3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Friday 4/1/22

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?

Giannis Antetokounmpo, PF/SF, Milwaukee Bucks ($11,800)

With at least four teams trying to not win tonight, there are copious value plays on this slate. Be picky and spend plenty of salary at the top.

The best overall play on the slate appears to be Giannis Antetokounmpo. He's dropped at least 55 FanDuel points in six straight games, so that's not exactly out on a limb.

The Clippers just aren't playing a lot of defense at the moment. Last night's 50-piece ceded to DeMar DeRozan should be enough evidence, but for good measure, the Clips had the sixth-worst defensive rating (117.8) in March. That's especially troubling given all the tanking squads mailing it in.

L.A. is definitely still playing for seeding, and that's why the spread here is just 7.5 points at the moment. Both the Clippers and Bucks played last night, and those tired legs could be slightly reducing the 228.0-point projected total.

As March's leader in FanDuel points per minute (1.82), Giannis is the obvious starting point on Friday's 10-game slate.

**Editor's Note: Antetokounmpo and was among several Bucks and Clippers ruled out of Friday's contest. Check numberFire's projections for up-to-date value recommendations and star alternatives.**

Nikola Jokic, C, Denver Nuggets ($11,600)

We're splitting hairs at the top, but just one factor has Nikola Jokic a solid second option to Giannis.

On most counts, "The Joker" actually has a better argument than "The Greek Freak". The 240.0-point total in Denver is higher, and the Nuggets are just 3.5-point favorites over the Timberwolves.

Minnesota is also the third-worst team in the NBA in terms of defensive rebounding rate (70.7%), and Denver (20th in pace) will see a huge uptick in possessions to opposing Minnesota (1st in pace).

However, the T-Wolves' defense was the fifth-best unit in terms of defensive rating in March (109.5), and they've found a way to stifle Jokic in two previous meetings to just 52.4 FanDuel points on average.

While that's the main concern, Jokic is still a heavy favorite to lead center in scoring. Even on his "down" nights, he's usually a solid choice.

Luka Doncic, PG/SG, Dallas Mavericks ($11,300)

This pick is the most evident display so far of being choosy and willing to spend salary.

Luka Doncic might objectively be over-salaried in this space. He was brilliant in March, averaging 1.58 FanDuel points per minute. But, he's salaried near Giannis and Jokic, who averaged 1.82 and 1.81, respectively.

Still, he's the clear top dog to post points at guard this evening. Dejounte Murray has a tremendous matchup with Portland, but the Spurs are 15-point favorites and bludgeoned the Blazers by 37 points in their meeting last week.

Doncic, though, should see his full allotment of minutes in Washington. The Mavericks are just 7.5-point road favorites, and that's a recipe for another big evening for Luka. The Wizards had the seventh-worst defensive rating (117.7) as a team in March.

While late to the MVP conversation, Doncic has surged into it. He posted over 60 FanDuel points five times last month. That's the upside we need to get from stars to win a tournament tonight, so Dallas' franchise player is absolutely in the mix.