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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Targets for Mavericks vs. Warriors Showdown on May 18

Matt LaMarca gives his top picks for tonight’s contest on DraftKings between the Mavericks and Warriors.

The Warriors and Mavericks will square off in the Western Conference finals, and Game 1 takes place Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET. The Warriors were able to get past the Grizzlies in six games in the second round, while the Mavericks pulled off a stunning upset of the Suns. They blew the doors off the Suns in Game 7, recording an eye-popping 38-point victory on the Suns’ home floor.

The Mavs have started to garner a bit more respect in the betting markets, but they’re still just +225 to win this series on DraftKings Sportsbook. The Warriors are also listed as 5.5-point favorites in Game 1, which will take place in San Francisco.

As you get your lineups assembled for the great DraftKings contests, check out some of my favorite options to consider for this Showdown slate below.

Set your DraftKings lineup here: NBA Showdown $600K Shootaround [$150K to 1st] (DAL vs GSW)

Captain’s Picks

Luka Doncic ($20,100) – Doncic is really expensive at Captain, but he’s been worth every penny during the postseason. He’s scored at least 57.75 DKFP in four of his past five games, and he was nothing short of magnificent in Game 7. He scored 35 points on 12-19 shooting, finishing with 61.0 DKFP in just 30.4 minutes.

Overall, Doncic has increased his production to 1.65 DKFP per minute over the past month, which is the top mark on the slate by a wide margin. No other player can match his upside, making him a logical choice for the Captain spot.

Stephen Curry ($16,500) – If you’re not going to pay up for Doncic, Curry is likely your best alternative. He hasn’t had a true Curryesque performance during the postseason, and he’s shot just 45.1% from the field and 35.9% from 3-point range in his 11 playoff contests. Those would be acceptable marks for most players, but Curry is not most players. He’s a 42.8% 3-point shooter for his career, so he has some room for improvement moving forward.

Curry continues to launch the ball at a high frequency, giving him significant upside. The Warriors are also listed as 5.5-point home favorites, giving them a moderate edge in implied team total.

Flex Plays

Jordan Poole ($8,000) – The Splash Brothers have officially become triplets. Poole has emerged as an important part of the Warriors’ rotation, regardless of whether he starts or comes off the bench. His playing time has dwindled in his past two games, but he hasn’t really been needed in either contest. He played at least 31.2 minutes in each of the four previous games vs. the Grizzlies, and he scored at least 30.25 DKFP in three of them. Poole has averaged 1.04 DKFP per minute for the season, so he should continue to provide value with 30+ minutes.

Jalen Brunson ($8,400) – Brunson has earned himself a nice pay raise in the offseason. The upcoming free agent has been massive for the Mavericks during the postseason, and he served as their No. 2 scoring threat vs. the Suns. His 28.2% usage rate ranked second on the team in the second round of the postseason, and it represents a massive increase from his mark of 21.9% during the regular season. Brunson has averaged 0.95 DKFP per minute for the season, and he clearly has more upside with a higher usage rate. He’s gotten more expensive recently, but he’s still managed to return positive value in four of his past five games.

Value Plays

Reggie Bullock ($5,400) – Bullock has played all the minutes he can handle during the postseason. He’s played around 40 minutes in games that have been competitive, and his ability to knock down shots from the perimeter gives him plenty of upside. He’s a 38.5% shooter from 3-point range for his career, and he averaged nearly seven 3-point attempts per game during the series vs. the Suns. If he gets hot from behind the arc, he has the potential to provide big value.

Damion Lee ($1,000) – You’re typically going to need one pure punt play in the Showdown format. Getting as many studs into your lineup as possible is the preferred format given the sheer volume of points that they score. If you can get away with one really cheap player, it makes building the rest of your lineup very easy.

Lee fits the bill as a punt play on Wednesday. The Warriors are currently without Gary Payton II, which has opened up a few minutes for Lee as a part of the rotation. He played at least 10.5 minutes in each of the final four games vs. the Grizzlies, and he scored at least 11.75 DKFP in two of them. That may not sound like much, but it represents tremendous value at the absolute minimum. Lee has averaged 0.72 DKFP per minute this season, so he’s capable of getting back into double digits on Wednesday.


Spencer Dinwiddie ($6,400) – One of the easiest ways to grab an edge in the single-game format is to fade players coming off outlier shooting performances. Dinwiddie was fantastic in Game 7 vs. the Suns, finishing with 43.25 DKFP. However, he shot a blistering 11-15 from the field and 5-7 from 3-point range, and that kind of shooting just simply isn’t repeatable.

Additionally, Dinwiddie’s price tag has also jumped considerably following that outing. He was priced at $5,200 for Game 7, but he’s up to $6,400 for Game 1 vs. the Warriors. Outside of his last performance, his production has been mediocre during the postseason, failing to return value in eight of his previous 10 games. This seems like the perfect time to bet on some regression for Dinwiddie.

The Outcome

The Mavericks have been excellent after trading away Kristaps Porzingis, and they took down the team most believed was the best in the West. That gives them a legitimate shot at upsetting the Warriors.

However, the Warriors have been the best team in basketball when at full strength this season. When Draymond Green and Steph Curry have been on the court, the Warriors have outscored opponents by 12.8 points per 100 possessions. That includes the regular season and the postseason, and they remain my pick to win the NBA Finals.

I expect the Warriors to get off to a strong showing in San Francisco, especially if the Mavericks have some Game 1 jitters. They’ve never played on this large of a stage before, while the Warriors obviously have plenty of big-game experience. This series might go seven games, but the Warriors should be able to take care of business.

Final Score: Warriors 110, Mavericks 99

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Set your DraftKings lineup here: NBA Showdown $600K Shootaround [$150K to 1st] (DAL vs GSW)

I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and customer (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 do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. 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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