3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 10/24/19
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-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.
Let's get right into it and look at which top players should be the focal points of your lineups tonight.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF, Milwaukee Bucks ($12,200)
They were neck-and-neck in fantasy production after the All-Star break last season, with Giannis averaging 55.3 and Harden averaging 56.0 FanDuel points per game. Harden has some question marks around his fantasy production this year, though, now sharing the floor with Russell Westbrook, who finished 10th in usage rate last year.
Giannis has no such competition for getting the ball in his hands, and facing off with each other, he also has a better defensive matchup than Harden. The Milwaukee Bucks D is pretty similar to the one that led the NBA in defensive rating last season, and while the Rockets may have made a splash adding Westbrook, they haven't done much to shore up their 17th-ranked D.
Kawhi Leonard, SF, Los Angeles Clippers ($9,800)
Kawhi only needed 31.6 minutes to explode for 30 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and 1 block (47.7 FanDuel Points) in his season debut. Even with a steady dose of "load management" on a one-year contract, he averaged 34.0 minutes per game last season, and that playing time has a good shot of improving moving forward as well.
That per-minute efficiency isn't likely to come down too far, either, as he also put up an average of 1.32 FanDuel points per minute last year.
The Los Angeles Clippers' 113.75-point implied total is the night's highest outside of that Houston/Milwaukee matchup, and our models have Kawhi as the only player priced north of $8,000 to be projected to put up at least 5.0 fantasy points per $1,000 of salary.
Stephen Curry, PG, Golden State Warriors ($10,300)
Second only to Kawhi in MVP odds at +500 heading into the season, it's going to be really interesting to see what Stephen Curry can do as the undisputed top scoring option in Golden State. Down both Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant, we can expect Curry's shooting volume to pick up significantly in the 2019-20 season.
Curry played 438 minutes with both Klay and Durant off the court in the regular season last year, and he had a massive 42.3% usage rate in that sample, averaging 39.9 points per 36 minutes. That's up from an overall 30.4% usage rate and 29.1 points per 36 last year.
The Clippers' defense does not make for an easy matchup to start the year, but if Curry is going to come anywhere near the volume he put up without Thompson and KD last season, then we're probably going to see him priced in the mid-$11,000s before long, and this price tag would make him worth a play in any matchup.
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.