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Best lineup strategy for Trail Blazers vs. Nuggets NBA Simulation Showdown

We go over lineup construction for Monday’s featured simulated basketball Showdown on DraftKings.

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard shoots over Phoenix Suns forward Dario Saric during the fourth quarter at the Moda Center.  Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Remember last season when basketball was played? There was this sweet playoff series between the Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets that went seven games. It was in the second round and there was a 4OT thriller in which Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum combined for 69 points. Jamal Murray dropped 34, Nikola Jokic had 33-18-14. Ahhhh yes, good times indeed. Well, DraftKings is offering a simulated basketball contest for Blazers-Nuggets on Monday night. Here’s a link to the contest and be sure to check out the rules before you proceed with entering a lineup.

Captain’s Picks

We have pretty good pricing for this contest. Jokic ($15,900) and Lillard ($15,600) are both similarly priced instead of being up in the $16-17K range ahead of the rest of the pool. If I had to choose anyone though, it’s Hassan Whiteside ($14,400). He had been a double-double machine before the break, registering one in each of the past 14 games. The last time he didn’t post a double-double? A blowout loss to the Nuggets on Feb. 4. You’re really not going to get a safer floor than Whiteside.

If you want to pay down so you can fit in 3-4 of the higher-priced players, then Michael Porter Jr. ($4,800) is really cheap in the Captain’s slot and has some upside. In January, Mike Malone decided to actually play Porter and he was putting up respectable numbers. He averaged 12.3 points and 6.9 rebounds in 15 games in January.

FLEX Options

Like I mentioned above, I think the way to go here is to try and fit in Jokic, Dame, CJ ($9,000) and Whiteside ($9,600). I prefer Whiteside in the Captain’s slot, so if that’s the course we take, there’s not a ton of salary to work with for the remaining couple slots. Because of this, we can use the “Stars and Scrubs” approach.

Rodney Hood ($2,200) only played 21 games for the Blazers before going down for the season due to injury. Before the injury, he was player decent minutes and starting frequently, so at this price point we have a good chance of rolling a decent box score. I mentioned Porter before as a potential cheap Captain, but he’s also pretty low in the UTIL spot as well at $3,200. Both are good value options that I’d consider for this contest.