s play at $9,600 since you’re going to get him in the CPT spot at low ownership. Exum has been shooting the ball well from outside and should easily return value at this price.

Derrick Jones Jr. ($5,200) — There are some deep values that could be unlocked if Lively is out. But given the game script, it makes sense to go with guys who will get guaranteed minutes. We can safely assume in a close game (the spread is 4.5), that the Mavs and Suns will keep tight rotations. If Lively is out, Dallas should run Doncic, Exum, Grant Williams, Airplane Mode and Tim Hardaway Jr. for small ball. The Suns could match a small-ball lineup with Jusuf Nurkic sidelined. If the game is close, Jones should play 30+ minutes and that’s what we’re looking for at FLEX.

Fades

Tim Hardaway Jr. ($7,200) — THJ feels like the most volatile play in this Showdown contest. While he can go off in this game environment, we could also see him struggle on offense and has a higher chance to bust. This fade kind of scares me given lineups may not fit in Hardaway and try to cram in KD, Book and Doncic. Still, it feels like those three will soak up most of the fantasy points. If the script goes any other way, too, that could mean Hardaway isn’t reaching his ceiling, which is what you need from him.

Grant Williams ($4,400) — Williams was in consideration at FLEX with Airplane Mode but we’re going to fade him despite this price. You may see a lot of lineups get Williams in as a value, which could drive his ownership up. If that’s the case, you won’t want to play him. While he could see plenty of minutes, he isn’t a player that reaches a ceiling too often. Expect most of the offense to come from Doncic on Dallas.