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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Nuggets vs. Suns Showdown on May 9

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

2023 NBA Playoffs - Denver Nuggets v Phoenix Suns Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

After winning the last two games at home, the Phoenix Suns were able to even up their series vs. the Denver Nuggets. That sets up a pivotal Game 5 in Denver on Tuesday. This matchup will also bring us another Showdown contest on DraftKings, so let’s discuss some players to consider for your entries.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $300K Fadeaway [$100K to 1st] (PHX vs DEN)

Denver Nuggets vs. Phoenix Suns

Captain’s Picks

Nikola Jokic ($19,800 CP): Jokic had a performance for the ages in Game 4. He scored 53 points in addition to his 11 assists over 39 minutes. Not much of a case needs to be made to roll with him in the Captain’s spot whenever the Nuggets are part of a Showdown contest, but with him having scored at least 73.5 DKFP in each of the last three games, Jokic could be well worth his hefty salary.

Kevin Durant ($17,700 CP): There are three options that stand out for the Captain’s spot. They are Jokic, Devin Booker ($18,300 CP) and Durant. Given that Durant has the cheapest salary of the three, he might be the better option to deploy for those looking to construct a more well-balanced lineup. Over the last two games without Chris Paul (groin), Durant has scored 66.8 and 64.8 DKFP. Paul remains out for Game 5, which means Durant should once again have the ball in his hands even more.

UTIL Plays

Jamal Murray ($9,800): Outside of his shooting dud in Game 2, Murray has had an excellent series. Even with him shooting just 3-for-15 from the field in that game, he is averaging 26 points and shooting 45.2% for the series. That’s in addition to his averages of 5.0 rebounds and 7.3 assists. He is the clear top running mate for Jokic and should continue to have a hefty usage rate with the Nuggets trying to gain a 3-2 series lead.

Jock Landale ($3,200): Adding at least two of Jokic, Durant, Booker and Murray to your lineup will do a number on your budget. However, it could also be the key to winning some cash. In order to balance out your budget, you’ll need to take a chance on a player or two with a cheap salary. One to have on your radar is Landale, who has scored at least 18.8 DKFP in both of the last two games. He has provided excellent energy off the bench, so don’t expect him to revert back to the limited minutes that he saw in the first two games of the series.

Jeff Green ($2,000): Working our way even further down the salary scale brings us to Green. He is a key member of the Nuggets’ second unit, essentially serving as their backup power forward and center. In his role, he has scored at least 10.5 DKFP in three of four games. While that’s not huge production, it still might be enough given his cheap salary.


Cameron Payne ($6,000): Payne has moved into the starting five with Paul sidelined. However, he has shot just 5-for-17 (29.4%) from the field in that role. He shot 41.5% during the regular season and 40.9% last season, so he’s not an efficient scorer. With 18 DKFP or fewer in both games as a starter, his salary makes him someone to avoid.


The home team has won all four games during this series. That’s no surprise, given the Suns went 28-13 and the Nuggets went 34-7 at home during the regular season. The Nuggets don’t want to face elimination on the road in Game 6, so expect them to come out locked in and successfully defend their home floor.

Final Score: Nuggets 118, Suns 112

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $300K Fadeaway [$100K to 1st] (PHX 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.