3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Wednesday 2/1/23
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 post 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?
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, SG/PG, Thunder ($10,700)
Even despite what the Rockets' 12-38 record would otherwise state, it's a bit surprising we've hit February and these two teams haven't totally mailed it in for Victor Wembanyama.
Regardless, we should see a defense-optional contest in Houston tonight, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander should be the primary beneficiary of it for the visiting Thunder.
Houston's 116.7 defensive rating is third-worst in the NBA, and this is a Rockets club ceding the most FanDuel points per game to opposing point guards. Gilgeous-Alexander has blossomed into one of the league's best, and he's on one of his better runs of the entire campaign at present.
Even though Josh Giddey popped in the box score on Monday, OKC is still restricting his minutes. He logged just 29, which was the fifth time in six games he failed to reach 30 minutes. In this period where Giddey has been less involved, SGA's usage rate has surged to 32.7%. He's also averaged 54.7 FanDuel points per 36 minutes.
In an elite matchup with his best role of the season, we can forgive the few extra dollars of salary he'll command to roster him on FanDuel.
Domantas Sabonis, PF/C, Kings ($9,600)
Thunder-Rockets is one key focal point of the slate. Warriors-Timberwolves -- with loaded scoring hierarchies and high salaries -- is another. Then, we've got to turn our attention to the Sacramento Kings.
The Kings draw perhaps the best matchup in the entire sport on Wednesday. Gregg Popovich's Spurs have fallen off a cliff from their championship era defensively, holding the league's worst defensive rating this season (120.2) by a healthy margin. They've also ceded the most FanDuel points per game to opponents on average.
Sacramento's breakout squad has plenty of players that could benefit, but it's a fairly safe bet that do-it-all center Domantas Sabonis is one of them.
Contributing in several categories, Sabonis' 46.6 FanDuel points per 36 minutes in their current full-health state comfortably leads the team -- and is appealing for this salary.
De'Aaron Fox could explode scoring the ball in this one, and Harrison Barnes, Kevin Huerter, and Keegan Murray are strong value plays in the starting lineup, too. I'll still make sure to prioritize Sabonis, who could be the least popular of all of them due to his salary.
Alperen Sengun, C, Rockets ($8,300)
It only further aids the appeal of SGA that Alperen Sengun is of tremendous value on the other side.
Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. are both set to miss another contest for Houston, and Sengun -- returning from a one-game leave with an illness -- should once again be the primary beneficiary of his backcourt's absence.
In that event, the pass-first center dubbed "Baby Jokic" should lead the Rockets' offense tonight. With those two off the floor this season, Sengun has averaged 50.1 FanDuel points per 36 minutes. His usage rate has increased by 1.5 percentage points during that floor condition, too.
Most notably, the interior is where you'll want to attack the Thunder to avoid SGA's elite perimeter defense. OKC is allowing the seventh-most FanDuel points to centers this year.
In terms of per-dollar value above $8,000, Sengun stands above all in our projections. He's the one of these three I absolutely cannot be talked out of in single-entry formats tonight.