4 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target for 2/1/16
In NBA daily fantasy, more than any other sport, we see value pop up all over the place, with injuries and rest for starters thrusting back-ups into increased roles and big minutes.
With the high-priced guys though, things can get tricky.
Today, I'm going to break down the four premier high-priced options on FanDuel, the best of the best, finding guys who can offer you both solid floors and the potential for huge, jaw-dropping numbers.
Russell Westbrook, PG, Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder/Wizards game is one you want to be targeting liberally tonight, with a 222 over/under, by far the highest on the slate. We should also see plenty of possessions, as both teams rank top-10 in Pace this season. It's an especially attractive matchup for Thunder players, with Washington sitting 22nd in the league with a 107.4 Defensive Efficiency.
Russell Westbrook, to the surprise of nobody, has been on a tear lately. He nearly averaged a triple-double in January, putting up 20.5 points, 10.9 assists and 8.4 rebounds per game. His 31.0 Usage Rate last month ranked fifth among players with at least 15 minutes per game, and his 47.0 FanDuel points per game ranked third.
Our projections also love Westbrook tonight, projecting him for 47.53 fantasy points on FanDuel, the most for the day.
Kyle Lowry, PG, Toronto Raptors
The Toronto Raptors made a statement in January, going 12-2 and solidifying themselves as one of the top teams in the East. A big part of this has been the outstanding play of Kyle Lowry. The All-Star guard played 39.0 minutes per game last month, averaging 21.7 points, 6.7 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 2.4 steals. His huge minutes have translated well into fantasy scoring too, and he averaged 40.8 FanDuel points per game last month, ranking 10th in the league.
Lowry draws a good matchup tonight against the Denver Nuggets. Denver's 108.7 Defensive Efficiency ranks 27th in the NBA, and they're giving up the fifth most fantasy points to opposing point guards this season. Lowry has a high floor with the big minutes he's been seeing, but this is also a matchup that gives him huge upside.
Kevin Durant, SF, Oklahoma City Thunder
Like I talked about for Westbrook, this game should be great for fantasy purposes with plenty of possessions and a high over/under. The Wizards struggle defensively, and those troubles really show up when you look at the fantasy scoring of wings playing against them. They're giving up the second most fantasy points to small forwards and the fourth most to shooting guards this season. They're also allowing the highest three-point shooting percentage and second highest field goal percentage in the league. As the best offensive wing player in the league, Kevin Durant should thrive against Washington.
Durant put up 47.2 FanDuel points per game in January, ranking second in the NBA, one spot ahead of Westbrook. He averaged 28.5 points, 9.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 36.2 minutes per game. His 30.4 Usage Rate for the month ranked seventh among players with at least 15 minutes per game, and his 19.5 field goal attempts per game were the third most in the league.
Our projections have him finishing second only to Westbrook in fantasy scoring tonight, and in this matchup against the Wizards, Durant has nearly limitless upside.
DeMarcus Cousins, C, Sacramento Kings
With the way he's been playing lately, it's hard to have a conversation about studs without DeMarcus Cousins. Boogie has been the most dominant player in the league over the last month. His 37.5 percent Usage Rate in January was over five percent higher than anyone else with at least 15 minutes per game, and his 53.1 FanDuel points per game were also tops in the league. Through 15 games in January, he had five 60-plus fantasy point performances, while only recording five sub-50 performances.
He's on track to be a gametime decision tonight, after injuring his ankle on Saturday, but if he does play, the matchup with Milwaukee is a hard one to pass up. The Bucks rank 29th in the NBA with a 109.3 Defensive Efficiency and are the worst defensive rebounding team in the league with a 72.5 percent Defensive Rebound Rate.
If Cousins can't go, Andre Drummond also makes for a strong, though volatile, high-priced play at center tonight, with a $8,500 salary. Drummond is averaging 17.2 points and a league-high 15.0 rebounds per game on the season. Though his performances have been pretty up and down lately, he has a good matchup tonight against a Nets team that ranks 24th in Defensive Efficiency and is giving up the fourth most fantasy points to opposing centers.