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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Grizzlies vs. Lakers Showdown on February 12

Garion Thorne gives his top NBA lineup advice for Friday’s fantasy basketball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Grizzlies and Lakers, which starts at 10:00 p.m. ET.

Coming into tonight’s tilt with the Memphis Grizzlies, the Los Angeles Lakers have won six-straight games, while they’ve held opponents to just 102.9 points per 100 possessions — the lowest mark in the NBA within that span. Still, it hasn’t necessarily been an easy stretch. In fact, somehow, Los Angeles has played three consecutive overtime contests, needing extra time to put away the likes of the Pistons and the Thunder.

Will the Lakers continue their winning streak? Or will they be too gassed to compete on Friday? Let’s break it all down from a Showdown perspective.

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

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Captain’s Picks

LeBron James ($16,800 CP) - If Anthony Davis ($10,400; Achilles) sits again this evening, James becomes an obvious choice in the Captain’s slot. Heck, even if Davis is active, LeBron is the better play at 1.5x value. James is averaging team-highs in usage rate (31.4%) and DKFP per minute (1.43) this season, while he’s managed to exceed 40.0 DKFP in 22 of his past 23 starts. Basically, James’ combination of ceiling and floor remains almost unmatched throughout the entire NBA and he’ll have to be in your lineups in one way or another this evening. I mean, he’s LeBron James. Sometimes this stuff can be easy.

Jonas Valanciunas ($12,600 CP) - Valanciunas has been a man possessed since being activated out of the league’s health and safety protocols, averaging an insane 1.54 DKFP per minute across his past three games. Also, while Marc Gasol ($3,600) was seemingly created in a laboratory to defend old school bigs like Valanciunas, the Lakers have been susceptible to interior scoring in 2020-21, allowing an NBA-high 19.3 opponent field goals in the paint per contest. With so many injuries to vital rotation pieces, Kyle Anderson ($7,200) and Dillion Brooks ($6,400) should benefit from increased workload and responsibility, but it’s Valanciunas that features the most upside with his near-elite rebounding ability. In fact, the former lottery pick sports a 22.2% total rebounding rate, good for fifth-best in all of basketball.

UTIL Plays

Kyle Kuzma ($6,800) - The narrative surrounding Kuzma this season has been his acceptance in taking a step back and playing a smaller role for the overall success of the Lakers. It’s something that might get “The Jump” to sing your praises, yet it’s not exactly a recipe for great fantasy returns. However, Kuzma has clearly been at his best with the expanded runway that the absence of Davis creates. To wit, in the last three contests where Davis has been sidelined, Kuzma has averaged 33.6 DKFP, the result of putting up 16.0 points and 9.7 rebounds. He’s a complete stay-away if Davis is eventually ruled active on Friday — as Kuzma’s produced an underwhelming 0.79 DKFP per minute while sharing the floor with AD this season — but he’s very viable otherwise.

Grayson Allen ($4,000) - To be blunt, the Grizzlies are running out of shooting guards. With both DeAnthony Melton (shoulder) and Desmond Bane (personal) having already been ruled out for tonight’s tilt, it’s very likely that Allen ends up logging close to 30 minutes on Friday out of sheer necessity. Still, that’s not to suggest that Allen’s workload will be empty volume. While Allen doesn’t exactly stuff the stat sheet aside from points scored, Wednesday’s performance against Charlotte was a good example of how valuable Allen can be in an expanded role. The guard played 29.6 minutes, took 12 three-pointers and finished the victory with 29.75 DKFP. Jon Konchar ($1,400) should also see a few extra possessions with Bane unavailable, yet Allen’s the asset to trust if you have the salary.


Ja Morant ($8,000) - This is simply a lot of money to tie up in Morant when you’ve been recently getting similar fantasy production from the likes of Anderson and Brooks. The sophomore does lead all Grizzlies players in usage rate (28.6%) — and his eye-popping 40.2% assist rate means a double-double is always in the cards — but the fact of the matter is Morant’s shot has been ice cold all month. Through six games in February, Morant is shooting a putrid 36.7% from the field with an ugly .474 true shooting percentage. Maybe in some cases this would be the opportunity to buy low, but how much regression can we expect in tonight’s matchup against the league’s best defense? I’ll be taking a pass on the talented point guard.


While I do believe that the Grizzlies will lose this game due somewhat to their onslaught of injuries, betting them to keep things close might be the play. The Lakers are just 2-7 ATS in their past nine games overall, and they have an identical record against the spread in their past nine games as a favorite. Feel free to reassess if Davis ends up playing — especially as Memphis has surrendered 123.0 points per 100 possessions across its last five contests — but I believe the Grizzlies will cover.

Final Score: Los Angeles 118, Memphis 114

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

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) 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 I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.

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