3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 10/30/19
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.
Karl-Anthony Towns, C, Minnesota Timberwolves ($11,800)
Averaging an absurd, league-leading 67.2 FanDuel points per game through three contests, Karl-Anthony Towns has two of the five highest -- including the highest -- single-game fantasy scores for any player in this young season.
His fantasy efficiency took a big jump last year, averaging a career-best 1.47 FanDuel points per minute, and with a usage rate over 30% for the first time this year -- currently at 31.3% -- we could see that climb even higher.
This increase in output isn't entirely new, either. If we go back to last season's All-Star break, we still see an average of 1.63 fantasy points per minute, which would have ranked third in the NBA behind only Giannis Antetokounmpo and Anthony Davis.
KAT gets a tough matchup tonight against the Philadelphia 76ers, but at $11,800, his price-tag is still manageable enough to make him a strong play.
Russell Westbrook, PG, Houston Rockets ($10,600)
The Houston Rockets have a slate-high 118.75-point implied total, while not carrying a huge among of blowout risk as modest 8.5-point favorites against the Washington Wizards. The Wiz have opened the year with an above-average defensive rating, but that's only over a three-game sample. Three of their five players with the most minutes so far -- Bradley Beal, Ishmael Smith, and Thomas Bryant -- ranked below average at their respective positions in ESPN's defensive real plus-minus metric last season.
Westbrook is having no trouble playing alongside Harden so far. His usage rate is barely down (from 30.9% last year to 28.2% this year), and increases in both assist rate (51.4%) and rebound rate (18.6%) are keeping him highly productive. Westbrook is actually out-producing Harden, 55.0 to 46.6, in FanDuel points per game so far.
If roster construction leaves you needier at SG than at PG, then Harden is also a solid play tonight, but Westbrook is the preferred choice in the Houston backcourt on Wednesday.
Stephen Curry, PG, Golden State Warriors ($9,600)
Stephen Curry bounced back from his slow start with 54.1 FanDuel points in his last outing, but we still haven't seen him unleashed. That performance came in a one-sided game in which he played only 31 minutes, sitting the final 4.7 minutes of the fourth quarter.
His 21.8 field goal attempts per 36 minutes to start the year are on pace to be the most of his career, with 11.9 of those coming from 3-point range -- that would be the second-most of his career. Poor efficiency and limited minutes have held him back so far, but we saw in his last game that there's no need to worry about a couple games of poor shooting from one of the all-time great shooters.
The Golden State Warriors are favored by 5.0 points against the Phoenix Suns tonight, and that suggests the potential for a close game. A close contest would give Curry the opportunity to play a full complement of minutes for the first time this season, generating some massive fantasy upside.
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.