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Fantasy Basketball Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for September 9

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

We’ve got another two-game postseason NBA slate on Wednesday, with the Raptors’ season on the line in Game 6 against the Celtics, and the Nuggets trying to pull even 2-2 in Game 4 against the Clippers. Here are some plays that jump out on DraftKings on this two-game slate.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: NBA $450K Shootaround [$100K to 1st]

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Point Guard

Editor’s Note: Raptors C Serge Ibaka (ankle) will be available to play tonight vs. the Celtics.

Worth Paying Up For: Fred VanVleet, TOR vs. BOS ($7,500)

VanVleet is a pretty safe option regardless of game script in this series. Even in the blowout, he scored 34 DKFP in 34 minutes, both of which were lows for the series. Look for the Raptors to come out firing in a must-win game, and probably see the starters get some extra minutes — especially if Serge Ibaka (ankle) is sidelined, which looks like a pretty likely outcome.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Patrick Beverley, LAC vs. DEN ($3,600)

Beverley’s slowly been worked back from a calf injury, but we saw his role increase again in Game 3 — 20.5 DKFP in 21 minutes. His salary hasn’t budged, and we could see Bev work his way up to about 25 minutes in this contest, leaving him as a very solid value play to get us 20-plus DKFP for under $4,000.

Lineup Strategy

Beverley is one of just a couple values we can count on for this slate, so he’s almost a must-play for me. That means fading some higher profile point guards, but I think there are better spend up spots on the slate.

Shooting Guard

Worth Paying Up For: Paul George, LAC vs. DEN ($8,500)

PG-13 has been getting back into a groove in this series. Denver pays extra attention to Kawhi Leonard ($10,300), who’s having a pedestrian series by his standards. George is coming up with similar production at a discount, scoring 44.5 DKFP in 42 minutes in Game 2, and 48 DKFP in 40 minutes in Game 3. I think George is the better Clipper star to target until we see something different play out in this series.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Gary Harris, DEN vs. LAC ($4,600)

Getting Harris back has been a complete game-changer for the Nuggets. His minutes and fantasy production have consistently been on the rise since he came back, and now we’ve seen him settle back into a starting role. Harris played 35 minutes in Game 3, scoring 28.75 DKFP. Even with his salary climbing pretty steadily, it’s still not adjusted to him being back in his full-time role.

Lineup Strategy

Like Beverley, Harris is a value I’m not willing to ignore on this slate. Getting these staples into your lineup is just as important as getting your expensive plays right on a slate this small. SG has some pretty strong options at the top, and I’m fine rostering them, but they’ll come after I make room for Harris.

Small Forward

Worth Paying Up For: Jaylen Brown, BOS vs. TOR ($7,600)

If you read the Cheat Sheet regularly, you probably know the analysis here by now. It’s similar to playing George over Leonard. Jayson Tatum ($9,300) is a solid play, but he’s still only exceeded value once in the five games of this series. Brown’s been essentially just as good, and usually nearly $2,000 cheaper. Brown’s exceeded value in three of his last four, and is coming off his best scoring performance in the series.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Norman Powell, TOR vs. BOS ($3,900)

Powell’s bench production in Game 5 was mostly because of the blowout win for Boston, as he went for 22.75 DKFP in 31 minutes. The Raptors likely won’t go too deep into their bench in a game like this, so if Ibaka is out, that means tightening the rotation even more. Powell could win up in a spot playing another 30 minutes off the bench, even in a close game.

Lineup Strategy

Kawhi and Tatum eat up a lot of salary here, and I think we’re better suited to pay down and keep room for some very strong value plays. Just pivoting to the second stars on those teams means not rostering any punt plays, which can really help.

Power Forward

Worth Paying Up For: Pascal Siakam, TOR vs. BOS ($7,800)

This has to be a spot for Siakam to step up. He’s had an awful series, and is now the cheapest he’s been since the first-round. He should see all the run he can handle in a game like this anyway, but add on Ibaka’s injury, and there’s a very real possibility Siakam plays 45 minutes if this game stays close.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Jerami Grant, DEN vs. LAC ($5,100)

Grant is a value we can keep going back to, just because he’s playing so many minutes in this series. He worked his way into the starting lineup in the Utah series, and now his role is more important than ever, with the ability to help cover both Leonard and George. Grant hasn’t been shooting well in the series, but has played 82 minutes in the last two games combined. He’s a well-rounded player that we know will be on the floor, making him well worth his salary. If the shot starts going down, we’ll be rewarded.

Lineup Strategy

Michael Porter Jr. ($5,200) is worth mentioning here, coming off a 40-DKFP outing in Game 3. His defense has kept him off the floor more in this series, since having Harris and Grant out there big minutes to defend Leonard and George has been so key. But Denver also needs more offense to compete with the Clippers, so MPJ could wind up being the fifth player on the floor more often. He scored 18 points with 10 boards in just 23 minutes last game. If we see him out there for 30 minutes in Game 4, he’ll be well worth his discounted price tag.


Worth Paying Up For: Nikola Jokic, DEN vs. LAC ($9,900)

I take a lot of what happened in Game 1 of this series and throw it out the window. The Nuggets were in an impossible spot to content in that game. Since then, Joker has been a huge mismatch for the Clips, dropping a 60-DKFP double-double in each game. I’ll just keep trusting him in this spot, as the Nuggets should be able to play competitive games the rest of the series.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Marc Gasol, TOR vs. BOS ($4,100)

I’m not sure more Gasol is the best thing for the Raptors, but they won’t have much of a choice if Ibaka is out. If that’s the case, the bump in minutes should lead to some extra production. Breaking 20 DKFP shouldn’t be too much to ask for.

Lineup Strategy

Joker is my favorite play to pay up for on this slate, so that takes care of center right away. The question becomes whether or not the UTIL spot is worth it to double-down on Gasol, or another value.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: NBA $450K Shootaround [$100K to 1st]

Injury Report

OUT (Opt-out players not included)

Gordon Hayward (ankle)


Serge Ibaka (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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