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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Mavericks vs. Jazz Showdown on January 29

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

One of the worst parts of the pandemic has been the monotony. The general feeling that every day for the past 11 months has been basically indiscernible from the next, as we all hunker down and stay inside. However, sometimes seeing the same thing over and over again is a good thing — just ask fans of the Utah Jazz. The team comes into tonight’s meeting with the Dallas Mavericks having won 10-straight contests, a span of time where Utah’s 14.9-point net rating is over four points per 100 possessions better than anyone else in basketball.

Editor’s Note: Jazz SG Donovan Mitchell (concussion) has been ruled out tonight vs. the Mavericks.

Can they keep the good times rolling on Friday? Let’s break it all down from a Showdown perspective.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $150K Fadeaway [$50K to 1st] (DAL vs UTA)


Captain’s Picks

Luka Doncic ($17,700 CP) - Remember when Doncic had a bit of a slump to start 2020-21? Well, that’s entirely in the past as we reach the end of January. The All-Star is looking to put the finishing touches on a month that’s seen the guard average 28.5 points, 10.8 assists and 10.5 rebounds across 13 games. Yes, the shooing —particularly from deep — still isn’t great, but Doncic makes up for any faults in efficiency through sheer volume. In fact, Doncic’s 36.0% usage rate for the season is the highest mark of all qualified Western Conference players. Even as the Mavericks continue to get back to full health, I wouldn’t expect that figure to shrink, and that’s why Doncic is always a must-play asset on a single-game slate like this.

Rudy Gobert ($13,500 CP) - The most interesting wrinkle of this truncated regular season schedule is the mini two-game series we keep getting between teams. Generally speaking, I wouldn’t want to overreact to a recent performance, but it does tend to catch your eye a little more when said performance took place two days ago in the very same matchup. Anyway, that’s a long-winded way of saying I like Gobert on this slate. The center — who owns the fourth-highest total rebounding rate in the NBA (24.4%) — went off for 68.0 DKFP against Dallas on Wednesday, finishing that contest with 29 points, 20 rebounds, three blocks and three steals. Do I think he’ll do exactly that again? No. However, the Mavericks have the league’s lowest team rebounding rate across their past 10 games (46.8%), which makes it seem like Gobert’s dominance on the glass wasn’t a fluke. Honestly, considering Gobert’s registered double-digit rebounds in all but one start so far in 2020-21, it’s the point production that’s the bigger question mark; especially if Donovan Mitchell ($9,800; concussion) is active.

Value UTIL Plays

Joe Ingles ($5,400) - Ingles’ viability hinges on the status of Mitchell, so if the guard is forced to miss his second-straight contest, the veteran wing becomes a key figure on this slate. All you need to know to understand this dynamic is time of possession. When given the opportunity to essentially function as a lead guard, Ingles is quite the play-maker. This shouldn’t be all that big a shock as it’s a trend that been going on in Utah for years, but Ingles’ 23.3% assist rate trails only Mitchell and Mike Conley ($7,400) on the Jazz in 2020-21. It makes sense then, that when one of those two is inactive, Ingles tends to come alive in DFS. Take Wednesday as a perfect example. Thrust into the starting five, Ingles finished the victory second on the team in touches (69) and with an eye-popping 17 potential assists.

Dwight Powell ($1,000) - You can pretty much take a chance on any of Dallas’ recently returning assets, as both Josh Richardson ($4,600) and Dorian Finney-Smith ($4,200) are underpriced relative to their usual role, but let’s focus on Powell. While the big man only managed 7.25 DKFP on Wednesday, he logged 13 minutes and was a team-best plus-10 in terms of on/off numbers. Specific to tonight, let’s go ahead and assume two things. First, that Powell will see a couple extra minutes as he continues to work on his conditioning. Second, that Powell will be able to score a point. Heck, the second part doesn’t even matter that much, as anything the Canadian does is amplified by the fact he’s priced at the minimum. Powell has the potential to post 10x or even 15x value this evening and his bargain price tag helps with the financial burden of putting Doncic in the Captain’s slot.


Tim Hardaway Jr. ($6,800) - Hardaway was able to score 29.25 DKFP in Wednesday’s loss to Utah, but if you look deeper into the numbers from that game, some troubling signs emerge. Not only did the veteran tie a season-low with 10 field goal attempts, but his 16.9% usage rate was the worst mark we’ve seen Hardaway post throughout 2020-21. While you could just chalk it up to being “one of those nights,” the fact that this performance corresponded to the return of Richardson and Finney-Smith seems like more than a coincidence. Hardaway’s role with continue to lessen as those two men ramp up their conditioning, and I don’t think we can count of the 28-year-old shooting 4-for-6 from three-point range every night to counteract the loss of volume. Hardaway’s simply a little too expensive.


Who am I to call for the end of a good thing? As I mentioned above, the Jazz are 10-0 in their past 10 games, but maybe even more impressive is the fact that the Jazz are also 10-0 ATS within that same span. There’s no other way to say it: Utah is crushing its opponents as of late. Meanwhile, Dallas is adjusting to having its full allotment of players in the mix, and the team’s defense and rebounding has been terrible all month. That’s not really the formula to pulling off an upset.

Final Score: Utah 120, Dallas 111

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $150K Fadeaway [$50K to 1st] (DAL vs UTA)

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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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