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Best lineup strategy for Timberwolves vs. Nuggets NBA Showdown

We go over our picks for the Minnesota-Denver Showdown contest on DraftKings.

Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets passes the ball against the Minnesota Timberwolves on January 3, 2021 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

The Denver Nuggets obliterated the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday and will run it hack against their Western Conference rival on Tuesday at 9:00 p.m. ET. DraftKings has featured Showdown contests centered around the matchup and we’ve broken down what players are worth keeping an eye on when setting your DFS lineups for the night.

Captain’s Picks

The optimal captain’s pick is a no-brainer in this game. Nikola Jokic’s ($18,300) price has gone up but it would take serious guts to not pay up for him. He notched his fourth triple-double in six games the last time he faced the Timberwolves and is averaging more than 60 DKFP per game. He should have his way with Minnesota’s bigs with Karl-Anthony Towns out and is almost certain to put up monster numbers again.

Jamal Murray ($15,000) is the second most-dangerous option in this matchup. He’s found his efficiency and is nearly shooting 60 percent from the field in 2021 on 21 shots per contest. Minnesota’s poor defensive backcourt should have a hard time containing him if he continues to thrive. Opting for Murray over Jokic gives you more room to be creative in the flex, but you’re probably shot if he doesn’t have a big game.

Flex Plays

DraftKings is beginning to realize how dangerous Malik Beasley ($8,600) can be but he could still end up being a bargain at this price given how shorthanded his team is. His role seemed to be in danger of being diminished when Minnesota drafted Anthony Edwards but he’s responded to the new addition by performing at a high level. Beasley leads the Timberwolves in points (19) and minutes (30.3) per game. He’ll get a ton of exposure regardless of the game script.

Believe it or not, Jarrett Culver ($5,400) is Minnesota’s leading rebounder at this point in the season and is poised to start while Josh Okogie is out. While his shooting leaves a lot to be desired he has a clear path to around 30 minutes and can do a little bit of everything. He can make up for what he lacks in scoring prowess with boards, steals, and blocks. If his shot falls, even better.

Fades

Will Barton ($7,800) could be a popular play with Michael Porter Jr. out but he’s the kind of player I’d stay away from. He’s shooting just 35.9 percent from the field this season. While he did post a solid stat line despite a 3-of-11 shooting night the last time he faced the Timberwolves there are several other options with the same potential for much less salary. Monte Morris (6,200), Paul Millsap ($5,800), and JaMychal Green ($4,600) have similar DKFP averages.

The Outcome

Minnesota won by a landslide on Sunday and I expect to see more of the same in the Mile High City. The Timberwolves have been blown out in four straight games and Denver should look to make a statement before the string of tough games ahead.

Final score: Denver 125, Minnesota 111