3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 11/4/19
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 ($12,000)
Giannis Antetokounmpo has topped 65 FanDuel points three times in six games to open the season, and he leads the NBA with an average of 59.9 FanDuel points in just 32.5 minutes per game. This comes after he finished second in the NBA, averaging 56.2 points in 32.8 minutes per game last year.
The Wolves will also be without Karl-Anthony Towns tonight, and while they weren't exposed with KAT out in a soft matchup against the Washington Wizards, his absence should hurt their interior defense. KAT only ranked 41st among 57 centers in ESPN's defensive real plus-minus metric last season, but one of the few to rank below him was Gorgui Dieng (52nd), who replaces him in the starting lineup.
Poor interior defense is a huge boon for Giannis, who is one of only two players averaging double-digit field goal attempts per game from within five feet of the basket.
Ben Simmons, PG, Philadelphia 76ers ($9,500)
Going back to the start of last season, Simmons sees his usage rate jump from 21.6% when Embiid plays to 23.8% when Embiid sits. He also sees a boost in fantasy efficiency (1.21 to 1.29 FanDuel points per minute) as well as minutes per game (33.9 to 35.5). All said, that has pushed him from 41.0 FanDuel points per game with Embiid to 46.0 without.
This year's Phoenix Suns team is showing some serious improvement. Still, they're playing at a top-12 pace, leaving plenty of room for fantasy value on the other side of the court, which Simmons should have little trouble taking advantage of sans Embiid.
Kyrie Irving, PG, Brooklyn Nets ($9,700)
Kyrie Irving's 34.1% usage rate ranks fifth among all players with at least 100 minutes played to open the year, and he's second in the NBA in scoring with 30.5 points per game.
Irving's fantasy production is down slightly in his last couple games, but an average of 52.1 FanDuel points per game to start his Brooklyn Nets career still leaves him significantly underpriced at just $9,700.
Tonight's matchup should also give him a nice boost, as the New Orleans Pelicans are early contenders as one of the most favorable fantasy matchups. They're playing at the ninth-fastest pace in the NBA, while also sitting 28th in defensive rating, giving up 122.5 points per game (second-most). New Orleans is also getting torched for a .539 effective field goal percentage, which is fifth-highest in the league.
A scoring-heavy fantasy producer like Irving is the perfect way to attack this 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.