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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Rockets vs. Lakers Showdown

Greg Ehrenberg gives his top lineup advice for Thursday’s fantasy basketball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Rockets and Lakers, which starts at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Los Angeles Lakers v Houston Rockets - Game Three Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

With just one game on tonight’s NBA slate, we are focusing on the DraftKings Showdown contest between the Lakers and Rockets. Houston is down 2-1 and will look to even up the series tonight.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: NBA Showdown $300K Shootaround [$100K to 1st] (LAL vs HOU)


Fun Facts

  • Anthony Davis has recorded a double-double in each of his last eight appearances against the Rockets.
  • The Lakers have won six of their last seven games.
  • Eric Gordon has scored 19+ points in five of the Rockets’ last six playoff games as underdogs.
  • The Rockets have covered the spread in 18 of their last 27 games as underdogs.
  • Kyle Kuzma has scored 13+ points in seven of the Lakers’ last nine games against the Rockets.
  • James Harden has scored 33+ points in three of the Rockets’ last four games against the Lakers.
  • LeBron James has scored 30+ points in four of the Lakers’ last six games.

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Showdown Strategy

Houston Rockets

After an extremely poor start to the series, Russell Westbrook ($10,000) got back on track last game. He scored 30 points and made over 50% of his shots from the field, finishing with 54.5 DKFP. Russ actually leads Houston with a 38.1% usage rating in this series. For this reason, I slightly prefer him as a spend up option to James Harden ($12,400). Even though Harden is viable, I prefer the salary savings that Westbrook offers. Harden has gone six games in row without scoring over 60 DKFP, so it looks like the inflated usage from Westbrook is taking away from Harden’s upside.

Most of the focus in this game is on the studs and rightfully so. Almost all of the fantasy production is going to come from the four All-Stars in this contest. Luckily, we have some value to fall back on. Danuel House likely won’t be active for this game since he’s listed out on the injury report. He’s under investigation after reportedly breaking NBA bubble protocols, which is also forced him to sit out of Game 3. Assuming he’s out again, Jeff Green ($4,600) stands to gain the most. With House out on Tuesday, Green played 35 minutes off the bench and scored 22 DKFP.

Green could also benefit from Robert Covington ($7,400) playing a bit dinged up after leaving last game early and dealing with some lingering effects of taking a blow to the head. Covington is probable to play, but I don’t view him as a strong play. He’s a bit overpriced and appears less than 100%.

For the bare minimum, Ben McLemore ($1,000) is interesting just because of his price point. He played 10 minutes on Tuesday and even though he didn’t produce much, he could end up in the optimal lineup just by hitting a couple of shots. His savings allow for us to jam in an extra All-Star.


Los Angeles Lakers

Of the four stars in this game, I think LeBron James ($19,200 CP/$12,800) and Anthony Davis ($11,600) are stronger plays than the Rockets’ All-Stars. Nobody in this series is showing more upside than LeBron, making him my favorite choice for Captain. James is averaging 57.5 DKFP in this series and has back-to-back games scoring over 60 DKFP. Dating back to the series against the Blazers, LeBron has at least 63 DKFP in four of his last six games.

As for Davis, the narrative of the series is that he’s struggling to score against P.J. Tucker ($5,800). Tucker is playing fantastic defense, but for our purposes, it doesn’t really matter. AD has at least 55 DKFP in every game this series. Tucker’s strong play on defense isn’t enough to keep Davis off of the stat sheet.

Rajon Rondo ($5,200) is one of the more obvious sources of value in this game. He’s locked into a big role for the Lakers and his playing time is here to stay. Rondo has been the Lakers’ third best player in this series and he’s scored at least 37 DKFP in the last two games. Until his price goes up, Rondo is a strong DFS play.

Markieff Morris ($3,200) is another play likely to garner significant ownership. This has less to do with the merits of his production and more to do with his price. It’s tough to find viable options in this game and Kieff is cheap while playing over 20 minutes per game. I doubt he has much upside, but he allowed us to roster players who do have upside. Kyle Kuzma ($5,400) makes sense as a pivot if you can find the extra salary although they is a tough task on this slate.


The Outcome

House not playing isn’t a game breaker, but it matters. The depth of both of these teams is really thin and fatigue could set in during the later stages of the game for Houston. The Lakers are the favorite in this game and for good reason. Westbrook is getting outplayed by Rondo in this series and it’s tough to see the Rockets winning if this continues to be the case. The Lakers are able to sell out to defend Harden and there aren’t enough other players on the Rockets’ roster to pick up the slack.

Final Series Score: Lakers 112, Rockets 107

Set your DraftKings lineups here: NBA Showdown $300K Shootaround [$100K to 1st] (LAL vs HOU)

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