clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for Suns vs. Nuggets Showdown on June 9

Matt LaMarca gives his top lineup advice for Wednesday’s fantasy basketball Showdown contest on DraftKings between the Suns and Nuggets, which locks at 9:30 p.m. ET.

Wednesday’s NBA slate features Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals between the Denver Nuggets and the Phoenix Suns.

The Suns were able to jump out to a 1-0 series lead thanks to an impressive team victory at home. Four players scored more than 20 points, but no one on the roster finished with more than 23. Their stifling defense held the Nuggets to just 105 points, resulting in a 17-point victory.

They’re currently listed as five-point favorites in Game 2 on DraftKings Sportsbook, and they could take a commanding lead with another victory. Teams with a 2-0 series lead have historically advanced at a 93.5% clip in a best-of-seven series, although that number has dipped to just 90% since 2012. The Clippers were able to overcome an 0-2 deficit in the first round vs. the Mavericks, but the Nuggets should treat this as a must-win contest.

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

Refer a friend and get $20 DK Dollars! Head to the DraftKings Playbook Promo page for more details!

Captain’s Picks

Devin Booker ($14,700 Captain) – If you’re paying up at Captain, the decision comes down to Booker vs. Nikola Jokic ($17,700 Captain). Booker feels like the stronger option. He has the potential to play more than 40 minutes in this contest, and Booker has averaged 1.08 DraftKings points per minute during the postseason. That’s obviously not as much as Jokic, but that’s still the top mark on the Suns.

His individual matchup is also much easier than Jokic’s, and the fact that the Suns are favored gives Booker an edge in implied team total. Booker is also significantly easier to fit into your lineups, with Jokic taking up more than 35% of your available salary cap if you use him at Captain.

Jae Crowder ($8,100 Captain) – I normally prefer a stars-and-scrubs lineup construction in Showdown contests, but I think a more balanced approach makes sense on Wednesday. The studs aren’t quite as studly as usual, and the punt plays are really thin.

If you want to go with the midrange approach, Crowder makes a great choice at Captain. His salary decreased by $600 for Game 2, and he’s already proven he can pay off this price tag with subpar shooting numbers. That gives him a safe floor, and he has an excellent ceiling on nights where his jumper is falling.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $500K Shootaround [$100K to 1st] (DEN vs PHO)

UTIL Plays

Nikola Jokic ($11,800) – From a fantasy perspective, the Nuggets need to get Jokic going to have any chance in this series. He was subpar in Game 1, finishing with 46.75 DKFP while shooting just 43.5% from the field.

Unfortunately, that will be easier said than done vs. the Suns. Deandre Ayton ($8,400) has been fantastic defensively during the postseason, and he did an excellent job on Jokic in Game 1. He limited him to just 5-14 shooting while serving as his primary defender, and Jokic figures to see a lot of Ayton moving forward. Jokic can improve in that matchup, but we should probably temper our expectations a bit. I definitely want him in my lineups, but I’d rather use him as a utility.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Michael Porter Jr. (back) will start Wednesday vs. the Suns.

Michael Porter Jr. ($7,800) – Porter is currently listed as questionable due to a tight lower back. He played through the injury in Game 1, but he was sporting a significant wrap around his core. He also was not on the floor to close the game, but head coach Mike Malone told reporters that Porter should be good to go. Ultimately, it’d be a surprise if this injury costs him a playoff game.

He’s an interesting buy-low option in Game 2. His price has decreased by $600 following Game 1, and he clearly has the ability to pay off this price tag. He went for 51.0 and 42.75 DraftKings points in the final two games of the Blazers’ series, and he should continue to serve as the Nuggets’ No. 2 option offensively. There is obviously some injury risk, but that will hopefully result in lower ownership.

Monte Morris ($6,200) – Morris is a strong buy-low option in Game 2. His playing time trended up during the Nuggets’ first-round series vs. the Blazers, culminating in back-to-back performances with at least 43.25 DraftKings points. He was a major disappointment in Game 1 vs. the Suns, but he shot just 1-10 from the field. He’s a prime candidate for some positive regression on Wednesday.


Mikal Bridges ($6,800) – Bridges is an easy fade for me in Game 2. He went off in Game 1, dropping 44.25 DKFP over 34.3 minutes, which caused his salary to jump by $1,400 for Game 2. That said, that performance is a major outlier. He was limited to 36.5 DKFP or fewer in each of his previous six playoff contests, and he was at 25.5 or less in five of them. He benefited from some unusually hot shooting numbers in Game 1, so I expect some regression in that department on Wednesday.


I’m probably lower than most on Jokic heading into Game 2. I think Ayton is one of the best defensive centers in the league, and I expect him to continue to give Jokic headaches. Since he’s the only true “stud” on tonight’s slate, that pushes me in the direction of a balanced build.

That gives you a few different ways to go at Captain. Crowder is my favorite since he allows you to easily fit Jokic and Booker in the utility spots, but Porter is also very interesting in that spot. Regardless, I want to avoid dipping into the true punt plays on this slate since they all have minimal ceilings. If I do roster anyone cheaper than Crowder, Torrey Craig ($2,200) would be my preferred choice. He’s not going to see a ton of playing time, but he has averaged 1.01 DKFP per minute during the postseason.

As for the game itself, I’m not sure how the Nuggets can contend in this series if Jokic doesn’t go full Super Saiyan. I expect the Suns to grab another win in Game 2 and potentially close this series out sooner than expected.

Final Score: Suns 117, Nuggets 107

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA Showdown $500K Shootaround [$100K to 1st] (DEN 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.