3 NBA DraftKings Studs to Target on 1/16/20

Donovan Mitchell has been money when he sees big minutes. How will he fare in an uptempo spot against the Pelicans?

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.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, PF, Milwaukee Bucks

DraftKings Price: $11,700

Giannis Antetokounmpo has been plagued by blowouts of late, limiting both his minutes and fantasy production over the last three. In games against the Sacramento Kings, Portland Trail Blazers and New York Knicks, the reigning MVP was limited to 28, 28 and 21 minutes in 21-, 21- and 26-point wins for Milwaukee. But, in reality, he hasn't been slowed all that much, posting 52.0 DraftKings points a game in that span at a rate of 2.02 DK points per minute.

Due to Giannis' efficiency from the floor, including 6-for-11 from three, he's been scoring in bunches. He's tallied 32 and 37 in back-to-back games, but could the Boston Celtics provide more resistance? In the first clash between these two back in October, the Celtics held Antetokounmpo to 22 points on 13 shots, though he still ended the night with 53.0 DK points in 34.4 minutes. Boston threw a number of defenders his way, but Marcus Smart and Semi Ojeleye drew most of the duty.

Whether Jayson Tatum returns from injury isn't much of a concern, at least for the individual matchup. For Boston's defense as a whole, though, it has had an impact. According to, the Celtics' defensive rating has jumped from 102.0 with Tatum on to 104.1 with him off the floor for 538 minutes. We should expect the Bucks' offense to operate efficiently behind none other than Giannis, who sports a team-high 36.1% usage rate and a 32.1% assist rate in his time on the floor.

We should also see Giannis benefit from playing more minutes in what figures to be a close game. That boosts his floor and ceiling, leading to our projection of 58.9 DK points in 32.0 minutes of work.

Devin Booker, PG/SG, Phoenix Suns

DraftKings Price: $9,000

For Devin Booker, it was a very brief downswing after catching fire to start the new year. Following his 12-point, 7-turnover and 31.5 DK-point game four days ago, the Phoenix Suns' franchise player proceeded to hit 12 of 23 shots on his way to 39 points and 55.75 DK points against the Atlanta Hawks. His 50-point fantasy day marked his fourth 50-point game this calendar year as well as his sixth in 10 games. Booker has averaged a mere 40.5 DK points a game.

This 10-game stretch has seen the 23-year-old hit 52.2% of his attempts with a 64.0% true shooting percentage and a 32.7% usage rate -- 4.1 percentage points above his season average. And he takes that into a matchup with a Knicks team he torched for 38 points (on 14-of-27 shooting) and 51.3 DK points in their last clash.

The last thing working in Booker's favor is the expected absence of teammate Kelly Oubre, who is out with a concussion. According to NBA Wowy, Booker has averaged 1.18 DK points a minute with a 28.9% usage rate while Oubre has been on the floor as opposed to averages of 1.28 and 31.8% with Oubre on the bench. That tells us that, at that rate, Booker requires just 35 minutes to reach his salary-implied total (45 DK points), but we have him down for 35.6 minutes. Bet on another big game out of Book.

Donovan Mitchell, PG/SG, Utah Jazz

DraftKings Price: $7,400

Unlike Booker, Donovan Mitchell has not been his best self of late. The Utah Jazz guard has failed to reach five-times value in four straight games, and that has caused his price to drop to its lowest mark since December 11.

At this price, Mitchell needs to hit just 37 DK points to bring back optimal value. He has accomplished that feat in 22 of his 39 games (56.4% of them), and his season average is 38.8 in 34.5 minutes a night. When he's played 35 or more minutes, that percentages jumps to 73.9% in a 23-game sample.

Here, against the New Orleans Pelicans, he finds himself in a great bounce-back spot. We project him for 35.2 minutes, and he gets the pleasure of opposing a team that's done the opposite of bottle up the guard positions. On top of the Pels sitting 25th in defensive rating, they allow the sixth- and eighth-most fantasy points per game to point guards and shooting guards, respectively, according to Fantasy Pros. When you throw in their up-and-down pace, it's easy to see Mitchell going for 40-plus DK points, thereby smashing value at this price point.

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.