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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Nuggets vs. Pelicans Showdown on January 31

Mike Barner gives his top NBA lineup advice for Tuesday’s fantasy basketball contest on DraftKings between the Nuggets and Pelicans.

There are five games scheduled across the NBA on Tuesday, one of which will be a battle between the Denver Nuggets and the New Orleans Pelicans. That matchup will be the featured Showdown contest on DraftKings, so let’s highlight some players to consider while building your lineups.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $200K Fadeaway [$50K to 1st] (NOP vs DEN)

Denver Nuggets vs. New Orleans Pelicans

Captain’s Picks

Nikola Jokic ($19,200 CP): When Jokic is part of a Showdown contest, it’s difficult to fade him for this important position. He is having another MVP-type season, leading the Nuggets to one of the best records in the NBA. Over 23 games that he has played at home, he has averaged 25.5 points, 12.1 rebounds and 11.0 assists. When these two teams met in New Orleans last week, he had yet another triple-double.

CJ McCollum ($13,800 CP): McCollum had a rough performance when these teams last played each other, scoring only 28 DKFP. However, that hasn’t been the norm for him, given that he has averaged 39.1 DKFP per game for the season. In two games since that disappointing stat line, he scored 51.8 and 42.8 DKFP, respectively. Don’t expect the Nuggets to be able to hold him down in this rematch.

UTIL Plays

Brandon Ingram ($8,800): Ingram is expected to return after sitting out the second game of a back-to-back set Sunday. He has played in two games since returning from a toe injury, and he logged 29 minutes in his last game against the Wizards. With him expected to play around 30 minutes in this matchup, his averages of 20.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.6 assists over 32 minutes per game for the season make him a very appealing option.

Larry Nance Jr. ($4,200): The Pelicans are still shorthanded up front with Zion Williamson (hamstring) out. Nance has been a key reserve for them, averaging 25 minutes off the bench over the last six games. His upside isn’t that high, but he has scored at least 24.5 DKFP in three of his last five games, making him someone to at least consider at such a cheap salary.

Guillermo Hernangomez ($2,400): For those who roll with Jokic at the Captain’s spot, taking a chance on Hernangomez could prove to be worthwhile. His salary certainly helps cushion the blow of Jokic’s, and he could be asked to play added minutes if Jonas Valanciunas ($7,600) gets into foul trouble. Hernangomez logged 23 minutes against the Nuggets last week, scoring 24 DKFP along the way.


Jose Alvarado ($5,600): With all of the injuries that the Pelicans have battled, Alvarado has averaged 22 minutes per game, which is seven minutes more per game than he played last season. The problem is, his role won’t be the same with Ingram healthy. Over the last two games that Ingram has played, Alvarado scored 16 and 22 DKFP, respectively. Even with Ingram out the last time he played the Nuggets, he only scored 23.3 DKFP.


This is a tough spot for the Pelicans, who have lost eight straight games. They are only 9-16 on the road, while the Nuggets are 22-4 at home. Getting Ingram back helps, especially in the scoring department. However, not having Williamson available puts them in a tough position. Jamal Murray ($8,600, knee) is listed as questionable, and if he can’t play, the Pelicans would have a better chance to pull off the upset. However, if he plays, this could get out of hand in a hurry.

Final Score: Nuggets 120, Pelicans 109

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $200K Fadeaway [$50K to 1st] (NOP vs DEN)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mbarner51) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.