3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 3/1/21
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-salaried 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 a heavy salary to roster someone. Even with strong value plays in your lineup, getting a dud from a stud is likely going to leave your lineup lacking.
Let's get right into it and look at which top players should be the focal points of your lineups today.
Luka Doncic, PG, Dallas Mavericks
FanDuel Salary: $10,600
Luka Doncic has only averaged 44.3 fantasy points in his last four games, which has his salary tied for the lowest it's been all season. We should be licking our lips at the prospect of rostering Doncic at a salary this low tonight.
The Dallas Mavericks will be taking on the Orlando Magic, and they have the slate's fifth-highest implied total, via Brandon Gdula's matchup sheet. But the goodness does not end there. On the season, Orlando ranks 28th in fantasy points allowed to point guards, according to numberFire's DvP tool. In seven matchups against bottom-five positional defenses in 2020-21, Luka has averaged an absurd 68.7 FanDuel points -- that includes a low-water mark of 59.0.
numberFire's algorithm projects the 22-year-old to drop a slate-high 56.3 FanDuel points, making him the best point-per-dollar play of any player with a salary above $6,300. That'll do.
James Harden, SG, Brooklyn Nets
FanDuel Salary: $10,700
Like Doncic, a couple of underwhelming performances has led to a drop in salary for Harden, and that's an opportunity we should jump all over. Our models have Harden projected for 53.5 FanDuel points, which is 14.7 more than the third-highest at shooting guard. Among players at the position with salaries above $6,800, the 31-year-old is the only one projected to return a value figure better than 4.73.
For shooting guards, the matchup with the San Antonio Spurs is mediocre -- they've ceded the 15th-most fantasy points to the position over their last 15 games. However, given that Harden is the primary ball-handler for the Nets at the moment, he gets a mouth-watering draw against a unit that ranks dead last against point guards this season.
Harden has managed at least 59.6 fantasy points in 6 of his last 10 games, and he very could equal or surpass that number tonight.
Jarrett Allen, C, Cleveland Cavaliers
FanDuel Salary: $7,900
Allen gets a matchup against a Houston Rockets team that's been fifth-worst against centers over their last seven games, coinciding with their decision to waive DeMarcus Cousins. Included in that seven-game stretch was a 61.6-FanDuel-point performance by Allen, who will look to do much of the same tonight.
In four of his last five games, the 22-year-old has dropped 43.0, 47.8, 55.4, and 61.6 fantasy points -- that'll play. He only needs 39.5 to achieve 5X value (or 5.0 fantasy points for every $1,000 in salary). An outing in the 50s is easily attainable in this matchup.