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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Celtics vs. Trail Blazers Showdown on December 4

Matt LaMarca gives his top lineup advice for Saturday’s featured Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Celtics and Trail Blazers, which locks at 10:00 p.m. ET.

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Portland Trail Blazers Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday’s featured NBA Showdown contest involves the Boston Celtics and the Portland Trail Blazers at 10 p.m. ET.

As usual, DraftKings is offering up a huge Showdown contest for this game, and below I give you some of my favorite options to attack for the format.

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

Captain’s Picks

CJ McCollum ($17,400)

The Blazers stand out as the clear preferred side in this contest. They’re slight underdogs, but they have plenty of value available given their current injury situation. Damian Lillard is out of the lineup, and even backup point guard Anfernee Simons is sidelined.

Those absences make McCollum a bona fide stud target. He hasn’t played a ton of minutes with both Lillard and Simons off the court this season, but he’s increased his usage rate to 34.7% in that situation. That represents an increase of 9.5 percentage points, so he has significantly more scoring upside than usual. He’s also increased his assist rate by 3.5 percentage points, so McCollum has the potential for a massive performance.

Jayson Tatum ($18,600)

If you do want to use someone from the Celtics at Captain, Tatum is the clear choice. He has scored at least 53.0 DKFP in back-to-back games, and he’s increased his fantasy production to 1.31 DKFP per minute over the past month.

The only real downside with Tatum is his price tag. He’s awfully expensive considering that the team will likely be at full strength. Jaylen Brown ($17,100 CP; $11,400) sat out on the front leg of this back-to-back for injury management, but he is expected to suit up vs. the Blazers. With Brown in the lineup, Tatum doesn’t justify such a lofty price tag.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Jaylen Brown (hamstring) has been ruled out for tonight’s game vs. the Trail Blazers.

However, the salary isn’t all that important on this slate. The Blazers are providing plenty of strong value plays, so you can basically play whoever you want. There’s a good chance that Tatum ends up as the highest-scoring player on the slate, which undoubtedly makes him relevant at the Captain spot.

UTIL Plays

Norman Powell ($7,000)

Powell returned to the Blazers’ lineup in their last game and ultimately played 28.9 minutes in a blowout loss. The good news is that he has been removed from the injury report ahead of Saturday’s game. He should return to his usual workload, and he’ll serve as the Blazers’ No. 2 scoring option in this contest.

Dennis Smith Jr. ($3,600)

Smith is the first of two elite value plays for the Blazers. He started the second half after Simons got hurt on Thursday, and he ultimately finished with 20.25 DKFP over 18.8 minutes. He should see a few additional minutes on Saturday, and DSJ has historically been an elite producer on a per-minute basis. He’s averaged 0.96 DKFP per minute this season, so he doesn’t need a ton of playing time to do damage.

Ben McLemore ($2,200)

As good as DSJ is, McLemore might be the better pure value on Saturday. He’s a better bet to see around 30 minutes in this contest, and McLemore has been almost as effective on a per-minute basis. He’s averaged 0.88 DKFP per minute over the past month, and he’s increased that figure to 0.92 with Lillard and Simmons off the court.


Jaylen Brown ($17,100 CP; $11,400)

I’d like to make a case buying low on Brown. He’s an excellent player, and he’s going to command minimal ownership on this slate. Still, I just can’t bring myself to do it. The Celtics have exercised extreme caution with Brown since he returned to the lineup following a hamstring injury. His per-minute production is also down to just 0.91 DKFP per minute over the past month. Brown is priced in the same ballpark as Tatum and McCollum, and he simply doesn’t have the same upside as either player.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Jaylen Brown (hamstring) has been ruled out for tonight’s game vs. the Trail Blazers.

The Outcome

The Blazers were demolished by the Spurs in their last game, and life could be tough for them without Lillard and Simons. Guys like DSJ and McLemore are great for fantasy purposes, but they’re simply not good basketball players. The Blazers have averaged just 92.1 points per 100 possessions with Lillard and Simons off the court this season, but they’ve allowed 113.6. Those numbers are slightly inflated because of garbage time situations, but the Blazers are still not going to be competitive on most nights with their current roster.

The Celtics have been far from a juggernaut, but they are essentially back at full strength. I think they should be able to come into Portland and take care of business, and they should be able to do it relatively easily.

Final Score: Celtics 115, Blazers 98

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

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