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Fantasy Basketball Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for August 25

Julian Edlow gives his top lineup advice at each position for Tuesday’s fantasy basketball slate on DraftKings, which starts at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Utah Jazz v Denver Nuggets - Game Two Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images

The NBA is officially back and bringing us slates like never before. Tuesday is the first day we’re actually missing out on afternoon basketball, but we’ll lock in on a two-game slate that does bring some appealing value to build lineups around on DraftKings.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: NBA $500K Playoff Shootaround [$100K to 1st]

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Point Guard

Worth Paying Up For: Jamal Murray, DEN vs UTA ($8,000)

Murray’s scoring is the key to Denver extending its season, and Mike Malone knows that. He played Murray 43 minutes in a crucial Game 4, and despite coming up just short, Murray dropped 50 and was three assists shy of a triple-double (82.25 DKFP). While I’m not expecting quite those numbers, I’m expecting another 40-plus minutes and 25-plus shot attempts for Murray.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Monte Morris, DEN vs. UTA ($4,000)

I think we might be able to double down on Denver guards, even with the potential of Gary Harris ($3,900) playing his first game in the bubble. Harris clearly wouldn’t be relied upon in a must-win game, and we saw Malone take away minutes from some lesser scorers by turning to Morris in Game 4. Morris played 36 minutes, but shot just 3-for-10 and is 0-of-7 from downtown the last two games. Morris could see a lot of run and make for terrific value if his shot gets going.

Lineup Strategy

This slate is all about where you slot in Luka Doncic ($11,000), coming off a heroic Game 4, and operating with Kristaps Porzingis (knee) off the floor again. I think the Clippers mean business this time around and potentially blow Dallas out like they were on track to do last game. So I may fade Luka in tournaments, but that’s not an option in cash.

Shooting Guard

Worth Paying Up For: Donovan Mitchell, UTA vs. DEN ($9,700)

Mitchell was $7,000 his first game in the bubble, so this isn’t exactly a bargain. However, he’s been playing out of his mind, with his second 50-point game of the series in Game 4, so he has the highest ceiling of any SG on the slate. It’s also a slate with just one SG stud, so you either pay up or go mid-priced here.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Jordan Clarkson, UTA vs. DEN ($5,200)

Sticking with the Jazz, but paying down, Clarkson has really been Utah’s second scorer in the series. We know he’s going to come into the game shooting, which gives him a pretty safe floor, but the minutes are a bit more concerning with the backcourt crowded now. We can’t be picky on a two-gamer.

Lineup Strategy

If I pivot off Clarkson, it’d be to Lou Williams ($6,400). The value isn’t there on Lou Will, up $1,000 since the start of the series, but he took command of Game 4, going for 50.5 DKFP. This is a huge game for the Clippers, and with Patrick Beverley (calf) expected to remain out, I think we continue to see Williams in a larger role.

Small Forward

Worth Paying Up For: Kawhi Leonard, LAC vs. DAL ($10,000)

Kawhi has faced the Mavs seven times now this season, averaging 55.8 DKFP. He’s been extremely consistent, scoring at least 53.5 DKFP in each game of this series. I think Kawhi is just as safe a play as Doncic, and with the Clippers in position to bounce-back in this series, I’m relying on Leonard to have a big game.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Tim Hardaway Jr., DAL vs. LAC ($5,800)

Hardaway’s played at least 35 minutes in each game this series, averaging over 30 DKFP. With KP off the floor, he becomes the secondary scorer playing with the starters. He also benefits from Doncic’s drive-and-kick, which has led to him attempting 36 triples so far in four games. THJ is a safe play in line for a ton of minutes.

Lineup Strategy

SF comes down to Luka vs. Kawhi, or the decision to play Doncic in a guard spot and stack them both. The stack really limits value, and with just two games, you really have to find some solid plays to makeup salary. However, KP’s absence allows it if you really want to go all in.

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Power Forward

Worth Paying Up For: Paul Millsap, DEN vs. UTA ($5,000)

If you just take a look at PF, you’ll notice there is no stud play. However, there are two values I like, so Millsap slots in here by default. I mentioned Denver switching around the rotation a bit in Game 4, which led to 35 minutes for Millsap — he averaged 21.3 in the first three games. Millsap played well with the boost in playing time, scoring 35.25 DKFP. Let’s lock him back in again.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Maxi Kleber, DAL vs. LAC ($4,200)

This is a simple one, as no KP means more minutes for Kleber, who still checks in at his usual salary. Kleber is playing well outside of his scoring in this series, getting to 25.25 DKFP in Game 4. However, he’s just 6-for-23 from the field in all four games combined, so we’ll need him to hit a couple shots.

Lineup Strategy

PF is a punt position by default. Millsap and Kleber will be the chalk plays. I expect almost all lineups to have at least one of those plays.


Worth Paying Up For: Rudy Gobert, UTA vs. DEN ($7,600)

Gobert hasn’t had any issues knocking down shots against the Nuggets, shooting an absurd 35-for-44 in the series. Rebounding is a little down for Rudy in the series because the Nuggets have been making him defend the perimeter, but he picked it up with 14 and 11 rebounds respectively in the last two games. Rudy’s just a bit cheap for a matchup that just hasn’t been able to adjust to covering him.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Boban Marjanovic, DAL vs. LAC ($3,800)

Another simple chalk play, as both Kleber and Boban allow us to pay up for some studs. No Porzingis will still mean extra minutes for Boban, even if Dallas goes with the small starting five again.

Lineup Strategy

Play Nikola Jokic ($9,400) at your own risk. He’s looked just awful in this series, and I think there are much better spend up spots. Center becomes a value position, with some intrigue on Gobert in an odd price range.

Injury Report

OUT (Opt-out players not included)

Kristaps Porzingis (knee)

Will Barton (knee)


Gary Harris (hip)


Patrick Beverley (calf)


Luka Doncic (ankle)

Trey Burke (ankle)

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