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

Which studs are worth paying up for in NBA DFS on Thursday?

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 ($11,300)

It is somewhat hard to fathom that the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks got 31 points, 17 rebounds, and 7 assists from Giannis Antetokounmpo and lost. The "Greek Freak" saw a massive 37.2% usage rate in Game 1, but it still was not enough to defeat the Orlando Magic.

The concern with Giannis was a blowout heading into Tuesday's game as a 12.0-point favorite, and FanDuel Sportsbook still has Milwaukee as a 12.5-point favorite for Thursday's contest. The reassuring news should be that Giannis sat a majority of the fourth quarter on Monday due to an unfavorable blowout and still posted 59.6 FanDuel points and shattered value at his $11,000 price tag.

At $300 cheaper in what is close to a must-win game for the Bucks, Giannis will likely look to attack early and often against an Orlando team that surrendered the eighth-most FanDuel points per game to opposing small forwards.

Anthony Davis, PF, Los Angeles Lakers ($10,400)

The outlook for Anthony Davis must be favorable in daily fantasy if media headlines everywhere discussed how terrible he played and how little support he provided LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday, but Davis still easily cruised passed value with 53.7 FanDuel points. And, the critics may have a point. Davis certainly underperformed given that he had a 32.3% usage rate in Game 1, yet James posted 66.4 FanDuel points with only 26.4% usage for the Lakers.

Also, Davis collected just 11 rebounds, which is right in line with his rebounds-per-minute average, but LeBron James well exceeded his expectation with 17 boards. Davis had to fight box outs with a dual-center lineup at times with Jusuf Nurkic and Hassan Whiteside both on the floor for the Portland Trail Blazers, but that may change if Davis plays more at center on Thursday as an adjustment.

That possibility, combined with the usage rates and expected rebounding, should lead to an stronger bottom line in Game 2 from Davis, who is still facing the Portland team that gave up the second-most FanDuel points per game to opposing power forwards.

Chris Paul, PG, Oklahoma City Thunder ($8,200)

The former Houston Rockets' guard certainly was up to the task of producing against his former team in Game 1. Even in a blowout 123-108 loss, Chris Paul played 37 minutes and nearly had a triple-double on his way to a strong 47.5 FanDuel points on Tuesday. While the 10 rebounds he pulled down may have been higher than his usual clip, his usage rate was also abnormally low. He accrued just a 22.5% usage rate on Tuesday, which was lower than his season-average of 23.4% and third on his team behind Steven Adams and Danilo Gallinari.

Now down a game in the series, Paul may be more aggressive offensively in Game 2. Paul is projected for a modest 41.8 FanDuel points by numberFire, and that is with the projection baking in fewer minutes than he played in Game 1's blowout. With value slim on this slate, only two studs over $10,000 will likely be feasible, which makes Paul a terrific third choice behind AD and Giannis.

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.