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Best lineup strategy for Celtics vs. Rockets NBA Showdown

DFS picks for Tuesday’s NBA Showdown slate between the Celtics and Rockets. Captain plays, stacks and fades.

The Celtics and Rockets will meet for the first time this season, with their meeting in Boston coming just a few weeks later. Boston’s coming off a hard-fought victory in OKC on Sunday afternoon, stringing together seven wins in a row. The Rockets have had some peaks and valleys since going the ultra small-ball route, getting a road win against the Lakers, but entering this game on a two-game losing skid.

Jaylen Brown (ankle) has told reporters that he’ll play through a probable tag for the C’s. The Rockets have ruled out Eric Gordon (leg) through the All-Star break. Without much injury news to monitor, here’s the fantasy breakdown.

Who should you play in the Captain’s slot?

Russell Westbrook ($16,200 CP)

Westbrook is probably the safest source of fantasy production in this contest, really thriving as a scorer in Houston’s new scheme. He’s averaging 40 actually points over the last two games, chucking up 61 field goal attempts in those outings combined. He’s scored over 55 DKFP in both games, and that’s while averaging seven rebounds (one below his season average) and 4.5 assists (three below his season average). Getting a little boost from the other categories he typically fills up could produce a 60-plus DKFP game if he continues to be an aggressive scorer against Boston.

Who should you stack with Westbrook?

James Harden ($12,200)

Paying up for both of Houston’s studs is generally the right strategy in showdown. If you miss out on the one that goes off, you’re not going to cash. Harden posted a triple-double in his last game, scoring 66.5 DKFP on 2-of-13 shooting from downtown. I prefer captaining Westbrook because I like the matchup better, and it gives you some savings. But Harden should by no means be a fade on this slate.

Where can you find value?

Ben McLemore ($3,600)

We’ll keep focusing on the wings for the Rockets, because, well ... they play all wings. McLemore has been the prime beneficiary from Gordon’s absence, scoring just shy of 18 DKFP in consecutive games. Three showdown slates ago his salary was $5,000, so the consistent and significant dip in price gives us strong value. We should be able to lock McLemore in for 25 minutes.

Who should you fade?

Jaylen Brown ($7,600)

The Celtics playing at full strength for seemingly the first time in ages creates a little bit of a logjam. There’s no way we can pay for all these pricey perimeter scorers. Brown is the first one that jumps out as the fade. Judging off reports on the Celtics beat, he’s going to be playing through some pain in this one. We’ve kind of seen that in recent games, averaging just 24 DKFP in 36 minutes over his last two, and failing to reach 30 DKFP in three straight. I’d look to any of the other three primary scorers for Boston before Brown, with the nod going to the red-hot Jayson Tatum ($9,600) as the best play of the bunch.

I am an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) 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.