3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Tuesday 12/27/22
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?
Jayson Tatum, SF/PF, Celtics ($10,800)
There's only one downside to the Celtics tonight.
It's a 14.5-point spread as they host the lowly Rockets, and the NBA's best squad can absolutely blow them out. However, in the past two weeks, they've played the Lakers, Magic, and Pacers to within 10 points, so perhaps another heavy underdog can keep it close against Boston.
If they can, there's no doubt both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown could go bananas. The Rockies' 115.3 defensive rating is third-worst in the NBA, and they've been especially volatile against wings, ceding the eighth-most FanDuel points per game to opposing small forwards.
Tatum, specifically, has crossed over 60 FanDuel points three times in the past five games. His 51.7% shooting in that time isn't even scorching hot for him, so there's a chance this production sticks for a good while behind a 32.2% usage rate this month.
He's the clear top guy on this slate so long as the margin stays close in Boston.
Kristaps Porzingis, PF/C, Wizards ($8,900)
Kristaps Porzingis might have been forgotten as we fixated on Kris Kringle this weekend.
Porzingis ended a two-game absence last Friday and it was a clunky effort where he only scored seven points against the Kings. That's left his torrid pace up to that point in the rearview mirror.
On a team-best 27.9% usage rate, Porzingis has dropped 46.0 FanDuel points per 36 minutes this year. When the Wizards have been at full strength, he's been their top target. Luckily, this matchup with Philadelphia is pretty neutral, too.
The Sixers are allowing the 13th-most FanDuel points per game to centers, and the 100.2 average pace in this tilt is about as pedestrian as it gets.
K.P. is a high-floor target on a slate where not a lot of value is to be had at the power forward spot.
De'Aaron Fox, PG, Kings ($8,600)
The marquee injury on this slate is to Domantas Sabonis, and there really isn't another.
Sabonis is -- amazingly -- questionable with a broken thumb on his non-shooting hand. He might try to gut it out, but that should shift more of Sacramento's offense into the hands of De'Aaron Fox whether he plays or not.
If he sits outright, Fox is a bit obvious. He sees a lift of 6.12 FanDuel points per 36 minutes with Sabonis off the floor this season, which is the best increase on the team. In tournaments, he might even be a better, sneakier play if Sabonis plays given the opposing Nuggets allow the second-most FanDuel points per game to opposing floor generals.
The 240.5-point total in Sactown is one we'll want pieces from. Many might look to jam in Nikola Jokic's gaudy salary in a mini-stack with Fox, but I love the idea of combining Fox with Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr., and perhaps a value big from the Kings if Sabonis sits. That low-salaried stack (relative to Jokic's $12,400 tag) still carries a boatload of upside.