3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Friday 12/9/22

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 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 an excellent 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 will likely leave your lineup drawing pretty close to dead.

Which top players should be the focal points of your lineups today?

Kevin Durant, SF/PF, Nets ($10,300)

In terms of floor, it doesn't get much better than Kevin Durant from a stud.

With a superior role in Brooklyn's offense, K.D. has eclipsed 42 FanDuel points in eight straight games. All in all, he's averaging 48.8 FanDuel points per 36 minutes -- usually playing more than that -- on a team-best 31.8% usage rate.

Durant is a fairly easy call today when looking to spend at small forward. His 4.88 projected value score comfortably leads all small-forward-eligible players above $8,000.

This is also a great matchup for him against Atlanta. Currently operating primarily as the Nets' four, the Hawks have allowed the sixth-most FanDuel points per game to power forwards. Plus, the 229.5-point total in his game is the second-highest on the slate, meaning we should see plenty of scoring.

He also pairs well with the day's no-doubt top star, who is yet to come.

Pascal Siakam, PF/C, Raptors ($10,000)

There really isn't injury-based news on this slate yet, so like Durant, a floor is the appeal with Pascal Siakam, as well.

While his Raptors teammates Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, and Scottie Barnes jockey for scoring upside, Siakam really doesn't need to score to get his on FanDuel in a role that seems like a lighter version of Nikola Jokic's for Denver.

In Toronto's past three games, Siakam's held just a 28.5% usage rate. That's the lowest mark in the past week for any player salaried above $10,000. He's contributed in other categories to eclipse 47 FanDuel points in three straight.

Orlando is a better matchup for him here than advertised, too. Without some of their key pieces, the Magic have slipped to allow the eighth-most FanDuel points to opposing centers.

Anthony Davis and Joel Embiid have salaries that remain sky-high due to recent injuries to teammates, but their clubs are back at full strength. Spicy P is the only place I'd drop five digits of salary at center tonight.

Trae Young, PG, Hawks ($9,700)

Without a doubt, Trae Young is the best star on the slate. He's a must in all formats.

Young's backcourt mate, Dejounte Murray, rolled his ankle on Wednesday and is set to miss time. In that event, Young could post gaudy numbers and encroach the league lead in usage rate.

With Dejounte off the floor this season, Young has held a 43.7% usage rate. That mark, if translated to a full season among qualifiers, would lead the NBA this year by 5.8 percentage points over Giannis Antetokounmpo. Trae won't contribute on the boards like Giannis, but he's set to be the focal point of Atlanta's offense.

In those floor situations, Young has posted 55.2 FanDuel points per 36 minutes. That's an $11,000 salary, but his mark is unadjusted from Wednesday entering this showdown with Brooklyn.

Durant and Young pair well in that game featuring a large total, and in a single-entry format, there's nowhere else I'd rather start.