NBA Showdown Playbook December 28: Denver Nuggets vs. Sacramento Kings
Published: Dec 28, 2022
Updated: Dec 28, 2022
Tonight we have the rare same-teams, same-city second leg of a back-to-back with the Nuggets facing the Kings once again in Sacramento. These two teams played a close game last night and the plays for this Showdown will once again be determined by the health of Domantas Sabonis. He sat last night opening up a lot of value on the Kings. Will it happen again? Here are the NBA DFS top plays we can invest in for our lineups on FanDuel and DraftKings!
Bruce Brown – QUESTIONABLE
Aaron Gordon – QUESTIONABLE
Jeff Green - OUT
Domantas Sabonis - QUESTIONABLE
Nikola Jokic (C)
Jokic “only” had 51 fantasy points last night but it was a near triple-double for him with 20 points, nine rebounds, and 11 assists. He only took 10 shots in the game which is a far cry from the 21 per game in his previous four, so I expect that to get back on track in this game. The Kings have really struggled against centers in their last seven games, allowing the fifth-most points to the position (56.44) among all teams. Jokic is quite a bit more expensive than any other healthy player in the MVP spot tonight, but he legitimately has 90-point upside and the Kings are likely to be without their starting center.
De’Aaron Fox (PG)
Last night’s 32 fantasy points broke a string of at least 35 fantasy points he had in five straight games. But he shot 62% from the floor and 60% from three in this game on 16 shots. A surprising lack of rebounds (one) and assists (four) kept Fox from a big game on Tuesday and he should get back to regular numbers tonight, especially since the Nuggets allow 10 assists and six rebounds per game to the position. Overall, the Nuggets allow the second-most fantasy points to the point guard position this year, as Jamal Murray has really struggled on defense.
Jamal Murray (PG)
Speaking on Murray, where he has not struggled this year is on offense. He has scored at least 39 fantasy points in six of his last eight games, including 25 points, seven assists, and five rebounds against the Kings last night. Point guards have success against Sacramento this year because the Kings are fourth in pace and just 18th in defensive rating, including allowing the eighth-most points per game to opponents (116.1 per night).
Michael Porter, Jr. (SF)
Michael Porter went off against the Kings last night (46 fantasy points including 30 actual points) which should come as no surprise to anyone. The Kings are the absolute worst team in the league against small forwards as Kevin Huerter and Harrison Barnes have been quite bad on defense this season. Neither is in the top 15 in their position for defensive plus-minus this year and both profile as shoot-first, defend-maybe wings who struggle against uber-athletic players like Michael Porter. Porter is also on a hot streak, scoring at least 30 fantasy points in three of his last four and his usage jumps up to almost 24% when Aaron Gordon is out of the lineup.
Kevin Huerter (SG/SF)
Huerter might be the most up-and-down player the Kings have this season. We would never want him in a cash-game setting for DFS, but he is perfect for these showdown lineup builds, especially if we are running multiple lineups. His last five games have produced 31.5, 16, 40, 15.75, and 25 fantasy points as he can be one of the streakiest shooters in the entire league. Last night was a fantastic shooting performance (57% from the floor, 43% from three), so if that stroke carries over to tonight, his mid-range salary will be very valuable in lineups.
Harrison Barnes (SF/PF)
Barnes has a much more reliable floor for DFS, but is unlikely to ever put up a game where he pops off for 45+ fantasy points. He has at least 20 fantasy points in 12 of his last 13 contests, but none of those have gone over 37 fantasy points. Those guaranteed 20-25 fantasy points can be valuable on this showdown slate, especially if we try and play the guessing game with players and playing time based on injuries to Sabonis, Gordon, and Bruce Brown. The one thing that is guaranteed with Barnes with minutes. He has played less than 31 minutes just once since December 3rd.
Trey Lyles (PF) and Richaun Holmes (C)
Alex Len got the start for injured Domantas Sabonis last night, but he only played 14 minutes, which gave both Lyles and Holmes chances to both play starter-like minutes. With Lyles checking in at $2,500 and Holmes at the minimum $1,000 tonight, a similar situation unfolding with Sabonis in this game would mean both are very strong value plays in a game where there are at least two high-salary studs to try and jam in. Holmes played 23 minutes and scored 19.75 points with eight points, seven rebounds, and two assists. Lyles was even better with a double-double in 24 minutes against a frontcourt that was missing Aaron Gordon
Vlatko Cancar (SF/PF)
With Aaron Gordon missing last night’s game, Zeke Nnaji got the start for Nuggets. However, it was just a distraction from the real value of the Nuggets because Vlatko Cancar played 30 minutes in the power forward role and scored 18 fantasy points at the stone minimum salary. That would be the same scenario again tonight if Gordon misses as Cancar is still very valuable at a $1,400 salary. A combination of Cancar and Lyles in your showdown lineup on DraftKings would still allow for $11,500 per player in the rest of the lineup and lets up spend up for whomever you want.
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