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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Trail Blazers vs. Warriors Showdown on January 1

Garion Thorne gives his top NBA lineup advice for Friday’s fantasy basketball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Trail Blazers and Warriors, which starts at 10:30 p.m. ET.

Golden State Warriors v Detroit Pistons Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images

New year, new slate. That applies to both tonight’s collection of NBA contests on DraftKings and the prospects of the Golden State Warriors — who are in possession of the league’s worst net rating through the opening two weeks of the season (-12.2). Honestly, the Portland Trail Blazers could also probably use a fresh start, as they’re on the heels of a 23-point loss to the Clippers.

Who breaks out of their funk on Friday with a win? Let’s break it all down.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $200K Fadeaway [$50K to 1st] (POR vs GSW)


Captain’s Picks

Stephen Curry ($15,900 CP) - It seems like Curry is starting to round into form. After starting the season a dismal 9-for-35 (25.7%) from 3-point range, the former MVP went 5-for-9 from distance in Golden State’s recent victory over Detroit. Yes, the shots aren’t quite as wide-open when you’re not playing with Kevin Durant or Klay Thompson, but when the player in question is a career 43.4% 3-point shooter, this is the sort of positive regression you can believe in moving forward. It doesn’t hurt that Curry will be going up against a pathetic Blazers defense, either. Through four games, Portland is allowing opponents to score 117.9 points per 100 possessions — the worst mark in all of basketball. If anything, it should be a little scary that Curry hasn’t played close to his best so far this season, yet he’s still averaged a whopping 1.41 DKFP per minute of action.

CJ McCollum ($14,700 CP) - I sort of feel like I’m playing with fire — Damian Lillard ($11,200) tends to only go so long between 50-point outbursts — yet McCollum has undeniably been Portland’s best asset to open the season. In fact, coming into tonight’s matchup, McCollum leads the Blazers in minutes per game (35.8), points per game (28.0), field goal attempts per 36 minutes (22.2), assist rate (32.7%) and DFKP (48.0). He’s been pretty efficient with his level of volume, too. McCollum is in possession of a .598 true shooting rate and he’s averaging .386 points per touch so far in 2020-21. To put that in perspective, among players seeing more than 70.0 touches per contest, only Kyrie Irving, Trae Young and Bradley Beal are putting up better numbers. Simply put, there’s no way you’re fading McCollum right now.

FLEX Plays

Kelly Oubre ($7,200) - While it’s still pretty hilarious that Oubre literally didn’t make a non-dunk field goal in his first three games as a Warrior, the former first-round pick looked a lot more comfortable with his new team on Wednesday. Oubre scored 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting, he made a 3-pointer and he racked up a pair of steals and a pair of blocks — the sort of well-rounded fantasy performance we came to expect from the forward last season in Phoenix. I still think that Oubre projects as someone who should easily be logging 30-plus minutes for Golden State each and every game, something that may be more of a necessity on Friday, considering Eric Paschall ($5,000; knee) is questionable to suit up. Oubre doesn’t quite possess the scoring upside of Andrew Wiggins ($8,600); however, it’s a little crazy that’s he’s only $400 more expensive than James Wiseman ($6,800) on this slate, with the rookie having been limited to less than 23 minutes his past two starts.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Eric Paschall will be available to play in tonight’s game.

Robert Covington ($5,400) - Speaking of having a hard time fitting into a new system, Covington enters this tilt shooting a putrid 18.8% from 3-point range and averaging just 6.4 points per 36 minutes. Obviously, we all understood that the veteran was going to be a tertiary offensive option in a lineup with Lillard and McCollum — and to a slightly lesser extent Carmelo Anthony ($4,800) — but Covington’s 10.2% usage rate almost seems like a typo. Heck, he had a 15.4% usage rate playing next to James Harden this past summer. Who would’ve ever thought that’d be the more inclusive environment? Anyway, I’ll take one more chance on Covington getting things back on track against the Warriors. He still projects to play a massive amount of minutes and Golden State is surrendering 16.3 opponent made 3-pointers per game — the most of any squad in the NBA.


Draymond Green ($7,600) - As exciting as it will be to see Curry get a teammate back from the good ol’ days, it’s hard to imagine that’s Green’s conditioning will be all that great for Friday’s contest. I mean, the veteran forward hasn’t played in an actual NBA game — regular or preseason — since all the way back on Feb. 27. If you want to take it one step further, Green hasn’t logged 20 minutes in an actual NBA game since Feb. 12. Green was held off the court for all of the Warriors’ tune up contests after testing positive for COVID-19 and then a foot issue cost him the past two weeks. That’s a lot to work through and there’s just no way I’ll be willing to pay nearly $8K to watch him iron out the kinks versus Portland.


Both of these teams have glaring defensive issues and that’s led directly to both the Trail Blazers and the Warriors coming into this slate 1-3 ATS. Honestly, I’d rather bet the total in this game than pick a side, as Portland is 7-0 to the over in its last seven games as a road favorite, while Golden State is 4-0 to the over in its last four contests as a home underdog. Trust me, this isn’t going to be a script that gets people reminiscing about 90’s basketball.

Final Score: Portland 123, Golden State 116

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $200K Fadeaway [$50K to 1st] (POR vs GSW)

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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.

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