4 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 4/16/21

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.

All injury updates are via the NBA's official injury report or numberFire's player news.

Damian Lillard, PG, Portland Trail Blazers

FanDuel Salary: $8,600

Damian Lillard has been in a funk recently, as he's shooting at just a 35.9% clip from the field over his last six games. There's bound to be a correction soon, and we want to be rostering him when that happens.

At $8,600, Dame is at the lowest salary he's been in more than 13 months, which makes tonight an excellent opportunity to pounce.

Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers will be taking on the San Antonio Spurs, and that's excellent news for the All-Star point guard. On the season, San Antonio has surrendered the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing point guards, according to numberFire's DvP tool.

This season, in 18 outings against bottom-nine positional defenses, Lillard has averaged 51.8 FanDuel points per game, including 3 outputs with fewer than 44 and 10 with 48-plus. That'll play.

Portland currently sports an implied total of 118.5, which is good for third-highest on the slate, which only enhances Lillard's outlook.

Fred VanVleet, SG, Toronto Raptors

FanDuel Salary: $7,400

Fred VanVleet is expected to return for the Toronto Raptors tonight, which means he should be returning to our lineups, as well.

For their bout with the Orlando Magic, the Raptors are expected to be without -- get ready for this -- Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, Gary Trent Jr., and DeAndre Bembry. Sheesh.

VanVleet should see ridiculously high volume in his return, and at $7,400, he could easily blow his salary out of the water. FVV has eclipsed 38 FanDuel points in 25 of his 43 healthy games, and that includes 21 performances of 42 or more.

Oh, and I haven't even mentioned the matchup yet. This season, no team in the league has surrendered more fantasy points to opposing two-guards than Orlando has. Sign me up.

Christian Wood, PF, Houston Rockets

FanDuel Salary: $7,800

A $300 bump in salary should not deter us from going back to Christian Wood for both value and upside.

In his last two games, the 25-year-old has put up 50.5 and 54.6 fantasy points, which means that he's now racked up 38.5-plus in 7 of his last 10 contests.

Wood will have a great chance at posting his third 50-burger in a row tonight, as he squares off against a Denver Nuggets squad that struggles to contain power forwards. Over their last 30 games, Denver has ceded the second-most fantasy points to the position, including the second-most real-life points, eighth-most assists, and fifth-most steals, per FantasyPros.

The big man dropped 40.1 FanDuel points on Denver in the second game of the season, but that was while James Harden was still a member of the Houston Rockets. Wood's usage is considerably higher now.

Nikola Vucevic, C, Chicago Bulls

FanDuel Salary: $9,000

Speaking of high usage, Nikola Vucevic is about to see his go through the roof.

The Chicago Bulls will be without Zach LaVine for their next several games, which means their entire offense is about to run through Vuce. In fact, according to RotoGrinders, Vucevic utilizes a team-high 27.4% of possessions with LaVine off the court, all while averaging a salivating 1.51 FanDuel points per minute.

There's also the matchup -- which is a damn good one. Among the 20 teams suiting up tonight, the Memphis Grizzlies play at the fourth-fastest pace. Defending centers has been quite the chore for Memphis lately, as they've given up the fourth-most real-life points, third-most assists, fifth-most made threes, seventh-most steals, 12th-most blocks, and second-most fantasy points to the position over their last 15 games.

Vucevic has garnered 48.5 or more fantasy points in five of his last nine games, and he should have one of the slate's safest floor/ceiling combinations with LaVine out of the lineup.