3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 4/14/21
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.
De'Aaron Fox, PG, Sacramento Kings
FanDuel Salary: $9,600
The upper tier range of the point guard position is absolutely loaded tonight. Of our model's top-seven projected scorers, four play the point. Yet, De'Aaron Fox stands out to me as a great blend of safety and upside.
The first thing to note here is the matchup. Tonight's over/under for the bout between the Sacramento Kings and Washington Wizards currently sits at 238, which is five points higher than any other contest on the slate. Oddsmakers see this as being a close game, as the two-point spread is the tightest of the 11 games.
According to NBA.com, both of these squads rank bottom-five in defensive efficiency, and they also each find themselves inside the top 10 in pace. For DFS purposes, that's a goldmine.
Now, on the season, Washington ranks 29th against opposing floor generals, per numberFire's DvP tool. Over at FantasyPros, we see that the Wizards have ceded the most real-life points, ninth-most rebounds, and fifth-most steals to the position. Can you see yet why I'm targeting Fox?
Over his last 23 games, Fox has garnered fewer than 42.6 FanDuel points just four times. That's a rock-solid floor. During that stretch, he has also eclipsed 47 fantasy points on 15 different occasions. Again, rock-solid floor. At tonight's salary, the 23-year-old would need 48 fantasy points to achieve five-times value (or 5.0 fantasy points for every $1,000 in salary), and he's surpassed that number with ease in 12 of those 23 efforts.
But wait, there's more. Fox has gone up against a bottom-six positional defense 12 times this campaign, and he's recorded 50-plus FanDuel points in eight of those outings, including outputs of 51.7 (versus Washington), 53.7, 54.9, 57.8, 58.2, 61.6, and 77.3.
Sign me up.
Bradley Beal, SG, Washington Wizards
FanDuel Salary: $8,500
It would seem as if Bradley Beal is back. And I mean back back.
In a matchup against the league's fourth-best defense -- the Utah Jazz -- on Monday, Beal saw 36.6 minutes of action and dropped 48.1 FanDuel points in the process.
The league's leading scorer will have a much easier draw tonight against a Kings unit that ranks dead last in defensive efficiency. Sactown is particularly bad at slowing down opposing two-guards, as they've surrendered the most real-life points, third-most assists, eighth-most steals, and third-most fantasy points to the position.
Of all the players with salaries above $7,000 tonight, only the next guy on this list is projected to produce better point-per-dollar value than Beal, per our algorithm.
Christian Wood, PF, Houston Rockets
FanDuel Salary: $7,500
Not a single player on tonight's slate with a salary of $5,600 or higher is projected to return better value than Christian Wood, according to numberFire's models.
On Monday, Wood took on a Phoenix Suns team that ranks fifth in defensive efficiency and sixth versus the power forward position, and all he did was peg them for 50.5 FanDuel points. Not too shabby.
His matchup won't be nearly as intimidating tonight. In 2020-21, the Indiana Pacers have given up the seventh-most fantasy points to power forwards and eighth-most to opposing centers. Oh, and they could be without the league's leading shot-blocker in Myles Turner.
At tonight's salary, Wood would (or is it would Wood?) need 37.5 FanDuel points to accrue a 5.0 value figure, and that's a number he's trumped in six of his last nine outings.
Other Studs to Consider
PG Stephen Curry ($10,300) - Has topped 50 fantasy points in five of his last six. Oklahoma City is dead last against point guards over their last 15 games. Eleven-point spread is worrisome.
SG DeMar DeRozan ($7,900) - Has produced 41.5-plus fantasy points in four of his last eight. Toronto is 23rd versus the position.
SF Jimmy Butler ($9,300) - Has at least 43.7 FanDuel points in six of his last eight. Denver has struggled with small forwards all season.
PF Domantas Sabonis ($8,800) - Houston is 22nd against power forwards and 29th versus centers over their last 30 games. Sabonis has gone past 40 fantasy points 35 times this season.
C Joel Embiid ($10,100) - Looks to be regaining his pre-injury form with 49.4 and 53.8 FanDuel points in his last two games. Embiid is our model's second-highest projected scorer on the entire slate.