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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Lakers vs. Nuggets Showdown on September 22

Greg Ehrenberg gives his top lineup advice for Tuesday’s fantasy basketball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Lakers and Nuggets, which starts at 9:00 p.m. ET.

With just one game on today’s NBA slate, we are focusing on the DraftKings Showdown contest between the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets. The Lakers are up 2-0 in the Western Conference Finals after taking the first two games. The Lakers won Game 2 after Anthony Davis hit the game-winning shot at the buzzer. Tuesday’s fantasy basketball slate on DraftKings locks at 9:00 p.m. ET.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: NBA Showdown $1M Shootaround Special [$200K to 1st] (LAL vs DEN)


Place your NBA bets at DraftKings Sportsbook or by downloading the DK Sportsbook app.


Showdown Strategy

Los Angeles Lakers

Once again, LeBron James ($18,000 CP/$12,000) is my favorite play in the Captain’s spot over Anthony Davis ($11,600). Even though both are strong plays, I lean towards LeBron because he’s overall been the stronger fantasy producer in the playoffs and there isn’t much salary differentiating them. There is also a chance that more people will gravitate towards AD following his heroics to win the Lakers Game 2 at the buzzer.

After there were rumors that the Lakers could mix up their starting lineup on Sunday, they stuck with JaVale McGee ($2,200) at center. For his price, he was serviceable, scoring 11.25 DKFP in 12 minutes. He’s in play, although Dwight Howard ($4,200) remains the stronger play of the two big men. Howard is the better per minute fantasy producer and he played three more minutes per game than McGee in the regular season. We can avoid Markieff Morris ($4,000), who is getting phased out of the rotation with the Lakers playing bigger lineups again. Morris played just nine minutes last game.

Rajon Rondo ($7,000) continues to be a solid player for the Lakers. After a suspect regular season, Rondo has come alive in the playoffs and rarely has a bad game. He’s scored over 20 DKFP in every postseason game and scored as many as 40 DKFP. Rondo is a safe midrange target with some upside.

Alex Caruso ($3,600) is one final value play who warrants consideration. He’s playing a sizable role for the Lakers in this series and even played key stretches during the fourth quarter of a tightly contested Game 2. Caruso took one of the biggest shots of the game in the closing minute on Sunday, and despite the miss, it’s encouraging to see Los Angeles has so much faith in him. Caruso finished with 20.5 DKFP in 29 minutes and should be a bit more expensive.


Denver Nuggets

For Showdown contests with the Nuggets, I almost always prefer Nikola Jokic ($11,000) to Jamal Murray ($9,400). As I said on Sunday, there is a pretty big gap between the two as fantasy producers for the season. Including the playoffs, Jokic averages 47.39 DKFP and Murray puts up 35.94 DKFP per game. I can’t say to totally avoid Murray because his price tag is so much cheaper, although I still prefer Jokic as a play even at a heftier price tag. He was the go-to-guy for the Nuggets down the stretch in Game 2 and scored their final 11 points.

Predicting the playing time for the forwards on the Nuggets is no easy take. There is no playing time consistency between Michael Porter Jr. ($7,600) and Paul Millsap ($6,000). The pricing between the two is a bit closer in Game 3 than it was on Sunday, so I think Porter makes for a better play due to his upside. MPJ brings a ton of variance to the table, but as we saw when he scored 35.5 DKFP in Game 1, he has the upside to win a tournament and I don’t see that kind of ceiling from Millsap at his current price tag.

For the second consecutive game, there isn’t a value play that looks worthwhile from Denver. I thought Torrey Craig ($2,800) was okay heading into Sunday’s game and he scored 11 DKFP. That’s okay, but I still think McGee is a better value with a cheaper salary. The best course of action is probably to avoid the cheap plays from the Denver side of the game and look for value from the Lakers.


The Outcome

After a really tight Game 2 that came down to a buzzer beater, it’s weird to see the Lakers still favored by 6.5 points on DraftKings Sportsbook. If nothing else, we have seen that Denver fights to the end in playoff games and typically keeps games close even if it gets down by 20 points. Game 1 was an exception to this, but Murray and Jokic were both in foul trouble. I still favor the Lakers to win, but the Nuggets have a good chance to cover the spread again.

Final Score: Lakers 110, Nuggets 105

Set your DraftKings lineups here: NBA Showdown $1M Shootaround Special [$200K to 1st] (LAL vs DEN)


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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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