3 NBA DraftKings Studs to Target on 12/12/19

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.

Nikola Jokic, C, Denver Nuggets

DraftKings Price: $9,000

On Tuesday, we rolled with Nikola Jokic in a matchup with Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers, and for the most part, it worked out. The Denver Nuggets' offense-driving center returned 43.25 DraftKings points behind 15 points and a double-double. It marked his third consecutive game of 43 or more DK points.

For that one, The Joker was on the road for the fourth straight game, where he has averaged 7.2 fewer fantasy points on a per-game basis. His 45.1 DK points have been dominant at home, and that jump is largely attributed to the peripheral numbers: 11.0 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.6 steals.

We can expect him to keep it going against Hassan Whiteside and the Portland Trail Blazers. Whiteside can get into foul trouble, and Portland has allowed a respectable 53.4 DK points to the position, according to Fantasy Pros. We project Jokic for 48.5 DK points in 32.9 minutes.

Damian Lillard, PG, Portland Trail Blazers

DraftKings Price: $8,500

Opposite Denver, Portland is should still put up some adequate numbers, particularly with Damian Lillard facing off against Jamal Murray head to head. Now, Denver could throw Gary Harris on Dame, but that would leave C.J. McCollum with a similarly good matchup (something to note for tournaments).

Last game out, Lillard went off for 51 fantasy points against these Nuggets, hitting 10 of 21 shots and 3 of 10 three-pointers for 32 points, 8 assists and 4 rebounds. In his 11 career head-to-head clashes with Murray, he is averaging 25.5 points and 44.4 DK points a game.

Recent form is also in Dame's favor as he's averaged 46.8 DK points per game and 1.28 per minute over his last four. He's shot at least 50% in three of those games while also logging 37-plus minutes in three. He is poised for a true breakout game in the high 40s or low 50s.

At this price, Lillard requires just 42.5 DK points for five-times value. We have him down for 45.5.

DeMar DeRozan, SG/SF, San Antonio Spurs

DraftKings Price: $7,300

DeMar DeRozan's price doesn't suggest the "elite play" designation, but his opportunity of late sure does. The San Antonio Spurs' wing man has shot just 14 for 39 (35.9%) in the last two games, but both were San Antonio wins, and he played 40 minutes in each. That's allowed him to go for 41.25 and 43.5 DK points, respectively.

At the same time, DDR has put up a total of 16 assists and 15 rebounds in those two, which is what we should be looking for -- along with improved shooting -- against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

For starters, Cleveland is 28th in defensive rating and has allowed top-10 fantasy production to both shooting guards and small forwards, including 9.0 rebounds per game to the latter. They've surrendered at least 110 points in three of their last four games, including 127 to the Detroit Pistons and 141 to the Sixers. Given the Spurs' standing as 10.5-point favorites, they are likely looking at an implied total of 110 or more on their home floor.

DeRozan is both a top play overall and one of the best value plays on the board at this price. So long as the Spurs don't blow out the Cavs -- which should be hard given San Antonio's own defensive issues -- we are in for a big night from DeRozan. We project him at 38.5 DK points.

Brett Oswalt i
s 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.