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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Trail Blazers vs. Nuggets Showdown on May 27

Mike Barner gives his top NBA lineup advice for Thursday’s fantasy basketball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Trail Blazers and Nuggets, which starts at 10:30 p.m. ET.

Thursday brings three Game 3’s in the NBA playoffs. One series that is tied 1-1 is the Western Conference matchup between the Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets. That game will also be the featured Showdown contest on DraftKings, so let’s highlight some players to consider for your entries.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $175K West Coast Special [$50K to 1st] (DEN vs. POR)

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Denver Nuggets


Captain’s Pick

Nikola Jokic ($18,900 CP): With Jamal Murray (knee) out for the season, the Nuggets will continue to lean heavily on Jokic to help them make a run in the playoffs. He’s thrived in the first two games of this series, scoring 58 DKFP then 56.6. He scored at least 34 points and attempted at least 20 shots in both games, although he only had a total of six assists. Still, with all the shot attempts he can handle likely coming his way, and his ability to rack up rebounds in bunches, he’s an ideal option for the Captain’s spot.

Damian Lillard ($16,200 CP): Talk about two monster performances to start off a series. Lillard stormed out of the gate with 34 points and 13 assists in Game 1, then followed that up with 42 points and 10 assists in Game 2. He was dialed in from beyond the arc, shooting a combined 14-for-28 on 3-pointers. He played at least 40 minutes in both games and should continue to log a ton of minutes moving forward, leaving him with the potential for another excellent stat line in Game 3. Given his significantly cheaper salary, he might be even more appealing than Jokic for the Captain’s spot.

UTIL Plays

CJ McCollum ($9,000): McCollum sometimes gets lost behind Lillard’s stellar play, but he recorded exactly 21 points and six rebounds in both of the first two games of this series. He averaged a career-highs in points (23.1) and assists (4.7) per game during the regular season, and he’s now recorded six straight seasons with an average of at least 20.8 points per game. He doesn’t have the upside Jokic and Lillard do, but he still has a high floor, making him an appealing utility play.

Aaron Gordon ($6,600): Gordon has seen his numbers decline since being dealt to the Nuggets, which was to be expected given the lack of talent that was around him in Orlando. Still, he scored 30 DKFP in Game 1 and played 28 minutes in both of the first two games. Don’t count on him to provide as many assists as he did with the Magic now that he’s playing alongside an excellent passer in Jokic, but he can still provide enough in points and rebounds to be worth considering.

Monte Morris ($4,800): The Nuggets sure could use more production from Morris with Murray out. Although he’s coming off the bench behind Facundo Campazzo ($7,200), Morris still played 30 minutes in Game 2, scoring 29.3 DKFP along the way. He averaged 10.2 points, 3.2 assists and 1.1 3-pointers across just 25 minutes per game during the regular season, so he has a chance to provide value at his cheap salary, even if he can’t log 30 minutes again.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $175K West Coast Special [$50K to 1st] (DEN vs. POR)


Norman Powell ($6,800): Powell didn’t play poorly in Game 2, scoring 15 points while shooting 5-for-9 from the field. The problem was, he didn’t log a single rebound or assist. He only averaged 3.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game during the regular season, so even if he has another strong scoring performance, it might be difficult for him to provide value.

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The Outcome

The Nuggets responded well to their Game 1 loss, but now they need to steal home court advantage back with the series shifting to Portland. They were one of the best road teams in the league with a 22-14 record, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them emerge victorious. However, I think that road win is more likely to come in Game 4. Lillard and company should be hyped to play before their home crowd, so look for them to pull out a narrow victory.

Final Score: Trail Blazers 123, Nuggets 119

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $175K West Coast Special [$50K to 1st] (DEN vs. POR)

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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 I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.

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