3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 12/12/19
Basketball is the most consistent sport for daily fantasy purposes.
A top slugger in baseball will have his fair share of 0-for-4 days, and an elite fantasy football player is at risk of having games where his team's offense as a whole is shut down. A high-priced NBA stud is generally going to get his, though. With so many possessions in a game providing opportunities to produce, top fantasy basketball options will be posting high scores just about every night.
While this consistency puts us in a good position to identify top plays, it also means you can't afford to miss when you're paying up for someone. Even with strong value plays in your lineup, paying up and getting a dud is likely going to leave your lineup drawing pretty close to dead.
Let's get right into it and look at which top players should be the focal points of your lineups tonight.
Luka Doncic, PG, Dallas Mavericks ($11,800)
The Detroit Pistons' bottom-five pace takes of the appeal out of this matchup, but their bottom-12 defensive rating means this is still a matchup that Luka Doncic can take advantage of, giving him some unique upside on this slate.
Doncic has 5 of the 10 highest single-game fantasy scores from anyone in action tonight, and he has accounted for 6 of the group's 13 games with 65-plus FanDuel points. Andre Drummond is the only other player on the slate with more than one (four).
Doncic's fantasy production has cooled off a bit in recent games, driving his salary down, but that dip doesn't look to be much to worry about. He's played fewer than 30 minutes in blowouts in two of his last four games, but with the Dallas Mavericks sitting as 5.0-point favorites, the blowout risk is pretty minimal tonight.
LaMarcus Aldridge, PF, San Antonio Spurs ($8,200)
This one does carry some serious blowout risk, as the San Antonio Spurs are favored by 10, but there's also plenty of room for upside.
The Cleveland Cavaliers own the worst defensive rating on the slate (114.4 -- 28th in the NBA) and also rank below average with a 49.5% total rebound rate. They've given up the 11th-most fantasy points per minute to opposing centers, as well as the seventh-most to opposing power forwards.
LaMarcus Aldridge's numbers have fallen off this year, but he's still putting up 18.9 points and 7.0 rebounds while adding 2.4 assists, 1.8 steals and 0.6 blocks per game. He returned from a brief injury absence to a full workload last Friday, playing 34.9 minutes in an overtime game, and he should get plenty of opportunity to take advantage of this matchup.
C.J. McCollum, SG, Portland Trail Blazers ($7,000)
With a salary held down by his inconsistency, C.J. McCollum is priced far below his ceiling tonight, giving him some really exciting upside on a short slate.
Relative to his two sub-30 fantasy point games in his last three, $7,000 makes sense. Of course, before that came a 10-game stretch in which he averaged 42.2 per game, which would be 6.0 per $1,000 of salary today.
He's averaging a career-high 35.6 FanDuel points per game on the year (5.1 per $1,000), and he's scored at least 50.0 four times to open the year.
A matchup with the slow-paced, defensively-strong Denver Nuggets definitely hits him with a downgrade, but a four-game slate means we don't have to be as sensitive to matchups as we do on deeper slates, and the low salary more than makes up for the tough matchup.
Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his 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.