3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 4/12/21
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 as a whole 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 be posting high scores just about every night.
While this consistency puts us in a good position to identify top plays, it also means you can't afford to miss when you're paying a heavy salary to roster someone. Even with strong value plays in your lineup, getting a dud from a stud is likely going to leave your lineup lacking.
Let's get right into it and look at which top players should be the focal points of your lineups today.
De'Aaron Fox, PG, Sacramento Kings
FanDuel Salary: $9,500
The point guard position is utterly loaded at every level tonight, which means exposure to De'Aaron Fox might not be absurdly high -- and that's what we'll be hoping for.
An argument can easily be made that Fox has as high a ceiling as the three one-guards who have salaries in the five-figures, and he has a titillating matchup to boot.
Tonight, Fox will draw the New Orleans Pelicans, a team that ranks 26th against the opposition's floor generals, per numberFire's DvP tool. The 23-year-old has already squared off against the Pels twice in 2020-21, and he's erupted for 57.8 and 77.3 FanDuel points in those two outings.
According to numberFire's Matchup Heatmap, this bout between the Pelicans and Sacramento Kings has an over/under of 233.5, which is the third-highest on the slate. However, unlike the two contests with higher projected totals, this matchup has a tight spread of just 2.5 points.
This matchup also features two teams that are cellar-dwellers in terms of defensive efficiency. Sacramento ranks 30th in the league, per NBA.com, while New Orleans is only two spots ahead of them at 28th. We'll definitely want a piece of this pie.
Donovan Mitchell, SG, Utah Jazz
FanDuel Salary: $9,000
It's hard to imagine a scenario in which Donovan Mitchell isn't extremely chalky, but frankly, we shouldn't care.
Mitchell has dropped 49, 54.1, and 57.9 FanDuel points in his last three games, which means he has now eclipsed 46 in 9 of his last 13 outings. But that's not even the half of it.
Tonight, the Utah Jazz will be sans both Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson, and Mitchell has feasted without those two on the court this season. According to RotoGrinders, Mitchell utilizes 35.4% of his team's possessions while averaging 1.35 FanDuel points per minute when Conley and Clarkson are not on the court.
Of course, there's also the matchup. Utah will be facing the Washington Wizards in a game that currently has an over/under of 234.5. On the season, Washington ranks 26th versus two-guards, but they've been even worse recently, as they rank dead last against the position over their last 15 games, per FantasyPros.
numberFire's algorithm projects Mitchell to be the top scorer at shooting guard on this nine-game slate.
Zion Williamson, PF, New Orleans Pelicans
FanDuel Salary: $10,000
I mentioned above how the game environment between the Pels and Kings is one we want to target, and we'll keep to that by going with Zion Williamson.
In his last two outings, Williamson has exploded for 57.25 and 68.25 FanDuel points, making it 9 times that he's managed 46 or more in his last 11 efforts.
Zion tends to take on more of a workload with Lonzo Ball off the court, as his usage rate jumps by 3.3 percentage points, and he averages an additional 0.10 FanDuel points per minute. In fact, in the last eight games he's played with Ball inactive, Zion has averaged 52.7 fantasy points per contest. Ball is doubtful tonight.
As I've already mentioned, the Kings rank dead last in the Association in defensive efficiency, and they've also surrendered the fourth-most fantasy points to power forwards. Sign me up.