3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 8/6/20
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 today.
Luka Doncic, SG, Dallas Mavericks ($10,700)
Even at this price tag, Luka Doncic is still too cheap. The Dallas Mavericks point guard is a do-it-all Swiss army knife that requires attention in just about any neutral or positive matchup, at third in the NBA in FanDuel points per minute (1.58). The Los Angeles Clippers are one of the best defenses in the league, at fourth in defensive rating, but playing at the eighth-highest pace in the NBA offsets some of that difficulty scoring for fantasy purposes.
Even with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to throw at him, Doncic and his 36.9% usage rate is just simply too high to be ignored, and he has proved that inside the bubble, to the tune of 64.23 FanDuel points per game in Orlando. Doncic and the Mavs are still alive for the 6 seed with the Houston Rockets losing on Tuesday, so for this game at least, it is still full motivation Dallas on Thursday.
Anthony Davis, PF, Los Angeles Lakers ($10,500)
This is a great slate to love studs. Beyond Doncic, this game between the Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers is loaded with four viable options at $9,600 or more. Anthony Davis is my favorite amongst the bunch. The Rockets have just proven that if your big man is athletic enough to stay on the floor, he will produce monster numbers against the 6'5" P.J. Tucker at center on the other side. Kristaps Porzingis had 39 points and 16 rebounds, Giannis Antetokounmpo had 36 points and 18 rebounds, and Jusuf Nurkic had 18 points and 19 rebounds--even in foul trouble.
As one of the most athletic centers in the league, Davis is in no danger of that. However, keep a huge eye on the status of this game. The Lakers have already clinched the number-one seed, and that could mean rest for Davis and LeBron James, both of whom would be absolute home-run plays in any normal situation. The more likely scenario is James would sit, battling a groin injury inside the bubble up to this point, but both could, which would take a lot of fun out of this star-studded affair.
Jusuf Nurkic, C, Portland Trail Blazers ($9,100)
Take your pick of great center plays in this matchup, as Nikola Jokic is also red hot and still continues to see boosted usage with Jamal Murray out for the Denver Nuggets. However, my attention has to turn to Nurkic in this matchup for two reasons. The first is a little sentimental, as Nurkic certainly probably takes a lot of gusto into his first truly healthy matchup with Denver since becoming one of the best centers in the league, following a well-documented dramatic exit off the Nuggets' roster and a disrespectful exchange in last year's Western Conference Finals.
That little added motivation is nice, but the real reason to play Nurkic is his dominant play since returning. In a surprising output, Nurkic has averaged 31.33 minutes per game and seen very few restrictions returning from his 2019 broken leg, and has made the absolute most of them. Nurkic has temporarily overtaken Luka Doncic for second in the entire league at 1.77 FanDuel points per minute, parlaying that into averaging 55.63 FanDuel points per game in Orlando. Denver likely is not the team to slow that down, giving up the seventh-most FanDuel points to opposing centers, and that will not get better if they continue to play the athletic Jerami Grant over the size and defense of Paul Millsap, as has been the case in two of the last three contests.
Austin Swaim is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Austin Swaim also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username ASwaim3. 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.