3 NBA DraftKings Studs to Target on 12/11/19
While building a daily fantasy basketball lineup, it's important to make sure you find the right studs to anchor your team. As the most expensive players in your lineup, they need big-time production to match their high price tag.
You may find it hard to fit some of these guys in while staying under the salary cap, but you can check out our projections to find value players for your rosters. Let's take a look at the top high-priced DraftKings plays of the day.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF/PF, Milwaukee Bucks
DraftKings Price: $11,000
The New Orleans Pelicans are a great matchup for just about any team and any one fantasy option. According to NBA.com, they are 28th in defensive rating, 5th in pace and 29th in opponent points per game, allowing 119.5 a pop. They are also bottom seven in rebounding rate and opponent effective field goal percentage (54.5%).
Because of that, FanDuel Sportsbook has them allowing 123.5 to the Milwaukee Bucks in a game with a 234 over/under. It should be one of the higher-scoring games of the night with two of the top five teams in pace facing off with one another.
When you throw Giannis Antetokounmpo into that equation, he's just a no-brainer. Averaging 61.4 DraftKings points per game, the Greek Freak's average would be enough to return 5.58 points per $1,000, and that's basically his floor here. The favorable environment should push Giannis toward one of his highest ceilings (think 80-plus DK points) of the year so long as this one stays close enough.
Our models project him for 59.5 DK points.
(Editor's note: Giannis (quad) has been ruled out for Wednesday's game against the Pelicans.)
Russell Westbrook, PG, Houston Rockets
DraftKings Price: $9,800
Last year, you would've found Russell Westbrook's name at or above Giannis' in terms of price. But now that he's in Houston and alongside usage beast James Harden, Brodie has seen his usage fall, right? Wrong. Westbrook's 30.4% usage rate is a hair above his mark last year despite everything pointing to the contrary.
That has definitely played a part in keeping the Rockets point man near the top of the fantasy charts, as he's averaged 22.4 points and 47.7 DK points in 34.4 minutes a night. He remains inefficient with his shot, but over his last two games, he's found something. Against the Phoenix Suns and Sacramento Kings, he has put up 71.0 and 51.75 DK points while shooting 65.7% from the floor and 3-for-7 from three. He even had a triple-double against Phoenix.
The Cleveland Cavaliers present an even easier test for him this evening. Not only are they second-worst against opposing point guards, according to FantasyPros, but they allow the most assists (10.1) and are projected to give up 120 as big home underdogs.
Westbrook might not be the best cash game play because of the large spread, but his ceiling calls for a price tag about $1,000 above this -- yet, he's priced lower than seven other players. We have him down for 34.7 minutes and 51.2 DK points.
Donovan Mitchell, PG/SG, Utah Jazz
DraftKings Price: $7,400
Way down the list, at a discount of nearly $2,500 off Westbrook, Donovan Mitchell is near his lowest salary all year. And surprisingly enough, it's for a game against the shaky defense of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Minnesota received good marks early on this year, but they have since fallen off to 20th in defensive rating, 20th in defensive rebound rate and 28th in opponent points per game, all while operating at the fourth-fastest pace. In their last five games, they've given up at least 115 with four teams going for 120 or more. Now, they are back home, but even as mere 0.5-point 'dogs, the 222.5 total calls for a 111.5-111 win for the visiting Utah Jazz.
That's where Mitchell comes in. Leading the team with a 30.9% usage rate, he's averaging 39.3 DK points on 43.8% shooting. He has shot under 40% in the last 10 days, but look for him to bounce back in this spot. After all, Minnesota is giving up 50.5 and 42.5 to point guards and shooting guards, respectively.
At this low cost, Mitchell is worth a long look. At a projection of 39.4 fantasy points, he would bring back 5.32 points for every $1,000 spent.
Brett Oswalt is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Brett Oswalt also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username BrettOswalt. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.