We’ve got a matchup between two Western Conference teams who are at opposite ends of the spectrum. The Sacramento Kings are 25-37 (12th in the Western Conference) on the season and 3-7 in their last 10 games. The Los Angeles Lakers are 36-26 (fifth in the Western Conference) on the season and have won four of their last 10. Sacramento is 14-18 on the road, while Los Angeles is 19-13 at home. DraftKings Sportsbook has the Lakers favored by 8.5 points. Sacramento is eighth in pace, while Los Angeles is 15th, so there should be plenty of possessions in this one. These teams have met twice this season, with the Kings winning the first matchup 123-120 at home, then losing the next one, also in Sacramento, 94-115. There are a ton of injuries for both teams. De’Aaron Fox (health protocols) and Harrison Barnes (groin) are out for Sacramento, while LeBron James (ankle) is out for Los Angeles.
Let’s break down this Showdown contest on DraftKings.
Editor’s Note: Lakers PG LeBron James (ankle) will play tonight vs. the Kings. Alex Caruso has been ruled out.
Andre Drummond ($12,900 CP) - I initially wrote up Anthony Davis ($9,800) here — and he’s a fine option — but I’ll take the discount and hope for a ceiling outcome from Drummond. There’s risk with the big man because I’m not sure how many minutes he’s going to play. Over the last four games, Drummond’s played 20, 25, 30 and 31 minutes. Shrug. With that said, he produced 38.25 DKFP and 34.25 DKFP in his two most recent contests, despite playing fewer than 26 minutes in each. If he gets 30 minutes in this one, he could smash, as the Kings boost the fantasy points per minute to centers by 18.0% above the league average.
Dennis Schroder ($11,700 CP) - I usually pick one Captain option from each team. Not today. Over the last four games, Schroder has played 38, 37, 38 and 35 minutes. He’s averaged 16 shots per game and he dished out double-digit assists in three of those starts. In the one contest he didn’t, he finished with eight assists. The usage rate has been 15%, 24%, 25% and 22%. The Kings play fast and don’t believe in defense. In the two prior meetings against Sacramento, Schroder went for 46.25 DKFP and 41.0 DKFP.
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Ben McLemore ($2,800) - This is far from a sure thing, as McLemore’s minutes have been all over the place. Over the last four games, he’s played 23, 13, 29 and 10 minutes. When he’s on the court, though, he’s hucking and chucking. In the two games that he received over 20 minutes of run, McLemore attempted 16 and 12 shots, which translated to 24.25 DKFP and 27.5 DKFP, respectively. The floor is low, but you won’t find a comparable ceiling in this price range.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($4,800) - Like McLemore, this is a volatile play, but it’s not due to playing time. Caldwell-Pope is locked into a role and has played 34, 33 and 34 minutes in his last three games. His issue is efficiency and volume. In those same three contests, he attempted five, nine and 17 shots. He can get as hot as the sun and he even has a 42.75 DKFP performance on the season resume, but he can also disappear, as he’s gone for less than 10.0 DKFP eight times. Still, at the price, I’ll take the hefty minutes and potential for ceiling.
Buddy Hield ($8,000) - I was going to write this whole piece without mentioning a Kings player. That has nothing to do with the fact that I’m a Lakers fan. Nope. Not at all. However, since you’re obligated to play at least one Kings player, I’m going with Hield. He plays a ton of minutes, gets up shots and he’s been contributing in every statistical category lately — 4.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.2 steals and a block over the last six games. That’s translated to 45.25 DKFP, 32.75 DKFP, 41.5 DKFP, 49.0 DKFP, 23.5 DKFP and 13.25 DKFP. That last game was a blowout and he only played 23 minutes.
Anthony Davis ($9,600) - I’m probably a stupid man for doing this, but I’ll fade Davis. He’s the highest-priced player on the slate and I already mentioned I like Drummond right below him. Now, Davis has been trending in the right direction since returning from a 30-game absence, but he’s still capped around 31 minutes. Could that change this game? Sure, but I think the Lakers ramp him up slowly. The Kings, while being dead-last in defensive efficiency, have actually been good against power forwards as they have neutralized the fantasy points per minute to the position by 15.3% below the league average. Finally, there’s always that slight chance of “Davis is heading to the locker room.” I mean, there are actual Twitter accounts that exist specifically for that. I kid, but since the Lakers will be cautious with Davis, any little thing could limit his minutes played. Is it a high-probability event? It’s not, yet it’s well within the range of outcomes.
For full transparency, I’ve been absolutely horrible at predicting outcomes, so you may want to go Costanza on me. If that doesn’t work, then Costanza the Costanza.
The Lakers have lost three of the last four games, all on the road. Davis is slowly getting back into form and they finally return home. I think everything clicks as they dispatch of the Kings fairly easily.
Final Score: Los Angeles 109, Sacramento 98
Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $120K Fadeaway [$30K to 1st] (SAC vs LAL)
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