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Fantasy Basketball Picks: NBA All-Star Game DraftKings DFS Showdown Strategy

Garion Thorne and Geoff Ulrich join Emerson Lotzia to give their DraftKings Showdown picks for the NBA All-Star Game.

DraftKings contributors Garion Thorne and Geoff Ulrich join Emerson Lotzia to give their DraftKings Showdown picks for the NBA All-Star Game.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Jazz PG/SG Donovan Mitchell (illness) of Team LeBron has been ruled out of tonight’s All-Star Game.

Watch the entire video here on the DraftKings YouTube channel!


Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $400K All-Star Showdown [$100K to 1st] (ASG)


Video Transcript

Emerson Lotzia:

All right, so where are you going for DFS captain for the All-Star Game on Sunday night Garion?

Garion Thorne:

Okay, so I feel pretty strongly about this one, and it’s Darius Garland ($5,700 Captain; $3,800 FLEX). Darius Garland is by far the best captain in this game because from a lineup building perspective, he has the third-lowest salary of any player in the All-Star Game despite the fact that, one, this game is taking place in Cleveland. That matters. It matters to be the All-Star representative for the team that is actually in the city that you are actually playing the game in.

I know that Jarrett Allen ended up making this team as like the 70th injury replacement—he’s not going to play a ton of minutes. It’s Darius Garland who’s going to be out there for big stretches, and you go back to the Kevin Durant/LeBron James All-Star draft, Darius Garland was the fourth reserve off the board. Kevin Durant had a visceral negative reaction when LeBron took him. They both wanted this guy on their team because that narrative matters.

I think these guys like Darius Garland. I think Darius Garland, just because he is the Cleveland guy, is going to get to play a bunch of minutes in this game, so his price point is way off. I mean obviously, you can take one of the big guys, slot them into captain and use Garland as a value pick, but if you use Garland in the captain spot, your lineup flexibility is endless at that point.

Emerson Lotzia:

Oh man, I love that strategy. Geoff, do you have something as intelligent as that?

Geoff Ulrich:

Yeah, totally!

So, if you’re looking at the rosters, and look, I think that Garion kind of just blew my mind, so I’m still recovering. I barely even knew Darius Garland was in this event. But if you’re looking at the rosters, it seems out of whack.

I mean, the KD lineup has much more opportunity I think for the handlers to just have a big game, because if you look at the LeBron roster, they’re stacked. Curry, James, Antetokounmpo—all these guys are going to be wanting the ball, and it’s kind of just one of those scenarios where once the guy gets the ball, he’s just going to the hoop.

I think Trae Young ($12,000 Captain; $8,000 FLEX) on Team KD has a very good chance to just be the primary ball-handler for that. And there’s no defense being played in this, so once he’s got the ball, Trae Young is just going to the hoop. And we all know Trae Young doesn’t play defense anyways, right Garion? So it’s not like he’s going to be wasting himself on that side of the floor anyway.

So I think you look to keep Team KD for your captain for the simple fact that Team LeBron is just too stacked with ball handlers, with guys who are going to be sharing the load.

I think a guy like either Trae Young or Ja Morant ($12,300 Captain; $8,200 FLEX)—I’ll throw it as a second secondary pick—are going to really show up with just a monster game here just because of the way the rosters are set out.

Garion’s Pick:

Darius Garland ($5,700 Captain; $3,800 FLEX)

Geoff’s Picks:

Trae Young ($12,000 Captain; $8,000 FLEX)

Ja Morant ($12,300 Captain; $8,200 FLEX)

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $400K All-Star Showdown [$100K to 1st] (ASG)



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Geoff Ulrich and Garion Thorne are promoters at DraftKings and also avid fans and users (their usernames are wavegoodbye and theglt13) and may sometimes play on their personal accounts in the games that they offer advice on. Although they have expressed their personal views on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. They may also deploy different players and strategies than what they recommend above. They are not employees of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.


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