3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 8/25/20
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 ($11,000)
Luka Doncic has seen both sides of the coin in terms of fantasy in this series against the Los Angeles Clippers. Doncic has eclipsed 60 FanDuel points twice, but also failed to eclipse 45 points twice, albeit fighting an ankle injury in Game 3. The arrow is certainly pointed up for the Dallas Mavericks' star, who's 43-point triple-double on Sunday helped tie this series with the championship-favorite Clippers. Doncic has the task of working with a hobbled Kristaps Porzingis, who is a game-time decision for Game 4 with a knee injury.
Certainly, if Porzingis were to miss this contest, Doncic would be the main beneficiary. Doncic played 40 minutes in regulation as Dallas's only source of offense, and that is also evident in his monstrous 38.6% usage rate and 1.60 FanDuel points per minute with Porzingis off the floor during the regular season. On such a short, two-game slate--especially in cash and single entry formats--paying for Doncic and working from, there is the optimal strategy.
Jamal Murray, PG, Denver Nuggets ($7,800)
Most of the praise around the two great years the Denver Nuggets have enjoyed was surrounding Nikola Jokic, and while "The Joker" is certainly still impactful, Jamal Murray has taken over this team and this series, especially as the team is still without starters Will Barton and Gary Harris.
Even with the team badly struggling and facing elimination on Tuesday, Murray has not felt any of those side effects offensively. Murray leads the Nuggets with 46.2 FanDuel points per game against the Utah Jazz in this series, which is even greater than Jokic. Also, what made Jokic such a great fantasy play was his usage, but the gap between him (29.7%) and Murray (28.4%) has certainly closed, and Murray has had a higher usage rate in each of the last two games. Murray took 10 of his 31 shots in the fourth quarter on Sunday trying to will Denver back to victory, compared to only six for Jokic, so expect Denver to continue to lean on him late moving forward as well.
Rudy Gobert, C, Utah Jazz ($7,600)
Opportunity cost as the center position is always the name of the game, but especially on a small-two game slate. With the Los Angeles Clippers not playing either Montrezl Harrell and Ivica Zubac more than 22 minutes in each of the last two games, and the highest Dallas Mavericks center getting 16 minutes, the choice comes down to Rudy Gobert and Nikola Jokic on Tuesday.
This is more of an indictment of Jokic, priced $1,600 more expensive than the Jazz center. Jokic is only averaging 41.2 FanDuel points per game in his last three contests as he continues to shift the offensive load to Jamal Murray. Gobert has posted a solid 1.05 FanDuel points per minute average this series, and has the better matchup against Denver, as the Nuggets' 131.1 defensive rating and 16.0 second-chance points per game is the worst of all sixteen teams that made the NBA postseason.
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.