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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Hawks vs. Knicks Showdown on May 23

Stan Son gives his top lineup advice for Sunday’s fantasy basketball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Hawks and Knicks, which starts at 7:00 p.m. ET.

San Antonio Spurs v New York Knicks Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

No more regular season. No more play-in games. It’s the playoffs, baby. Today, we get the opening game of the Eastern Conference series between the No. 5-seed Hawks and the No. 4-seed Knicks. The Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks were both 41-31 on the season but the Knicks had the better conference record. Interestingly, they both had identical records on the road and at home while sporting the same 7-3 record in the last 10 games. We have entered the Twilight Zone. The Knicks swept the season series, 3-0, by scores of 113-108, 123-112 and 137-127. Atlanta was 23rd in pace and 19th in defensive efficiency while New York was 30th in pace and third in defensive efficiency. DraftKings Sportsbook has the Hawks favored by 0.5 points with the O/U at 213.5.

Let’s break down this Showdown contest on DraftKings.

Captain’s Picks

Julius Randle ($16,500 CP) - Randle is not only the straw that stirs the drink, he is the drink! Over the past four games, he’s played 38, 46, 45 and 44 minutes while garnering a usage rate of 33%, 36%, 29% and 36%. He has six triple-doubles on the season and in the three regular-season meetings with the Hawks, Randle put up 62.75, 64.75 and 67.25 DKFP. He has the highest floor/ceiling combo on the slate.

Clint Capela ($14,400 CP) - It was between Capela and Trae Young ($15,600 CP) for this spot. It’s tough to fade Young because the usage rate is so high but my thinking is that Coach Tom Thibodeau gets the ball out of his hands as much as possible and there’s the chance Young has a poor shooting game. He converted less than 40% of his attempts in 21 games this season. Capela doesn’t have that issue because all of his attempts are in the paint. Plus, the rebounds and blocks are pretty secure on a nightly basis. While the floor is lower than Young’s, he does have access to a similar ceiling. In three games against the Knicks during the regular season, Capela went for 30.5, 45.5 and 61.5 DKFP. I’ll take the $1,200 in savings and likely decrease in ownership percentage.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $40K Pull Up Jumper [$10K to 1st] (ATL vs NYK)

UTIL Plays

De’Andre Hunter ($4,400) - Hunter missed 48 games this season due to injury. Since returning to action, he’s played 14, 15 and 24 minutes, contributing 9.75, 13.25 and 19 DKFP. It’s the playoffs now and there’s a chance that Hunter’s minutes restriction goes up. Nate McMillan said that he will speak to the team trainers before the game, while Mike Conti of the Atlanta Hawks Radio Network reported that the minutes will increase. We shall see. If he does get a playing time bump, then Hunter should have no problems paying off his price tag as he was averaging 0.9 DKFP per minute during the regular season.

Nerlens Noel ($4,600) - With Mitchell Robinson ($5,400) doubtful to play, Noel should get the bulk of the center minutes. Over the past two games, he’s played 32 and 34 minutes, contributing 21.5 and 34.5 DKFP. On the season, he averaged 0.84 DKFP per minute. As with Hunter, if Noel gets over 30 minutes, he should be able to pay off his salary expectation.

Alec Burks ($4,800) - Burks missed 11 of 13 games. Since returning to action, he’s played 25, 30 and 34 minutes in three games. He is the microwave off the bench for the Knicks. The usage rate has been 23%, 23% and 32%, while he’s attempted 10, 12 and 20 shots. That’s translated to 28, 33.25 and 50.5 DKFP. Derrick Rose ($6,800) is also a trusted player off the bench for Thibodeau, but he’s $2,000 more expensive than Burks.


John Collins ($11,400 CP; $7,600) - Collins has been all over the map this season. He’s played fewer than 30 minutes in 30 games while scoring less than 30 DKFP in 28 games. He has gone over 50 DKFP in four contests. I just can’t trust him in this matchup. The Knicks have been tough against power forwards all season, negating the FPPM by 6.58% below the league average. In three games during the regular season against New York, Collins put up 34, 29.5 and 22.25 DKFP.


For full transparency, I’ve been absolutely horrible at predicting outcomes, so you may want to go Costanza on me. If that doesn’t work, then Costanza the Costanza.

I don’t understand why the Hawks are favored in this one. The Knicks are the better defensive team, swept the season series and have an alpha in Randle. Plus, that MSG crowd is going to be rocking! Give me the Knicks in this one.

Final Score: New York 119, Atlanta 109

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $40K Pull Up Jumper [$10K to 1st] (ATL vs NYK)

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All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.

I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is sontzu) 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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