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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Nuggets vs. Lakers Showdown on May 16

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


We have reached the Western Conference Finals, which features a star-studded matchup. Game 1 between the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers is Tuesday, leaving us with another Showdown contest on DraftKings. Let’s highlight some players to consider while building your lineups.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $600K Shootaround [$150K to 1st] (LAL vs DEN)

Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Captain’s Picks

Nikola Jokic ($19,200 CP): Not much of an argument needs to be made to deploy Jokic at this important position. He just missed averaging a triple-double during the regular season, which is an incredible feat for a center. He was also extremely efficient, shooting 63.2 percent from the field. During the playoffs, he has scored at least 71.8 DKFP in seven of the last eight games.

Anthony Davis ($17,400 CP): This is an exciting series with the upcoming battle between Davis and Jokic. Davis is an excellent defender and probably has the best chance of anyone to put up a fight against Jokic. Davis steamrolled the Warriors, scoring at least 50.8 DKFP in four of the six games. Expect him to have a high floor in this series, as well.

UTIL Plays

LeBron James ($11,200): James is battling his way through a foot injury. While he’s not his usual explosive self, he is still putting up excellent numbers for the Lakers. During their playoff run, he has averaged 23.4 points, 10.0 rebounds and 5.3 assists, while shooting 49.1 percent from the field. If there is a negative, it’s that he has shot just 26.3 percent from behind the arc. Still, for those who choose not to use him at the Captain’s spot, he is a great option for a utility position.

Bruce Brown Jr. ($5,200): The Nuggets haven’t gone deep into their bench in the playoffs. They have relied mostly on just three reserves, with Brown being one of them. That has enabled him to average 26 minutes across their 11 games. With at least 20.8 DKFP in all but two of their playoff games, Brown has the potential to provide value.

Dennis Schroder ($4,600): Make no mistake about it, Schroder is a risky potion. During the Lakers’ playoff run, he has scored seven or fewer points in a game seven times. However, most of his poor stat lines came in the first series against the Grizzlies. Against the Warriors, he averaged 10.3 points, 2.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.0 three-pointers. The two games in which he logged at least 30 minutes, he scored 28 and 19.3 DKFP, respectively. His salary is cheap enough to at least make him worth considering in tournament play.


Aaron Gordon ($6,800): Gordon is going to be an important part of this series for the Nuggets, but not necessarily for his scoring contributions. With the Lakers’ big frontcourt of James and Davis, the Nuggets need Gordon to step up on the defensive end. They put him on Kevin Durant a lot in the previous series against the Suns, which may have been a factor in his limited averages of 12.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. At this salary, there likely isn’t enough upside to feel comfortable with deploying Gordon in DFS.


The Nuggets have yet to lose at home during the playoffs. Not only are they undefeated at home, but five of their six wins have come by at least nine points. This comes on the heels of them going 34-7 at home during the regular season. The added time to rest should help the Lakers put up a good fight, but expect the Nuggets to still find a way to earn the victory.

Final Score: Nuggets 115, Lakers 108

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $600K Shootaround [$150K to 1st] (LAL 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.