4 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 3/24/21
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.
Tonight's 11-game slate is absolutely loaded (which is an understatement), so we'll zero in on four studs as well, including two that have salaries under $8,000.
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: $11,000
Despite the fact that we have Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,400), James Harden ($11,300), and Nikola Jokic ($10,800) on this slate as well, Luka Doncic stands out as the one to target among the upper echelon of studs tonight.
After going through an un-Doncic-like stretch where he failed to eclipse 55 FanDuel points in seven consecutive games, Luka has now dropped 60 or more in three of his last four outings.
Doncic will carry that hot streak into a salivating matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves. On the season, the Wolves are surrendering the most fantasy points to the opposition's floor generals, according to numberFire's DvP tool. The 22-year-old struggled in his last matchup against this squad, managing just 39.1 FanDuel points, but in his 11 other matchups against teams that are bottom-eight versus the position, he's averaged 59.4 fantasy points.
For tonight's bout, the Dallas Mavericks currently carry an implied total of 119.5, which is tied for highest on the slate, per numberFire's Matchup Heatmap. The Timberwolves play at the second-fastest pace of any team that's suiting up tonight, which makes this an excellent pace-up spot for Doncic and the Mavs.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, SG, Oklahoma City Thunder
FanDuel Salary: $7,000
The great thing about Shai Gilgeous-Alexander tonight is that his salary still allows for the flexibility to roster two or three other studs.
In order to reach 5X value (or 5.0 fantasy points for every $1,000 in salary), SGA would need to record at least 35 FanDuel points -- that's a number he's exceeded in 22 of his 35 outings in 2020-21. In fact, Gilgeous-Alexander has racked up at least 43.9 fantasy points (which would put him well in excess of 6X) 15 times this season, and that includes 44.4 or more in three of his last six.
Tonight, the 22-year-old will be squaring off against the Memphis Grizzlies, who have struggled against shooting guards of late. In their last 15 contests, Memphis ranks 24th against the position, according to FantasyPros.
Of the 22 teams taking the court tonight, both OKC and Memphis rank inside the top-eight in pace. Coupled with the tasty individual matchup, this game environment should be conducive to solid fantasy production from the Thunder star.
(Update: SGA has been declared out for tonight. Make sure he's not in your lineups.)
Jaylen Brown, SF, Boston Celtics
FanDuel Salary: $7,800
Given that his salary is still under $8,000, it's impossible to ignore Jaylen Brown in his current form.
After failing to surpass 37.3 FanDuel points in six consecutive efforts, Brown has now accrued 45.8 or more in five straight. He'll look to keep riding that heater in what's bound to be an explosive match with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Brown went up against the Bucks in the season opener, and he rode 33 real-life points to 54.0 of the fantasy variety. Despite sporting one of the league's premier defenses, small forwards have been able to do their thing against the Deer, as they rank just 22nd versus the position in 2020-21.
This matchup between the two Eastern Conference heavyweights currently has a healthy over/under of 230.0. Additionally, while the Boston Celtics are traditionally one of the slower-paced teams in the league, no team on tonight's slate plays at a faster pace than the Bucks. That makes this a great spot to roster Brown.
Domantas Sabonis, PF, Indiana Pacers
FanDuel Salary: $8,800
This season, the number of teams to allow more fantasy points to power forwards than the Pistons is equal to the number of marathons I've run in my life -- in other words, zero. Detroit is surrendering an average of 52.3 FanDuel points to the position per 48 minutes, which is 4.1 more than any other team suiting up tonight.
Sabonis took on this squad in February, and he pegged them for 61.6 fantasy points. He's been somewhat hit-or-miss of late, but he still has amassed at least 46 FanDuel points in five of his last eight outings.
To put the icing on the cake, Malcolm Brogdon and Myles Turner are both questionable for the Indiana Pacers. If either of those players were to miss tonight's action, Sabonis would likely be in for a healthy bump in usage.