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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Nuggets vs. Clippers Showdown on May 1

Matt LaMarca gives his top lineup advice for Saturday’s fantasy basketball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Nuggets and Clippers, which starts at 10 p.m. ET.

New Orleans Pelicans v Denver Nuggets Photo by C. Morgan Engel/Getty Images

Saturday night’s featured Showdown on DraftKings involves the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Clippers. Both of these squads have multiple starters out of the lineup currently, and the Clippers could potentially be without their best player. That said, this is still expected to be a competitive contest between two excellent teams. DraftKings Sportsbook has the Clippers listed as five-point home favorites, while the total sits at 222.0 points.

There are a lot of dynamics at play in this matchup, so let’s break down everything to help you build your showdown lineups.

(NOTE: All salaries are in the utility spot unless otherwise indicated.)


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EDITOR’S NOTE: Clippers SF Kawhi Leonard (foot) is available tonight vs. the Nuggets.

Captain’s Picks

Nikola Jokic ($16,500) – Jokic has struggled a bit recently, scoring 44.25 DKFP or fewer in three of his past six games, but it hasn’t exactly been his fault. The Nuggets have played in a string of blowouts recently, which has resulted in limited playing time for the star big man. He’s still averaged 1.67 DKFP per minute over the past month, so he should be able to bounce back in a more competitive contest.

Additionally, Jokic should be even more effective than usual given the Nuggets’ current injury situation. They’re currently playing without Jamal Murray, Monte Morris and Will Barton, and Jokic has been one of the biggest beneficiaries with all three players off the court. He’s increased his usage rate by 3.1% in that situation, so he carries a bit more scoring upside than usual. Jokic is already one of the best contributors in the league in the peripheral categories – he ranks ninth in rebounds per game and sixth in assists per game – so a bit more scoring upside makes him extremely appealing.

Paul George ($15,300) – George has been balling recently. He’s scored at least 50.0 DKFP in eight of his past 10 games, and he has obviously benefitted from the absence of Kawhi Leonard. He’s increased his usage rate by 6.9% in games without Leonard this season, bringing his mark to 37.6%. To put that in perspective, Luka Doncic leads the league with a usage rate of 35.9% this season, so George has essentially been the highest-usage player in the league with Leonard out of the lineup.

There’s a chance that Kawhi suits up tonight – he’s currently listed as questionable – so make sure to monitor the injury report before tip-off. George is a bit too expensive if Kawhi plays, but he’s definitely worthy of consideration if he’s out once again.


Set your DraftKings lineup here: NBA Showdown $100K Fadeaway [$25K to 1st] (DEN vs LAC)


UTIL Plays

Marcus Morris ($7,200) – Morris is another member of the Clippers who is overpriced if Leonard is active but a nice value if he’s ruled out. Morris has increased his production to 1.01 DKFP per minute in games without Leonard this season, and he’s played at least 31.5 minutes in three of his past four games.

Facundo Campazzo ($5,000) – All of the Nuggets’ injuries have allowed Campazzo to take over as the starting point guard. That isn’t a super desirable role – Jokic is essentially the team’s point center – but Campazzo has still averaged 0.78 DKFP per minute over the past month. He could see upward of 36 minutes tonight, just like he did two games ago vs. the Pelicans.

Rajon Rondo ($3,000) – Rondo has carved out a decent role with the Clippers since being acquired from the Hawks before the trade deadline. He’s played at least 22.3 minutes in each of his past two games, and Rondo is the type of player that can rack up fantasy points quickly. He’s averaged 1.00 DKFP over the past month, so he should be able to return value at his current salary vs. the Nuggets.


Fades

Terance Mann ($6,600) – This one is a pretty easy call for me. Mann is obviously overpriced if Leonard is active, but unlike George and Morris, I don’t see a ton of value with Mann even if Leonard is ruled out. He’s scored 23.5 and 26.5 DKFP in his past two games despite seeing plenty of minutes, which is not going to get the job done at his current salary.


THE OUTCOME

The Nuggets have surprisingly won eight of their past nine games despite their injuries, but this is a clear step up in weight class. Still, this should be a competitive contest. I like the Clippers to ultimately pull out a close victory if Leonard is ruled out, and the margin could be a bit more convincing if he suits up. However, that’s actually a good thing for Jokic from a fantasy perspective. I’m expecting him to put together a big performance in the loss.

Final Score: Clippers 115, Nuggets 108


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Set your DraftKings lineup here: NBA Showdown $100K Fadeaway [$25K to 1st] (DEN vs LAC)


I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) 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. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.


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