3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Friday 2/3/23

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?

Domantas Sabonis, PF/C, Kings ($9,900)

This is shaping up as a really fun slate. There are several top-shelf fantasy environments, and one of them is the Sacramento Kings-Indiana Pacers clash.

Domantas Sabonis is an elite option in this spot, and given how many quality guard choices we have at our disposal, I want to prioritize getting the bigs I want. That's Doma. He can torch Indiana.

The Pacers have been rocked by both centers and power forwards, giving up the sixth-most FanDuel points per game to centers (56.0) and the ninth-most to power forwards (45.6).

This game boasts a 236.0-point total and 2.5-point spread, and the Pacers are on the second night of a back-to-back. Both sides rank in the top eight in pace. Sign me up.

Sabonis had 62.2 FanDuel points last time out, and he's played at least 34 minutes in seven straight games. All the boxes are checked for him to produce another huge outing.

LaMelo Ball, PG, Hornets ($9,100)

If it feels like LaMelo Ball has been a good play all week, it's because he's been a good play all week. Although his salary is climbing -- up from $8,000 just two games ago -- he's still projecting as a great point-per-dollar option at this tag.

LaMelo has played at least 35 minutes in all four of his games since coming off the shelf. He nuked the slate for 69.5 FanDuel points two games back, and while he was just meh in the other three games, he has slate-breaking upside today versus a Detroit Pistons defense that has permitted the second-most FanDuel points per night to point guards (51.5).

This game is showing a 241.5-point total and 1.0-point spread. Both squads are in the bottom four in defensive rating. It should be darn near perfect for DFS.

We project Ball for 47.2 FanDuel points as of early Friday. That's 5.19 per $1,000. Among the 15 highest-salaried players who are expected to suit up, LaMelo rates out as the best point-per-dollar pick, according to our numbers.

My only hesitation here is that we have a lot of good options at guard, so if Ball projects as mega chalk, I might be somewhat lighter on him. But his upside is through the roof in this matchup.

Lauri Markkanen, SF/PF, Jazz ($8,700)

Another great fantasy matchup is the Utah Jazz hosting the Atlanta Hawks. The game's 242.0-point total is a slate-leading mark, and the spread is only 1.0 point.

Lauri Markkanen is an enticing way to get in on the fun.

Atlanta has been shredded by power forwards, allowing 47.3 FanDuel points per game to the position, the third-most. They've given up the second-most rebounds and eighth-most assists to power forwards, which matters for Markkanen, a player who can -- at times -- be somewhat scoring-reliant for fantasy.

Despite surpassing five-times value in five of his past eight outings, Lauri hasn't popped for a true spike game in a little bit, which may keep his popularity in check. I think he's capable of a ceiling game tonight at this fairly modest salary.