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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Nets vs. Nuggets Showdown on May 8

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.

NBA: New York Knicks at Denver Nuggets Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday night’s featured Showdown on DraftKings involves the Brooklyn Nets and the Denver Nuggets. Both of these teams are among the best in the league, so this should be an exciting contest. Both teams are also dealing with some key absences, so this should be a competitive contest. DraftKings Sportsbook has the Nets listed as 3.5-point road favorites, while the total sits at 232.5 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.


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Captain’s Picks

Nikola Jokic ($18,300) – The only thing that has been able to stop Jokic recently has been a lack of playing time in blowouts. The spread on this game suggests that it should be tight throughout, so we can fire up Jokic with confidence.

Jokic has been even better lately with Jamal Murray, Will Barton and Monte Morris out of the lineup. He’s increased his usage rate by over three percentage points with all three players off the court this season, and he’s scored at least 56.25 DKFP in five of his past six games.

He should be able to have his way on the interior vs. the Nets. They don’t have many competent options at the center position, and they’re below average in terms of points in the paint allowed.

Paul Millsap ($6,300) – If you’re not going to pay up for Jokic, I like the idea of saving some salary with Millsap. He’s seen a spike in playing time given the Nuggets’ injuries, logging at least 24.3 minutes in back-to-back games. That may not sound like much, but Millsap has averaged a stout 1.16 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. That gives him excellent upside for his salary, and rostering him at Captain allows you to jam Jokic, Kevin Durant ($11,000), and Kyrie Irving ($10,600) into your lineup. Those three players have the highest upside on the slate by a significant margin, so that’s an appealing lineup construction.


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


UTIL Plays

Kevin Durant ($11,000) – Both of the Nets’ superstars are in play on Saturday, but Durant is my preferred option if I can only choose one. Both players have played heavy minutes recently, but Durant has been much more productive on a per-minute basis. He’s averaged 1.54 DKFP per minute over the past month, while Irving has averaged 1.39 DKFP per minute. Durant is only slightly more expensive, so he’s the superior option.

Austin Rivers ($5,000) – Rivers is a relatively new addition for the Nuggets, but he’s stepped right into a sizable workload given the injuries in their backcourt. He’s played at least 26 minutes in each of his past eight games, and he’s scored at least 28.0 DKFP in back-to-back games. That includes a massive 41.75 DKFP vs. the Knicks, who are one of the best defensive teams in the league.

JaVale McGee ($2,400) – McGee has served as the Nuggets’ backup center recently, which means he should see somewhere between 12 and 15 minutes vs. the Nets. That should be enough for McGee to return value. He’s averaged 1.19 DKFP per minute this season, so he’s capable of racking up fantasy points in a hurry. He’s my favorite punt play on the slate.


Fades

Joe Harris ($6,800) – I’m picking Harris for this spot, but it really could go to most of the Nets’ options. They’ve all become slightly more expensive following a stretch where Durant and James Harden were out of the lineup, but they aren’t commanding nearly the same usage now that Durant is back. Harris has been particularly poor for his salary – he’s scored 21.75 DKFP or fewer in five straight games – but Blake Griffin ($6,200) and Landry Shamet ($5,200) are also fade-worthy.


THE OUTCOME

Both of these teams are pretty secure in their playoff position. The Nuggets will finish either third or fourth in the Western Conference, while the Nets are looking at either the No. 2 or No. 3 seed in the East. It will be interesting to see how seriously both teams actually take this contest.

I’m giving the Nets a slight edge as long as they give this game their full attention. They’ve been strong with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant both in the lineup this season, particularly on the offensive end of the court. This game should be close, but I like the Nets to squeak out a victory on the road.

Final Score: Nets 125, Nuggets 119


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


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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