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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Lakers vs. Nuggets Showdown on September 24

Greg Ehrenberg gives his top lineup advice for Thursday’s fantasy basketball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Lakers and Nuggets, which starts at 9:00 p.m. ET.

With just one game on today’s NBA slate, we are focusing on the DraftKings Showdown contest between the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets. The Lakers are up 2-1 in the Western Conference Finals. Thursday’s fantasy basketball slate on DraftKings locks at 9:00 p.m. ET.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: NBA Showdown $500K Shootaround [$100K to 1st] (LAL vs DEN)

Place your NBA bets at DraftKings Sportsbook or by downloading the DK Sportsbook app.

Showdown Strategy

Los Angeles Lakers

After the Nuggets won the last game in a somewhat one-sided fashion, I think we could see LeBron James ($19,200 CP/$12,800) go a bit overlooked in the Captain’s spot. As the field flocks to the salary savings from the Nuggets’ stars, don’t forget that James is still the best fantasy producer in this game. Anthony Davis ($12,400) is the only other play in this contest that averages over 50 DKFP for the season. Despite the loss in Game 3, it’s not as if James was awful. He picked up a triple-double and finished with 69 DKFP. AD is also a fine play, but James is my preferred option.

The Lakers got crushed on the glass in Game 3. The Nuggets nearly doubled them up on total rebounds. This could mean we finally get to see Dwight Howard ($3,600) start at center over JaVale McGee ($2,400). This is the easiest lineup swap that Los Angeles can make to improve its work on the boards. Even if the starting lineup remains unchanged, I think we would see more minutes from Howard than normal.

Under the assumption that most DFS players go with a stars and scrubs approach to lineup building, Rajon Rondo ($7,400) will likely not be included in many lineups. I think this is a mistake and Rondo is one of the highest upside plays in this game. He’s scored as many as 40 DKFP in the playoffs and is a player to jump on at low ownership.

The easiest player to fade from the Lakers is Kyle Kuzma ($5,200). If you never rostered him the playoffs, you are ahead of the curve. He’s yet to score more than 28 DKFP or appear in a first place Showdown lineup. The low floor for Kuzma is an issue and it doesn’t look like he has much of a ceiling. He has 16 DKFP or less in four of the last five games.

Denver Nuggets

Jerami Grant ($5,600) broke the slate on Tuesday. He scored a personal playoff best 26 points and finished with 35.25 DKFP. I doubt he’s able to repeat that performance and I am not looking to chase points, but he’s a viable play in the midrange. If you are looking to make a lineup that is different from the field, playing guys like Grant and Rondo is a sensible course of action with upside.

While Nikola Jokic ($12,000) and Jamal Murray ($10,600) are both decent plays, I can’t justify rostering them over LeBron and AD if given the choice. Murray is averaging 45.42 DKFP in this series, which is fine, but it’s not the same production we get from the other stars in this game on a regular basis. Not to mention, Murray is shooting well over 50% from the field in this series and his fantasy production is likely to plummet if his efficiency drops. I don’t think Murray’s recent shooting is sustainable and he’s still only barely keeping up with the other top options in this series.

Of the forwards, Paul Millsap ($6,000) is starting to separate himself from Michael Porter Jr. ($6,800) in terms of minutes. In close games, it’s pretty clear that Denver prefers Millsap. When MPJ went off in Game 1, it was largely a factor the game being a blowout. Outside of that game, Millsap played 31 minutes in Game 3, 28 minutes in Game 2 and 32 minutes in Game 7 of the series against the Clippers. I expect a close game, and if this is the case, Millsap should play more than Porter.

Gary Harris ($4,200) is my favorite value play on Denver. Even though his production is lacking in this series, he’s averaging nearly 20 DKFP as a starter in the playoffs and he’s shown upside when avoiding foul trouble. In Game 6 against the Clippers, Harris played 42 minutes and scored 31.5 DKFP. The biggest obstacle is picking up fouls in the first half, but this shouldn’t be too much of an issue since he typically isn’t guarding LeBron or AD and the rest of the Lakers’ team isn’t much of a threat to draw fouls.

The Outcome

After a couple of really tight games in a row, I don’t think the Lakers are worthy of being favored by six points on DraftKings Sportsbook. Even if they are more likely to win than lose, we have seen time and time again that Denver typically plays in close games during the playoffs. I pick the Lakers to win the game and the Nuggets to cover the spread.

Final Score: Lakers 109, Nuggets 106

Set your DraftKings lineups here: NBA Showdown $500K Shootaround [$100K 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 gehrenberg) 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 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.

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