3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Tuesday 12/7/21

Julius Randle has returned to his form from last season since the Knicks shuffled their rotation. Who else stands out at the top for Tuesday's three-game slate?

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 ($10,500)

LeBron James has a tremendous role that might get overlooked on this three-game slate.

There's really no five-digit salary star with clear upside on this slate, so taking the best role is worthwhile. James has exactly that for the Lakers since returning from injury.

In that period of time, LeBron has a 34.9% usage rate. That's 9.0 percentage points clear of the identical 25.9% marks by Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook. While the Brooklyn duo is anyone's guess on a nightly basis, LeBron is the clear "A" option for L.A. when he's in the lineup.

James has at least 48 FanDuel points in his last four games since his return. Amazingly, no other player above $10,000 can say that.

When value options are minimal -- as is the case Tuesday (as of early in the day) -- whiffing on your star is a death sentence in single-entry tournaments. James' floor is at least worth consideration.

Jayson Tatum, SF/PF, Boston Celtics ($9,700)

This recommendation is mostly on the basis Jaylen Brown does not play for the Celtics tonight. But it can work even if Brown suits up.

Brown was initially listed out on Friday for rest, but he also missed Saturday's game with what is now listed as a hamstring injury. That same injury cost Brown most of November. If he's re-aggravated the issue, it's hard to see him suiting up just four days later. He's officially listed as questionable.

With Brown off the floor the past two weeks, Jayson Tatum has found his groove. He's got a 34.4% usage rate that he's parlayed into 1.34 FanDuel points per minute in that period. The usage is not new, but Tatum actually is converting his opportunities (48.4% field goal percentage in December thus far). That is new.

Every dollar of salary counts on Tuesday's slate, and Tatum is a significant salary discount from his contemporaries while offering a minimal drop in output. He's scored at least 47 FanDuel points in each of his last three games, and one of those was with J.B. on the floor, too.

Julius Randle, PF/C, New York Knicks ($8,700)

There is no need to sacrifice per-dollar upside at the big man spot tonight.

Julius Randle might finally be back. The Knicks' forward was a triple-double threat nightly last season, but he's scuffled to an inconsistent 1.15 FanDuel points per minute this year amidst the known chaos in the New York rotation.

Randle has enjoyed the insertion of Alec Burks into the starting lineup. In the past three games since Burks was given the keys to the car, Randle is up to 1.28 FanDuel points per minute, and that mark is actually better than his one from last year (1.20).

Burks is a skilled facilitator, and he's still allowed "Orange Julius" a team-best 30.1% usage rate in this period as well.

Randle sees a great matchup with the Spurs on Tuesday. San Antonio is eighth-worst in the NBA in estimated rebounding, so Randle is getting a more-than-workable matchup for another monstrous double-double.

numberFire's median projections see very little per-dollar difference between Randle and Anthony Davis at the top of the pool of bigs, and the salary savings goes a long way on a slate currently light on dependable value.