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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Lakers vs. Suns Showdown on June 3

Matt LaMarca gives his top lineup advice for Thursday’s fantasy basketball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Lakers and Suns, which locks at 10:30 p.m. ET.

We’re nearing the conclusion of the first round of the NBA playoffs. The entire Eastern Conference bracket is set – the 76ers will play the Hawks and the Nets will play the Bucks – and two more Western Conference teams can punch their tickets on Thursday.

One of those teams is the Phoenix Suns. They were the underdogs in their series vs. the Los Angeles Lakers, but they’ve jumped out to a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series. Tonight’s Game 6 will be played in Los Angeles, but the Suns would advance to the second round with a road victory.

That said, the Lakers are currently listed as 2.5-point home favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Anthony Davis (groin) will start Thursday vs. the Suns.

The big X-factor in this contest is the health of Anthony Davis ($11,400). He missed Game 5 due to a groin injury, and he’s currently questionable for tonight’s contest. Expect him to do everything possible to try and get on the court in a potential elimination game, but head coach Frank Vogel said he would not play unless he gets clearance from the medical staff.

DraftKings is offering up a featured Showdown for this contest, so let’s break down some of the top options to consider for your lineups.

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Captain’s Picks

LeBron James ($17,700 Captain) – I expected a huge performance from LeBron with Davis out of the lineup in Game 5, but he was ultimately a bit disappointing. His numbers weren’t bad – 42.25 DKFP on 24 points, five rebounds, and seven assists – but it wasn’t the kind of herculean effort we’ve seen from him with his back against the wall in the past.

Of course, it would help if his teammates could actually make a shot. LeBron was credited with 13 potential assists in Game 5, but his teammates were a combined 20-65 from the field (30.78%) and 6-25 from 3-point range (24.0%). I’m expecting those guys to play a bit better on Thursday, which should allow LeBron to rack up a few additional assists. LeBron should also be a bit more aggressive looking to score the ball, particularly if Davis is out of the lineup again. Overall, he has the highest ceiling in this contest.

Deandre Ayton ($14,100 Captain) – Ayton barely had to break a sweat in Game 5, but he has been a monster throughout this series. He finished with at least 37.0 DKFP in each of the first four games, and he racked up at least 41.25 DKFP in three of them. Using Ayton at Captain allows you to roster two additional studs in the utility spots, and getting as many of the top performers in your lineup as possible is the key to winning Showdown contests.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $300K Fadeaway [$100K to 1st] (PHO vs LAL)

UTIL Plays

Devin Booker ($10,000) – Booker has been up-and-down in this series. He racked up 48.75 DKFP in Game 5 and 55.25 DKFP in Game 1, but he’s scored less than 35 DKFP in the other three contests. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what was different in his good games vs. his bad games: he made shots in Games 1 and 5 and missed shots in the others. The majority of his fantasy value comes from his ability to score, so he has nice upside on nights where his shot is falling.

Dennis Schroder ($7,400) – Schroder reportedly turned down a four-year, $84M contract extension during the season, and that’s looking like a huge mistake. He was an unmitigated disaster in Game 5, shooting 0-9 from the field and handing out just one assist.

Still, he would be tough to ignore at $7,400 if Davis is unable to suit up. He was one of the biggest beneficiaries when Davis was off the court during the regular season. He increased his usage rate by 1.9 percentage points, resulting in an average of 0.96 DKFP per minute. He’s priced in the same range as role players like Cameron Payne ($7,000), Mikal Bridges ($6,200), and Jae Crowder ($6,000), but Schroder has significantly more upside.

Cameron Johnson ($2,000) – Johnson is your best source of value on tonight’s slate. He’s been priced down to just $2,000, but he’s played around 20 minutes in games that have been competitive in this series. He’s averaged 0.76 DKFP per minute this season, so he should be able to pay off his current price tag pretty easily with that much playing time.


Andre Drummond ($7,200) – Even if Davis is ruled out, Drummond is basically unplayable at this point. He played just 21.9 minutes sans Davis in Game 5, and he’s failed to return value in four of five games during this series. He’s been outplayed by Marc Gasol ($4,400), and it wouldn’t be a shock if Gasol saw more minutes than Drummond in Game 6. He’s just not a good fit for the modern NBA.


Davis’ status is going to have a massive impact in this game. The Lakers are just 1-7 this season against playoff opponents with Davis out of the lineup, and the Suns are one of the best teams in the league. The Lakers just don’t have enough talent to beat them without their star big man, despite the presence of LeBron James.

From a fantasy perspective, the Lakers would become a tough team to target if Davis is in. Most of their players have been priced up after playing without him in their last contest, so they seem overpriced if he’s available.

Overall, monitoring the news will be vital here. If Davis is in, I like the Suns in DFS and the Lakers in the betting market. If Davis is out, I like the Suns in the betting market and the Lakers in DFS. I’m going to assume that Davis plays for my official pick, but this situation is fluid.

Final Score: Lakers 109, Suns 104

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $300K Fadeaway [$100K to 1st] (PHO vs LAL)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) 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. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.

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