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Best lineup strategy for Hornets vs. Raptors NBA Showdown

We take a look at the Showdown contest on DraftKings between Charlotte and Toronto, giving you Captain’s Picks and who to fade.

LaMelo Ball of the Charlotte Hornets passes the ball during the first half against the Toronto Raptors at Amalie Arena on January 14, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

The Toronto Raptors are set to host the Charlotte Hornets for the second time this season on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET. Toronto was able to snap a two-game losing streak on Thursday but topped Charlotte by a very narrow margin. We’ve broken down who some of the top plays are for Showdown contests centered around the rematch, as well as who could be faded.

Captain’s Picks

There’s not a go-to guy on either of these teams and there’s no telling who the top scorer will be. Because of that, finding an edge will be very important. One play I think could give DFS players tons of leverage is Gordon Hayward ($13,200), who was a late scratch from Thursday’s game because of a hip strain he suffered earlier this week. The Raptors give up more DKFP per game than any team in the NBA so getting the Hornets’ top scorer could be big if people are skeptical about his workload coming back from an injury. He’s cheaper than LaMelo Ball ($13,800) and I think he’ll return much more value if he plays.

The other play I have my eye on is Chris Boucher ($12,000). The backup big has gotten much more run than Aron Baynes as of late and can feast against a Charlotte team that’s still lacking real post presence with Cody Zeller out. Boucher has tallied at least 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 blocks in three of his last four games and tallied a season-high 25 points the last time he faced the Hornets. Captaining him gives you enough salary to fit in plenty of capable flex options.

FLEX Plays

Most players will likely choose just one of Toronto’s starting guards for a flex spot and Kyle Lowry ($8,400) stands out as the better option. His DKFP is almost identical to Fred VanVleet’s ($9,600) but he’s $1,200 cheaper. Both players can light it up but Lowry gives you more flexibility and has been far more consistent as of late.

Bismack Biyombo ($4,200) is the cheapest starter available by a wide margin and has seen extended run for a while with Zeller out. Charlotte isn’t comfortable with the centers it has on the bench and will mostly spell Biz by using PJ Washington ($7,200) as a small-ball center. Biz has a clear path to boards and easy hustle points will be there for him.

Lamelo Ball’s ($9,200) price has steadily been rising and he’s the third-most-expensive player on the slate despite being a reserve guard who is averaging less than 30 minutes per game. He can certainly stuff the stat sheet but will have to have a hot shooting night to merit this price.


Norman Powell ($4,800) has been fairly disappointing this season after his career year in 2019-20. He hasn’t provided nearly as much of a scoring spark off the bench and has hardly contributed as a rebounder or passer. He’s shooting less than 38 percent from the field and an option like Caleb Martin ($3,800) could give you just as much for less if Hayward doesn’t play.

The Outcome

Hayward’s status will drastically affect the game script in this matchup but I think the Raptors will bounce back with a strong performance to get a second straight win. VanVleet won’t shoot 6-for-20 for a second straight game.

Final score: Raptors win 120-115