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Fantasy Basketball Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for August 26

Julian Edlow gives his top lineup advice at each position for Wednesday’s fantasy basketball slate on DraftKings, which starts at 4:00 p.m. ET.

Editor’s Note: Wednesday’s NBA games have been postponed.

The NBA is officially back and bringing us slates like never before. Wednesday still brings us some late afternoon basketball, and we’ll lock in on a three-game slate that does bring some appealing value to build lineups around on DraftKings.

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Point Guard

Worth Paying Up For: CJ McCollum, POR vs. LAL ($8,100)

The major piece on this slate to react to is obviously the absence of Damian Lillard (knee) with Portland’s season on the line. The Lakers are massive favorites here, so the blowout potential could come into play, but we have to think Portland goes down swinging here. McCollum should see a massive boost in usage and is priced the same as Game 1 of this series, so he’s not too expensive. We’ve seen C. hit 50 DKFP in this series, and if there’s another spot for him to do so, this is it.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, OKC vs. HOU ($7,400)

SGA has been putting together a solid series, scoring at least 44 DKFP in each of the last three games. He’s also played 44-plus minutes in each of the last two games, so with OKC’s back against the wall, it looks like we can count on some extra minutes here. SGA didn’t even shoot well in Game 4, but still managed an 18-12-6 line, so there’s some room for improvement here.

Lineup Strategy

There’s no cheap PG play I’m comfortable with on this slate, but there are a ton of strong plays to pay up for — including the top SG and SF plays having PG eligibility. It’s a good position to spend up, and even going mid-priced like SGA could be contrarian.

Shooting Guard

Worth Paying Up For: James Harden, HOU vs. OKC ($11,800)

Harden put together his best game of the series in Game 4, finishing with 74 DKFP. It’s boring, but these slates are the same sets of games each day. If Harden’s going to be the chalk, I’ll fade in GPPs. Cash games are a different story.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Evan Fournier, ORL vs. MIL ($5,400)

SG value is pretty thin as well, but Fournier should be locked in for big minutes and plenty of shot attempts. He played 36 minutes in Game 4, finishing with 33.5 DKFP, and still shot just 4-of-14. If Fournier can find his stroke in this series, he’s due for 40 DKFP.

Lineup Strategy

The PG plays with SG eligibility are your top plays here, but if you look for value, it’s pretty much about Orlando and Portland. Terrence Ross ($5,000) isn’t going to get bounced from the playoffs without going down shooting, as will be the case for the Dame-less Blazers. Anfernee Simons ($4,000) is the value play who should have to step up most without Lillard.

Small Forward

Worth Paying Up For: LeBron James, LAL vs. POR ($10,800)

The only thing holding this back from being a LeBron night is the blowout risk. He’s played 28 minutes or less in two of the last three games, but still managed 57 DKFP in 28 minutes in Game 4. You’re either getting a monster game if the Blazers keep it close, or a letdown due to minutes here — hence LBJ is the GPP play and Harden is the cash play.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Carmelo Anthony, POR vs. LAL ($5,900)

No Dame leaves a lot of shots to be had, and ‘Melo isn’t one to shy away from attempting to carry Portland’s offense. We’ve seen some serious up and down games from Anthony in this series, but 36.5 DKFP in Game 1 and 41 DKFP in Game 3 were encouraging. He has some nice upside here with the likelihood of getting 20 shots up. He did just that in Game 3 and attempted 15 in 29 minutes in Game 4.

Lineup Strategy

I like playing it safe at SF and paying down to try and fill in some of the production left on the table by Lillard. ‘Melo and Gary Trent Jr. ($4,800) are the answers.

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Power Forward

Worth Paying Up For: Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL vs. ORL ($11,300)

Giannis has been as safe as it gets in this series against Orlando. He’s scored between 59 and 66.75 DKFP in each of the first four games, and while his minutes don’t exactly allow Harden-esque 70-DKFP upside, Giannis is more consistent. If you can fit Harden and Giannis, that’s your cash core.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Danuel House, HOU vs. OKC ($5,500)

Another reason I lean to trying to jam Giannis in is the lack of other options at PF. House’s salary keeps rising, but he’s still playing a larger role than most of the Rockets priced ahead of him. House has played at least 38 minutes in each of the last three games, attempting 10-15 shots in each. Averaging over 33 DKFP in that span, $5,500 still qualifies as value here, despite being $4,700 two games ago.

Lineup Strategy

It’s Giannis in cash, or going off the grid in a GPP here. Anthony is also PF eligible if you want to slot him here and go a safer, more balanced route.


Worth Paying Up For: Nikola Vucevic, ORL vs. MIL ($9,200)

Vuce’s salary continues to rise, but he keeps having monster games against the Bucks, especially when he has his perimeter game going. He scored 63.25 DKFP in Game 4, his second 60-burger of the series, and was just three assists shy of a triple-double. He also shot 6-for-10 from downtown. This is a nice GPP pivot off Harden and Giannis.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Steven Adams, OKC vs. HOU ($5,500)

Adam’s salary just continues to tank, but at some point, he’s going to give the Rockets’ small lineup fits on the glass and around the rim. He scored 36 DKFP in Game 1 of this series in just 28 minutes. Once he gets 35 minutes again and puts it all together, he has 10X upside in this series at this price.

Lineup Strategy

It’s probably a two center slate, even if you don’t pay up for Vuce. It’s the deepest position, and has a lot of mid-priced value to round out your lineup.

Injury Report

OUT (Opt-out players not included)

Damian Lillard (knee)

Russell Westbrook (quad)

Jonathan Isaac (knee)

Michael Carter-Williams (foot)

Zach Collins (ankle)


Aaron Gordon (hamstring)


Rajon Rondo (back)


LeBron James (groin)

Anthony Davis (back)

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (knee)

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

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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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