3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Wednesday 12/7/22
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?
Ja Morant, PG, Grizzlies ($9,600)
There's a potential for redemption in Memphis tonight.
Both Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Ja Morant should be in a good spot to outproduce their last -- admittedly disappointing -- game against each other. Morant posted 44.9 FanDuel points when the pair clashed back on November 18th, and SGA's night (32.2) was even worse.
A majority of the time, the two should fare better when matched up. There's a lofty 232.0-point total in this one, and both Memphis and Oklahoma City are bottom-10 teams in terms of FanDuel points allowed to combo guards.
These are two of the most ball-dominant players in the sport. Morant's usage rate sans Desmond Bane is 36.9%, and Gilgeous-Alexander's usage rate remains a rock-solid 31.1%.
At a lower salary, on the favored squad, and with a higher usage rate, Morant is the one I prefer, but stacking the pair is interesting and viable in tournaments.
Dejounte Murray, PG/SG, Hawks ($9,000)
However, I want to shine a light on a player who might not pop in projections like the other four will: Atlanta's Dejounte Murray. He might be back to the five-digit salary player we saw last year in San Antonio.
The Hawks have a laundry list of injuries at present, which primarily includes John Collins and De'Andre Hunter on the wings. I expected Murray, who was a 99th-percentile rebounder at guard last season, to benefit from less quality rebounding in the frontcourt, but his scoring has surged, too.
In the past three games without full capacity from Collins or Hunter, Dejounte has surged to a 28.7% usage rate. That's not far behind Trae Young (29.5%) in this small stretch. Murray is a fairly efficient shooter as is (45.2%), so his 51.5% shooting isn't due for obvious regression at this moment.
The stat-stuffer also averages 2.24 blocks plus steals per 36 minutes, so Murray can pay off at this salary in a massive way.
Kristaps Porzingis, PF/C, Wizards ($8,900)
With Beal off the floor, Porzingis has posted 47.8 FanDuel points per 36 minutes in a surprising full-time role for Washington. That's come on a 29.7% usage rate that's second only to the less efficient Kyle Kuzma (30.5%) on the Wiz.
Porzingis has been under-salaried for most of the season in that floor condition, so while the salary is mostly fair today, it's still a touch low.
Plus, Chicago is a really solid matchup for a big man. They've allowed the 12th-most FanDuel points per game to primary power forwards, and they play at the 9th-fastest pace in the NBA.
With the competitiveness of Pascal Siakam's game in doubt, K.P. makes for an easy top choice at power forward.