3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Friday 5/14/21
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.
Russell Westbrook, PG, Washington Wizards
FanDuel Salary: $12,500
At this point, is it really necessary to explain why Russell Westbrook should be in your lineups? I'll do it anyway, but plugging in Russ should be the first thing you do when you enter a contest.
Over his last seven outings, Westbrook is averaging 71.5 FanDuel points per contest. That's right -- that number started with a seven. He's amassed at least 67.5 in six of those efforts. Wowza.
numberFire's algorithm has Brodie outscoring the next-closest player on the slate by 7.2. And the next closest player just so happens to be Nikola Jokic. Ya know, the likely MVP and fantasy's leading scorer. Yeah, that Nikola Jokic. As a fantasy producer, Westbrook is just so much better than any other player in basketball right now.
According to numberFire's Matchup Heatmap, the Washington Wizards have an implied total (118.0) that fewer than than a point off the highest clip on the slate. What are you waiting for? Go plug in Westbrook!
Paul George, SG, Los Angeles Clippers
FanDuel Salary: $7,500
Tonight's slate is the equivalent of Week 17 in the NFL -- that is, before the NFL expanded to a 17-game season. Few teams have anything to play for, and a number of superstars could be late scratches or play limited minutes. Included in that group are Paul George and Kawhi Leonard ($8,000) of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Now, on the surface, the Clips do have something to play for, as they possess just a one-game lead over the Denver Nuggets for the 3 seed in the West. Whether or not they care about that is an entirely different matter.
If Los Angeles does elect to play both of its stars, I'd lean towards rostering PG13 at a $500 discount from his co-star. George dropped 41.0 FanDuel points on the Charlotte Hornets last night, and he wouldn't even need to produce that much today to return five-times value (or 5.0 fantasy points for every $1,000 in salary).
Whoever does play for the Clippers tonight will get an absolutely delicious matchup against the Houston Rockets. In their last 15 games, Houston ranks dead last in defensive efficiency. Over their last 30 outings, the Rockets are 30th against shooting guards and 29th versus small forwards, according to FantasyPros. As of writing, Los Angeles sports the highest implied total (118.75) on the slate.
If George is declared out at the last minute, we can pivot to Buddy Hield ($7,000), whose game tips off at the same time. Hield should see plenty of volume for the extremely short-handed Sacramento Kings squad.
Kenyon Martin Jr., PF, Houston Rockets
FanDuel Salary: $7,500
Weirdly enough, with all the uncertainty on this slate, it's the Rockets who might actually offer some of the safest plays -- one of them being Kenyon Martin Jr..
With the Rockets
tanking short-handed recently, KJ has become a reliable fantasy asset, averaging 44.1 fantasy points over his last five games, including a low-water mark of 39.8.
Tonight, Houston has already declared Kevin Porter Jr., Christian Wood, John Wall, Danuel House Jr., DaQuan Jeffries, Sterling Brown, D.J. Wilson, Eric Gordon, and Avery Bradley as out, so Martin's role is safe and secure. KJ's highest output (48 FanDuel points) during that stretch came in a game that his team lost by 20, so he should be able to produce regardless of the score, especially considering how short Houston's rotation is likely to be.
Getting a stud like Martin for a salary below $8,000 should allow you to fit Westbrook's slate-high salary and still get some balance in your lineups.