3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 8/11/20
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.
Damian Lillard, PG, Portland Trail Blazers ($9,900)
In some ways, the studs are easier to find than ever. With so many teams resting players, finding a stud to play is less about matchup and success versus someone seeing their minutes. The place to do that best is the race for the Western Conference's final playoff spot, and the three teams still competing for it are the Memphis Grizzlies, Portland Trail Blazers, and Phoenix Suns.
Point guard has two notable options, that being Damian Lillard and Ja Morant of Memphis. Dame looks like a man on a mission right now trying to return to the postseason, and is taking more of an offensive load than ever. He is averaging 24 shots per game in his last three contests, compared to his season-long average of 20.2. That type of aggressiveness should continue to bode well for his points total, even with his reduced usage due to the return of Jusuf Nurkic. Dame also should have the edge over Ja Morant with his matchup, as he faces the Dallas Mavericks, who are 18th in defensive rating, versus Morant getting the Boston Celtics as a top-5 defense--although both opponents are resting several components.
Jusuf Nurkic, C, Portland Trail Blazers ($8,500)
Lillard's teammate Jusuf Nurkic also draws significant attention, but there are more options at this position as well. Once again, with plenty of value, it will be finding the best overall play between Nurkic, Deandre Ayton, and Jonas Valanciunas. Valanciunas, however, has only averaged 25.66 minutes inside the bubble, as Ayton and Nurkic are both above 29.5 minutes per game. Therefore, between Nurkic and Ayton, the FanDuel points-per-minute values inside the bubble have been too distinct to ignore. Nurkic continues to produce at a tremendous rate, with 1.49 FanDuel points per minute in Orlando. Even with the per-minute qualifier adjusting for Ayton's COVID-19 testing mishap on Monday, he still only sits at 1.11 since the restart. In relatively even workloads, Nurkic has been more productive, and should be again on Tuesday.
Worth noting as well with Deandre Ayton is that the Philadelphia 76ers will be without Joel Embiid, and could possibly attempt to play small with Mike Scott at the five. The Suns have plenty of wings to match this style, so there is some potential Ayton does not see all of his minutes should the 76ers play well small. That is another advantage for Nurkic, as he will likely see his whole minutes' allotment trying to contain Boban Marjanovic or Maxi Kleber.
Devin Booker, SG, Phoenix Suns ($8,100)
Arguably the bubble's MVP, Devin Booker has led Phoenix to an undefeated record in Orlando and--somehow--a chance at the postseason. Booker has averaged 43.43 FanDuel points in his last six since the restart, and very consistent as well, never dropping below 35 FanDuel points.
Normally, the second-fewest points allowed to the opposing Philadelphia 76ers would be an issue, but they will be without several perimeter defenders, such as the likes of Josh Richardson and Ben Simmons. He is the highest-priority stud on this slate as he continues to dominate the ball with his 34% usage rate in Orlando, and should increase that even more in yet another must-win situation for the Suns.
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.