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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Trail Blazers vs. Clippers Showdown on December 30

Garion Thorne gives his top NBA lineup advice for Wednesday’s fantasy basketball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Clippers and Nuggets, which starts at 10:00 p.m. ET.

Houston Rockets v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Well, after a few days to lick the wounds of a 51-point loss to Dallas, the Los Angeles Clippers were back on the court Tuesday evening, taking care of business with an east victory against the Timberwolves. However, Wednesday should present a tougher challenge, with the retooled Portland Trail Blazers on the docket.

Can the Blazers get another big win at Staples Center? Will Kawhi Leonard ($10,400; mouth) be able to suit up for this matchup? Let’s break it all down from a Showdown perspective.

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


SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Captain’s Picks

CJ McCollum ($13,800 CP) - It remains to be seen if the trends of the season’s first week are nothing more than a small sample haze, but McCollum’s role has been noticeably larger than usual through Portland’s first three games. While the fact that McCollum is currently averaging more points (29.0) and DKFP (50.8) than his teammate Damian Lillard ($11,000) can somewhat be discounted to pure happenstance, both McCollum’s usage rate (29.6%) and his touches per contest (77.0) are up a considerable degree from 2019-20. With that being the case, trusting McCollum in the Captain’s spot isn’t simply a matter of reacting to a few flattering box scores, it’s accepting that Terry Stotts clearly wants the 29-year-old to carry more of a burden in the offense. McCollum’s price tag being much friendlier than Lillard’s doesn’t hurt, either.

Serge Ibaka ($10,500 CP) - This is obviously heavily impacted by whether or not Leonard is able to play this evening, but I feel compelled to point out how well Ibaka’s been playing across his first four games in a Clippers uniform. Not only does the big man have a .680 true shooting percentage, but he’s putting up 25.6 points, 10.8 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per 36 minutes — essentially better numbers than those of Paul George ($9,800). Now, to be completely fair, Ibaka’s yet to sniff anything even closely resembling 36 minutes of action in a single contest; however, considering Los Angeles has played in back-to-back blowouts, we’ve also yet to see anything even closely resembling Ty Lue’s real rotation. This tilt with the Blazers should present a more neutral script and, if Leonard sits, expect Ibaka to exceed 25 minutes with a usage rate well above 25%. It’s honestly hard to ask for more at this price point.


Value FLEX Plays

Carmelo Anthony ($4,200) - On Tuesday, it was announced that Anthony had cleared the NBA’s health and safety protocols after missing Monday’s win over the Lakers. That means the former All-Star should be good to go in tonight’s festivities, which also means he more than viable in your lineups, as Anthony is sitting third on the Blazers in usage rate (24.0%) and fourth on the team in field goal attempts per 100 possessions (22.6).

Derrick Jones Jr. ($3,600) - While it was usually a struggle for Jones to find a consistent role with the Heat last season, he’s had no issue getting on the court with the Blazers. In fact, Jones has logged at least 36 minutes in back-to-back games and the only two Portland players with more total minutes (99) so far in 2020-21 are Lillard and McCollum. Jones is a low-usage asset, but when his 27.3% field goal rate begins to normalize, it’ll become clear that that’s way too much volume to ignore. In a weird way, Robert Covington ($5,200) is in a very similar situation right now.


Fades

Nic Batum ($5,400) - We’ve reached the point of diminishing returns when it comes to Batum. Yes, if Leonard is unable to go for a third-straight game, there will be a lot of minutes and usage up for grabs on the wing for the Clippers, but Batum just isn’t the guy to step up and take advantage of that opportunity. He’s averaged a paltry 16.1 DKFP in his two starts without Leonard this season and his overall usage rate of 11.4% is anemic. Heck, even Batum’s passing — which was of interest following Los Angeles’ opening night victory — has fallen off, as the veteran has a modest five potential assists over the Clippers past two contests combined. At a lower salary, Batum logging significant minutes was enough to be viable. Above $5K? I need to see a little more upside.


THE OUTCOME

Like everything about this slate, the outcome is difficult to predict without knowing the status of Kawhi Leonard. However, with Portland entering this matchup in possession of the league’s third-worst defensive rating (115.7) and a true shooting rate in the NBA’s lower-third (.553), it’s hard for me to back them straight-up on the road. That being said, the Clippers are on the second night of a back-to-back, and with how strange this 2020-21 season projects to be, I wouldn’t be shocked if we get a few healthy scratches on their side of the ledger. Make sure to keep an eye out all the way up to tip-off.

Final Score: Los Angeles 119, Portland 111

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


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) 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.


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