3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Tuesday 11/29/22

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 up for someone. Even with strong value plays in your lineup, paying up and getting a dud is likely going to leave your lineup drawing pretty close to dead.

Which top players should be the focal points of your lineups today?

Luka Doncic, PG/SG, Mavericks ($12,000)

I've gotta be honest -- this one is brutal to write today.

Only Luka Doncic and Stephen Curry have salaries above $8,600 on this slate, and both have badly underperformed their marks (on a per-dollar basis) recently. Luka's failed to eclipse 60 FanDuel points in three of his past four, and Curry's been worse, failing to reach 45 FanDuel points in three straight as Klay Thompson has caught fire.

Still, the salary has to go somewhere on this slate, and I'd rather it be with Luka. Especially with Klay surging in usage rate (24.7% the past week), Doncic's role is significantly better. He's still held a gaudy 35.7% usage rate despite the emergence of one of his teammates, Christian Wood.

Plus, the Golden State defense has been much worse. They're ninth from the bottom in defensive rating (114.3), and Dallas holds the 11th-best mark in that area (110.9).

The lower salary should drive popularity Curry's way, but "The Don" is worth the premium on this odd slate.

Anfernee Simons, SG/PG, Blazers ($8,400)

Portland has gone from tanking to contending overnight, and it's in large part due to Anfernee Simons.

Simons has carried the load with Damian Lillard on the shelf due to a calf injury. His team-best 30.6% usage rate with Dame off the floor, which he's turned into 1.02 FanDuel points per minute, mirrors what we saw C.J. McCollum take on when Dame left the floor for years.

This salary, which is the highest of any Blazer, doesn't feel like "buying low." But, if you juxtapose Simons with teammate Jerami Grant in the same salary range, it is. Grant's current shooting is unsustainable. He's at 50.6% from three in November, which is 11.8 percentage points higher than any of his season-high marks for his career.

On the flip side, Simons has shot just 36.6% from three this month, and it's been worse in the past five games (33.9%). He posted 40.8% from deep last year. These two should be heading in opposite directions soon.

The Clippers' defense is no joke; they're second in defensive rating (107.6) this year. However, they funnel attempts to the three-point line (35.9 per game; eighth-most in the NBA), so this regression could start to play out as soon as tonight.

Julius Randle, PF/C, Knicks ($7,800)

Even at below a normal "stud" salary, Julius Randle is my favorite play on the slate overall.

Randle's matchup couldn't get better. The Pistons are second-to-last in defensive rating (116.9), and they've allowed the second-most paint points per game (54.4) and third-most second-chance points per game (16.0), as well.

Any way you slice it, Detroit is terrible defensively, and that's especially true on the interior. That could get even worse tonight with both Isaiah Stewart and Marvin Bagley III listed as questionable due to injuries.

Randle's consistent production makes him easy to love in advantageous matchups. He's posted at least 36 FanDuel points in 9 of his past 12 games, which is easy to do with his role scoring (team-best 26.0% usage rate) and rebounding (9.47 boards per 36 minutes). He'll usually make hay in one (or both) of those two categories, and the ceiling games come from peripheral stats like assists, blocks, or steals.

The Knicks' big man has the best value score in our projections of any player over $7,500. I wouldn't want to enter a single-entry tournament without him.