3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Monday 12/12/22
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 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?
Luka Doncic, PG/SG, Mavericks ($12,000)
Doncic's Mavericks are only 9.5-point favorites over the visitors, and the game -- considering Dallas' glacial pace -- has a hefty 228.0-point total. Luka isn't in nearly as poor of an environment as usual, and he's already been dominating fantasy basketball to open the season.
Luka's 37.0% usage rate is third in the NBA, which still rates out as the second-highest on this slate behind Trae Young (41.2%) in current floor conditions. He's used it to eclipse 57 FanDuel points in five of his last six games.
If Dallas hits their lofty team total, it's likely their franchise player had a huge hand in it. The Thunder are allowing the second-most FanDuel points per game to combo guards.
All in all, Luka is well worth his lofty salary on Monday's slate, a slate which does have decent value.
Kristaps Porzingis, PF/C, Wizards ($9,200)
Unfortunately for Luka's Mavs, they appear to have lost their huge trade with Washington last year.
With Beal out for the vast majority of the past four games, Porzingis has posted 53.0 FanDuel points per 36 minutes on a 31.2% usage rate. We haven't seen this rate of scoring, rebounding, and blocking shots from him since his prime days in New York.
Beal is expected out for this one, and the visiting Nets' absences should help, as well. Brooklyn is potentially down both Nicolas Claxton and Royce O'Neale for tonight's game against one of the hottest big men in the sport.
Returning to his hometown, Kevin Durant is also one of the better studs on this slate. Kyle Kuzma, Porzingis' teammate, saw a gigantic salary increase for this slate, but K.P. is basically at the same mark he was before dominating Saturday against the Clippers. He's great on his own or in a stack with K.D.
Paul George, SG/SF, Clippers ($9,100)
Speaking of those Clippers, they emerged victorious in that contest despite the massive night from Porzingis, and they're getting healthy as we approach Christmas.
Paul George is back as the heartbeat of this team after missing a good chunk of November due to injury. Impressively, George logged 40 regulation minutes on Saturday in Washington, which is a testament to his health. His role is way better than this salary if that's the case.
George's 31.4% usage rate this season is tied with Damian Lillard for 8th in the NBA, and everyone else -- outside of those two -- in the top 10 has a five-digit median salary this year on FanDuel. It's a scoring role that's better than this mark, but PG13 hasn't consistently contributed in other categories.
We've seen it on certain occasions, though. George has zipped past 47 FanDuel points in 5 of his 20 games this season -- including eclipsing 65 FanDuel points twice. Surprisingly, Kawhi Leonard (24.0% usage rate) has taken a backseat this year.
Leonard, though, also played 30 minutes on Saturday. These two are ramping back up to speed just in time for a litmus test versus the vaunted Celtics on Monday. With proper rest for George and Kawhi, expect both to play heavy, full roles in this one, and they're under-salaried if that's the case.