3 NBA DraftKings Studs to Target on 1/2/20

Luka Doncic is priced up but could be without his running mate against the Nets. How much of a priority should he be for Thursday's slate?

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.

Luka Doncic, PG/SG, Dallas Mavericks

DraftKings Price: $12,000

With one look you can see that Luka Doncic is the unrivaled top dog on Thursday's slate. By price, he's $1,500 more than the injured Karl-Anthony Towns and more than $2,000 clear of Andre Drummond, the next-closest player at $9,800. But his 58.2 DraftKings points per game are also 4.5 above that of Towns.

Doncic's average is insane, yet he's been especially dominant in his four games since Christmas. Over that time, he has put together games of 78 and 62 DK points, with the latter coming Tuesday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Luka logged 40 minutes and took 29 shots en route to 35 points and his 19th double-double through 29 appearances.

Tonight, he takes on the visiting Brooklyn Nets, who -- according to Fantasy Pros -- rank third-worst against point guards while operating at the league's ninth-fastest pace. Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks will get a boost of more than two possessions by that math.

The chance that Kristaps Porzingis (questionable) sits could also raise Luka's ceiling in this game. Per NBA Wowy, he has averaged 2.04 DK points per minute with Porzingis off compared to 1.62 with him on. He would require only 29.4 minutes to hit five-times value at this price, and we project him for a juicy 33.4 on Thursday night.

Rudy Gobert, C, Utah Jazz

DraftKings Price: $8,900

Speaking of scorching hot studs in plus matchups, Rudy Gobert certainly fits the bill on the road against the Chicago Bulls. There, the Utah Jazz are 3.5-point favorites with a 107.5 implied total that is right around their season average. It doesn't sound great on the surface, but the individual and positional metrics tell us otherwise.

For starters, Gobert has really turned it on in the last 5 to 10 games. Over the last 10, he's averaging 16.2 points on 71.0% shooting along with 16.0 boards and 2.0 blocks. But if we limit our scope to the last five, those figures remain the same but with even more efficient shooting and increased production on the defensive end (3.4 blocks-plus-assists a game). In total, he's averaging 43.9 DK points in the last five.

Against Chicago, we can almost guarantee another big game from the Utah big man. The Bulls are third-worst against centers, allowing 22.5 points, 3.8 blocks and 58.3 DK points per game, thanks in part to the league's fourth-worst rebounding rate and 60.4% for their opponents when inside six feet. Given that, we project Gobert for another double-double and 40.3 DK points.

D'Angelo Russell, PG/SG, Golden State Warriors

DraftKings Price: $7,900

You will have to do some legwork to make sure that D'Angelo Russell is returning to the lineup Thursday against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The talented combo-guard missed Tuesday's game due to illness and shoulder soreness, but if he's back to health, we can expect to see him out there in time and in a favorable spot.

The Golden State Warriors are slight road underdogs, but it should be a close game. And regardless, when Russell has played, he's averaged 31.2 minutes and has logged at least 33 minutes in 9 of 22 games (41%). He's utilized that time to the tune of 39.1 DK points per game on the back of 23.2 points, 6.0 assists and 3.4 three-point makes on a nightly basis. In the last two games alone, he has knocked down 13 threes en route to 33 points and 51.1 DK points a game.

Minnesota has injuries across the board, and that includes point guard Jeff Teague. If he sits for a second straight game, we could be seeing a lot of young bucks try check Russell and raise the ceiling of what is already a ceiling-type matchup. The struggling Wolves are one of seven teams allowing more than 50 DK points to floor generals. We don't see Russell producing to that extent, but if he's back, we have him pegged for 37.3 DK points in 32.2 minutes.

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__14. 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.