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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Heat vs. Nuggets Showdown on June 7

Matt LaMarca gives his top NBA lineup advice for Wednesday’s fantasy basketball contest on DraftKings between the Heat and Nuggets.

“Team of Destiny” gets thrown around a lot these days, but how can you not think the Heat have a little magic in them at this point? They entered the fourth quarter of Game 2 in an eight-point hole against a team that hasn’t lost at home all playoffs, but one of their undrafted free agents saved the day once again. Duncan Robinson got to be the hero this time, rattling off 10 points in roughly two minutes to put the Heat in front and ultimately propel them to a 1-1 series tie.

The series shifts to Miami for Game 3, and whoever wins this contest will have a big edge moving forward. The Nuggets are still listed as 3.5-point favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook, but the Heat have gone 6-2 at home this postseason. Can they pull off yet another unexpected win, or will the Nuggets bounce back from their disappointing performance in Game 2?

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $1.25M Finals Shootaround Special [$250K to 1st] (DEN vs MIA)

Miami Heat vs. Denver Nuggets

Captain’s Picks

Nikola Jokic ($22,800 CP): It’s safe to say that Jokic has officially put the “playoff disappointment” narrative to bed. The two-time MVP has been as dominant as ever in the postseason, averaging 30.4 points, 12.9 rebounds, and 10.1 assists in 17 contests this season. He tried to drag the Nuggets across the finish line in Game 2, scoring 28 points in the second half while shooting 10-15 from the field. If Jokic was going to do any more, he’d have to start selling jerseys at the team shop during halftime.

Jokic is basically the perfect fantasy player, capable of contributing in every category across the board. He’s averaging a triple-double for the postseason, and he’s capable of going off as a scorer, distributor, or rebounder. Overall, he’s averaged 1.70 DKFP per minute during the playoffs, and he’s playing more than 40 minutes a night.

The only real issue with Jokic is his salary. He clearly has the highest ceiling on this slate, but can you justify paying $22,800 for one player? If you do go that route, it leaves you less than $5,500 per player to round out your lineup. That’s going to make it extremely tough to fit in some of the other high-priced options. Still, if Jokic hits his ceiling – he can break 80 DKFP in his sleep – it might not matter who you pair him with. I’m probably leaning toward using him as a utility, but Jokic is simply too good not to consider for the top spot.

Bam Adebayo ($13,500 CP): Adebayo checks some of the same boxes as Jokic. He’s obviously not the same dominant force as Jokic, but he’s capable of doing a little bit of everything. He averaged a career-high 20.4 points per game during the regular season, and he’s had years with as many as 5.4 assists per game.

Adebayo has also been aggressive offensively to start this series, scoring at least 21 points in both contests. He’s responded with 50.75 DKFP in Game 1 and 40.75 in Game 2, and he’s going to need to continue to produce at that level for the Heat to have a chance in this series.

Adebayo has been in the optimal lineup through each of the first two games, and he’s a solid pivot off Jokic in the Captain spot. He’s nearly $10,000 cheaper, and that is a ton of savings that can be applied to the rest of your lineup.

UTIL Plays

Jamal Murray ($11,400): Jokic and Adebayo stand out as the top two pay-up options on this slate, but the battle for No. 3 is close. Murray and Jimmy Butler ($12,000) are priced pretty similarly, and Butler has been the better player over the course of the year. However, Murray has actually been a better fantasy producer than Butler over the past month, and he’s increased his production to 1.25 DKFP per minute during the postseason.

Overall, Murray has scored at least 41.25 DKFP in seven straight games, and he has at least 51.5 DKFP in four of them. He has double-doubles in his first two games of this series, giving him an added wrinkle to his fantasy profile. Murray is more of a scoring point guard than a pure distributor, but having another way to potentially return value is a nice development for his outlook.

Kevin Love ($2,400): Going with Jokic, Murray, and Adebayo means you’re going to have to fill your lineup with at least one value option. Fortunately, Love stands out as an excellent punt play. He moved back into the starting lineup in Game 2 and responded with 25.0 DKFP in 22.2 minutes. I wouldn’t necessarily expect a repeat performance, but Love has always been a very good per-minute producer. He also shot just 2-9 from the field in Game 2, so he arguably has upside for an even better performance if he sees a comparable workload in Game 3.

Christian Braun ($1,200): Braun is another strong punt play on this slate. Michael Porter Jr.’s poor defense earned him some time on the pine in Game 2, and Braun was one of the bigger beneficiaries. He gave the team quality production off the bench, scoring 17.25 DKFP across 15.4 minutes. If MPJ does recommit himself to the defensive end in Game 3, Braun could be looking at another expanded workload. He doesn’t need to do much to potentially pay off his minimal price tag.


Caleb Martin ($6,600): I’m not exactly going out on a limb with this one. Martin was phenomenal in the series vs. the Celtics, averaging nearly 20 points per game while shooting better than 60% from the field. The Heat would not be playing in the Finals without him.

However, Martin isn’t going to have nearly the same impact in this series. The Nuggets exploited him defensively in Game 1, with the much larger Aaron Gordon taking advantage of the Heat’s small starting unit. Miami countered by moving Kevin Love back into the starting lineup in Game 2, relegating Martin to just 21.4 minutes off the bench. Unfortunately, Martin wasn’t very effective in his minutes either, finishing with 14.25 DKFP and a negative Net Rating.

Martin was someone who seemed due for some shooting regression to begin with, and now that he’s coming off the bench, it’s very easy to write him off at his current salary.


The Heat have been a nightmare for analytical bettors all postseason. Every metric suggests they’re not very good and that their red-hot shooting is unsustainable, yet they continue to go out and defy the odds in each series. I thought they would lose both games in Denver, but after stealing Game 2, they’re in a pretty good position.

Still, I’m going to bank on the talent with the Nuggets eventually shining through. It is simply not feasible for a team to continue to shoot as well as the Heat did in Game 2. They drilled 48.6% of their 3-point attempts, and they outscored the Nuggets by 18 points from the 3-point line. The fact that they still needed to overcome an eight-point fourth-quarter deficit despite everything breaking right for them does not bode well for their chances on nights when they don’t shoot the lights out.

Final Score: Nuggets 108, Heat 98

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $1.25M Finals Shootaround Special [$250K to 1st] (DEN vs MIA)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) 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.