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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Warriors vs. Jazz Showdown on January 1

Matt LaMarca gives his top lineup advice for Saturday’s featured Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Wizards and Jazz, which locks at 9 p.m. ET.

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Utah Jazz Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday’s featured NBA Showdown should be a doozy. The Golden State Warriors will take on the Utah Jazz at 9 p.m. ET in a battle between arguably the two best teams in basketball.

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 $80K Fadeaway [$20K to 1st] (GSW vs UTA)

Captain’s Picks

Stephen Curry ($18,600)

Curry has been in a bit of a cold spell recently, but he remains one of the league’s premier players. He’s averaged 1.40 DKFP per minute this season, despite the fact that his shooting percentages are a bit down. He’s made just 43.3% of his shots from the field this season, which is well below his mark of 48.2% last season. Curry has been even worse recently, making just 41.9% of his shots from the field over his past eight contests.

Curry has proven himself to be one of the most efficient shooters in league history, so don’t expect him to struggle forever. When he does start making his jump shots again, he’s going to pile up the fantasy points. Overall, no one on this slate can match his upside, so he’s the clear choice if you’re paying up at Captain.

Rudy Gobert ($15,600)

If you can’t get all the way up to Curry, Gobert is a fine alternative. He’s been the best per-minute producer in this matchup over the past month – he’s averaged 1.37 DKFP per minute – and he’ll get to face a short-handed Warriors’ frontline. Draymond Green is currently in health and safety protocols, leaving Kevon Looney as the team’s lone viable center. That’s a matchup he can dominate.

Gobert has yet to play the Warriors this season, but it’s a matchup he’s historically thrived in. He’s averaged 47.82 DraftKings points in seven matchups vs. the Warriors dating back to the start of the 2019-20 season.

UTIL Plays

Rudy Gay ($4,600)

Joe Ingles is going to be an important player to monitor on Saturday’s slate. He missed Friday’s matchup vs. the Timberwolves due to a left lower back strain, and his absence would open up some value with the rest of the Jazz’s roster.

Gay is someone who stands out as a potential beneficiary. He’s an excellent per-minute producer, averaging 0.90 DKFP per minute this season. He’s also played at least 24.2 minutes in back-to-back games, and he’s unsurprisingly scored at least 24.25 DKFP in both contests. If he’s looking at another expanded workload, he owns an excellent ceiling for his price tag.

Royce O’Neale ($4,200)

While Gay succeeds with efficiency, O’Neale does it through sheer volume. He’s an excellent defensive player, so the Jazz typically lean on him for heavy minutes. He hasn’t done much with his minutes recently, scoring 14.75 DKFP or fewer in four straight games, but those stand out as outliers. O’Neale has played at least 30 minutes in 110 games since the start of 2019, and he’s averaged 23.12 DKFP in those contests.

Kevon Looney ($3,600)

As long as Green isn’t cleared to return, Looney stands out as one of the best values on the slate. He’s averaged a solid 0.93 DKFP per minute this season, and he’s seen a nice spike in playing time sans Green of late. He’s played at least 26.4 minutes in back-to-back games, and Looney can easily pay off his current salary with that much playing time.


Gary Payton II ($6,000)

“The Mitten” has been a nice source of fantasy value recently, scoring at least 24.25 DKFP in five straight games. Unfortunately, it seems as though his days of fantasy relevance have come to a close. The Warriors got Andrew Wiggins back from health and safety protocols recently, and Jordan Poole will return to the lineup vs. the Jazz. That just doesn’t leave enough playing time for Payton off the bench. He could be worth some consideration in the future as a punt play, but he’s not viable at $6,000 with the team essentially at full strength.

The Outcome

This should be one heck of a contest. No offense to the Suns, but for my money, these are the two best teams in the league. Both teams own a Net Rating of at least +10.1 points per 100 possessions, and no other team is above +6.6.

This matchup also features the best offensive team in the league vs. the best defensive team, but not in the way you might think. The Jazz have been miles better than every other team this season in terms of Offensive Rating, while the Warriors are tops in Defensive Rating. Overall, this stands out as a potential Western Conference Finals preview.

The Jazz are listed as slight favorites in this matchup, and it’s tough to argue against the Warriors as underdogs. I’m expecting this to be a close contest, so I’ll grab the points in this matchup.

From a DFS perspective, stars and scrubs seems like the preferred construction. Curry, Gobert and Donovan Mitchell ($10,800) stand out as the top studs, and using all three together isn’t easy. Still, I think there’s enough value to make it feasible.

Final Score: Jazz 115, Warriors 111

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $80K Fadeaway [$20K to 1st] (GSW vs UTA)

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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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