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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Cavaliers vs. Timberwolves Showdown on January 31

Kenny Ducey gives his top NBA lineup advice for Sunday’s fantasy basketball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Cavaliers and Timberwolves, which starts at 8:00 p.m. ET.

New York Knicks v Cleveland Cavaliers Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images

They may be two of the worst teams in the NBA, but with so many injuries, the Timberwolves and Cavaliers could combine to put on a close game. With a total of 218 set on the DraftKings Sportsbook, we should see a decent amount of scoring and have some exciting value options to choose from in this showdown. Let’s get into how to construct your Showdown lineups for Sunday night.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $150K Fadeaway [$50K to 1st] (CLE vs MIN)


Andre Drummond ($13,800 CP)

This one might be relatively easy. The Timberwolves allow the third-most points in the paint in the NBA and remain without their starting center, Karl-Anthony Towns. Drummond has been a beast of late, averaging 16 rebounds per game over his past three — in limited minutes, mind you. The only thing that has wavered in Drummond’s game has been his scoring, which has been wildly inconsistent, but he should absolutely bully Minnesota here. I love this price as well.

Jarrett Allen ($9,300 CP)

If you’re looking for a contrarian option at captain, I actually think you can go right back to the paint and take the man who splits minutes with Drummond. I’ve already sold you on the matchup — Minnesota ranks 28th in DKFP allowed to centers — so why not take the guy who had 34.25 DKFP last time out in 26 minutes against the Knicks? It’ll give you a unique build, and allow you to stack up Allen and Drummond, who probably have the best matchup here.


Collin Sexton ($8,000)

I don’t really see it with Sexton as a primary option on offense, and I especially don’t see it when this game should — and will — be won down low for Cleveland. His play over the past few weeks has just been far too erratic to trust on this slate with so much value. He’s coming off 24.75 DKFP in 35 minutes and dipped below 20 DKFP just a few games ago in perhaps his ugliest game as a pro. The upside here is probably 35-40 DKFP when you consider the matchup as well against a good perimeter defense, so that’s just an auto-fade for me at $8K.

Value FLEX Options

Jarred Vanderbilt ($5,800)

Vanderbilt has started six straight for the Timberwolves without Towns, which is reason enough to roster him here. He’s seen around 25 minutes consistently and has filled the stat sheet with rebounds, assists and blocks. Cleveland’s hard to score on down low, but they have ranked a pedestrian 16th in rebounding rate, so all hope isn’t lost here. Minnesota’s going to have few options in this one, so I like getting a starter on the cheap.

Jaden McDaniels ($1,800)

There is absolutely no reason this guy should be this cheap. As one of the cheapest options in this showdown, McDaniels is a must-play. The rookie out of Washington has seen a meteoric rise in his playing time lately for the depleted Timberwolves, most recently seeing 24 minutes against Philly and pulling down a career-best seven boards. He’s gone for over 15 DKFP twice in the past three games and doesn’t really need more than 10 to make you happy you played him at this price. You’ve got 10X salary upside here, you have to take it.

JaVale McGee ($1,400)

Yeah, I’m really trying here with the Cavs’ matchup on the interior. He’s the third option for the Cavs down low, but hear me out! He’s uber cheap, seeing around 16 minutes per game this year, and has the soft matchup we mentioned earlier. When he’s been on the court, he’s been a super-active contributor, chipping in 1.3 DKFP per minute.

The thing is, he might not play. He’s been left on the bench in the past two games. That said, he’s played alongside Jarrett Allen before, so it’s not like he’s just waiting around for an injury to happen to see the floor. The Cavs should also have some incentive to play McGee here, trying to showcase his value for a potential trade. This is nothing more than a bet on McGee playing, but if he does end up seeing the floor, you might get 10X value like you do with McDaniels. He’s a great GPP dart.

The Outcome

Potentially down D’Angelo Russell and already missing Karl-Anthony Towns, things are going to be difficult for the Timberwolves on the offensive side of the ball. We already know Minnesota’s defense rates as one of the worst in the NBA, and though the Cavaliers have had an adverse time scoring the ball, they should be able to muster up some offense in this soft matchup. On the flip side, they play fantastic defense, so I don’t envision a ton of points for the Timberwolves. It’ll be ugly and low scoring, but the Cavs shouldn’t have an issue here.

Final Score: Cavaliers 114, Timberwolves 102

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $150K Fadeaway [$50K to 1st] (CLE vs MIN)

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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.