NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 10/31/17
NBA is the most consistent sport for daily fantasy purposes.
A top slugger in baseball will have his fair share of 0-for-4 days, while an elite fantasy football player is at risk of having games where his team's offense as a whole is shut down. A high-priced 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.
There are only three active players priced above $8,000 on tonight's four-game slate, so we'll deviate from the usual format a bit, outlining who the two strong plays are as well as why the third may not have a huge night.
Russell Westbrook, PG, Oklahoma City Thunder ($11,100)
It hasn't been the triple-double-per-game tear he went on last season, but Westbrook's 2017-18 campaign is off to a solid start.
He has 50-plus FanDuel points in four of his six games and his 34.3 minutes per game are right in line with what he played last season. While his usage rate has taken a hit, it's still sitting at a strong 30.3% to go with a 16.2% rebound rate and league-leading 57.4% assist rate.
His 1.48 FanDuel points per minute still rank in the top five in the NBA (minimum 100 minutes played), and he's in a decent spot tonight against a Milwaukee Bucks team that ranks below average in defensive rating. Our models project Westbrook as the day's top fantasy scorer by a big margin.
Andre Drummond, C, Detroit Pistons ($9,200)
The Los Angeles Lakers have been completely incapable of stopping opposing big-men this season. They have allowed the NBA's most fantasy points per game to power forwards and the second-most to centers. They rank in the bottom 10 in rebound rate, and they are allowing the league's second-most made field goals per game from within five feet of the rim.
Drummond is the exact close-to-the-basket kind of center who should be able to destroy the Lakers.
He has led the NBA in total rebound rate in three of the past four seasons, and his 25.0% board rate to start this year is right in line with his 25.2% clip from the 2016-17 season. His offensive game also comes almost entirely on the inside, with 7.6 of his 10.7 field goal attempts per game having come from inside five feet. He's notching a 62.3% field goal percentage on those shots and is in a superb spot tonight.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF, Milwaukee Bucks ($12,600)
Antetokounmpo is the other high-priced player tonight, and while he has been an absolute monster this year, posting better than 50 FanDuel points in all six of his games, his $12,600 salary is a bitter pill to swallow in what shapes up to be a really tough matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Thunder have two excellent wing defenders in Paul George and Andre Roberson -- the latter of whom ranked first among all shooting guards in ESPN's defensive real plus-minus last season -- as well as a strong rim protector in Steven Adams. OKC ranks third in the NBA in defensive rating, and they are in the top five in offensive rebound rate (88% of Giannis' rebounds this season have come on the defensive glass). If anyone stands a shot at slowing the Greek Freak down right now, it's the Thunder.
Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.