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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Jazz vs. Clippers Showdown on February 19

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

In the iconic words of Homer J. Simpson, “now we play the waiting game.” It’s almost impossible to get a sense of this single-game slate without mentioning the injuries, of which there are many. Coming into Friday’s contest between the red-hot Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers, Kawhi Leonard ($10,600; leg), Paul George ($9,600; toe), Mike Conley ($7,000; hamstring), Nic Batum ($5,400; concussion) and Luke Kennard ($4,600; knee) are all questionable to play.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Mike Conley (hamstring), Kawhi Leonard (leg), Paul George (toe), Nicolas Batum (concussion) and Luke Kennard (knee) will be available to play tonight.

So, we’ll wait to see who’s active. But aside from all that, navigating tonight’s Showdown contest should be easy as pie, right? Well, let’s at least give it a try.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $200K Fadeaway [$50K to 1st] (UTA vs LAC)


SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Captain’s Picks

Donovan Mitchell ($13,800 CP) - Mitchell is viable is a vacuum, but his value really does increase across the board when Conley is inactive. Mitchell’s assist rate jumps to 29.4% when he’s not playing alongside the veteran in 2020-21, and that trend’s been especially apparent in the most recent six games that Conley’s missed. In that stretch, Mitchell’s dished out 7.0 assists and 12.7 potential assists per contest — both ranking as the highest marks on the team. It’s not exactly Trae Young or James Harden levels of playmaking, yet when added to his already impressive offensive profile, it really takes Mitchell’s DFS ceiling to another level. I mean, Mitchell’s also taken at least 20 field goal attempts in all six of those matchups, even with the increased passing. Volume is never in question when it comes to Utah’s All-Star.

Lou Williams ($11,400 CP) - We all know that the aforementioned Leonard and George are usage monsters when active, so you can slide either in as a possible Captain’s pick if they’re active. However, the Clippers have been notoriously cautious with lingering injuries the past two seasons and it wouldn’t shock me if both All-Stars remain sidelined on Friday. If that’s the case, we’ll collectively turn to Williams, the usage monster who’s been laying in wait all season long. It hasn’t been the prettiest campaign for the veteran — Williams sported an ugly .466 true shooting percentage in the month of January — but he’s thrived with the added opportunity provided by the ailments surrounding him. To wit, Williams has scored at least 30.0 DKFP in all seven games that George has missed and, in Los Angeles’ past three contests with both superstars in street clothes, he’s led the team in minutes (103) and usage rate (30.4%). Williams is always more than willing to pick up a few extra shots.


Value UTIL Plays

Marcus Morris ($5,800) - Morris and Williams have suffered a similar fate for most of 2020-21, as the duo are drastically overqualified for their slight roles when the Clippers are at full-health. However, again like Williams, Morris has certainly enjoyed breaking off the shackles with Leonard and George sidelined the past couple of weeks. In fact, Morris dropped a season-high 32 points in Monday’s victory over Miami, hitting 11-of-15 shots in just under 26 minutes of action. He’d follow that up logging 32.2 minutes in Wednesday’s loss to this same Utah team, a contest where Batum and Kennard were also inactive. It’s hard to imagine he wouldn’t be asked to shoulder an identical workload this evening if all four of his teammates remain out, with Morris almost becoming the last wing standing.

Amir Coffey ($2,200) - Depending how the injury report shakes out, there’s a decent chance that all the huge values on tonight’s slate will be on the Clippers’ side of the ledger. There’s no other way around it: This is a team that just needs to fill minutes with somebody. Heck, with Serge Ibaka ($5,000) seemingly on a regular season minutes restriction, five of the six most used assets in Los Angeles’ 114-96 loss on Wednesday were point guards. The Clippers started three of them in Williams, Reggie Jackson ($4,800) and Patrick Beverley ($4,000); then Terance Mann ($3,800) and Coffey were the big-minute pieces off the bench. Anyway, the sophomore is super inexpensive and he’s shooting 77.7% (7-of-9) from three-point range over his last two games. If he logs anywhere close to 30 minutes, he’s got a chance to reach 10x value.


Fades

Bojan Bogdanovic ($5,600) - It’s difficult to knock any member of a team that’s won 20 of its past 21 games, but Bogdanovic has never really fit the archetype of a consistent DFS asset. The issue recently has been his inconsistent shot. In the Jazz’s past six contests, Bogdanovic is shooting a paltry 38.0% from the field and, because he rarely contributes in secondary categories, that’s led to the forward averaging a lowly 22.8 DKFP per game. To be blunt, Bogdanovic’s path to viability to a rough one. He has to be a volume scorer to hit his ceiling, yet he’s asked to play alongside offensive pieces with much higher usage rates in Mitchell and Jordan Clarkson ($7,000). There’s just not a lot of upside to project with the veteran.


THE OUTCOME

Look, I know this slate is a mess. We’re basically in the dark until Doc Rivers tells us who’s actually playing for the Clippers this evening. Still, when it comes to taking a side, I don’t really need to know much more. The Jazz have the NBA’s best net rating in February (14.6). In fact, they’re outscoring opponents by twice as many points per 100 possessions as the second place Warriors. It’s insane how good they’ve been straight up and ATS, as they’ve also covered 21 of their last 26 matchups. Who am I to pick against them?

Final Score: Utah 113, Los Angeles 100

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $200K Fadeaway [$50K to 1st] (UTA 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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