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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Nuggets vs. Suns Showdown on January 22

Kenny Ducey gives his top NBA lineup advice for Friday’s fantasy basketball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Nuggets and Suns, which starts at 10:00 p.m. ET.

Phoenix Suns v Houston Rockets Photo by Cato Cataldo/NBAE via Getty Images

The Suns may have had to sit out three games while they were cleared to resume play, but they announced their return to the league in a big way with a commanding win over the Rockets a couple nights ago. The Nuggets come in hungry on the other side, seeing mixed results of late against a difficult schedule and trying to get right. With a total of just 220 set on DraftKings Sportsbook and two healthy teams, we might have to get creative here to find some winning picks, but that hasn’t stopped us in the past. Let’s get into how to construct your Showdown lineups for Friday night.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $120K Fadeaway [$30K to 1st] (DEN vs PHO)


Devin Booker ($14,400 CP)

Who in the world is going to want to own Devin Booker when he hasn’t hit 50 DKFP all season? This guy, of course. Not only does the Nuggets defense absolutely stink this season, but they’ve been particularly bad against three, ranking 24th with a 38.5% three-point success rate against them. Booker’s in need of a good shooting night in the worst way, hitting just five of 18 threes in his past four games, and now he faces a team giving up the fifth-most DKFP to opposing shooting guards, and allowing them to hit an average of three triples per game. The ownership should be about as low as you can get on Booker, and I’m willing to pay up for him in a prime spot.

Mikal Bridges ($10,200 CP)

Bridges may not be the first name that jumps out to you when constructing your lineup, but every game involving the Suns defense can turn into a grind-fest, which means our potential for off-the-charts performances can be limited. If you want to fit all the expensive guys in your lineup (Booker, Jokic, Murray), you will want to save money at captain, and that’s where Bridges comes into play. Do you know who the worst defender is on the Nuggets, with a minimum of 20 minutes per game? Michael Porter, Jr. Do you know who will be making his return on Friday, judging by reports? Michael Porter, Jr. If MPJ plays, Bridges should be in a prime spot here. He’s shooting the lights out from three at 44.4%, and loves to shoot the left corner three, where he’s been 55.6% all season long. That spot just so happens to be where Denver has struggled the most, ranking 29th with 49.3% of shots falling from the left corner.


Nikola Jokic ($12,000)

This might get me flamed, but hear me out. Not only did Jokic have arguably his worst game of the season agains the Suns on opening night, but Phoenix is incredible at defending the paint. Opposing centers are scoring just 18.2 points per game, the third-best mark in the NBA, and as a whole the Suns’ stout defense has allowed just 45.7% shots to fall out of post-ups, ranking in the top half of the NBA, while they have been elite at not fouling. I don’t expect Deandre Ayton to lock up Jokic, but I don’t see him having a monster night, which creates a very nice spot to pivot off of him when he should be pretty popular.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball Millionaire lineups here: NBA Showdown $120K Fadeaway [$30K to 1st] (DEN vs PHO)

Value FLEX Options

Will Barton ($7,200)

The only spot to really attack the Suns is at the shooting guard position, where they’ve allowed 23 points per game, and Barton has been red hot of late for the Nuggets. Despite some inconsistency in his playing time, Barton is still seeing at least 25 minutes per game and is too important to this team totally disappear from the rotation. It’s in Denver’s best interest to give one of its best offensive players some run against a good defense, and while the price isn’t my favorite, there aren’t many players who have this ceiling.

Monte Morris ($4,400)

Morris may be one of the most vital and most talented backup point guards in the NBA, and as a result he’s seen more than 21 minutes per game. As an added bonus, with Chris Paul’s foul-drawing prowess it’s possible Jamal Murray gets into foul trouble and Morris is thrust into a bit more action. At any rate, Morris has been incredibly steady this season, averaging 21.6 DKFP and only dipping below 20 DKFP three times, making him a solid candidate to return value.

Cameron Payne ($3,600)

Payne could be a nice little find on this slate, averaging a modest 18 minutes per game and having a bit of a career resurgence in Phoenix. He’s been a key contributor on the second unit, and has averaged a little over one DKFP per minute. In a game bereft of value considering the full health of both teams, Payne sneaks in here as a nice, easy way to hit value and round out your lineup.

The Outcome

The Suns are slight favorites in this one for good reason. They’ve played some of the best defense in the league, and their two stalwarts on that end — Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton — just so happen to be going up against the two best options for the Nuggets in Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic. Denver’s been able to use its scoring prowess to hide the fact that it can’t play defense this season, but that shouldn’t be a possibility on Friday, especially not with Porter back in the lineup. The Suns take this one in a low-scoring affair.

Final Score: Suns 109, Nuggets 101

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $120K Fadeaway [$30K to 1st] (DEN vs PHO)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jetsfan196) and I 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.