3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Friday 1/20/23

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?

Nikola Jokic, C, Nuggets ($11,700)

Nikola Jokic has a triple-double in three straight and has produced 67.4 and 63.7 FanDuel points in his past two outings. He can keep it going tonight versus the Indiana Pacers.

The Pacers are a great matchup for DFS, ranking 22nd in defensive rating and 4th in pace. They're a particularly friendly matchup for bigs as they give up the fifth-most FanDuel points per night to centers (55.6).

The Denver Nuggets' 125.5-point implied total is a slate-best clip.

Per our projections, Jokic tops the slate at a mark of 59.3 FanDuel points. That's good enough for 5.07 per $1,000. Among the 20 highest-salaried players on the slate, he's the only one we project to surpass five-times value (as of early Friday).

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Thunder ($10,100)

Friday's Oklahoma City Thunder-Sacramento Kings matchup should be a fantasy dream. The total is 241.5, and the spread is 3.5. Both sides rank in the top six in pace.

There are a few enticing ways to get a piece of this one, especially if Domantas Sabonis ($10,300) is able to play. But this game environment puts Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in a spot to go off.

SGA is taking on a Kings defense that has permitted the ninth-most FanDuel points per game to point guards (49.6) over the last 15 games. He is coming off two meh fantasy outputs, but in the two games prior, he'd posted 52.0 and 62.6 FanDuel points.

Our model has Gilgeous-Alexander scoring 47.8 FanDuel points on Friday, and there's upside for more.

LeBron James, SF/PF, Lakers ($11,400)

The other best fantasy environment of the night is the clash between the Los Angeles Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies.

The 242.5-point total paces the slate, and the spread is 7.0 points. Both the Lakers and Grizz boast implied totals that rank in the top seven on this nine-game slate, and they each sit in the top five in pace. Giddy up.

LeBron James has been incredible of late. He's put up at least 56.1 FanDuel points in seven of his last eight games, including 60.0-plus in five of those contests.

In great form and with the backing of a sublime game environment, James should be able to have another big night.