3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 12/18/19
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.
Karl-Anthony Towns, C, Minnesota Timberwolves ($10,800)
Towns has already carried a probable tag into each of the Minnesota Timberwolves' last three games, and he played at least 34 minutes all three times, scoring 48 fantasy points twice. That brings him up to a career-best 50.9 fantasy points per game for the year. KAT is filling up all five stat categories with 26.5 points, 11.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.0 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game.
That well-rounded production should be money tonight, as the Pels rank seventh in the NBA in pace — not far behind the Wolves in fourth. They've allowed the second-most points, fifth-most rebounds, and eighth-most assists per game to opponents. The high number of possessions available tonight should let KAT thrive in all of those areas.
Damian Lillard, PG, Portland Trail Blazers ($8,700)
Even before we factor in his matchup, Damian Lillard is underpriced tonight. He's averaging a career-high 43.8 FanDuel points per game this season, and even though his production is down in recent games, there's no need to be overly worried.
Dame has played over 36.5 games in five of the last six. His dip in production in the last two contests has come with a .446 effective field goal percentage, which sits well below his .531 season average. Still, matching his average with 18.5 field goal attempts per game while getting those big minutes, a two-game stretch of cold shooting doesn't even need to be on your radar for tonight.
Once we factor in his matchup, this spot is even sweeter. The Golden State Warriors are allowing opponents to shoot the third-highest effective field goal percentage in the NBA, checking in at 26th in defensive rating, and leaving the Portland Trail Blazers with a solid 114.25-point implied total.
Zach LaVine, SG, Chicago Bulls ($8,100)
Zach LaVine has been listed as probable with shin and shoulder injuries a bunch lately, but he hasn't missed a game, and we can expect him to suit up tonight.
Offensive fantasy numbers can sometimes be hard to come by in the Chicago Bulls offense, which ranks 29th in the NBA in offensive rating, but a matchup with the Washington Wizards should fix that for tonight. The Wiz own the NBA's worst defensive rating (116.7) by a big margin (next-worst is 114.8), and they play at the second-fastest pace in the Association, giving up a league-high 122.2 points per game. They've also allowed top-seven fantasy efficiency to opponents at both guard spots.
LaVine is already under-priced relative to his recent production, having topped 40.5 FanDuel points (5.0 per $1,000 of salary) in four of his last five, with an average of 41.6 per game in that stretch. His team-high 30.5% usage rate means he brings especially great upside against Washington.
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.