3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 1/17/20
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 tonight.
Luka Doncic, PG, Dallas Mavericks ($11,000)
The Portland Trail Blazers have been a great fantasy matchup for guards this season, surrendering the sixth-most fantasy points per minute to opponents at the point. This comes with a 24th-ranked defensive rating, and pairing the backcourt with a 25th-ranked rebound rate makes the matchup especially good for a guard like Luka Doncic -- who can rack up boards and is a nightly triple-double threat.
The potential return of Kristaps Porzingis is of little concern for Doncic's fantasy value, as his per-game FanDuel point output has been nearly identical with (53.3) and without (53.2) the 7-footer in the lineup.
The only player in the $11k or higher range tonight, Luka is well worth paying up for against the Blazers.
Ben Simmons, PG, Philadelphia 76ers ($9,200)
Ben Simmons hasn't seen a drastic shift in fantasy points per game with and without Joel Embiid this year, but part of that has been blowout and volume related, as he's played fewer minutes per game in the 11 contests he's had without The Process.
Simmons is averaging 1.20 FanDuel points per minute (up from 1.16) on a 21.7% usage rate (up from 19.5%) in games Embiid has missed. He's been fairly consistent recently as well, topping 45.0 FanDuel points in each of the last three.
A matchup with the Chicago Bulls is nothing to write home about, but the Bulls have allowed the 13th-most assists and 6th-most rebounds per game to opponents, making this the kind of matchup that gives a boost to a guy that can fill up every area of the box score like Simmons.
Pascal Siakam, SF, Toronto Raptors ($7,600)
Pascal Siakam's workload still isn't back to normal after he missed nearly a month with a groin injury. Still, with 29.8 and 30.3 minutes in his last two games, he's getting enough run to be worth a play tonight — even before we factor in the upside from a potential increase in playing time.
Spicy P has turned in an efficient 1.17 fantasy points per minute on the year, leading the Toronto Raptors with a 29.4% usage rate while also adding double-digit total rebound (11.2%) and assist (17.7%) rates.
Tonight, he gets to bring that into one of the best matchups around, taking on the Washington Wizards. Playing at a top-five pace, the Wizards should leave the Raptors (16th) with some extra possessions, and their dead-last rankings in both defensive rating and total rebound rate mean that we can expect efficiency to be through the roof for Siakam tonight.
Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. 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.