3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Wednesday 3/15/23
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?
Stephen Curry, PG, Warriors ($9,800)
The fantasy game of the day might be in Los Angeles.
There's a 236.0-point total on deck for Warriors-Clippers, and it makes plenty of sense. L.A. has a 118.2 defensive rating since the trade deadline, and it's well documented how bad the Dubs have been on the road with a 7-26 record, but their 119.3 defensive rating away from Chase Center is why.
In an explosive shootout, Stephen Curry is a dangerous fade. Beyond his obvious ability to get hot from deep, Curry has the Warriors' best offensive role by a good margin since coming back. His 31.5% usage rate is six full percentage points clear of the next-highest Golden State starter (Klay Thompson; 25.5%) in that time.
Steph has dropped at least 33 points in four of his last seven against the Clippers, and in an up-tempo, defense-optional environment tonight, don't count out an encore. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are great mini-stack options for him in single-entry tournaments.
Zach LaVine, SG/SF, Bulls ($8,500)
The only place that might rival Los Angeles tonight in fantasy basketball is Chicago, where the Bulls will host the red-hot Sacramento Kings.
This one has a slate-high 236.5-point total with plenty of offensive firepower on both sides. The visitors run the bulk of their offense through De'Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis, but I wanted to examine the shifting landscape with Chicago more closely.
In terms of shot volume, Zach LaVine has been in a secondary role to DeMar DeRozan nearly his entire Bulls tenure, yet lately, it's LaVine that's taken command. Since the trade deadline, LaVine's 30.9% usage rate is comfortably ahead of DeRozan (26.3%) and everyone else. Maybe he listed to Patrick Beverley about his shot diet after all.
I'm still open to both if we get an obvious popularity trend, but per dollar of salary, LaVine is the highest-rated small forward above $8,000 in numberFire's model tonight.
Jaren Jackson Jr., PF/C, Grizzlies ($8,200)
I wouldn't blame anyone for not going here, but Jaren Jackson Jr. has monstrous upside tonight at a fairly low projected draft percentage.
Jackson's two-game slump isn't overly concerning. He played the Mavericks twice, and Dallas allows the sixth-fewest FanDuel points per game to centers. Plus, Jackson -- as he often does -- battled foul trouble in the second affair on national television. It's one of the most biases in the game at present.
There's still gold waiting here. Jackson averages 46.9 FanDuel points per 36 minutes with Ja Morant and Steven Adams off the floor as the pair have been for a while. He eclipsed 40 FanDuel points in three straight before the poor series in Memphis.
Miami is a brutal matchup for bigs, too, but Jackson's due for mammoth regression with stocks (steals plus blocks) soon. He averages 5.26 per 36 minutes in the aforementioned floor condition, but he's posted just three total in the last two games.
I'm not taking the chance the regression happens off my roster.