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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Thunder vs. Lakers Showdown on February 8

Stan Son gives his top NBA lineup advice for Monday’s fantasy basketball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Thunder and Lakers, which starts at 10 p.m. ET.

Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The Lakers are the defending NBA champions and sport an 18-6 record, good for second in the Western Conference behind the Utah Jazz. The roster is a cornucopia of grizzled veterans surrounding two of the best players in the game. The Thunder are at the other side of the spectrum, as they have amassed a horde of draft picks and are looking toward the future. These teams played on Jan. 13, with the Lakers crushing the Thunder, 128-99. DK Sportsbook has the home Lakers favored by 10 points with the O/U at 218.5 for tonight.

Let’s break down everything to play a few Showdown lineups.

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


Captain’s Picks

LeBron James ($17,100 CP) - Anthony Davis is highly unlikely to play in this one with a right Achilles tendinosis. It makes sense to rest him because the Lakers should be able to handle the Thunder without him. James was the highest projected player on the slate without Davis, so the environment just gets juicier. He sees a usage bump of 2.3% to 34.6% with Davis off the floor. In the prior meeting against the Thunder, with Davis on the floor, James produced 26 points, six rebounds and seven assists in only 27 minutes of action. The only considerations for fading James in this spot are price and ownership.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Anthony Davis (Achilles) has been ruled out for tonight’s game vs. the Thunder.

Al Horford ($11,100 CP) - Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($9,000) is the present and future alpha for the Thunder, averaging a team-high 1.23 DKFP per minute, but Horford is second on the team at 1.15 DKFP per minute. Now, he’s only averaging 27.2 minutes per game on the season, but he may have to play over 30 minutes in this contest because both Isaiah Roby (foot) and Mike Muscala (concussion) are out, leaving Moses Brown, who hasn’t played more than five minutes in any contest, as the only other center available. On the season, with George Hill, Theo Maledon, Roby and Muscala off the court, Horford has seen an 11.8% usage bump to 34.2. The sample size is super small at 16 minutes, though.

FLEX Plays

Justin Jackson ($4,000) - Jackson has played sparingly this season (12 games), but he has started one and received at least 25 minutes in three total games. On the season, he’s averaging 0.72 DKFP per minute. With all the injuries in the frontcourt and Aleksej Pokusevski in the G-League bubble, Jackson should see a ton of minutes in this one.

Talen Horton-Tucker ($4,200) - Over the past four games, Horton-Tucker has played 23, 19, 22 and 21 minutes. He’s carved out a role for himself and looks to be a part of the rotation. And for good reason, as his length allows him to be a maven on defense and he’s able to create on the offensive end. Now, he is a rookie and has mental lapses, so the consistency of play and production aren’t always there. He’s scored fewer than 15 DKFP in 10 games but the ceiling is tremendous as he’s gone for 31.75 and 35.75 DKFP this season in 22 and 21 minutes, respectively. On the season, he’s averaging 0.94 DKFP per minute. With the possibility of this game turning into a blowout, Horton-Tucker could access a ceiling game if he garners more usage and/or playing time.

Kyle Kuzma ($6,000) - Davis has missed three games this season and Kuzma has started two of those - 20 points, three rebounds, three assists and three blocks in 29 minutes in the first game and then 22 points, 10 rebounds and one block in 30 minutes in the second one. Those lines were good for 35.75 and 39 DKFP. He more than likely will get the start tonight. On the season, he’s averaging 0.87 DKFP per minute and his usage decreases by 5% when he enters the starting lineup, but the shooting efficiency spikes by 7%.


Hamidou Diallo ($7,200) - Diallo is the fourth-highest priced player on the slate, which seems too rich for me. Over the past three games, he’s produced 31.75, 36 and 30.5 DKFP. Here’s the thing, though: Gilgeous-Alexander missed two of those games while Horford did not play in the game that SGA returned. Those are the two highest-usage players on the Thunder. Both are expected to play in this one, so Diallo should see a dip in production. To compound matters, the Lakers are the top-rated team in defensive efficiency and are particularly good against shooting guards, as they negate the fantasy points per minute by 13.11% below league average.


This game should be a laugher. Will it be a 128-99 comedy like the teams’ last meeting? Probably not, but it’s well within the range of outcomes. The Lakers are eighth in offensive efficiency while they are the top defensive team in the league. The Thunder should find it difficult to score while providing more possessions for the Lakers since they play at the ninth-fastest pace.

Final Score: Lakers 115, Thunder 99

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

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

All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.

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