3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Friday 1/13/23
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?
De'Aaron Fox, PG, Kings ($8,500)
De'Aaron Fox has a juicy matchup tonight with the Houston Rockets. I want exposure to the Sacramento Kings, and I prefer Fox to his teammate, Domantas Sabonis, although both project pretty dang well, per our model.
The Sacramento-Houston clash has a 238.0-point total. Both teams sit in the bottom seven in defensive rating. It should be a great game environment for DFS.
What pushes me to Fox over Sabonis is their recent usage. Fox has a team-best 28.2% usage rate over the past 10 games, compared to a 22.7% mark for Sabonis in that time.
On top of that, the Rockets have been really bad against point guards, giving up the third-most FanDuel points per game to the position (54.1) over the last 15 games.
Fox projects for 43.1 FanDuel points (5.07 per $1,000), according to our numbers. He has upside for more, and I'm all for pairing him with Jalen Green ($7,000) or Alperen Sengun ($6,400) in a game stack.
Stephen Curry, PG, Warriors ($9,300)
I like to avoid writing up two players from the same position, but whewww, I love Stephen Curry tonight.
The matchup is 100% there as Curry is taking on the San Antonio Spurs.
Over the past 15 games, no team is giving up more FanDuel points per game to point guards than the Spurs are as they surrender 57.1 per night to the position. There's some blowout risk, but with this game in San Antonio, the Golden State Warriors are only 8.5-point favorites.
Curry returned from injury last time out and logged 31 minutes. That's a huge positive. We project him to play 33 minutes on Friday night.
Given his 29.7% usage rate on the season, Curry is under-salaried at $9,300, and our model has him posting 45.4 FanDuel points. He could produce a slate-winning performance if he gets going and the Spurs keep things close.
Kawhi Leonard, SF/PF, Clippers ($9,000)
Speaking of under-salaried, Kawhi Leonard is definitely that.
We don't need to make this complicated. Paul George is out tonight. Kawhi is averaging 48.5 FanDuel points per 36 minutes this year with PG13 off the floor. That is good enough for more than five-times value.
We project Kawhi to play 36 minutes and finish with 47.0 FanDuel points. That comes out to 5.22 points per $1,000, and Kawhi has shown he's capable of more, totaling 62.8 and 49.4 FanDuel points in his past two games.
Despite all the time off and being in and out of the lineup so much this season, Leonard looks like the Kawhi Leonard, and we should be very interested in getting him at this salary with no PG13.