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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Lakers vs. Heat Showdown on October 9

Matt LaMarca preps you for Friday’s 9:00 p.m. ET Game 5 contest between the Lakers and Heat with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

The Los Angeles Lakers are on the doorstep of history. They were able to secure in a win in Game 4 vs. the Miami Heat, resulting in a 3-1 series lead in the NBA Finals. That means they’re just one win away from their 17th championship, which would tie them with the Boston Celtics for the most all time.

LeBron James is also pushing for history here. This would be his fourth NBA Championship between his tenure with the Cavaliers, Heat, and Lakers. LeBron is currently tied with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Kawhi Leonard as the only players who have won the Finals MVP with two different teams, and he could become the first player to do it with three different franchises.

Will LeBron and the Lakers make history tonight, or will the Heat fight back and force a Game 6? Let’s take a look at some of the DraftKings Showdown options for Game 5 to get your fantasy basketball lineups started.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $1.25M Finals Shootaround Special [$250K to 1st] (MIA vs LAL)


DraftKings Showdown Strategy

Los Angeles Lakers (112.0 implied points)

(NOTE: All salaries are in the utility spot unless otherwise indicated.)

The Lakers’ offense is centered around the dynamic duo of LeBron James ($12,400) and Anthony Davis ($11,800). Those two players have dominated all playoffs, and nothing has changed vs. the Heat.

Let’s start with James. He is the most consistent player in fantasy given his ability to contribute in every category across the board. He’s coming off 56.5 DKFP in his last contest, and he’s scored at least 51.5 DKFP in six of his past seven games. He didn’t even play that well in the first half of Game 4 – he logged just eight points and five turnovers before halftime – so he could be looking at an even bigger performance today. LeBron knows what’s at stake tonight, so expect him to be even more aggressive than usual on the offensive end.

Davis dominated in the first two games of this series, but his production has fallen off a bit over the past two games. He was dreadful in Game 3, finishing with just 27.75 DKFP, and his 49.25 DKFP in Game 4 was also a bit disappointing. He scored just 22 points in that contest but was able to salvage his fantasy night with five combined blocks + steals.

The Heat have had no answer for Davis defensively, so the fact that his usage rate has declined recently is a bit concerning. Bam Adebayo ($9,800) being back in the lineup is another potential roadblock. He finished second in ESPN’s Defensive Real Plus/Minus at his position, so he’s a significant upgrade defensively compared to guys like Kelly Olynyk ($3,000) and Meyers Leonard ($1,800).

Davis is definitely still a solid option, but he’s a clear No. 3 option among today’s stud trio.

After LeBron and Davis, things get a bit dicey for the Lakers’ rotation. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($5,600) has emerged as their most reliable role player, but he’s gotten to be pretty expensive. He’s coming off 27.25 DKFP in Game 4, but that’s probably pretty close to his ceiling. I think he’s an excellent fade candidate coming off his best game in more than a month.

Rajon Rondo ($6,200) makes much more sense if you’re looking to target a Lakers player in this price range. He wasn’t nearly as productive as KCP in Game 4, but he’s been a far superior producer on a points-per-minute basis over the course of the season. He’s logged at least 28 minutes in back-to-back games, so this could be a nice time to buy low on him.

Markieff Morris ($3,600), Alex Caruso ($3,400), and Dwight Howard ($3,200) round out the rotation. Morris looks like the most appealing option of the trio given his recent spike in playing time – he’s coming off more than 30 minutes in Game 4 – but all three players are capable of paying off their current salaries.


Miami Heat (104.5 implied points)

The Heat enter this contest as pretty significant underdogs, and they are expected to be without Goran Dragic (foot) for the fourth straight game. He tried to give it a go in Game 4 but was ultimately unable to deal with the pain of plantar fasciitis. He is currently listed as doubtful for Game 5.

Without Dragic, expect Jimmy Butler ($10,800) to try and put the team on his shoulders once again. Butler had a heroic performance in Game 3, finishing with 83.25 DKFP in one of the best performances in the history of the NBA Finals, and he followed that up with 56.0 DKFP in Game 4.

That said, Butler looked much more deferential in his last contest. The Lakers went under basically every screen that was set for Butler and dared him to shoot, but Butler was not willing to oblige. He was content to try and get into the paint and give the ball up if he did not succeed.

I would expect the Lakers to employ a similar strategy with Butler in Game 5. That may mean less scoring, but Butler has shown a LeBron-like ability to stuff the stat sheet recently. He’s a tough fade in a must-win contest for the Heat and is a strong choice for the Captain spot.

Adebayo is an interesting play today. He probably won’t garner much ownership coming off an injury and just 25.75 DKFP in Game 4, but he did play roughly 33 minutes in that contest. He could see a few additional minutes today, and Adebayo was an elite producer on a per-minute basis this season. If you’re looking to go contrarian in a large field tournament, Adebayo makes a lot of sense.

Tyler Herro ($9,000) keeps getting more expensive, but it is 100% deserved. He actually led the Heat in usage in Game 4 at 30.0%, which is pretty astounding considering that he’s a 20-year-old rookie. If Butler takes a similar approach in Game 5 and refuses to force his offense, Herro figures to be one of the biggest beneficiaries.

Jae Crowder ($7,400) and Duncan Robinson ($7,000) should also see a solid chunk of minutes today, and both players are trending in opposing directions. Robinson has been red-hot recently – he’s scored at least 27.75 DKFP in back-to-back games – while Crowder has been ice cold. Crowder has seemingly lost his ability to shoot the ball halfway through the Celtics’ series, which has put a serious damper on his fantasy output.

Kendrick Nunn ($4,000), Olynyk, and Andre Iguodala ($2,400) are the value options to consider for Miami. Nunn has seen a solid handful of minutes without Dragic but has yet to fully realize his fantasy value in that situation. He finished with just 12.0 DKFP in Game 4 thanks to a 2-11 shooting performance over 26 minutes. If he can shoot the ball a bit better in this contest, he has the ability to be one of the best pure values on the slate.

Olynyk burned fantasy owners in Game 4 with a dreadful performance, and his playing time fell off a cliff with Adebayo back in the lineup. That said, he still saw 12 minutes in that contest, and Olynyk is capable of producing well over 1.00 DKFP per minute. That gives him a path to relevance at just $3,000.

Finally, Iguodala has plenty of big-game experience, and Erik Spoelstra could lean on him a bit harder in a must-win contest. He’s displayed a ceiling of around 25 DKFP during the playoffs, and that would be more than enough to make him a solid option at his current salary.


The Outcome

Get the champagne ready Los Angeles, because the Lakers should win the title tonight. LeBron and AD are just too much for anyone to handle right now, and the Heat simply don’t have enough offense to keep up without Dragic. It’s going to cost you, but I like the idea of putting LeBron James at Captain ($18,600 CP) and pairing him with Butler. After that, it comes down to a decision between using Davis as a utility or going with a few of the midrange options. I have advocated for a stars-and-scrubs approach all series, but I think the midrange plan has more appeal than usual tonight. Going with LeBron at Captain and Davis and Butler at utility leaves just an average of around $2,900 for your final three roster spots, and it’s tough to find enough value at those positions today. Overall, a balanced build makes for a lot of sense.

Final Score: Lakers 115, Heat 104

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $1.25M Finals Shootaround Special [$250K to 1st] (MIA vs LAL)


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

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