3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Monday 12/20/21

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?

Stephen Curry, PG, Golden State Warriors ($9,700)

Stephen Curry didn't work out on Friday, and he rested Sunday. Going back to the well is necessary, though.

On Friday in Boston, Curry did drop 30 points, but six turnovers severely hindered his FanDuel score. That, though, was with Andrew Wiggins in the starting lineup. Wiggins and Jordan Poole are now both in COVID-19 protocols, and the Warriors' offense is suddenly Curry, Draymond Green, and absolutely anyone's guess with the rotational pieces.

Curry's role Monday should look a lot like it does when he's led the second unit. That's how he already has 288 minutes this season played with Wiggins and Poole both off the floor. In that sample, Curry's averaging 1.55 FanDuel points per minute on a gaudy 35.5% usage rate.

That quality role has him projected tremendously by numberFire, and he's the clear starting spot at point guard this evening.

Rudy Gobert, C, Utah Jazz ($9,400)

The 12-point spread is the one true drawback on Rudy Gobert for Monday. Everything else is solid gold.

Gobert is Utah's highest-salaried option into a home matchup with Charlotte. The NBA's leading rebounder (14.8 per game) has been doing his thing recently; he's posted double-digit boards in nine straight games. That's a recipe to exceeding 42 FanDuel points in six of your last eight games, as well.

The Hornets are woeful on the glass, which explains plenty of the salary increase to the French pivot here. Charlotte is allowing the second-most rebounds per game overall (47.6) and the fifth-most per game of the offensive variety (11.1).

Gobert should have his way on the glass to a point where he could have a massive double-double in just three quarters. With so much value due to the COVID-19 situation across the league, his massive ceiling is worth jamming in should this game stay close.

DeMar DeRozan, SG/SF, Chicago Bulls ($8,900)

You know that feeling where you're out sick for a couple of days at work and have plenty to do upon your return? DeMar DeRozan can relate.

DeRozan was forced to carry the load for the Bulls on Saturday after a personal absence in COVID-19 protocols that was followed by two straight postponements of Chicago games. DeRozan dropped 38 points in 34 minutes, but some of the underlying data shows just how dominant his role was.

For the game, he had a whopping 40.0% usage rate. Not only did DeRozan also take 24 registered shot attempts, but he attempted 17 free throws as well. Any expectation that the Bulls' offense would be less reliant on their backcourt was squashed quickly.

On Monday, DeRozan draws the best fantasy matchup in the NBA -- the Houston Rockets. Houston's 118.2 defensive rating in their last 10 games is not only the second-worst mark in the league, but they also play at the fastest pace in the NBA.

Even better, Chicago is so shorthanded that they're just 7.5-point favorites. That, plus the return of Christian Wood for Houston to boost the Rockets' competitiveness, should make this the top fantasy game of the day, and DeRozan is the cornerstone piece inside of it.