clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Suns vs. Clippers Showdown on June 20

Matt LaMarca gives his top lineup advice for Sunday’s fantasy basketball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Suns and Clippers, which locks at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Denver Nuggets v Phoenix Suns - Game Two Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Sunday’s NBA slate features Game 1 of the Western Conference finals between the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers start at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Both teams arrived here in different ways. The Suns basically breezed through their second-round series vs. the Nuggets. They won in just four games, and their average margin of victory was nearly 16 points.

Things were more of a struggle for the Clippers. They dropped the first two games of their series vs. the Jazz, but they won the next four games to advance to the next round. They had an epic comeback performance in Game 6, which was made even more impressive due to the absence of Kawhi Leonard. Overall, they overcame a 25-point deficit, and they outscored the Jazz by 34 points in the second half.

Speaking of Kawhi, the biggest story heading into this series is the absence of stars on both sides. Leonard is dealing with a possible ACL injury, and he reportedly did not travel with the team to Phoenix. That means he’s likely out for the first two games, and it’s possible that he doesn’t play again this postseason.

As for the Suns, they’re going to be without Chris Paul for Game 1 at a minimum. He’s currently in the league’s health and safety protocols, and it’s unclear when he’ll be cleared to return to the court.

Overall, the Suns are listed as four-point favorites in Game 1 on DraftKings Sportsbook, and they’re -200 favorites for the series.

DraftKings is offering up a Showdown slate for this contest, so let’s break down some of the top options to consider for your lineups.

All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.

Captain’s Picks

Paul George ($17,700 CP) – George had his struggles during the postseason last year, but he’s changed the narrative this season. Not only have his fantasy numbers been excellent this postseason, but he’s already led the team to two wins over a very good Jazz squad without Leonard.

Expect George to post another big performance on Sunday. He’s increased his usage rate by +6.5% with Leonard and Serge Ibaka off the court during the postseason, resulting in an average of 1.54 DKFP per minute. He’s averaged over 60 DKFP in two games with Leonard out of the lineup, so he owns the top ceiling on the slate.

Cameron Payne ($8,700 CP) – Payne stands out as one of the best values on the slate, and he makes a ton of sense at Captain, as well. He could potentially replace Paul in the starting lineup on Sunday, and he should see a spike in playing time regardless. He’s increased his usage rate by +1.4% with Paul off the court during the postseason, resulting in an average of 1.11 DKFP per minute. That’s the second-highest mark on the squad, and it’s only slightly lower than Devin Booker’s average of 1.14 DKFP per minute. Considering the massive gap in salary between the two players, Payne stands out as the stronger target.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $100K Fadeaway [$25K to 1st] (LAC vs PHO)

UTIL Plays

Devin Booker ($11,200) – Even though I prefer George and Payne, I still want to get Booker into my lineups. He’s seen a +4.6% usage bump with Paul off the court during the playoffs, which gives him the potential for a big performance.

Reggie Jackson ($8,400) – Jackson is another member of the Clippers who should benefit from the absence of Leonard. He’s increased his usage rate by +3.9% with Leonard and Ibaka off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.06 DKFP per minute. He’s been priced up a bit for today’s matchup, but that’s going to happen when you drop 54.25 DKFP in your previous game.

Torrey Craig ($3,000) – Craig is my preferred punt play on today’s slate. He’s been a strong contributor on a per-minute basis this season, and he’s increased his production to 0.91 DKFP per minute over the past month. He has the potential to play around 20 minutes on Sunday with Paul out of the lineup, which makes him a good bet to return value at his current price tag.


Terance Mann ($6,400) – Mann has started each of the past two games in place of Leonard, and he delivered a massive performance in Game 6 vs. the Jazz. He was instrumental in their comeback, racking up 20 points scored in the third quarter alone. He ultimately finished with 39 points, resulting in 50.5 DKFP.

Unfortunately, that makes him a prime sell-high target on Sunday. His price has more than doubled following that performance, and he’s undoubtedly due for some regression. He shot a ridiculous 15-of-21 from the field and 7-of-10 from 3-point range, and that kind of shooting simply isn’t sustainable. Mann scored 23.0 DKFP in his first playoff game without Leonard, and I think that’s a more reasonable expectation for him in Game 1 vs. the Suns. That would make him a disappointment at his current price tag.

The Outcome

This is a tough series to handicap. There have been minimal updates on Paul and Leonard, so who knows when either player will return to the lineup.

That said, I do like the Clippers’ roster a bit more than the Suns’ roster as things stand currently. We’ve seen the Suns without Chris Paul in previous years, and that roster wasn’t good enough to even make the playoffs in the Western Conference. Now they’re favored by four points against the Clippers? That seems off to me.

From a fantasy perspective, using Payne at Captain allows you to fit George and Booker into your lineups easily. If you’re also willing to roster Craig, that gives you a lot of flexibility with your final two roster spots.

Final Score: Clippers 114, Suns 103

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $100K Fadeaway [$25K to 1st] (LAC vs PHO)

Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.

For sports betting, head over to DraftKings Sportsbook or download the DraftKings Sportsbook app.

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.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL).

Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER(NJ/WV/PA/MI), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (NH/CO), 1-800-BETS OFF(IA), 1-888-532-3500 (VA) or call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN).

21+ (18+ NH). CO/IL/IN/IA/NH/NJ/PA/TN/VA/WV/MI only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See for full terms and conditions.