3 NBA DraftKings Studs to Target on 1/15/20

Nikola Jokic gets a great matchup against a weak Charlotte frontcourt. Where does he rank among tonight's top options?

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.

LeBron James, PG/SF, Los Angeles Lakers

DraftKings Price: $10,400

On Monday, LeBron James returned to the floor following a one-game absence, putting up 46.5 DraftKings points over 32-plus minutes in a blowout of his former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers. But given all that he did in that game, including score 31 points on 16 shots, why is his price so low? Before his last game, James was priced at or above $11,00 for four straight games, maxing out at $11,200. Over those four, he averaged 58.3 DK points -- or 5.6 points per $1,000 at this salary.

To put it simply James is a steal, even with all the stars out there on this 10-game slate. He is $2,000 cheaper than James Harden and comes at a $1,700 discount to Luka Doncic. Plus, he could be without Anthony Davis, who is a game-time decision with a back ailment. According to NBA Wowy, James is averaging 1.62 DK points with a 37.6% usage rate in his 462 minutes without AD this year.

The Orlando Magic aren't the easiest opponent, checking in fifth in's defensive rating ranks. However, at 1.62 points per minute, James would need to play just over 32 minutes to bring back optimal value. Our models project him for 52.9 DK points in 35.1 minutes.

Nikola Jokic, C, Denver Nuggets

DraftKings Price: $10,100

If we shift our focus down but only a few names we see that Nikola Jokic is finally above $10,000 after being priced below that for the majority of the season to date. That's a reflection of a number of things, including his play of late.

Over the last five, the Joker has averaged 26.6 points and 52.4 DK points in 32.7 minutes a game. He has shot 56.8% compared to his 19.3 points and 51.0% mark from the field. And as for his usage rate, it's up to 28.5% in the last 5 and 29.5% over the last 10 matchups.

If that wasn't enough, Jokic is at home against a team that struggles against opposing centers. The Charlotte Hornets rate second-worst against centers, according to Fantasy Pros, and they sit 27th in rebounding. With the Nuggets set up to be double-digit home favorites, we expect Jokic to take advantage to the tune of 46.5 DK points.

Jimmy Butler, SG/SF, Miami Heat

DraftKings Price: $8,600

Unlike the slow-starting Jokic, Jimmy Butler has been producing all year for his Miami Heat. The first-year member of the Heat is putting up 43.8 DK points a night thanks to averages of 20.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, 6.5 assists, and 1.9 steals. He is stuffing the stat sheet despite shooting his lowest percentage (44.7%) since 2013-14.

In recent games, though, Butler has increased his scoring efficiency. En route to 23.8 points a game he has knocked down 62.7% of his field goals in addition to 88.6% of his 35 free throw opportunities in the last four contests.

A good shooting night could translate to a big performance at home against the San Antonio Spurs. Per FanDuel Sportsbook, the Heat are 4.5-point favorites with a 113 implied total -- 1.3 above their season average through 39 games. That raises Butler's floor and ceiling in this matchup.

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__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.