3 NBA DraftKings Studs to Target on 12/18/19

Devonte' Graham should wreak havoc against a disinterested Cleveland backcourt. But is this a night where you can pay down for your elite studs?

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.

Karl-Anthony Towns, C, Minnesota Timberwolves

DraftKings Price: $10,700

On Wednesday night, Karl-Anthony Towns finds himself as the highest-priced player not already ruled out (Luka Doncic). However, we do need to note that KAT is questionable after being "banged up" in the last game, according to head coach Ryan Saunders. If he doesn't play, you will want to look elsewhere, or at least pivot to an Andrew Wiggins at a lower price and elevated usage. If he plays, you want all the Towns you can fit into your lineups.

As of this writing, there was no line with the New Orleans Pelicans coming in to face the Minnesota Timberwolves on the back end of a back-to-back set. Based on pace, though, we can expect it to be high. According to, the Pels and Wolves rank sixth and fourth in pace, respectively, with both averaging at least 103.8 possessions a game. And combined, their games have hit the over in 30 of 52 (57.7%), per Killer Sports.

Towns is averaging 53.7 DraftKings points per game this year, but 14.6 of his points come via rebounds, and if you include the 1.5-point bonus you're looking at roughly 30% of his fantasy production. Against a New Orleans squad ranked 23rd in rebounding rate, we have him down for 11.8 rebounds and 54.2 DK points in 34.8 minutes.

Brandon Ingram, SF/PF, New Orleans Pelicans

DraftKings Price: $8,000

This is a night where you can afford to drop down and go more balanced. The higher-priced elite of the elite are a bit over-priced for their average to tougher matchups, and the opposite can be said for those hovering around the $8,000 mark in better upside spots. One of those guys is Brandon Ingram.

On the other end of what projects to be an up-and-down game in Minnesota, the versatile forward draws a dream matchup against Wiggins and company. According to Fantasy Pros, the Timberwolves allow the fourth-most DK points per game to the small forward position, including 9.0 rebounds, 2.8 threes, and 1.9 steals. In those categories only, Ingram is putting up 7.0, 2.3 and 0.7, accounting for 11.3 (or 26.7%) of his 42.4 DK points a night. If those numbers are boosted by Minnesota's poor defense of the position, he could be looking at a higher floor and ceiling in this one.

The only real danger is that Ingram is not rested after playing 41 minutes on Tuesday. But so far, he has flourished to the tune of 50.9 DK points per game in three matchups on zero days rest. We conservatively project him for 37.3 at a value of 4.7 points per $1,000.

Devonte' Graham, PG, Charlotte Hornets

DraftKings Price: $7,900

At a similar price at a different position, Devonte' Graham is another guy that gets a plus defense-versus-position matchup as his Charlotte Hornets travel to square off with the Cleveland Cavaliers this evening.

The Cavs' young backcourt of Darius Garland and Collin Sexton have been anything but defensive stoppers in their first and second seasons in the league, posting defensive ratings of 115.6 and 115.9, respectively. They are the worst defenders to have played in all 27 of Cleveland's games to date. And for fantasy purposes, that has played into the hands of opposing one- and two-guards -- just like Graham.

Fantasy Pros tells us that while the Cavs have been just average against shooting guards they are actually second-worst versus the point, allowing 52.3 DK points on the back of 24.8 points and 9.8 assists. Graham, at 7.4 assists, is by far Charlotte's assist leader, and per Basketball Reference he has logged 100% of his time at point guard. of the two, Terry Rozier gets the less juicy head-to-head.

You might give pause since Graham has cooled to 34.8 fantasy points over his last three (including 34.5 last night), but those were against the Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers, who are better than average versus floor generals. This is a get-right spot for the breakout star, and we should be in for a 45- or 55-point showing.

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.