UPDATE: Both LeBron and AD are available to play tonight vs. the Clippers, per coach Frank Vogel.
Everyone is available to play tonight for the Lakers and the starters will be LeBron, AD, JaVale McGee, Avery Bradley and Danny Green.— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) December 25, 2019
I think both are fine to play in DFS and shouldn’t be restricted. This is a huge game on the biggest stage on Christmas.
UPDATE: LeBron and AD are still expected to play. We haven’t heard anything new on that front will be on the look out for confirmation. At this point, I don’t think we have anything to worry about.
UPDATE, 12/24: LeBron and AD are both expected to play on Christmas Day vs. the Clippers, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday.
Reporting with @McTen: Stars are aligned for Lakers-Clippers on Christmas Day. Lakers conducted impromptu practice this morning and LeBron James (groin) and Anthony Davis (knee) are expected to play vs. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard at 8 PM ET on ABC.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 24, 2019
So with that news, we can safely roll out both players in Showdown and in Classic formats on DraftKings. I hinted at some plays if LeBron or AD were to sit, but with both playing, I think the best course of action is to try and fit in all four of LeBron, AD, Kawhi and PG-13. I still think Rondo is a strong play and don’t mind Lou Will if Beverley is out.
The Battle of Los Angeles is back for its second installment (no Rage Against The Machine isn’t making another album but they’re getting back together FWIW). Anyway, we’ve got the Lakers taking on the Clippers at Staples Center on primetime Christmas Day. The Lakers are the home team, but the advantage may go toward the Clips. LeBron James (rib) and Anthony Davis (knee) are both listed as questionable to play as of Monday. LeBron missed his first game of the season Sunday vs. the Nuggets, while AD has been dealing with injuries pretty much all season. The big man has played through most of it, but was normally probable. So until we know whether they’ll play or not, this may be a tough contest to approach. But we’re going to give it a shot either way.
So let’s start with AD ($18,300) and LeBron ($18,000), the two highest priced options. If both are playing, we can assume that they won’t be limited much on such a big stage. I’ll lean Davis considering LeBron missed Sunday’s game and is going to be guarded by Paul George and Kawhi Leonard for most of this game. Leonard ($15,900) and PG ($14,700) would be the other considerations, but I’ll lean George. Davis was the leading scorer in the season opener and Kawhi operated without George. Leonard is also a bit banged up with the knee injury and I think the narrative rings more true for PG, plus he’s the cheapest of the superstars in this game.
As for any other options, well if LeBron sits, AD is sort of a lock in my eyes. If both AD and LeBron sit (Adam Silver forbids), the Lakers would be in a very rough spot. Rajon Rondo ($9,000) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($6,900) and Kyle Kuzma ($6,600) would all become viable options. Rondo would be my favorite of the bunch. He’s got the safest floor and would have a decent shot at a triple-double if the Lakers don’t get blown out before halftime. If Patrick Beverley remains out, Lou Williams ($12,300) may get the type of usage we’re looking for. Still too early to tell.
Again, same kind of stands for the above section. We need to see if LeBron and AD will play. So act accordingly depending on the news. There are ways to power stack LeBron, AD, Kawhi and PG-13, so that’s an option. You’d have to basically throw away a roster spot or two, but if all four players show up to play, they’ll likely be the top 4 scorers in the game. If you Captain AD at the high price, I don’t mind Avery Bradley ($2,600) and Moe Harkless ($2,400) as cheap starters who should see a decent amount of minutes. You can craft a pretty decent lineup if LeBron is out using AD in the Captain with Bradley and Harkless as FLEX plays.