3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 10/31/19
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 ($10,400)
The Joker ranked sixth in the NBA (minimum 500 minutes) with 1.50 FanDuel points per minute last season, and a few quiet games to open the 2019-2020 season shouldn't have you too concerned about his value.
He's also in a good spot to prove that tonight in a matchup with the New Orleans Pelicans. The Pels have picked up where they left off last year, playing at a top-five pace while posting a bottom-five defensive rating and the league's third-worst total rebound rate.
John Collins, PF, Atlanta Hawks ($8,700)
The sample size is still tiny, but in 48 minutes played with Trae Young off the court, John Collins has seen a 24.5% usage rate -- up from 19.2% with Young on the floor. He saw a similar boost last year, at 28.7% with Young off and 23.9% on.
The Heat are looking like a far more fantasy-friendly opponent this year than we've seen in the past, sporting a 108.8 pace (second in the NBA) through four games. They weren't quite as fast in the preseason (105.9), so we could see that come down some, but even that is a far cry faster than their 98.7 pace from last season.
Collins went off for 49.4 FanDuel points with Young making an early exit on Tuesday, and his $700 increase in salary isn't enough to capture his upside tonight.
Kawhi Leonard, SF, Los Angeles Clippers ($10,300)
Kawhi's season-average of 52.1 FanDuel points per game is already great for this price (5.1 points per $1,000 of salary), and that includes a game in which he played only 21 minutes in a blowout. He's eclipsed 60 fantasy points in each of his last two outings while dominating the ball with a 37.5% usage rate.
The Spurs are another team with a long history as a brutal fantasy matchup, but they've also opened the year way up in pace (11th at 106.0) after also showing an increase in the preseason (105.8).
Oddsmakers don't seem to expect the Spurs to slow the Los Angeles Clippers offense down much, as their 115.25-point implied total is not far off their team average of 116.4 points to open the year. As has been the case on just about every slate when he's active this year, Kawhi's price tag is too low for the role he's playing with Paul George sidelined.
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.