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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Nuggets vs. Grizzlies Showdown on December 20

Mike Barner gives his top NBA lineup advice for Tuesday’s fantasy basketball contest on DraftKings between the Nuggets and Grizzlies.

Washington Wizards v Denver Nuggets Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

Tuesday’s five-game NBA slate brings some interesting matchups, highlighted by the Memphis Grizzlies taking on the Denver Nuggets. This game will also be the featured Showdown contest on DraftKings, so let’s highlight some players to consider for your entries.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $150K Fadeaway [$50K to 1st] (MEM vs DEN)

Denver Nuggets vs. Memphis Grizzlies

Captain’s Picks

Nikola Jokic ($19,200 Captain’s Pick): In what was a great matchup against a Hornets team that can’t rebound, Jokic scored a staggering 95.8 DKFP on Sunday. He has been locked in of late, averaging 29.6 points, 12.4 rebounds, 9.2 assists and 1.5 steals over his last 13 games. He has among the highest floors of any player in the league, making him an ideal option for the Captain’s spot.

Ja Morant ($17,400 Captain’s Pick): This is a great matchup for the Grizzlies to put up points in bunches considering that the Nuggets have the fourth-worst defensive rating in the league. Morant will be well rested, given that he was ejected after logging just 16 minutes against the Thunder on Saturday. Prior to that, he had provided averages of 26.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, 8.8 assists and 1.4 steals over his previous ten games. He and Jokic stand out as the top options for this important position.

UTIL Plays

Jaren Jackson Jr., ($7,800): Jackson is a risky play. He’s an aggressive defender who seeks out blocks, which can sometimes get him into foul trouble. However, he has made significant strides offensively, shooting 50.3 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from behind the arc this season. Given the Nuggets’ struggles on the defensive end, the risk could be worth the potential reward with Jackson.

Santi Aldama ($4,800): When Jackson was injured to begin the season, Aldama took his spot in the starting lineup. He has since relinquished that role, but he has still been an important rotation player for the Grizzlies. That has helped him score at least 20.3 DKFP in seven of his last eight games. He scored at least 25.3 DKFP five times during that span.

David Roddy ($2,600): The rookie David Roddy has averaged a modest 19 minutes off the bench. However, he has started to play more lately, logging an average of 23 minutes over the last nine games. That helped him score at least 13.8 DKFP six times. For those who want to use Jokic and his hefty salary at the Captain’s spot, or try to squeeze both Jokic and Morant into their lineups, taking a chance on Roddy at such a cheap salary is a viable strategy in tournament play.


Tyus Jones ($7,200): Jones is arguably the best backup point guard in the league. Given how hard Morant plays and how often he drives to the rim, having a player like Jones waiting in the wings in case of an injury is key. However, when Morant is healthy, Jones doesn’t have a large enough role off the bench to warrant this salary. Over the last five full games that Morant has played, Jones has scored 24.3 DKFP or fewer four times.


The Nuggets have played a lot of games on the road, where they have a 9-8 record. At home, they are a sparkling 9-3. The Grizzlies have also been dominant with a 13-2 mark at home, but they are only 6-8 on the road. This could be a close game with a lot of points, and the outcome could hinge on whether Jamal Murray ($8,000, knee), who is questionable, is able to play. If he sits, the Grizzlies could run away with this one. If he plays, the Nuggets have a better chance to pull off a win at home.

Final Score: Nuggets 118, Grizzlies 115

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $150K Fadeaway [$50K to 1st] (MEM vs DEN)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mbarner51) 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 do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. 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.