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Best lineup strategy for Lakers vs. Celtics NBA Showdown

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

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) dribbles against Philadelphia 76ers guard Matisse Thybulle (22) during the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday night, we have the Los Angeles Lakers traveling back to the east coast to take on the Boston Celtics at 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC. This matchup features a ton of great DFS plays on both teams that could end up making or breaking your lineup. As we all know, many DFS players will opt to put LeBron James or Jayson Tatum in their captain spots, which would not be bad ideas.

However, where you can really separate yourself from your opponent is with the FLEX picks, in which both teams have some interesting choices. Let’s go over the Showdown fantasy outlook for the game for contests on DraftKings.

Captain’s Picks

LeBron James ($18000) - James is currently listed as questionable for Saturday night’s game, but he will likely play. This season the 36-year-old James has been a great play both in regular fantasy basketball and DFS. The veteran forward is averaging 49.4 fantasy points per game and recently just had 75, 51.5, and 50.2 fantasy performances in the Lakers last few games. He’s not only a scorer but a facilitator as well, which provides a ton of value with 1.5x fantasy points.

Jayson Tatum ($15300) - If you want to go a little bit cheaper at captain, Jayson Tatum is a tremendous option. Since coming back from contracting COVID-19, the former first-round pick is averaging 24.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game. He’s also shooting 45.7 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from three-point range. In regards to DFS play, Tatum has recorded 39 and 43.2 fantasy points, which is encouraging to see in his return back to the court.

FLEX Plays

Kyle Kuzma ($6,200) - In a spot start for Anthony Davis on Thursday night, Kuzma recorded a double-double consisting of 22 points and 10 rebounds, which was good for a season-high 39 fantasy points.

Now granted, this was against the Detroit Pistons, who are one of the worst teams in the NBA this season. But it was an encouraging sign for Kuzma, who went four-straight games without scoring in double figures. The Celtics are ranked 10th on DraftKings against opposing SF/PF this season.

Marcus Smart ($7,800) - Smart is another great FLEX play as he can stuff the stat by just doing a little bit of everything on the court. Just like with Kuzma if you play one of the star players at the captain spot, Smart is an intriguing flex play. This season, the veteran combo guard is averaging 30.9 fantasy points per game.

In the Celtics’ last five games, Smart is averaging 36.4 fantasy point per game, which included a 42-point effort against the Bulls (13 points, 11 assists, five rebounds, two steals and a block). Smart epitomizes what you want in a FLEX play and could play a noticeable role on Saturday.

Fades

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($4200) - For Saturday night’s showdown contest, I’m going to lean towards fading Caldwell-Pope. The veteran guard is averaging 17.7 fantasy points per game this season, but has scored struggled to score more than 10 points in three out of the Lakers’ last four games. Unlike Smart, he does not provide much value anywhere else on the floor as his job is to just shoot. The problem with that is the Celtics are ranked fifth against opposing SG/SF this season.

The Outcome

The Lakers are coming into this game having lost two-straight games and needing a 46-point effort from LeBron James to defeat the Cavaliers earlier in the week. Meanwhile, the Celtics are also looking to bounce back from a four-point road loss to the San Antonio Spurs. This game will likely come down to the last few possessions in the fourth quarter with the Lakers snapping their losing streak.

Final score: Lakers 110, Celtics 106