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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Knicks vs. Mavericks Showdown on April 16

Stan Son gives his top lineup advice for Friday’s fantasy basketball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Knicks and the Mavericks, which starts at 9:30 p.m. ET.

Dallas Mavericks v New York Knicks Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

We’ve got a matchup between two teams who are square in the playoff picture for their respective conferences. The New York Knicks are 29-27 (sixth in the Eastern Conference) on the season and 5-5 in their last 10 games. The Dallas Mavericks are 30-24 (seventh in the Western Conference) on the season and have won seven of their last 10. New York is 12-17 on the road, while the Mavericks are 13-12 at home. Dallas has a better record (17-12) on the road. DraftKings Sportsbook has the Mavericks favored by 5.5 points with the total at 210.5. Dallas is 25th in pace, while New York is dead-last, so this should be a slobber knocker.

Let’s break down this Showdown contest on DraftKings.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $120K Fadeaway [$30K to 1st] (NYK vs DAL)


Captain’s Picks

Luka Doncic ($19,800 CP) - The Captain picks are straightforward for this slate, especially since raw points matter a lot. Doncic has the highest ceiling on the slate, as he’s gone over 80.0 DKFP three times this season. With that said, over the last 10 games, he’s been mired in the 40-50 DKFP range. The price tag is tough to swallow — and I’ll probably take the $1,900 discount to the player I will mention below — but if you want to build around the Mavericks, Doncic is the way to go. He possesses a high usage rate of 35% and a floor/ceiling combo that is unmatched. These teams met two weeks ago and Doncic put up 47.5 DKFP.

Julius Randle ($17,700 CP) - Over the last nine games, Randle has scored at least 40.0 DKFP every night with three performances above 50.0 DKFP and a high of 61.75 DKFP. Against the Mavericks, he went for 44.0 DKFP. He doesn’t have quite the ceiling that Doncic has, but there’s a good chance he matches a similar output, which makes the $1,900 savings appealing. His usage rate has been 32% over the last eight games and Randle can post a triple-double, like Doncic, on any given night.

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UTIL Plays

Taj Gibson ($4,200) - This recommendation is predicated on the health of Nerlens Noel ($5,000; ankle), who is questionable on Friday. With Noel a late scratch last game, Gibson got the start and played 35 minutes. He put up 27.5 DKFP. Even if Noel does play, Gibson won’t be a total zero, as he went for 30.5 DKFP in 17 minutes with him in the lineup on Monday, but that’s an outlier outcome. On the season, Gibson averages 0.77 DKFP per minute and would likely play around 20 minutes if Noel is active.

Jalen Brunson ($5,800) - Brunson has been a thing for a while now. He’s been playing alongside Doncic since February. Recently, he’s played over 25 minutes in 11 of his past 13 games and scored at least 25.0 DKFP in 10 of those. He’s gone over 30.0 DKFP six times in that same stretch with a high of 39.75 DKFP.

Derrick Rose ($6,000) - Over the last four games, Rose has averaged 24.4 minutes and 24.5 DKFP per game. His usage rate has been 27%, so he’s heavily involved when he’s on the court. He only scored 14.25 DKFP in the last meeting against the Mavericks, but that was due to 1-for-10 shooting from the field. It’s highly unlikely that happens again.


Kristaps Porzingis ($11,000) - If spending $11K, I’d rather go up $800 and roster Randle instead. Over the last eight games, Porzingis has gone for 62.0 DKFP and 59.75 DKFP. However, he also has two games with 30.5 DKFP and 26.5 DKFP. There is more volatility to his game than Doncic and Randle. In addition, the 26.5 DKFP game was against the Knicks, who have been the stingiest defense to opposing centers this season, neutralizing the fantasy points per by 14.75% below league average.


For full transparency, I’ve been absolutely horrible at predicting outcomes recently, so you may want to go Costanza on me. It worked out for me last week, so I’m going to keep the Costanza mantra up until it stops working. If that fateful yet inevitable game arrives, then we will Costanza the Costanza.

This should be a gross game as Dallas is 25th in pace, while New York is dead-last. The Knicks are also third in defensive efficiency. I’m expecting to see Charles Oakley and John Starks in the box score. The last time these teams met, the Mavericks were victorious 99-86. I think both teams exceed 100 points in this one, as I usually like the home team to dictate the pace, but barely. The Mavericks have too much firepower for the Knicks and emerge victorious once again.

Final Score: Dallas 108, New York 101

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $120K Fadeaway [$30K to 1st] (NYK vs DAL)

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