3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Tuesday 11/30/21
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 up for someone. Even with strong value plays in your lineup, paying up and getting a dud is likely going to leave your lineup drawing pretty close to dead.
Which top players should be the focal points of your lineups today?
LeBron James, SF/PF, Los Angeles Lakers ($10,600)
I tend to not target LeBron James in daily fantasy considering he outright shouldn't (and likely doesn't) care about the regular season in his 19th year in the league.
However, the poor start by his Los Angeles Lakers has forced him to care. Since returning from injury, James has taken on a 30.9% usage rate and averaged 1.21 FanDuel points per minute. That's absurd when factoring in that includes the game against Detroit where he was ejected early for the elbow issue.
The Kings' 111.2 defensive rating is the fifth-worst mark in the NBA, and they play at the fifth-highest pace in the league to this point. Those two things don't typically make sense to exist together, but there's a reason Luke Walton was fired.
Build around LeBron carefully with position eligibility so that it's easy to pivot to Russell Westbrook if James is ruled out after lock.
James Harden, SG/PG, Brooklyn Nets ($10,000)
All the talk about James Harden's scoring woes has drastically undercut how well he is contributing in other areas.
In the Nets' last six games, Harden has posted double-digit assists or rebounds six times. He's also scored over 20 points in four of those last six games.
It has just been rare that Harden has put together that effort all on the same night to detonate a daily fantasy slate. Still, the peripheral stat accrual is tremendous for his floor on a nightly basis.
Brooklyn's 111.75 team total is the second-highest of the 10 teams in action on Tuesday, and it's easy to prefer Harden's floor (2 games below 45 FanDuel points in his last 10 contests) to Kevin Durant's (4 games below 45 FanDuel points in the last 10 games) at a much lower salary.
Julius Randle, PF/C, New York Knicks ($8,500)
If LeBron through an injury didn't give it away, it's just not a great night for stars.
Sure, the Knicks' star is a terrible cash play. He's failed to exceed 28 FanDuel points in four of his last six games. In cash games, it feels like a no-brainer to skip the big man for salary spending and just pair Harden with Stephen Curry -- even in a difficult matchup.
For tournaments, Randle has plenty of appeal. There's a lot to be determined about his role in the new Knicks rotation, but it could at the very least be missing RJ Barrett on Tuesday due to a non-COVID illness. Randle still had a solid 22.9% usage rate in the first game of the official Alec Burks era, too.
The Knicks are just 22nd in pace in the league, but the matchup with Brooklyn (11th in pace) is a substantial upgrade. Randle also correlates with Harden -- the favored stud of the day -- and that only further enhances the appeal in game stacks.