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Best lineup strategy for Lakers vs. Nuggets NBA Showdown

LeBron James should take advantage of how thin the Nuggets are at small forward in this Showdown matchup.

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James shoots against the Phoenix Suns during the first half at Staples Center. Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers (40-12) will visit the Denver Nuggets (38-16) on Wednesday. Los Angeles still sits atop the Western Conference and has regained some momentum after losing to the new-look Rockets by getting back-to-back wins against the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns. Denver is second in the standings and is riding a four-game winning streak ahead of the All-Star break. The Nuggets are three games back from the Lakers and are 1-1 against them this season.

Captain’s Picks

It’s hard to find a better captain’s pick than LeBron James ($18,000) here. The Nuggets are undermanned at small forward, as Will Barton and Michael Porter Jr. have been ruled out of the contest. James benefits from mismatches on most nights, but lining up against Torrey Craig bodes exceptionally well for his fantasy output. He’s only played Denver once this year and put up 25 points, sis rebounds, and nine assists against a healthy squad. He has potential to do more damage this time around.

Nikola Jokic ($17,100) got off to a slow start this year, but has picked things up ahead of All-Star break and is a potential captain pick. He’s been a consistent member of a Denver froncourt that’s been riddled with injuries as of late. Jokic leads his team in points (20.6), rebounds (10.2), and assists (6.9) per game and will continue to have the offense run through him. He’s averaging 25.9 points, 11.2 rebounds, and 9.2 assists per game in his last 10 appearances.

FLEX Options

Paul Millsap ($6,600) returned from a knee injury that forced him to miss more than a month of the season earlier this week and has been very efficient off the bench. Despite playing fewer than 20 minutes in each in his two February appearances, he’s averaged 38.55 DKFP this month.

Kyle Kuzma ($5,600) is always a wild card for Los Angeles. He has totaled at least 27 DKFP in his last two contests and could see more playing time if Anthony Davis struggles with the sprained finger he’s dealing with. Kuzma could log some minutes against Denver’s questionable group of small forwards as well.