3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 10/25/19
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.
Nikola Jokic, C, Denver Nuggets ($10,800)
Inconsistent minutes have always been an unfortunate part of playing Nikola Jokic in DFS, but his first game of the season was an outlier even by his standards.
He played only 23.9 minutes in his 2019-2020 debut, with 20.1 of those coming in the second half. He managed to pick up three fouls in under four minutes to open the game and sat the remainder of the first half. That's not something that's going to happen often, and we can count on his minutes climbing back up closer to the 31-32 range, which he has averaged over the last two seasons.
Having ranked sixth in the NBA in FanDuel points per minute last season, that kind of playing time makes him a high-upside option in tonight's favorable matchup against the Charlotte Hornets.
Starting Cody Zeller and his career 13.9% total rebound rate at the five, alongside stretch-four PJ Washington, Charlotte looks like they're going to a very soft matchup for opposing bigs this year. They were out-rebounded 49-41 by the uninspiring Chicago Bulls, and Jokic should have no trouble dominating both on the glass and the offensive end tonight.
Luka Doncic, PG, Dallas Mavericks ($10,000)
It's tough to read too much into a one-game sample against the defending NBA champions, but early signs are that the New Orleans Pelicans are going to be a matchup to attack once again this season.
They played at the NBA's fifth-fastest pace in the preseason after ranking second (103.9) last year. Then, they opened the year with a 102.2 pace against the Toronto Raptors, giving up 117 points in regulation.
Luka Doncic looked great in his first game of the season, putting up 34 points and 9 boards (49.3 fantasy points) in 34 minutes. He looks set to be the focal point of the Dallas Mavericks' offense once again, with his 36.4% usage rate in that game lining up with the 35.2% mark he posted after the All-Star break last year.
Combining that usage with his ability to rack up peripherals (8.7 boards, 6.7 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.4 blocks per 36 minutes as a rookie) positions him well to take advantage of all the extra possessions he'll be afforded against such a fast-paced opponent.
Anthony Davis, PF, Los Angeles Lakers ($12,000)
The Brow saw a huge workload, posting a 35.8% usage rate over 37.4 minutes, and his 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks and 1 steal were solid peripheral numbers. He only shot a .381 effective field goal percentage against a tough Los Angeles Clippers defense, though, and that's not going to hold up for long. His previous career-low for a season is .508, and he has marks of at least .540 in each of the last two.
Tonight's matchup isn't an easy one, either, facing off with Rudy Gobert and the Utah Jazz, but even producing close to his average levels of efficiency will still give Davis an elite ceiling in a tough matchup on this kind of workload.
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.