NBA

3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 2/26/21

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.

Here are three high-salary players to target tonight. Betting lines from FanDuel Sportsbook and our projections may change throughout the day.

Clint Capela, C, Atlanta Hawks

FanDuel Salary: $8,200

Center is lacking a bit tonight, and I like the idea of getting one of the few high-ceiling options at the position. Our model has Clint Capela and Rudy Gobert ($8,000) rated well above everyone. We forecast them for 41.7 and 39.2 FanDuel points, respectively, and they're the only centers we have pegged for more than 33.5 FanDuel points (as of Friday afternoon).

Capela is my pick between the two, as Gobert has the more difficult draw against a Miami Heat squad that is fourth-toughest against centers, per FantasyPros. Gobert's game also carries a total that is 9.0 points lower than Capela's contest.

Capela gets to face the Oklahoma City Thunder, who allow the eighth-most FanDuel points per game to fives (54.5). Plus, OKC will be without Al Horford, making the matchup even better.

The Atlanta Hawks' big man is coming off a down game of 29.3 FanDuel points in which he logged only 21 minutes. Prior to that outing, Capela had played 27-plus minutes in six straight and had produced at least 36.5 FanDuel points in all six, including a spike game of 59.5. Capela has nine blocks over his past four games.

At his projection of 41.7 FanDuel points, Capela is the lone center above $6,300 who we have surpassing 5.0 points per $1,000 in salary.

Stephen Curry, PG, Golden State Warriors

FanDuel Salary: $10,000

Stephen Curry is facing a Charlotte Hornets team that is allowing the second-highest three-point attempt rate (46.4%). That seems like a good thing for Steph, who has taken at least nine triples in 12 straight games. He's hoisted fewer than eight treys in a game only one time all season, and he still got up six shots from beyond the arc in that lone exception.

The Hornets sit 19th in defensive efficiency and are surrendering the 12th-most FanDuel points per game to point guards over their last seven (50.2). The total for this clash is a slate-best 233.0.

Our floor/ceiling ratings give Curry a ceiling of 59.3 FanDuel points, the second-best mark on the slate. The only blemish here is that there are quite a few appealing point-guard options in the midrange, but I'll be chasing Steph's upside.

LeBron James, SF, Los Angeles Lakers

FanDuel Salary: $10,500

Our projections have LeBron James scoring 53.3 FanDuel points -- 5.5 more than anyone else on the slate -- and there's a chance his draft percentage isn't as high as usual with quality small-forward options like Kawhi Leonard ($9,700) and Jimmy Butler ($9,200) available at lower salaries. But LeBron is the only player at $8,800 or above that we have projected for more than 5.0 points per $1,000, and he's worth the lofty cap hit.

Without Anthony Davis over the last five, James has posted a 34.6% usage rate and played 35.9 minutes per night. He's averaged 26.2 points, 8.6 boards, 8.0 dimes and 1.0 combined blocks/steals in that span. Removing the blowout loss to the Utah Jazz last time out, when LeBron played only 27 minutes, he's averaged 50.1 FanDuel points per game in the other four matchups while using 35.3% of the Los Angeles Lakers' possessions.

James' date with the Portland Trail Blazers is a good one. The Blazers sit next to last in defensive efficiency for the campaign, and the total is at a respectable 222.5 points. We give James the best floor rating of the night (by 4.0 FanDuel points), and it wouldn't be surprising to see him go HAM in an effort to end the Lakers' four-game skid.