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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Cavaliers vs. Clippers DraftKings NBA DFS Showdown Strategy for October 27

Garion Thorne preps you for Wednesday’s 10:30 p.m. ET contest between the Cavaliers and the Clippers with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

Memphis Grizzlies v Los Angeles Clippers Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The beginning of the NBA season is so weird. Are the Cleveland Cavaliers suddenly good? Are the Los Angeles Clippers in danger of missing the playoffs with Kawhi Leonard (knee) sidelined indefinitely? Because those are the narratives that begin to form when assessing the week of games we’ve seen played.

Thankfully, season long storylines aren’t important for our purposes. Tonight, we just care about this one game. Let’s break it all down from a Showdown perspective.

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


SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Captain’s Picks

Paul George ($16,500 CP) - There’s a couple things to consider about George as it pertains to his viability as a Captain. First and foremost, he’s clearly the focal point of the Clippers’ offensive attack with the aforementioned Leonard on the mend. Through three games in 2021-22, George is in possession of a whopping 32.3% usage rate, a figure that’s helped propel the former All-Star to take 30.3 field goal attempts per 100 possessions — the second-highest qualified mark in the entire league. George has also been extremely efficient with his insane volume, registering 1.64 DKFP per minute played and posting a .630 true shooting percentage. The other thing to think about here is price. Yes, George’s salary at 1.5x value is quite high, but there are no other assets on this slate with a price tag over $9K. That means you’re not quite as hamstrung by allocating so much of your cap on a single player as you would be in your average Showdown contest.

Jarrett Allen ($11,400 CP) - While the four most expensive Cavaliers assets are all separated by just $600 of salary, it is a little interesting that Allen checks in with the lowest price tag of that group. Through four games, it’s the center who leads all of Cleveland’s starters in both DKFP per contest (34.8) and DKFP per minute (1.09). Allen’s also mustered a pair of 40.0 DKFP performances across the first week of the season, highlighted by a 21-point, 16-rebound double-double in the Cavaliers’ most recent matchup with the Nuggets this past Monday. It was an effort that really showcased the 23-year-old’s fantasy ceiling, and he could have an opportunity to do it again on Wednesday. The Clippers have been one of the worst rebounding teams in the NBA so far this season, with their 46.6% total rebounding rate the second-lowest mark in the Western Conference. Allen should be able to own the glass.


Value UTIL Plays

Lauri Markkanen ($6,600) - I’m pretty intrigued by what I’ve seen from Markkanen in a Cavaliers jersey. Though the former lottery pick has yet to even produce a single game where he’s shot above 50% from the field, Markkanen is second on Cleveland in both minutes (125) and field goal attempts per 36 (15.0) so far this season. The forward has also scored 30-plus DKFP in each of his past two starts, thanks to his ability to contribute in multiple categories, including rebounds, steals and blocks. With Isaac Okoro ($3,800; hamstring) doubtful to play in tonight’s contest, I’d look for Markkanen to pick up a few extra minutes on the wing. If he can combine that volume with a good shooting night, the sky is the limit.

Isaiah Hartenstein ($2,400) - With injuries to Serge Ibaka (back) and Marcus Morris (knee) opening up opportunity in the frontcount, Hartenstein has logged over 15 minutes in each of Los Angeles’ past two games. Believe me when I say, that’s more than enough time for the young center to make an impact. Hartenstein has averaged an eye-popping 1.27 DKFP per minute played in this stretch, finishing both contests with at least 20.0 DKFP overall. Considering how deep Cleveland’s roster is at the center position between Allen, Evan Mobley ($8,200) and Kevin Love ($6,000), the Clippers are going to need Hartenstein’s size to match up. I wouldn’t be surprised if we even see a little more of the former second-round pick than usual.


Fades

Collin Sexton ($7,800) - Sexton thrived the last two seasons putting up large point totals on a losing team, but this version of the Cavaliers is a little different than it’s been in the recent past. Sexton is now not just playing beside Darius Garland ($8,000), but also Ricky Rubio ($6,800), two guards who are far more pass-oriented than Sexton, and who are far more equipped to operate an NBA offense in the half-court. Through four games, we’ve already seen Sexton taking fewer shot attempts than in 2020-21, while an already underwhelming 22.6% assist rate has fallen to a microscopic 12.7%. Really, the only fantasy category where Sexton contributes consistently is points, and even that’s less of a sure thing with more capable mouths to feed in Cleveland. The fact he’s scored fewer than 22.0 DKFP in three of his four starts this season is far from a fluke.


THE OUTCOME

I’m still not quite sold on the Cavaliers as an above average team, despite recent victories over the Hawks and the Nuggets. Heck, at the end of the day, the squad enters tonight’s matchup with the Clippers in possession of a negative net rating (-0.5). I expect a veteran Los Angeles roster to take control of this contest early, and to hand Cleveland its second road loss of this young season.

Final Score: Los Angeles 113, Cleveland 102

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


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