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Fantasy Basketball Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for September 8

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

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Two Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

We’ve got another two-game postseason NBA slate on Tuesday, featuring Game 5 between the Heat and Bucks and Game 3 between the Lakers and Rockets. Here are some plays that jump out on DraftKings on this two-game slate.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: NBA $450K Playoff Shootaround [$100K to 1st]

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Point Guard

Worth Paying Up For: Russell Westbrook, HOU vs. LAL ($8,400)

Westbrook is catching a lot of slack for how poorly he’s shooting the ball, but he’s super cheap for such a versatile play. He shot just 4-for-15 in Game 2, which I’d expect to change. Even a 44.25-DKFP outing like Game 1 would be hitting 5X value, but Russ has a high ceiling in this matchup. In two regular season matchups against the Lakers, Westbrook averaged 58.7 DKFP.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Rajon Rondo, LAL vs. HOU ($3,900)

Rondo is the slate’s top value, returning to the lineup to begin this series and making an immediate impact. He played 22 minutes in his first game back since March, finishing with 22.75 DKFP. He saw his run go up to 29 minutes in Game 2, posting a 10-9-3 line with five steals (37.25 DKFP). He should play a pretty important role the rest of this series, and his salary should reflect that soon.

Lineup Strategy

Rondo is a tough fade in cash and tournaments, so he’ll likely occupy at least one of your guard spots. I think Westbrook is an interesting pivot off of the other top studs on the slate, and the public perception is that he’s not a good play at the moment.

Shooting Guard

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

Harden’s your default play here, especially if you pay down at PG. While he makes for the safest floor on the slate, the ceiling on Harden also seems to be limited in this matchup. He’s averaging just over 47 DKFP in the series, and averaging 51.4 DKFP in five matchups against the Lakers this season.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Eric Gordon, HOU vs. LAL ($5,900)

Even with Westbrook back, Gordon’s role has been extremely consistent. He’s scored 30-plus DKFP in eight of his nine playoff games. Getting a mid-priced play that gives you this type of stability shouldn’t go overlooked on this slate.

Lineup Strategy

SG is a very thin position. If any of Miami’s perimeter players do wind up ruled out, we’ll be able to get some value there, but I don’t think that’ll be the case. The only plays I’m comfortable with here are buying the points with Harden, or taking arguably the safest play on the slate in Gordon.

Small Forward

Worth Paying Up For: LeBron James, LAL vs. HOU ($11,200)

LeBron had to do it all on both ends for the Lakers to grind out a Game 2 victory. I actually prefer him to Harden on this slate, mostly because of how much of a role defense should have in this series. When the Rockets are cruising up and down, Harden’s at his best. When this series slows down, as all do when the postseason progresses, LeBron has more of an advantage. I expect another outing much like his 28-11-9 for 65.75 DKFP in Game 2.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Robert Covington, HOU vs. LAL ($6,500)

Covington was spectacular in the final three games of the series versus OKC, averaging 45.7 DKFP during that span. He’s off to a slower start in this series, taking just 13 total shots through two games, but is still putting up solid numbers. We know he’s going to be out there for 35-plus minutes, and the shots will come.

Lineup Strategy

Gordon is also a play here, so if you need to save a couple bucks off Covington, Gordon is my preferred play between the two. There’s a ton of flexibility here to roster who you want, as LeBron has PG eligibility, and Covington has PF eligibility.

Power Forward

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

AD has put up 55-DKFP double-doubles in both games of the series, and has been pretty consistent against Houston all season. I think he’s a very safe play if you want to get some savings off LeBron or Harden, and maybe even get the higher-floor play. His combination of size and skill is obviously tough for Houston to handle.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Jae Crowder, MIA vs. MIL ($5,800)

Crowder has been a key to Miami’s success in this series. He’s questionable with an ankle injury, but played through the same tag in two games against Indiana in the first-round. Crowder’s averaging 34 minutes per game in the series, and has topped 32 DKFP in three consecutive games. He’s knocking downs threes, rebounding, and playing terrific defense.

Lineup Strategy

The key omission here is Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,100), who is questionable again with an ankle injury. He played through the injury in Game 4, despite reports indicating that some members of the Bucks were surprised, and re-injured himself after 11 minutes. Even if he gives it a go again, I’m not risking spending this much on him in this spot. I’ll take the savings on AD, or a consistent value like Covington or Crowder.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Giannis Antetokounmpo (ankle) has been ruled out for tonight’s game vs. the Heat.


Worth Paying Up For: Bam Adebayo, MIA vs. MIL ($8,700)

Bam’s been spectacular in this series and had his best fantasy output in the Game 4 loss — finishing two assists shy of a triple-double while posting 56 DKFP. His salary is beginning to reflect his strong play, but he can give us similar numbers to any of the top plays on the slate for a pretty sizable discount.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Markieff Morris, LAL vs. HOU ($3,500)

Morris stepped into some extra minutes in Game 2, which could be something the Lakers use moving forward to combat Houston’s small-ball lineup. Morris can be an inside-out center, much like the Rockets use for the entire game. Morris scored 24.25 DKFP in 23 minutes in Game 2, and is cheap enough to roster in hopes of that role continuing.

Lineup Strategy

Center has some pretty good values. P.J. Tucker ($4,900) is the other one that stands out most after his huge Game 2 performance — 42.25 DKFP on 7-of-10 shooting.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: NBA $450K Playoff Shootaround [$100K to 1st]

Injury Report

OUT (Opt-out players not included)



Giannis Antetokounmpo (ankle)

Jae Crowder (ankle) UPDATE: Crowder is expected to be available to play.

Tyler Herro (hip) UPDATE: Herro is expected to be available to play.

Kelly Olynyk (knee) UPDATE: Olynyk is expected to be available to play.

JaVale McGee (ankle)




LeBron James (groin)

Anthony Davis (finger)

*They’re both going to play

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