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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Pelicans vs. Clippers Showdown on January 13

Garion Thorne gives his top NBA lineup advice for Wednesday’s fantasy basketball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Pelicans and Clippers, which starts at 10:00 p.m. ET.

After an extended hiatus due to health and safety protocols postponing their Monday contest with the Mavericks, the New Orleans Pelicans will be back on the floor this evening when they take on the Los Angeles Clippers. Both of these teams are stacked with high-end talent, yet each has had a little trouble finding consistency so far in 2020-21.

Which side will emerge victorious on Wednesday? Let’s dive in and break it all down.

Editor’s Note: Pelicans PF/C Zion Williamson (health protocols) and PG Eric Bledsoe (eye) have been ruled out for tonight’s game vs. the Clippers.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $120K Fadeaway [$30K to 1st] (NO vs LAC)



SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Captain’s Picks

Paul George ($15,900 CP) - I’ve mentioned this before when writing up a Clippers Showdown slate, but when both George and Kawhi Leonard ($11,000) are healthy, this team essentially operates like a duopoly with each of the All-Star forwards playing a similarly-sized role. It can make differentiating the two frustrating; however, if we want to let recency bias dictate our decision for this evening, George is the clear choice. Going back to the beginning of January, it’s George who’s averaging more DKFP per game (50.4), more minutes per game (38.7), more touches per game (79.0) and more DKFP per minute played (1.30). In fact, if you exclude a 30-point, 10-assist performance that Leonard had against the Spurs with George sidelined, the numbers get even more lopsided. That’s not to suggest that Leonard isn’t probably the better real-life asset in a vacuum, but on this slate, I’ll take the one that’s been producing more and is slightly less expensive.

Eric Bledsoe ($10,500 CP) - In no way would you be wrong to turn to the safer Brandon Ingram ($9,800) in the Captain’s slot — he’s generated at least 30.0 DKFP in every game he’s played so far this season — but this seems like a night where Bledsoe can thrive. With Lonzo Ball (knee) having already been ruled out for this matchup, Bledsoe should become the undisputed lead guard in a starting lineup that generally features two PGs. Also, as you’d expect, his numbers have vastly improved in 2020-21 when given the opportunity to play without Ball by his side. In. the 107 minutes Bledsoe’s logged with Ball on the bench, the veteran is averaging 1.19 DKFP per minute and a team-leading 36.4% assist rate. With Ball in the same lineup, those figures are at 0.64 DKFP and 15.8%, respectively. Bledsoe is technically dealing with his own injury, as he’s questionable to suit up with an eye irritation, yet I’d be surprised not to see him out there on Wednesday.


Value UTIL Plays

Marcus Morris ($4,000) - It feels like the market correction on Morris was a little too swift. Yes, in his second game back from injury, the veteran forward shot 1-of-7 from the field and managed just 5.5 DKFP; however, for Morris’ price tag to immediately drop to $4K after such a performance was insane. As if to prove that point, Morris notched season-highs in DKFP (20.75), rebounds (7) and minutes (25.0) in his next appearance on Sunday against the Bulls. Morris has the highest usage rate (22.3%) on the Clippers for anyone not named Leonard or George, if he comes close to 25 minutes again on Wednesday, he should have little issue bringing back value.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker ($2,200) - For anyone who’s watched even five minutes of Alexander-Walker’s NBA career, you know he doesn’t need much of an opening to get up a shot. Is it always a good shot? Heavens no. Yet, his confidence to take the next questionable field goal is unwavering. To wit, on a roster that features the aforementioned Ingram, Zion Williamson ($8,400) and JJ Redick ($2,600), Alexander-Walker is averaging a team-high 25.5 shot attempts per 100 possessions. The sophomore should see about 20 minutes tonight, with Ball’s absence increasing the reserve guard’s role. In the three contests he’s played a comparable amount so far this season, Alexander-Walker has registered 12.3 field goal attempts and 21.8 DKFP per game.


Fades

Nic Batum ($6,600) - It would appear I’m set to die on my “I won’t play Batum in Showdown” hill. The funny thing is, I loved the veteran as a value piece the first few games of the season, but with his salary now up above $6K, I simply have a difficult time trusting his fantasy archetype. Batum has the lowest usage rate on Los Angeles’ roster (12.6%), he’s averaging an unspectacular 0.85 DKFP per minute and his .678 true shooting percentage is wholly unstable. His ability to contribute in the secondary and tertiary categories is nice, but scoring is the most direct path to consistent success in DFS. One of these games, he’s not going to save his value with four steals, right? ...Right?!


THE OUTCOME

If you’re asking me to pick this game against the spread, I’d probably just tell you to take the points with the Pelicans, despite the fact the team is 3-6 ATS so far in 2020-21. The Clippers are the better squad and they have the higher ceiling, yet, for whatever reason, they just don’t seem all that engaged. To that point, though they’ve scored an incredible 116.2 points per 100 possessions across their past five games, the team has a negative net rating (-0.1) within that span. Los Angeles will likely turn it on when it matters, but I don’t think that’ll be a random Wednesday in January.

Final Score: Los Angeles 113, New Orleans 108

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $120K Fadeaway [$30K to 1st] (NO vs LAC)


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) 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.


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