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

Luka Doncic could be in for even more usage tonight since Kristaps Porzingis is questionable. Does that make him the top stud to pay up for?

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 ($10,800)

Luka Doncic is back up to a full workload after missing a couple of weeks with an injury in December, and he was on the court for a season-high 40.2 minutes in his last outing on New Year's Eve. That means a $10.8k price-tag is leaving him pretty heavily under-priced.

He ranks third in the NBA with an average of 53.6 FanDuel points per game, and if we remove the game in which he got hurt after playing only two minutes, that average jumps to 55.4 per game. He's averaged 52.9 per game in four contests since returning, and that makes this salary something of a head-scratcher after he carried an average salary of $12,000 in his final five games pre-injury.

Sweetening the deal even further, he draws a matchup with a Brooklyn Nets squad that is giving up top-five fantasy production at the point.

Paul George, SF, Los Angeles Clippers ($8,000)

Paul George is going through a slump lately, averaging 35.2 FanDuel points per game in his last five. He's also shooting just a .352 effective field goal percentage in that time, though, compared to a .519 mark on the year and .510 for his career. This doesn't look like anything more than variance, especially because he bounced back with 56.7 fantasy points in his last outing and he had 58.3 six games ago.

What the slump has done is drive down his salary after it sat at an average of $9,580 in his five games before a 21-fantasy point dud on December 21.

So, like Doncic, George is discounted severely from where we're used to seeing him, and ultimately from where he should be priced on Thursday.

Donovan Mitchell, SG, Utah Jazz ($7,700)

Donovan Mitchell's low price-tag can't even be explained away by a slump.

He's returned better than 38.5 fantasy points (5.0 per $1,000 on today's salary) in seven of his last nine games, averaging 41.2 per game in that stretch. That run brings him up to 38.8 per game on the year, including 39.2 per game when Mike Conley is on the shelf.

The Chicago Bulls boast a top-five defensive rating on the year, and this matchup is certainly a downgrade for Mitchell's fantasy efficiency. Still, with only a 4-point spread, a close game should keep Mitchell on the floor for plenty of minutes, going a long way to making up for a dip in per-minute production.

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.