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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Lakers vs. Suns Showdown on December 21

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

COVID-19 has already claimed one game Tuesday, leaving five remaining matchups in the NBA. One of them will feature two Western Conference title hopefuls when the Los Angeles Lakers host the Phoenix Suns. This game will be the featured Showdown contest on DraftKings, so let’s discuss how things might play out for both sides.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $100K Fadeaway [$25K to 1st] (PHX vs LAL)

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Phoenix Suns


Captain’s Picks

LeBron James ($18,000 Captain’s Pick): With Anthony Davis (knee) out, James will have to try and keep the Lakers afloat. They couldn’t pull off a win without him when they faced the Bulls on Sunday, but James played well. He logged 39 minutes, finishing with 31 points, 14 rebounds, six assists, two blocks and a steal. Despite the Suns having the third-best defensive rating in the league, James still has an incredibly high floor.

Deandre Ayton ($13,500 Captain’s Pick): Davis being out means that the Lakers will be without a key defensive presence up front. To complicate matters, Dwight Howard is in the health and safety protocols. When they played the Bulls, they were rolling with James at center for a good portion of the fourth quarter. Playing small like that might not fly against Ayton, who has scored at least 36.0 DKFP in six of his last seven games.

UTIL Plays

Carmelo Anthony ($5,200): Someone is going to need to help take the scoring pressure off of James with Davis out. Sunday, that was Anthony, who scored 21 points on 17 shots from the field, 12 of which came from behind the arc. He also played 30 minutes in that game, which is noteworthy given that he has averaged 15.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.8 three-pointers across eight games in which he has played at least that many minutes.

Isaiah Thomas ($3,800): With COVID-19 dealing a blow to the Lakers’ depth chart, the veteran Thomas was brought in to help fill minutes. He’s played 22 and 32 minutes, respectively, the last two games. He showed that he can still score, shooting a combined 10-for-23 from the field. At this cheap salary, he could be well worth the risk in tournament play.

DeAndre Jordan ($2,000): Jordan joined the starting five with Davis and Howard out Sunday. He only logged 21 minutes, but he still managed to score 19.3 DKFP. The Lakers might need him more in this game to battle with Ayton, so the potential for added playing time could help him at least approach a double-double.


Mikal Bridges ($6,400): Bridges is a more valuable player in real life than he is DFS. He is an excellent defender and can help space the floor on the offensive end with his three-point shooting, but he only has a 13.3 percent usage rate. That’s one of the main reasons why he’s scored 24.3 DKFP or fewer in six of his last seven games.


This could be a difficult game for the Lakers. With Davis being out and their depth chart limited, it’s not an ideal time to face one of the best teams in the league. To complicate matters, the Suns are at full strength with Devin Booker ($9,400) recently returning from a seven-games absence. Look for the Suns to roll here.

Final Score: Suns 111, Lakers 102

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $100K Fadeaway [$25K to 1st] (PHX vs LAL)

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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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