The 69th NBA All-Star Game is set for Sunday night on TNT at 8 p.m. ET between Team LeBron and Team Giannis. The two All-Stars had their draft, picked their teams and we’re ready to go for what should be another exciting, rollercoaster of a game. When you look at the rosters, you may notice how this game could be very one-sided. Team LeBron is absolutely stacked with names like James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Luka Doncic and Anthony Davis. Team Giannis feels like a squad put together to grind out a win with defensive stalwarts in Joel Embiid, Bam Adebayo, Pascal Siakam and Rudy Gobert. Let’s go over how to construct your lineup for the Showdown contest on DraftKings.
Who should I play at Captain?
Generally you want to pay up at Captain, but in this format we can find a lot of value. Since Team Giannis lacks ball-dominant scorers, we can easily target Trae Young at $12,600. Outside of Giannis Antetokounmpo, this team really only has bigs, plus Kemba Walker and Jimmy Butler. As somebody who has only been in the League for two seasons, Young is still hungry and will be gunning for MVP. He’ll certainly have the usage, while it’s tough to see any one player on Team LeBron soaking up all the shots.
In keeping that mindset, Joel Embiid ($11,700) seems a bit underpriced for a game that won’t feature any defense. Embiid also has the right attitude for a game like this — he’s going to smack talk the entire time. As a starter and arguably the second-best player on Team Giannis, Embiid should get enough minutes and touches to be in MVP consideration if Team Giannis somehow wins.
Who should I stack with the Captain?
I don’t know if there’s a clear-cut stack, but if I’m captaining Young, I want Doncic in my lineup as well. Those two will be the focus on both teams despite so many other big names in this game. DraftKings Sportsbook has long odds on both to win MVP, but that’s a mistake in my mind. Doncic feels like the type of player who was made in a laboratory by kids who only want him to play in a never-ending cycle of NBA Jam or NBA Live ‘04. In an All-Star Game, you want the player who can do the most in as little minutes as possible and Young and Doncic both fit that bill.
Where can I find value in the contest?
Everywhere? It’s an All-Star Game! It’s unpredictable! We have no clue how many minutes each player will get and who will be the focus on the court. With pretty much every player in the running for your lineup, the easy place to start is at the bottom. Khris Middleton ($3,200) is basically being given away in this contest. Chris Paul ($3,000) even more so. Both have value given the unknown and the situation narrative. Middleton is Giannis’ teammate and therefore we could see him out there with The Greek Freak a bit. #BananaBoat4Life. CP3 is on Team LeBron and we know they are buddies, so again, could see Paul out there with LeBron a bit.
If we’re looking at guys not priced at the top, I’d be foolish to not mention Russell Westbrook ($8,800) in an ASG Showdown piece. He’s won MVP twice in his career and is the type of player who will want the spotlight. Ben Simmons ($7,400) also feels like a darkhorse MVP candidate who is underpriced, who also can put up the counting stats to return massive value.
Who should I fade?
I think because Team LeBron is crowded with superstars we can look to fade a few of those guys. I’m not crazy about Kawhi Leonard ($8,000) in a game that means absolutely nothing. He also had to play an OT game against the Celtics on Thursday night, so not much of a breather for the Clippers. Veteran guys like Rudy Gobert ($5,000) and Kyle Lowry ($3,800) don’t offer much upside and really only provide value due to ownership percentages likely being very low. It’s the ASG, you can’t really FADE any one player because it’s all talent, baby. If anything, now is the time to take into consideration narrative over everything.