NBA

3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 2/12/20

With 11 games on the slate, there are no real shortage of studs. Which ones look most likely to pay off?

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 ($10,300)

Karl-Anthony Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves face the Charlotte Hornets tonight in a game with an over/under of 226.0 points. The Minnesota big man has been eating up minutes of late, playing at least 34.0 in seven straight contests. numberFire projects him to get to 34.1 tonight.

Towns' matchup with the Hornets is the best one of the night in terms of defense versus position, and the only real concern is blowout risk, as the Timberwolves are favored by a slate-high 8.5 points.

Towns' 29.7% usage rate is high enough that -- even in a lopsided game -- he should get his. A Minnesota onslaught should flow through him. When comparing his floor outcome to his ceiling, Towns ranks as the second-best play of the night in my projections among players priced above $8,000, making him very likely to pay off.

Damian Lillard, PG, Portland Trail Blazers ($9,600)

Damian Lillard is traveling to play the Memphis Grizzlies, a team that ranks fourth in offensive tempo since the start of the 2020 calendar year. The Portland Trail Blazers' implied team total of 115.75 ranks seventh on the full slate, and the over/under in this matchup (235.5) is highest on the docket.

Lillard did play last night in a similar uptempo matchup with the New Orleans Pelicans, and he disappointed with 32.0 FanDuel points over 29.1 minutes in the blowout loss. While he did shoot just 38% on 16 field goals, the box score doesn't necessarily indicate the full story, as Lillard didn't get his usual second-half minutes due to the score. His price actually dropped a smidge.

Tonight, a blowout shouldn't happen. It's a tight 4.0-point spread, and the Grizzlies are a below-average combo guard defense. Lillard is primed for a bounce-back outing and grades out well in terms of floor/ceiling combination. Teammate Hassan Whiteside ($8,800) was also in consideration as a stud to feature. There's reason to be bullish on the Blazers despite what happened in New Orleans.

Devin Booker, SG, Phoenix Suns ($8,100)

Devin Booker is on the low end of the pricing range for stud consideration, but he's facing the Golden State Warriors, who rate out poorly against guards on the full season. The Phoenix Suns are all sorts of banged up in the frontcourt, and that should lead to an uptempo, small-ball game plan for Phoenix.

With all of the injured Suns off the court, Booker averages a 28.1% usage rate and 38.9 FanDuel points per 36 minutes. numberFire projects Booker for 35.8 minutes and 42.2 FanDuel points when adjusting for the matchup and pace. He also has fared well against the Warriors this season, scoring 31 and 34 points in his two prior matchups.

Booker's floor and ceiling combination make him the best high-priced play of the night, according to my projections, and he's significantly more likely to return 6x value (6.0 FanDuel points per $1,000) than most studs ever are.