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Best lineup strategy for Jazz vs. Nuggets NBA Showdown

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

Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets dribbles the ball during the game against the Golden State Warriors on January 14, 2021 at the Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado. Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

The Denver Nuggets are set to host the Utah Jazz at 8:00 p.m. ET in one of the six NBA games scheduled for Sunday. The two Western Conference teams are meeting for the first time since last year’s NBA playoffs when Denver came back from a 3-1 deficit to win a seven-game series in the first round. Will Utah get revenge or will Denver come out on top again? We break down a few ways you can attack Showdown slates centered around the contest on DraftKings.

Captain’s Picks

The most common play will be Nikola Jokic ($17,100). The big man is averaging a triple-double and his DKFP average is more than 20 points over any other player available. While he will draw a tough matchup against an elite rim protector in Rudy Gobert but tallied 26.3 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 5.1 assists against Gobert during last year’s playoffs. He’s the safest captain’s play you can make regardless of who he’s matched up against for the most part.

Donovan Mitchell ($13,500) has the second-highest DKFP average in the field and is up against a Nuggets squad that ranks 26th against opposing shooting guards on DraftKings. He makes the most sense because of his shot volume, but captaining the struggling Jamal Murray ($12,000) would give you a lot more leverage. Utah is the best and shutting down opposing point guards on DraftKings but Murray averaged 31.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game in last year’s playoffs. If he can rekindle some of that magic he could give you an edge in GPPs.

FLEX Plays

Will Barton ($6,800) is still filling in for Michael Porter Jr. and is beginning to get a little more consistent. Utah has been weak against small forwards and Barton has averaged .97 DKFP per minute over his last two games while eclipsing the 30-minute mark. Look for him to continue eating minutes up on the wing.

Jordan Clarkson ($7,200) is the most prolific bench scorer in the NBA this season but is only slightly more expensive than Barton. His instant offense has allowed him to tally at least 16 points for five straight games. His passing isn't anything to phone home about but his rebounding is underrated. He’s averaging just under 5 boards per contest.

Fades

Royce O’Neale ($6,200) might average more than 31 minutes per game, but he’s often the least impactful starter on the floor. The undersized swingman hardly looks go shoot and his ceiling games are nearly impossible to predict. He was far more valuable when he was priced under $5,000.

The Outcome

The Jazz are riding a four-game winning streak and have held three teams in a row under 100 points. The Nuggets are explosive scoring the basketball at full strength, but I think the absence of MPJ puts them at too much of a disadvantage to win. Utah has a better defense and more consistent scorers.

Final score: Jazz win 115-110