3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Thursday 2/3/22

Basketball is the most consistent sport fxor 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?

Karl-Anthony Towns, C, Minnesota Timberwolves ($10,200)

Thursday's slate is marred by injuries, but two big men stand above all those remaining.

The first is Karl-Anthony Towns. The Timberwolves will be the latest NBA team to get the pleasure of playing the lowly Pistons -- the ultimate get-right spot that cures all wounds.

Towns has no recent wounds. In fact, he's caught fire lately. With a heightened 26.6% usage rate in January, Towns turned in his most productive month (1.40 FanDuel points per minute) since the first one of the season. He's especially been leaned on lately with D'Angelo Russell sidelined. In the past four games with D'Lo out or limited, Towns has eclipsed 54 FanDuel points three times.

Detroit lacks the size to deal with average centers, and one of the best in the league rolls into town here. The Pistons have the 10th-worst estimated defensive rebounding percentage (75.9%) in the league, and they've allowed the eighth-most paint points per game (48.3) in the NBA, as well.

In a great matchup, with Russell potentially sidelined once more, Towns is a safe place to put salary with Minnesota positioned as a seven-point road favorite. The 228.0-point total in this game is the highest of the six games on the slate.

Anthony Davis, PF/C, Los Angeles Lakers ($9,600)

The second big man that stands out is Anthony Davis.

A.D. is tasked with carrying the Lakers for the time being as LeBron James deals with concerning swelling in his knee. He's personally responded. He's turned a 29.8% usage rate into 1.38 FanDuel points per minute since returning from injury last month. His best game came last night with 30 points and 15 rebounds in a win over the Blazers.

Davis is the latest big to draw the outlier matchup that trumps all -- the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clips are dead-last in the NBA in estimated defensive rebounding percentage (74.3%) and allow the fourth-most paint points per game (49.7) in the NBA. It's an even better matchup for Davis than Towns has.

With just a 3.5-point spread, this battle of L.A. could be the closest contest of the day, and Davis and Russell Westbrook should have a lion's share of the workload inside of it.

Devin Booker, SG, Phoenix Suns ($9,100)

Devin Booker's current role reminds me of Bradley Beal's role in previous seasons.

Unlike a vast majority of NBA players, Booker's floor comes from his scoring. He's dropped at least 28 points in eight of his last nine games, and it's just related to volume. He's taken at least 23 shots in eight of his last nine games, as well. All in all, it's amounted to a 34.6% usage rate during this hot stretch.

Where Booker's ceiling comes from is his peripheral assisting and rebounding. Booker's monster showing against Utah last week came with 12 rebounds. As long as the scoring is there, you can feel solid about deploying him at this salary and hoping the rebounds -- quite literally -- fall into place.

A poor perimeter defense entering a matchup with Booker is terrifying, and the Hawks have one. They've allowed the ninth-most three-point attempts per game (36.6).

The Suns are positioned as just five-point favorites over the Hawks as of now, but Atlanta's Trae Young is questionable with a shoulder injury. If he's ruled out, it does increase the blowout risk with Booker slightly, but it's still nothing compared to the 13.0-point spread that Stephen Curry faces when looking to spend salary at guard.