3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 9/1/20
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.
Jamal Murray, PG, Denver Nuggets ($9,400)
Could I really start anywhere else? The Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz play their deciding Game 7 on Tuesday night, which means that all of us are in store for another edition of the Jamal Murray and Donovan Mitchell show, where both guards are essentially trading baskets with insane usage and efficiency. Both teams should continue to lean on their elite guards with few other players in any type of rhythm.
Murray's last three games indicate that he is the Nuggets' leader without shadow of a doubt now, and he's blossomed into one of the best scorers in the NBA.
Murray is averaging 27 shots per game in those contests and making them at absurd 64% accuracy, with an even crazier 63% from three-point land. Even if his shot cools off, Murray has eclipsed 35% usage in each of his last three games and now is sixth in the NBA playoffs among qualified players in usage at 30.3%.
This price increase is reflective of a hot streak, but in reality, Murray's peripherals indicate he is just simply tasked with the usage level of a more expensive, ball-dominant guard like Luka Doncic or James Harden.
Donovan Mitchell, SG, Utah Jazz ($8,500)
The same sort of usage increase could explain Mitchell's streak, as well, but unlike Murray, Mitchell has performed this way throughout the entire series. Mitchell's 37.4% usage in these first six games leads the entire NBA, which is not what his price on FanDuel would indicate. Mitchell is also averaging 22.5 shots per game at a very solid 55% efficiency in double the sample size of Murray.
Mitchell, though, is not just a one-dimensional player. He has boosted his FanDuel totals with a well-rounded 5.5 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game total, as well, which means that Mitchell is performing closer to Kawhi Leonard's averages of 27 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists, but this price tag is nowhere near the expectation of Leonard on a given night.
Even with the increases to both Mitchell and Murray, given that Twitter would prefer they just save us the hassle and play 1-on-1, they are still priced too low for their newfound roles in their respective offenses.
Pascal Siakam, SF, Toronto Raptors ($8,200)
To deviate from the main event of the evening, the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors play Game 2 as an appetizer, and Toronto will be looking to rebound from a Game 1 blowout loss. The more disappointing thing may have been that even for the Celtics in a blowout, there were not many redeeming fantasy performances outside of Daniel Theis and his monstrous 13 points and 15 boards.
Fred VanVleet, Jayson Tatum, Pascal Siakam, and Jaylen Brown all woefully underperformed their fantasy expectations on FanDuel and should have better games, but Siakam especially stands out amongst that group.
The Raptors are incredibly balanced, which makes them a tough proposition for daily fantasy, but "Spicy P" led the Raptors in shots per game (18.0) and usage (27.6%) last series -- and this is from a stretch four who collected 7.8 boards per game against the Brooklyn Nets, as well.
Both of these teams were top-five defenses in the season by defensive rating, so it will always be dicey to play studs in these matchups, but Siakam's usage significantly increases his floor, which may be why he is projected to score 41.0 FanDuel points on Tuesday by numberFire.
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.