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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Jazz vs. Wizards Showdown on December 22

Mike Barner gives his top NBA lineup advice for today’s fantasy basketball contest on DraftKings between the Jazz and Wizards.

There are only two games in the NBA on Thursday, one of which is a matchup between the Utah Jazz and the Washington Wizards. It will also be the featured Showdown contest on DraftKings, so let’s discuss some players to consider for your lineups.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $60K Fadeaway [$20K to 1st] (WAS vs UTA)

Utah Jazz vs. Washington Wizards

Captain’s Picks

Lauri Markkanen ($13,200 Captain’s Pick): Markkanen has emerged as one of the scoring leaders for the Jazz, averaging 22.8 points and 2.9 three-pointers per game, both of which are the highest marks of his career. He’s dramatically improved his efficiency, shooting 53.4 percent from the field and 43.8 percent from behind the arc. This is a great matchup for him to keep rolling since the Wizards rank inside the bottom-10 in the league in defensive rating.

Kyle Kuzma ($13,800 Captain’s Pick): Kuzma has scored at least 50.5 DKFP in back-to-back games. He has been logging a career-high 35 minutes per game, which has propelled him to averages of 21.5 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.6 three-pointers. After sitting out Tuesday, Kristaps Porzingis ($9,400, illness) is listed as questionable for this matchup. If he can’t play, Kuzma would be in line for plenty of scoring opportunities. Even if Porzingis does play, Kuzma has a large enough role on the Wizards to provide a high floor.

UTIL Plays

Bradley Beal ($8,600): This could be a high-scoring night on both sides. Not only have the Wizards struggled on defense, but the Jazz have the fifth-worst defensive rating in the league. Enter Beal, who is second on the team with a 27.4 percent usage rate. He hasn’t skipped a beat after missing six games with a hamstring injury, scoring 34.5 and 46.5 DKFP, respectively, in two games since returning.

Walker Kessler ($6,000): Kessler is a promising young big man that the Jazz received in the trade that sent Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves. He’s an excellent shot blocker, but his path to playing time was somewhat blocked by the addition of Kelly Olynyk. However, Olynyk is set to miss his third straight game. Kessler started the last two games with him out, scoring 25.5 and 25.0 DKFP, respectively.

Daniel Gafford ($5,000): Gafford likely depends on the status of Porzingis. He started with Porzingis out, scoring 26.3 DKFP over 29 minutes. Across seven games in which he has played at least 20 minutes this season, Gafford has averaged 12.1 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.3 blocks. If Porzingis is out again, Gafford is an extremely appealing option at this salary.


Mike Conley ($5,800): The writing might be on the wall with Conley. He has one year left on his contract and it’s only partially guaranteed. After trading away Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, the Jazz clearly want to go in a younger direction. Conley is still starting, but his usage rate is all the way down to 15.9 percent, which would be the lowest mark of his career. Over the last five games, he has averaged just 5.8 points and 6.4 assists. Expect his upside to remain limited for however long he is a member of the Jazz.


The Wizards finally ended their 10-game losing streak with a win over the Suns on Tuesday. With that being said, Devin Booker, Cameron Payne and Cameron Johnson were all out for the Suns. If the Wizards can get Porzingis back, he would provide a significant boost. However, the Wizards are an abysmal 4-13 on the road this season. The Jazz are 11-5 at home, so look for them to take care of business and get the victory, regardless of the status of Porzingis.

Final Score: Jazz 119, Wizards 110

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $60K Fadeaway [$20K to 1st] (WAS vs UTA)

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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.