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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Lakers vs. Nuggets Showdown on May 20

Pearce Dietrich gives his top NBA lineup advice for Saturday’s fantasy basketball contest on DraftKings between the Lakers and Nuggets.

Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets - Game One Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The Western Conference Finals leave Denver and move west to a pivotal game in Los Angeles. The Lakers are down 0-2 to the Nuggets. This is a must-win game for LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $555K Shootaround [$105K to 1st] (DEN vs LAL)

Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Captain’s Picks

Nikola Jokic ($19,200 CP): Before the first game of the Western Conference Finals — before the cards were dealt — the announcement was made, “Jokers Wild.” The Joker’s Game 1 line was something. Jokic scored 34 points and added 21 rebounds and 14 assists. This wasn’t a random game in January. It was the Western Conference Finals. This is supposed to be the best competition in the West. Jokic dropped 88.8 DKFP. His Game 2 was just as strong — 70.3 DKFP in 42 minutes. This should not be a surprise to anyone. Jokic’s 1.8 FPPM only trailed Giannis Antetokounmpo during the regular season and only by a decimal. He is still producing at the same rate in the playoffs and he’s getting more minutes. It doesn’t get any chalkier.

LeBron James ($17,100 CP): This is it. James may never get this close to a championship again. We know it. He knows it. In Game 1 James played almost 40 minutes and the Lakers hung in but ultimately lost. He scored 56.5 DKFP. That’s great but he is capable of more and will need to do more. It’s time to throw the cape on. He tried in Game 2, but came up short. In 40 minutes he shot 9-for-19 (missing all six of his 3-point attempts). His nine rebounds, 10 assists and four steals led to 60.3 DKFP, but he left plenty of points on the table due to his poor shooting. Game 3 is do or die. James’ volume will be maxed out, but will the threes fall?

UTIL Plays

Anthony Davis ($11,200): Value plays are going to be necessary, but those can wait. There are four superstars on this slate and three that we can absolutely trust — the two mentioned above and Davis. With all due respect to Jamal Murray ($9,800), it’s unlikely that he replicates his Game 2 fourth quarter. The Lakers have their backs against the wall but that wall is at home. Also, they were in Game 1 and led Game 2 for the majority of the contest. Times aren’t so bad. Davis has played well (69 and 51.5 DKFP in the first two games), but he can play better and will play better in a must-win game in LA.

Austin Reaves ($7,400): Down the stretch and during the playoffs, the Lakers committed to playing Austin Reaves. The Lakers are one of the four teams still standing. The other 26 teams are sitting at home watching Reaves play 35 to 40 minutes per game. Reaves isn’t carrying the Lakers but he’s for real. He scored 40 DKFP in Game 1 and 36.8 DKFP with a 23.3% usage rate in Game 2. He closed out the series with the Warriors with scores of 32, 34.3 and 39.3 DKFP.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($6,000): The weekend NBA targets article has featured KCP too many times. Why stop now? He’s a much better player at home, but he’s playing really well. He seems to be locked in. KCP shot 7-for-11 in Game 6 against Phoenix and scored 38.8 DKFP. He followed that performance with 35 DKFP in Game 1 against the Lakers. The minutes are always there but the volume is never certain. Right now, the volume and efficiency are present. He cooled off in Game 2 (15.3 DKFP), but that’s fine. Let everyone else jump ship. The weekend targets article has been onboard all season and we’re seeing this thing through until until we dock.


Dennis Schroder ($4,800): It has been a long playoffs. This is the Lakers 16th game. Schroder scored 32 DKFP in the Lakers’ play-in victory on April 11. He scored 28 DKFP in Game 1 vs. the Warriors on May 2. In the other 13 games, he’s just been out there. James and Davis aren’t coming off the court on Saturday night. When they’re on the court, Schroder better not think of shooting. If he even dreams about shooting, he better wake up and apologize.


The Lakers are going to get one. This might be the only one but they’re going to get one. James and Davis are running out of steam but there is enough gas left in the tank for Saturday’s showdown in front of the stars in Hollywood.

Final Score: Lakers 115, Nuggets 105

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $555K Shootaround [$105K to 1st] (DEN vs LAL)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is greenflagradio2) 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.