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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Trail Blazers vs. Suns Showdown on December 14

Mike Barner gives his top NBA lineup advice for today’s fantasy basketball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Trial Blazers and Suns.

With one game being postponed because of an outbreak of COVID-19 on the Bulls, the NBA will only have three games on the schedule Tuesday. One of them will be a matchup between the Portland Trail Blazers and Phoenix Suns, two teams that have been hampered by injuries. This game will also be the featured Showdown contest on DraftKings, so let’s highlight some players to consider for your entries.

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

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Phoenix Suns


Captain’s Picks

Damian Lillard ($17,400 Captain’s Pick): After missing five straight games with an abdominal injury, Lillard made his return Sunday against the Timberwolves. He logged 37 minutes, so the Trail Blazers wasted no time getting him right back into heavy minutes. He continued his shooting struggles that have plagued him for most of the season, finishing 5-for-17 from the field. However, he still scored 47.3 DKFP. All the shot attempts that he can handle should be coming his way with CJ McCollum (lung) out, so even if Lillard struggles with his efficiency again, he’s still an appealing option for the Captain’s spot.

Chris Paul ($15,600 Captain’s Pick): The Suns remain shorthanded with Devin Booker (hamstring) on the sidelines. Deandre Ayton ($9,400) has also missed the last two games with a non-COVID related illness, but there is a chance that he returns for this game. If he does return, that could actually help Paul’s production since he could rack up more assists with Ayton in the fold. Even if Ayton is out again, though, Paul has a high floor with Booker out because of how frequently he’ll have the ball in his hands.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Suns C Deandre Ayton (illness) will be available to play tonight vs. the Trail Blazers.

UTIL Plays

Anfernee Simons ($7,200): Simons also made his return against the Timberwolves after having sat out three games with an ankle injury. He was Lillard’s main running mate in the scoring department, scoring 26 points on 20 shot attempts across 33 minutes. With McCollum sidelined, minutes and shot attempts should remain plentiful for Simons.

Cameron Johnson ($5,000): Johnson hasn’t exactly had a big role with the Suns, averaging just 24 minutes per game. However, with Booker out, he’s averaged 31 minutes across the last five games. That enabled him to score at least 27.0 DKFP four times. Add in the Trail Blazers having the third-worst defensive rating in the league and Johnson could continue to provide added value.

Larry Nance Jr. ($4,600): With the team struggling, the Trail Blazers decided to make a change to their starting five Sunday. Robert Covington ($3,200) was sent to the bench with Nance replacing him as a starter. Covington still logged 34 minutes, while Nance didn’t exactly see a huge uptick in playing time with 26 minutes. Part of that was because of early foul trouble, though. Still, he finished with 29.0 DKFP. If he can stay out of foul trouble and approach 30 minutes in this matchup, his salary could make him a bargain.


Dennis Smith Jr. ($8,000): When Lillard, McCollum and Simons were all out, Smith was called upon for added playing time. He didn’t disappoint, averaging 15.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.7 steals across three games. However, with Lillard and Simons back in the fold, he played just four minutes against the Timberwolves. There’s no reason to believe that he will play significant minutes in this contest.


The status of Ayton is big for the outcome of this game. If he plays, the Suns are a much more dangerous team. If he doesn’t, this is a tough spot for them on the second night of a back-to-back set. Since he’s not dealing with a COVID illness and has missed two straight games, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him return for this matchup. Working under that assumption, look for the Suns to give the struggling Trail Blazers trouble.

Final Score: Suns 112, Trail Blazers 107

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

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mbarner51) 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 do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. 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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