3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Wednesday 1/12/22
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?
Joel Embiid, C, Phialdelphia 76ers ($10,900)
At a loaded center position, Joel Embiid still found a way to stand out.
Embiid terrorized Houston for 56.6 FanDuel points in just 26 minutes of work on Monday, and the paint matchup won't exactly be stiffer against the Hornets. Charlotte has the second-worst estimated defensive rebounding percentage in the NBA, and they've allowed the second-most FanDuel points per game (59.12) to opposing centers. Only Houston is worse.
Even better, Charlotte should be able to keep pace better. They're just 5.5-point underdogs in this contest featuring a 226.5-point total.
As of now, Seth Curry is a definite question mark for a Philadelphia squad that will get back Tyrese Maxey on Wednesday. Embiid still has a 34.3% usage rate with both on the floor that he's turned into 1.43 FanDuel points per minute. At that production rate, his teammates just seem to not matter for this salary.
The bevy of value centers should leave Embiid as one of the least-rostered studs above $10,000. He's a pretty safe place to be different.
Dejounte Murray, PG/SG, San Antonio Spurs ($10,200)
A 232.0-point total between the terrible Houston Rockets and the equally terrible San Antonio Spurs is one of the standout spots of the day for fantasy basketball.
Dejounte Murray has a pretty secure role in that game to target. With Keldon Johnson and Derrick White in COVID-19 protocols since Friday, Murray has had a sizable piece of the San Antonio pie as one might imagine. He has a 30.6% usage rate that he's parlayed into a respectable 1.15 FanDuel points per minute.
The matchup doesn't get better than the young Houston defense for a floor general. The Rockets have allowed the most FanDuel points per game (50.75) to opposing point guards.
On many nights, the Spurs are outmatched, and Murray has definitely struggled to find his ceiling. He's played fewer than 33 minutes in five of his last seven games because the outcome was simply decided. With just a 5.5-point spread in this battle of bad, he should be able to find the floor for an entire night of work.
DeMar DeRozan, SG/SF, Chicago Bulls ($8,300)
The only total higher than the Spurs-Rockets affair is in Chicago.
At 9:00 p.m. local time (NBA...what you doin'?), the Bulls host the Brooklyn Nets in a contest with a 232.5-point total. The Bulls have had a crowded usage tree between their best four players this season, so the salaries of DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine have waned in recent days as Lonzo Ball returned from COVID-19 protocols.
DeRozan averages 1.17 FanDuel points per minute on the entire season, so I chalked yesterday's $8,200 salary mark up to a probable blowout of Detroit. The Bulls won by 46 points, so it would have been appropriate. Yet, approaching this stellar environment with a Brooklyn team we know can keep pace, DeRozan's salary reduction stood pat.
In that event, he's a great target. We don't exactly need to guess what his production could look like even with all four of him, LaVine, Ball, and Nikola Vucevic on the floor against Brooklyn. In a game against the Nets last month, DeRozan dropped in 29 real-life points but posted a below-average 3 assists. With closer to his season average for dimes, he could easily exceed his salary's value here.