3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Thursday 3/9/23

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?

Tyrese Haliburton, PG/SG, Pacers ($10,200)

There is sticker shock with this salary for Tyrese Haliburton, but if there's ever a matchup to excuse a little bit of a premium, it'd be this one.

The opposing Rockets allow 55.2 FanDuel points per game to point guards, the worst in the league by a decent margin over the next-highest mark (52.1). They're been awful against floor generals with a top-10 mark in pace and a bottom-10 defensive rating. Jackpot.

Haliburton enters tonight's game taking on a new role for his Pacers lately. He's held a 30.2% usage rate in the past three games -- up a massive amount from his 23.8% this year. That hasn't hampered his assist total (11.0 per game) in this stretch, and tied all together, he's eclipsed 52 FanDuel points during this hot streak.

With his best stretch of play in the fantasy world all year and a sublime matchup, Haliburton is an easy choice when setting aside the salary.

Domantas Sabonis, PF/C, Kings ($10,000)

The Knicks visit the Kings today, and the 239.5-point total is one we should want pieces of in fantasy.

The issue is that Jalen Brunson and De'Aaron Fox have missed recent games for their squads, and the salaries in this game are elevated as a result. The environment is stellar, but most of the scorers and ballhandlers might not be viable with their floor generals returning.

As the furthest player on the floor from the point guard, Domantas Sabonis could still work at center. The do-it-all stat-stuffer has eclipsed 48 FanDuel points in four straight with or without Fox, and New York at least has struggled in one of Sabonis' best traits.

They've allowed the eighth-most second-chance points per game this year, and Sabonis is 14th in the league in offensive rebounds per game (3.0). That's an organic mismatch in a key area.

The Knicks' big man, Julius Randle, might be a similar story if Brunson returns, so the mini-stack in this game could come from the post.

Jrue Holiday, PG, Bucks ($8,300)

Well, the decision in Milwaukee today got a whole lot easier this afternoon.

Giannis Antetokounmpo will sit with an illness despite his initial probable listing, so the spread in Nets-Bucks dropped to 9.5 points. Brooklyn has several starters out for this one to create value plays on their side, and now, we can feel better about a potential blowout to target key Milwaukee pieces.

Thankfully, Jrue Holiday will play, so we've got a stud from their side. Holiday's workload will probably be large in his first game back; he's averaged 46.9 FanDuel points per 36 minutes with Giannis off the floor this season on a gaudy 31.2% usage rate.

Brooklyn's defensive rating spikes from 113.0 to 117.0 with Nicolas Claxton off the floor, and Claxton is among those out tonight. That greatly eases the concern of the Nets' defense locking down the Bucks missing their key star.

Holiday should be quite popular opposite the Nets' value plugs, but he's got a safe floor with Khris Middleton, Bobby Portis, and Brook Lopez all benefitting from Giannis' absence.