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Fantasy Basketball Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for September 4

Garion Thorne gives his top lineup advice at each position for Friday’s fantasy basketball slate on DraftKings, which starts at 6:30 p.m. ET.

If it feels like we haven’t seen the Lakers in awhile it’s because we haven’t. Los Angeles has been resting its tired legs for the last six days, waiting on the winner of a fantastic series between Houston and Oklahoma City. Now that’s the Rockets have advanced, LeBron James ($11,000) can be awakened from his mini hibernation, as he and his teammates will take the court Friday evening.

Let’s break down everything you need to know for that matchup and Bucks-Heat.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: NBA $500K Shootaround [$100K to 1st]

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Point Guard

Worth Paying Up For: LeBron James, LAL vs. HOU ($11,000)

While he’s not my favorite Lakers asset on the slate — more on that in a minute — James is always at least worth a look on a slate this small; especially considering how well he played in round one. Not only did James average a triple-double against the Trail Blazers, but he did so while producing 1.76 DKFP per minute and maintaining a .706 true shooting percentage. Houston’s defense was stout against Oklahoma City, but this is a whole different animal.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Eric Bledsoe, MIL at MIA ($5,700)

Bledsoe’s been about as consistent a DFS asset as you could ask for so far in these playoffs, only once scoring fewer than 26.75 DKFP in his six starts. The ceiling isn’t all that high playing next to a usage magnet in Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,500), but Bledsoe is a pretty good bet to reach 5x value each and every night. He could maybe even prove to be a little better if Mike Budenholzer pushes his starters’ minutes with Milwaukee’s back against the wall.

Lineup Strategy

With James also carrying small forward eligibility, you can look to the mid-tier at this position. In particular, Goran Dragic ($7,000) stands out, as the veteran is averaging 23.5 points per game in Miami’s playoff run. He’s also exceeded 40.0 DKFP in four of his last six contests.

Shooting Guard

Worth Paying Up For: Jimmy Butler, MIA vs. MIL ($8,300)

You’d have to think that Game 2 ends up being an outlier for Butler. The All-Star was held to just 30.75 DKFP in Miami’s 116-114 win, as Butler attempted just eight field goals in 36 minutes of work. It’s by far the fewest the forward has taken in a 2020 playoff game where he wasn’t clearly dealing with an injury. Expect more volume and a bounce-back performance.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Tyler Herro, MIA vs. MIL ($5,200)

Herro has truly made a name for himself on a national stage in these playoffs, and it’s become quite clear that Erik Spoelstra trusts his rookie in the closing minutes. Really, Herro’s taken Duncan Robinson’s ($4,700) regular season role and he’s thrived, surpassing 26.0 DKFP in five of the Heat’s last six games. With Andre Iguodala (ankle) questionable to play on Friday, the Kentucky product could be looking at an even larger workload.

Lineup Strategy

Unless you feel like guessing which tertiary Los Angeles player might actually hit a few open 3-pointers on Friday, Herro feels like the way to go at shooting guard. There’s simply other positions that I’m more inclined to pay up for.

Small Forward

Worth Paying Up For: Robert Covington, HOU at LAL ($6,300)

I’d expect Covington to be a very popular play this evening, especially on the heels of a 51.5 DKFP showing on Wednesday night in Game 7. However, it’s not like his steady play has been a one-game aberration. Covington’s averaged 45.7 DKFP across his past three starts, a stretch of time where the forward is shooting 16-for-28 (57.1%) from deep. Yes, that rate will probably regress in the near future, but, according to NBA Advanced Stats, 21 of those 28 attempts were either “open” or “wide-open.” The magic of playing with James Harden ($11,200).

Best Bang For Your Buck: Derrick Jones, MIA vs. MIL ($3,000)

Obviously this is a situation you’ll have to monitor closely as we approach tip-off, but if neither Iguodala or Kelly Olynyk (knee) is active for Friday’s contest with Milwaukee, Jones could be looking at some serious run. He’s not exactly what I would call a “high-floor” option, but Jones did register three blocks in just seven minutes of action on Wednesday. He’s capable.

Lineup Strategy

As mentioned above, James is also an option at small forward, if you’re looking to go with a more traditional point guard atop your build. Still, this is a slate where power forward is stacked, so don’t just assume that Covington can be slotted there.

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Power Forward

Worth Paying Up For: Anthony Davis, LAL vs. HOU ($10,600)

I can’t figure out who’s supposed to stop Davis on the Rockets’ roster. I’ll give Houston all the credit for their great defensive showing in round one — allowing a mere 101.7 points per 100 possessions — but Oklahoma City didn’t have anything close to the frontcourt presence that Davis is. Back in early February, the All-Star dropped 66.25 DKFP against these small-ball Rockets, I don’t see why he can’t do it again on Friday.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Jae Crowder, MIA vs. MIL ($5,300)

This is kind of moot, as I will be spending some serious salary at power forward on this slate, but like his teammates Herro and Jones, Crowder could stand to gain if any of Miami’s questionable players become inactive players. He also 32.5 DKFP in the squad’s Game 2 victory.

Lineup Strategy

While sticking Davis at center and rolling with Antetokounmpo at power forward is a possibility, the Greek Freak has been underwhelming from a DFS perspective in round two. I guess Danuel House Jr. ($4,700) is another viable asset, though his minutes have been severely reduced since the return of Russell Westbrook ($8,600).


Best Bang For Your Buck: Brook Lopez, MIL at MIA ($5,600)

Through two games in this series, Lopez is averaging 0.96 DKFP per minute played. While that might not seem all that amazing, at this price, the veteran has a very decent chance of returning 5x value. He’d have an ever better chance if coach Budenholzer finally decided to let his starters play 35-plus minutes, but I digress.

Lineup Strategy

On a two-game slate, there really isn’t all that much to say at center. With power forward the deeper position, you could definitely put Davis at the five and try something different at the four. If not, you’re paying down, and likely investing in either Lopez or P.J. Tucker ($4,800). I just happen to believe the former has a little more upside.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: NBA $500K Shootaround [$100K to 1st]

Injury Report

OUT (Opt-out players not included)



Andre Iguodala (ankle)
Kelly Olynyk (knee)




LeBron James (groin)
Anthony Davis (finger)
Rajon Rondo (back)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) 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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