3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Tuesday 1/11/22

Fred VanVleet's recent uptick has come with a legitimate role change in the Toronto offense. Who else is worth their salary on Tuesday's six-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?

Nikola Jokic, C, Denver Nuggets ($11,400)

The clear top star of a bizarre Tuesday slate is Denver's Nikola Jokic.

Jokic has been his usual, stellar self recently. He's posted at least 53 FanDuel points in 9 of his last 10 contests, and his floor has been aided by his work on the glass. Jokic has at least 16 rebounds in six of his last eight contests.

That feast on the glass should continue Tuesday against the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers are last in the NBA in estimated rebounding, but that should be a given with their unsettled center position and smaller roster. Jokic had 22 rebounds against L.A. on December 23rd, so it's not like we need to infer what this matchup could look like.

The 213.5-point total is one of the lower ones on Tuesday's slate, but this is still a massive pace-up spot for the Nuggets. Denver is 26th in the league in pace, and the Clippers are 13th. That boost in possessions should keep Jokic's hot stretch rolling.

Fred VanVleet, PG, Toronto Raptors ($9,800)

While Ja Morant is equally attractive, Fred VanVleet is entirely viable at a salary figure much higher than the one we've seen him carry all season.

VanVleet's role in the Toronto Raptors' offense has changed. Since the start of the month, VanVleet is averaging 21.4 shots. Freddy averaged no more than 17.6 shots per game in any other month of the season, and he's now absorbed a lot of his teammates' work into a 28.9% usage rate.

VanVleet's 44.2% field goal rate this season is significantly better than his previous career-high mark (42.6%), so regression is likely coming. However, his blistering 49.5% rate in January doesn't show any signs of slowing down, and VanVleet is pushing for an All-Star bid.

The Raps may also be down a couple of key starters on Tuesday, and that would force even more offense into the hands of their newfound top option.

DeMar DeRozan, SG/SF, Chicago Bulls ($8,200)

Small forward is potentially at its lowest point all season. Kyle Kuzma significantly out-performing his role as the top-salaried option at the position.

With that said, I'm more willing to take a flier on DeMar DeRozan at his lowest salary in some time. Lonzo Ball is back in the fold for Chicago, and that's reduced DeRozan, Zach LaVine, and others in recent games entering this dreamy matchup with the Detroit Pistons.

Detroit is terrible, and their 110.6 defensive rating is the ninth-worst mark in the league. That's why the Eastern Conference-leading Bulls are 14.0-point favorites on Tuesday, and therefore, their top options carry some risk even at their reduced salaries.

Still, DeRozan is a player averaging 1.11 FanDuel points per minute with Lonzo on the court. He also has a 28.8% usage rate in that split. Both of those are marks well deserving of this salary before even considering the desolate state of the wing player pool.