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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Nuggets vs. Pelicans Showdown on March 30

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

There are only two games in the NBA on Thursday, one of which is a matchup between the Denver Nuggets and the New Orleans Pelicans. That is also the featured Showdown contest on DraftKings, so let’s highlight some players to target while building your lineups.

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

Denver Nuggets vs. New Orleans Pelicans

Captain’s Picks

Nikola Jokic ($19,800 CP): This is the first game of a back-to-back set for the Nuggets, who play the Suns on Friday. They have officially listed Jokic (calf) as questionable against the Pelicans, so it’s not a sure thing that he plays in this game. If he does, he’s the undisputed top option for this important position. At home, he has averaged 24.8 points, 13.1 rebounds and 11.1 assists per game this season.

Brandon Ingram ($15,600 CP): The Pelicans are making a push for a playoff spot and Ingram has been one of the driving forces behind it. He has been locked in from the field, shooting 50.9 percent over the last eight games. That helped him average 28.5 points per game, to go along with 5.6 rebounds and 7.8 assists. If Jokic sits this one out, Ingram then becomes one of the more appealing options for the Captain’s Pick.

UTIL Plays

CJ McCollum ($9,000): McCollum has seen his efficiency take a bit of a step back this season, shooting 43.5 percent from the field. However, he is still on pace to average at least 20 points per game for the eighth straight season. He is also currently averaging career highs in rebounds (4.4) and assists (5.9). Expect the Pelicans to continue to rely heavily on him to be one of the leaders of the team down the stretch.

Trey Murphy III ($7,600): Murphy has bounced in and out of the starting lineup this season. When he has come off the bench, he has been limited to 10.3 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. However, since being put back into the starting five, he has put up 19.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 4.2 three-pointers over the last 13 games. That helped him score at least 32 DKFP seven times.

Bruce Brown ($5,000): These two teams both rely heavily on their starters, so there aren’t many appealing bench players with cheap salaries. One that should at least be considered in DFS is Brown, who has logged 28 minutes per game for the Nuggets. His ability to contribute in multiple areas has enabled him to score at least 21.3 DKFP in five of the last six games.


Herbert Jones ($5,600): Jones is an excellent defender, making him a very valuable member of the Pelicans’ starting five. However, he doesn’t have a significant role in their offense, recording just a 14.5 percent usage rate. He is also averaging just 4.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists, which doesn’t leave him with much upside in fantasy.


This will likely come down to the status of Jokic. If he plays, it’s going to be difficult for the Pelicans to come away with a victory. The Nuggets are 32-6 at home, while the Pelicans are only 14-25 on the road. The Nuggets are just 3-5 in games that Jokic has missed this season. The Nuggets’ game against the Suns on Friday is in Phoenix, so if he does sit one half of this back-to-back, I’d guess he sits out the road game. Operating under the assumption that he takes the floor for this contest, look for the Nuggets to earn the victory.

Final Score: Nuggets 114, Pelicans 107

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $150K Fadeaway [$50K to 1st] (NOP 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.