3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Friday 12/3/21
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?
Luka Doncic, PG/SG, Dallas Mavericks ($10,500)
Doncic only played 27 minutes with Dallas ahead by 27 points after three. That 1.81 FanDuel points per minute pace is insane. Doncic should have plenty of room to operate again versus a New Orleans defense with a 112.3 defensive rating that's the worst mark in the NBA.
There is only a 7.5-point spread in this game despite the bludgeoning on Wednesday, and Doncic could see the smallest of boosts without Kristaps Porzingis playing Friday. Porzingis is doubtful with a knee injury, and Doncic sees a 2.1 percentage-point increase in usage without K.P. on the floor this season. His production also has risen by 0.05 FanDuel points per minute.
He's the top option at guard by a decent margin.
Joel Embiid, C, Philadelphia 76ers ($10,200)
Embiid's peripherals and actual production are absurd since he returned from COVID-19 protocols last week. His usage is 33.6% in that period, and that is 7.6 percentage points clear of his next highest teammate, Tobias Harris. Harris missed shootaround on Friday, so Embiid's role could get even bigger if he sits.
In terms of actual production, Embiid is averaging 1.56 FanDuel points per minute in the three games, and a blowout was the only occurrence to hold him south of 58 FanDuel points. Embiid has at least 13 rebounds in each of those games, and that reduces the volatility in his overall scoring output.
The one drawback is that Embiid occupies the same center spot as Deandre Ayton, Dewayne Dedmon, and other well-projected centers, but when building with salary allocated to the pivot spot, there is no better option.
Paul George, SG/SF, Los Angeles Clippers ($9,200)
Quick trivia -- who is second to only Luka in usage rate in the NBA amongst qualifiers with a 34.9% mark?
This is the same Paul George that's fallen short of 40 FanDuel points in five of his last six games. It is pretty well documented in Clippers circles, though, that with the heavy role on the court and a top-15 mark in minutes per game (35.5), George was just out of steam.
Curiously, George's salary rose $600 after the rest game. We've seen him post the necessary 45 FanDuel points for this salary 12 times this season, so if his energy is back, George could be a great value in one of the better games of the day (218.5-point total; second-highest on the slate).