3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 8/17/20

Caris LeVert continues to be the star player for the Nets and one of the best options on today's four-game slate.

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.

Kristaps Porzingis, PF, Dallas Mavericks ($8,600)

While many will turn to the expensive Luka Doncic on this Dallas Mavericks squad, Kristaps Porzingis may be the better option against the Los Angeles Clippers in their playoff opener. The Clippers are a brutal matchup for wings like that handle the ball like Doncic, with two stars that are top-50 players in defensive win-shares. Kawhi Leonard is 18th and Paul George is 47th among qualifying players, and that may explain Doncic's poor effort against where he was limited to 37.6 FanDuel points in 35 minutes against Los Angeles on August 6th.

The Clippers are much easier to attack inside, especially with Montrezl Harrell, who is 48th himself in defensive win-shares, still expected to clear quarantine on Monday, meaning he will play very little, if at all, for Los Angeles in this contest. Porzingis had a great effort against the Clippers in their bubble matchup, posting 50.3 FanDuel points in 38 minutes. The Clippers also gave up the fifth-most FanDuel points to opposing power forwards this season, so Porzingis's large game was not the only effort that resulted in production for a big. Porzingis is too large for Leonard or George, so he should avoid the stud pairing on the defensive end, which makes playing the Latvian a solid choice.

Joel Embiid, C, Philadelphia 76ers ($8,500)

The question with Joel Embiid is never his production, with another great season at 1.51 FanDuel points per minute, but his health. That makes his 22-minute effort in the regular season finale against the Houston Rockets encouraging, as he looked healthy and played the entire first half. As long as Embiid is fully healthy, this price tag is too cheap for the Philadelphia 76ers center, who averaged 55.3 FanDuel points in his games in Orlando where he saw at least 30 minutes.

A factor working in Embiid's favor to surpass that again is the continued absence of Ben Simmons, and without his co-star, Embiid has a 36.7% usage rating on the season. That astronomical usage is combined with Embiid's 14.96 rebounds per 36 minutes without the tall point guard as well. Embiid has struggled with his health his entire career, but as long as he is indeed back in line for his full minute's allotment, he should smash value here--as numberFire currently projects the big man for 50 FanDuel points on Monday.

Caris LeVert, SG, Brooklyn Nets ($8,300)

There were severe question marks surrounding the prospects of the Brooklyn Nets without Kyrie Irving and Spencer Dinwiddie inside the Orlando bubble, but fielding their remaining starters, the Nets have impressed inside the bubble. Caris LeVert has emerged as a rising star, as while he did rest several games, LeVert averaged 51.15 FanDuel points in the games where he saw over 30 minutes as a starter. LeVert's production likely is not going anywhere either, as he leads the Nets' roster in Orlando in usage (33.5%) by a wide margin, with Joe Harris a distant second (22%).

LeVert has a brutal matchup against the Toronto Raptors, who have four starters in the top-10 in the NBA in defensive win-shares, but should continue to get the lion's share of the looks in the playoffs, which makes LeVert a priority cornerstone at a tough position on Monday that also has high-end options worth considering like Luka Doncic, Paul George, Donovan Mitchell, and Fred VanVleet.

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.