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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Warriors vs. Nuggets Showdown on December 28

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

There will be no shortage of action in the NBA on Tuesday with eight games on the schedule. One of them features two Western Conference teams who hope to make deep runs in the playoffs when the Golden State Warriors host the Denver Nuggets. This game will be the featured Showdown contest on DraftKings, so let’s discuss some players to consider for your entries.

Golden State Warriors vs. Denver Nuggets


Captain’s Picks

Nikola Jokic ($21,900 Captain’s Pick): Fading Jokic in a Showdown contest can be hazardous to your health. He’s having another fantastic season, averaging 25.9 points, 13.8 rebounds, 7.2 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.6 three-pointers. While the Warriors are one of the best defensive teams in the league, they will be without their anchor in the middle with Draymond Green in the health and safety protocols. His absence could leave Jokic to dominate.

Stephen Curry ($19,500 Captain’s Pick): With the Warriors dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19, Curry has been jacking up shots at will. Over his last four games, he’s averaged 34.8 points and 24.3 shot attempts. That’s a significant increase from his season averages of 27.9 points and 20.8 shot attempts. While Andrew Wiggins ($8,600) is expected to return for this game, Green, Jordan Poole and Damion Lee are all listed as out, so Curry should remain busy.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Andrew Wiggins (health protocols) will play tonight vs. the Nuggets.

UTIL Plays

Gary Payton II ($5,800): The way to go for this game is probably to find a way to get both Jokic and Curry into your entry. In order to do that, you’ll need to find some players with cheap salaries to help balance out your budget. One of them to consider is Payton, who has started both of the last two games. He took advantage of his added opportunities, scoring 30.0 and 29.5 DKFP, respectively.

Kevon Looney ($5,000): Looney certainly isn’t a flashy fantasy option and he generally doesn’t log a ton of minutes. With that being said, he’s scored at least 22.0 DKFP in three of his last five games. If he can stay out of foul trouble against Jokic, he could be asked to play more in this game, especially with Green out.

Nemanja Bjelica ($3,400): Bjelica can shoot. Despite only averaging 15 minutes per game this season, he’s averaged 1.0 three-pointers. He’s even averaged 3.8 rebounds per game in this limited playing time, which makes him an intriguing option with Green out. It seems likely that he will play at least 20 minutes in this game. That’s a significant threshold given that Bjelica has averaged 11.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists across six games in which he has played at least 20 minutes.


Aaron Gordon ($7,400): The Nuggets badly need Gordon, who has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury. He’s listed as questionable for this contest, so his status is still in doubt. Even if he does play, though, he’s a better player in real life than he is in fantasy. He’s only averaging 26.7 DKFP per game for the season, which is too little when you factor in the limitations that his salary will also deal to your overall budget.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Aaron Gordon (hamstring) has been ruled out tonight vs. the Warriors.


The Nuggets have not played well lately, losing three of their last five games. They did win Sunday against the Clippers, but they nearly blew a 17-point lead in the process. Getting Wiggins back is big for the Warriors, who have won three straight games despite their COVID issues. Factor in their 16-2 record at home and this is going to be an uphill battle for the Nuggets.

Final Score: Warriors 112, Nuggets 105

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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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