3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Wednesday 12/14/22

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?

Nikola Jokic, C, Nuggets ($11,800)

The lone concern for Nikola Jokic tonight might be if the visiting Wizards can keep up.

Washington has most of their key players listed as questionable, and a shorthanded squad will have a tough time keeping up with Jokic's Nuggets. They're 9.5-point favorites now, and that'll likely balloon to double digits if more players are ruled out.

"The Joker" is cruising in his typical form with Michael Porter Jr. still out of Denver's lineup. He's now averaging 59.6 FanDuel points per 36 minutes with MPJ off the floor this season, and production isn't even a huge concern in a blowout. Jokic's hefty role has led to 51.6 FanDuel points in games playing fewer than 30 minutes over the past month.

The Wizards' paint field goal rate allowed goes from 62.3% with Kristaps Porzingis to 63.5% without him. Jokic could have a monstrous evening if Washington is without their center on Wednesday.

Trae Young, PG, Hawks ($10,000)

This is a bit dicey given Trae Young is questionable to even play through a back issue, but there's not a guard worth spending on if he doesn't.

Young will continue to have a supreme role at this salary if he suits up. He's got a whopping 41.2% usage rate with Dejounte Murray off the floor this season, and he's turned that into 51.4 FanDuel points per 36 minutes.

Plus, he'll benefit from an excellent matchup here. The Hawks are in Orlando to battle the Magic, and Orlando is allowing the 11th-most FanDuel points per game to opposing point guards.

Young's appeal is really central to what's around him. Luka Doncic has a massive salary in a game with a putrid 215.5-point total, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will be tasked with the Miami Heat's stingy defense, and Stephen Curry may not even play on the second leg of Golden State's back-to-back.

With few viable alternatives around him -- and suppressed popularity with the injury tag -- Young could be a sneaky tournament play on Wednesday.

Bam Adebayo, PF/C, Heat ($9,000)

The key known absence of a star at this point is Jimmy Butler. He won't play on Wednesday resting a knee issue. In that case, Bam Adebayo is one of the better targets on the slate himself.

Adebayo's averages in this floor situation aren't stellar. He does see a 28.2% usage rate during floor situations without Jimmy, which is a 1.7 percentage-point uptick from usual. He also averages a team-best 42.9 FanDuel points per 36 minutes in that situation.

The real appeal to Bam is, with a less-stacked roster, a dream matchup versus a Thunder frontcourt without much quality size. OKC is allowing the sixth-most FanDuel points per game to opposing centers, and they're a bottom-five squad in paint points per game and second-chance points per game allowed.

Adebayo is a great fit for cash games versus these other stars that carry more risk, and his teammate Tyler Herro pairs well with him in that same format.