3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 8/18/20
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.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF, Milwaukee Bucks ($11,000)
With both one-seeds playing, as well as James Harden, Tuesday's slate definitely has more forks in the road at the top of the player pool than Monday. While unnerving that the Milwaukee Bucks are already a twelve-point favorite over the Orlando Magic, Giannis Antetokounmpo is still worth prioritizing as the second-most expensive player in the pool.
At only 30.4 minutes per game, Giannis ranks just 72nd in the NBA in minutes per game, so a potential blowout is nothing new to the fantasy production of "The Greek Freak". Still, his matchup is as good as one will find with so many good defenses in the NBA playoffs, as the Magic struggled against wings this year and gave up the eighth-most FanDuel points per game to small forwards as a result. If the Magic keep this game close, however, Giannis should be firmly in the running for the highest scoring player on the slate, currently projected by numberFire for a whopping 63.3 FanDuel points on Tuesday.
Anthony Davis, PF, Los Angeles Lakers ($10,000)
The Portland Trail Blazers are daunting offensively, holding the third-best offensive rating in the NBA, but their defense is the reason they are just the eight-seed in the Western Conference, and as a result, have a date with the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round. Points will be had in this series, and many of them could belong to the talented Anthony Davis.
Davis gets to attack a Blazers' defense that allowed the second-most FanDuel points to opposing power forwards, and a lot of that is due to their problems on the defensive glass. Portland has the fourth-worst defensive rebounding percentage in the league, which should lead to plenty of opportunities for Davis and the Lakers, who have the sixth-most second-chance points in the league as well. Davis likely draws Carmelo Anthony and his poor .055 defensive win-shares rating in this matchup as well, which makes it far too favorable an opportunity to fade.
Jimmy Butler, SG, Miami Heat ($7,800)
No doubt that Jimmy Butler is the emotional heart and soul of the rejuvenated Miami Heat and the combination make their playoff debut against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday. Butler is also the clearly defined leader for the Heat on the court as well, as he is first amongst Heat starters in usage (25.4%) and FanDuel points per minute (1.20) on the season.
Butler has been resting several games inside the Orlando bubble but made his presence felt on August 10th against these same Pacers, as he only needed 28 minutes to put up 19 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals. That was good enough for 52.7 FanDuel points on that day, and likely Butler sees more minutes if this game remains closer. Butler should see increased usage down the stretch, as he did in that contest against Indiana, where his usage elevated to 27.8%. That may explain his healthy 42.8 FanDuel points projection on numberFire heading into the contest.
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.