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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Trail Blazers vs. Lakers Showdown on February 26

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

This is a slate that you could very easily refer to as “top heavy” considering the price tags on LeBron James ($12,400) and Damian Lillard ($12,200). In fact, among players that will actually be active for tonight’s game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Portland Trail Blazers, the two All-Stars are almost $4,000 more expensive than any other asset.

Does that mean you’ll have to find some value to slide into the Captain’s slot? Let’s break down everything you’ll need to know for this evening’s Showdown contest.

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


SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Captain’s Picks

Damian Lillard ($18,300 CP) - Lillard’s had to take his game to a whole different level in February. The All-Star hasn’t shot the ball as efficiently as he was able to in January; however, he’s more than made up for that slight dip in his overall volume. In 12 starts, equipped with a massive 35.5% usage rate, Lillard’s averaged 29.7 points and 9.3 assists in the month — with Draymond Green the lone player in the Western Conference averaging more dimes. Lillard’s also registered five double-doubles in his past six contests, a span of time where the veteran is producing 58.4 DKFP a night. Los Angeles hasn’t been a particularly fruitful matchup for point guards, but with Lillard’s role, opponent is the least of our concerns.

Dennis Schroder ($11,100 CP) - This could change if we find out that Schroder is going to be on a minutes restriction this evening, but the guard’s only missed about a week due to the league’s health and safety protocols, so I have my doubts that happens. Anyway, this is a strategy move more than it is an endorsement of Schroder’s personal viability, though I don’t want to sell the veteran short, either. In Schroder’s past three starts with Anthony Davis (Achilles) sidelined, he’s managed to exceed 36.0 DKFP each time, benefitting from more responsibility and a larger offensive role. Still, salary is the focal point here. While LeBron James is obviously the guy you want at 1.5x value, captaining the former MVP and then sticking the aforementioned Lillard into a UTIL slot leaves you with less than $5K to spend per player for your remaining four picks. It’s just not enough.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Lakers PG/SG Dennis Schroder (health protocols) will start tonight vs. the Trail Blazers


Value UTIL Plays

Marc Gasol ($4,800) - Two-straight slates where I’m writing up Gasol’s viability? What a world we live in. The 36-year-old is a shell of his former self at this point in his career, yet Gasol still has intriguing upside when the Lakers are in a matchup with a traditional big man like they’ll see tonight in Enes Kanter ($8,600). Gasol remains an exceptional individual defender in the post and that trait should translate into the big man seeing 20-25 minutes of action on Friday. Considering Gasol is averaging a respectable 0.98 DKFP per minute played without Davis on the court so far in 2020-21, that should be more than enough time to reach value.

Rodney Hood ($1,000) - This price tag is confusing. While I will fully admit that Hood has been absolutely terrible in a reserve role so far this season and that he doesn’t do much aside from score, that doesn’t mean he deserves to be priced at the minimum. Hood’s logged between 17-20 minutes per game since returning from a brief injury hiatus in mid-February, even registering 15.5 DKFP in a recent loss to the Suns. Yes, he’s averaging a bleak 0.53 DKFP per minute in 2020-21, yet even that microscopic output would be enough to hit 8x or 9x value on this slate if his role stays the same. It’s not a pick with a lot of raw ceiling, but if you are someone who wants to captain James or Lillard, Hood becomes an almost necessary salary-saving device.


Fades

Montrezl Harrell ($7,800) - Harrell has the ability to be an incredibly efficient DFS asset and his usage rate is high enough where he can still succeed in a smaller role; yet this is a pretty hefty salary for a man who hasn’t logged even 25 minutes in any of his past seven games. Basically, if you’re paying up for Harrell in this spot, you’re paying for an 80th or 90th percentile outcome. However, for every 26-point performance against the Wizards, there’s a dud like Harrell produced versus the Nets or the Nuggets earlier this month. Simply put, I’d rather take my chances with Kyle Kuzma ($8,000) or Schroder in this tier, as they both possess similar upside and much, much higher floors.


THE OUTCOME

When was the last time LeBron James lost five-straight games? I’m honestly not sure if it’s ever even happened during the regular season. Anyway, I don’t think tonight’s the night we such a feat. If you think the Lakers have been pitiful across their past four contests, consider that the Blazers are one of three teams that has actually had a lower net rating within that span of time. It’s legitimately shocking that Portland has covered seven of its last nine matchups, but with Dennis Schroder back in the mix, give me a motivated LeBron and the points.

Final Score: Los Angeles 116, Portland 109

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


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