3 NBA DraftKings Studs to Target on 2/13/20

Thursday's two-game bill features two of the NBA's best defensive teams in the Celtics and Clippers. Which player could surprise with a breakout performance?

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.

Jayson Tatum, SF/PF, Boston Celtics

DraftKings Price: $8,200

Kawhi Leonard tops the player pool on Thursday's two-game slate, but there are reasons to fade him (at $9,100) a more balanced lineup and in favor of players in the $7,000 to $8,500 range. His opponent, the Boston Celtics, are third in the league in defensive rating and -- according to -- rank nine spots back of the Clippers in pace. And thanks to Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and company, they are second-best against the small forward position.

For those reasons, Tatum is a much better play at a $900 discount. He has come on of late, averaging 25.5 points on 47.8% shooting en route to 45.3 DraftKings points per game over the last 10 -- 5.2 above his season average. In that same time, he's increased his usage rate to 29.2% (from 27.3%) with nine 40-point games and three 50-point outings.

There is merit to avoiding Tatum, as well, as the Los Angeles Clippers are sixth in defense, but they present a pace-up spot and allow middle-of-the-road production to both forward spots. For that reason, we project him for 21 points and 38.2 DK points over 33.8 minutes of work.

Zion Williamson, PF/C, New Orleans Pelicans

DraftKings Price: $7,800

It's finally happening, everyone. Zion Williamson is finding his NBA footing and getting into a rhythm.

Over the last five games he's played in, the rookie phenom has put up 23.4 points along with 7.2 boards and 3.0 assists a game. His final tally is 38.5 DK points per game and 1.31 points per minute on a 29.4% usage rate. For some perspective, that last number is first on the Pelicans and a hair above LeBron James (29.3%) for their most recent five-game stretch.

Given the strength of the Celtics and Clippers' defenses, this game is the more favorable of the two. But it's even more promising to see the Pels ranked above all teams in pace over the last five, averaging 108.1 possessions per game, or 12.6 above the Oklahoma City Thunder's average in that span. A two-point line suggests a close, high-scoring game down in New Orleans.

With a projected output of 32.5 in 27.3 minutes, we are somewhat tempering expectations on Zion. However, if he gets the 32 or 33 minutes he saw three and four games back, it would be easy to see him going for 50-plus at home against OKC.

Brandon Ingram, SF/PF, New Orleans Pelicans

DraftKings Price: $7,200

If you want to pivot off the Zion love, Brandon Ingram should be under-owned for his fantasy potential. The 22-year-old is questionable for Thursday evening, having missed the last two games because of an ankle injury, yet there's a chance he gets there to help the Pels push toward their 24th win before the break.

In the event Ingram is able to give it a go, look for him to play his usual 30-plus minutes and produce. Per NBA Wowy, he's averaging 1.25 DK points per minute, and in a decent sample (134 minutes) he's averaged 1.26 per minute alongside Williamson. He hasn't taken much of a backseat to his teammate despite all the hype.

Ingram could be the key to a tournament victory. His price is down $400 from last game and a whole $2,000 lower than his season-high back on January 10. By talent and production, he is a steal on a compact slate.

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.