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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Targets for Warriors vs. Mavericks Showdown on May 24

Zach Thompson gives his top NBA lineup advice for Tuesday’s fantasy basketball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Warriors and the Mavericks.

The Western Conference Finals return to the spotlight Tuesday night with the Warriors trying to close out a sweep of the Mavericks and advance to the NBA Finals. The Warriors have dominated the first three games of the series but have yet to close out a team on their first attempt this postseason. Can they reverse that trend and bring the intensity needed to move on, or can the Mavs rally and avoid elimination, forcing a Game 5 on Thursday?

Since they’re at home with their backs against the wall, the Mavs are actually a one-point favorite at the start of the day on DraftKings Sportsbook. As you break down the matchup and build your roster for Tuesday’s DraftKings showdown contests, check out some of my favorite options listed below.

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

Captain’s Picks

Luka Doncic ($21,600) – Doncic’s Captain’s Pick salary is extremely high, but it’s hard to argue against it with the efficiency and consistency he has displayed throughout the playoffs. He has produced 1.49 DKFP per minute in this series and 1.58 DKFP per minute in the playoffs. He has at least 60 DKFP in four of his five most recent contests, including both possible elimination games vs. the Suns, when he had 68.75 and 61 DKFP. Those two big games were even in limited minutes since the Mavs were comfortable ahead. In the postseason, he has averaged 32.1 points, 9.5 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.8 steals in 36.5 minutes per contest. There are question marks around the Warriors’ ability to close out a series, but there is no question that Doncic isn’t going to go quietly. He has always played well in the playoffs and has especially excelled in potential elimination games. In 2020, he had 42 points, nine rebounds and nine assists in a Game 6 first-round loss to the Clippers, and last year, he had 46 points, 14 assists and seven rebounds when his Mavs were again eliminated by the Clippers. With such a history of coming up huge when his team is on the ropes, look for Luka to come out swinging and put up another monster game to avoid the sweep.

Andrew Wiggins ($12,300) – The main alternatives to paying up for Doncic at Captain’s Pick is to save salary and go with Steph Curry ($17,400 CP) or use a more balanced build overall. If you are looking for the best value for your CP spend, Wiggins might actually be the way to go since he’s so much less expensive than Doncic and has been consistently very sharp since the Warriors no-showed for their first chance to eliminate the Grizzlies. In the four games since that disappointing 8.25-DKFP showing in Memphis, Wiggins has bounced back with 41.75, 34.25, 34.75 and 47.25 DKFP. Even if he’s only around 34 DKFP, at this salary, he could approach the DKFP per dollar that Luka provides, and he could be the best option on a per-dollar basis if he goes for over 40 DKFP again. Wiggins is averaging 0.93 DKFP per minute in the postseason and 1.02 DKFP per minute in this series.

Flex Plays

Jalen Brunson ($9,000) – Brunson has emerged as Robin to Doncic’s Batman since the Mavericks traded Kristaps Porzingis at the deadline. In this series, he’s the only other regular averaging over 1.0 DKFP per minute, and for the playoffs, he has produced 0.97 DKFP per minute. He has at least 20 points and 30 DKFP in five of his past eight games, and he’ll need to help shoulder the load in this contest since the Warriors will obviously be keyed in on slowing down Doncic. In the two possible elimination games vs. the Suns, Brunson had 28.25 and 37.5 DKFP.

Kevon Looney ($7,000) – Injuries and inconsistency plagued the Warriors throughout the regular season, but the one stalwart through it all was Looney, who was the only member of the team who played in all 82 games, with no other Warrior playing more than 76. Looney sometimes can be uninvolved due to matchup and game flow, but he has been a key part of this matchup vs. the Mavericks. He is producing over 1.0 DKFP per minute both in this series and for the entire postseason and has over 25 DKFP in four straight games, dating back to the final game of the Grizzlies series. In Game 3, he came up just one point short of a second straight double-double after posting an impressive 21 points and 12 rebounds for 40.5 DKFP in Game 2.

Value Plays

Maxi Kleber ($4,200) – Kleber has struggled so far in this round, making just 2 of 14 shots from 3-point range and failing to score a single point in Game 3. He still did play 25 minutes, though, and finished with 7.5 DKFP from his non-scoring numbers. Kleber played fairly well last round vs. the Suns, averaging 19.8 DKFP per game over the course of that series. The Mavericks will need some role players to step up and help Doncic, and Kleber is one of the sources they usually turn to. He seems to be due for some positive regression unless there’s an unknown injury.

Jonathan Kuminga ($1,000) – With Otto Porter Jr. ($4,000; foot) questionable, there should be minutes available in the Warriors’ rotation. There are multiple ways Steve Kerr could go, with Juan Toscano-Anderson ($1,000) and Moses Moody ($1,000) getting time in Game 3 but not offering much production. Damion Lee ($1,000) is another option, having played a few minutes in Games 1 and 2 of the series but not getting on the floor in Game 3. Of the bunch, Kuminga is my favorite play even though he didn’t play in Game 3 and has only totaled four minutes in the series. He did start three games vs. the Grizzlies last round and played 24 minutes in Game 5 when the Warriors were blown out in their first chance to move on past Memphis. He logged a ton of garbage time in that contest and finished with 23.25 DKFP on 17 points. If the Warriors fall way behind in this contest, they may opt to give the 19-year-old extended run again. As a result, he offers a high ceiling for a player with a minimum salary, although there is also the chance that he doesn’t play very much at all.


Draymond Green ($8,000) – This is not meant to be a slam on Green; I understand how impactful his presence is and how critical his contributions are for the Warriors. However, for DFS, Green is just too overpriced based on his production. He does all the things that don't show up in the box score, but by definition, they don’t help you much from a fantasy perspective. He has only reached 32 DKFP two times over his past 13 playoff games and has been held under 25 DKFP in four of his past seven.

The Outcome

I’ve come around on the Warriors in this series and think they have a strong chance to win the title once they get to the NBA Finals. While Golden State eventually advancing seems inevitable, the Warriors’ struggles with closing out past series is cause for concern in Game 4. Especially on the road, I don’t think they’ll finish this one Tuesday. Ultimately, I believe in Doncic too much and doubt the Warriors' ability to finish the series, so I think the Mavs avoid elimination and get this win in a close contest behind a massive game from Doncic.

Final Score: Mavericks 115, Warriors 107

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

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and customer (my username is z.thompson) 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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