3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Monday 3/27/23
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?
Nikola Jokic, C, Nuggets ($12,000)
Nikola Jokic, the floor is yours.
Tonight's forecasted MVP showdown in Denver was canceled. Joel Embiid will miss tonight's game with a calf issue he suffered last Thursday, and that's left Jokic as the lone remaining candidate playing tonight.
He'll have as good of a matchup as possible to make a statement. Without another true center on the roster, Philadelphia has a 116.5 defensive rating with Embiid off the floor -- and objectively no size.
"The Joker" enters tonight's tilt in good form, eclipsing 60 FanDuel points in five of his past seven. Especially when adding in the motivation factor, expect a monster night from him in a last-ditch effort to boost his candidacy.
Per dollar of salary, Jokic is numberFire's top-projected play above $10,000.
Kawhi Leonard, SF/PF, Clippers ($10,300)
Monday's news really shuffled the star picture outside of Denver.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is taking a seat, and Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic are now back at full strength after Luka's technical foul was rescinded. Many of the day's best stars are gone, so we can accept more holes in the profile of Kawhi Leonard at small forward.
The Clippers are still without Paul George, and that's meant a healthy dose of Kawhi all season. On a team-best 30.9% usage rate, Kawhi has accrued 47.0 FanDuel points per 36 minutes with George off the floor.
Leonard didn't finish Saturday's game with a facial contusion, but he posted 61.6 FanDuel points per 36 in his first game without George last week. After all, this is really the first sample since Kawhi's ACL tear where he's active and at full strength and George is out.
Despite a lower-than-desirable total (221.0), Kawhi's high-floor role isn't a bad choice facing a Bulls team on the second leg of a back-to-back.
James Harden, PG/SG, 76ers ($9,500)
Of course, there's another ripple to the Embiid news on the other side of Jokic.
The Sixers are now tasked with competing against the West's best squad without their MVP candidate, but thankfully, help is on the way. James Harden is expected to return from a three-game absence for tonight's game.
With Embiid off the floor, Harden has been a do-it-all beast this season. He's compiled 50.2 FanDuel points per 36 minutes on a team-best 31.6% usage rate. Notably, that's been driven by an increase of 0.56 boards per 36 minutes with his big man not sharing the court.
Denver has been an exceptional matchup for slashing guards like Harden, too. They're allowing the sixth-most points and second-most assists to opposing floor generals this year.
Especially if the game in Denver stays tight, Harden and Jokic have two of the best outlooks of the day that correlate together. Finding the right value options to pair with them will be the challenging part.