3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 11/5/19
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.
Anthony Davis, PF, Los Angeles Lakers ($11,900)
The Chicago Bulls are shaping up to be an incredible fantasy matchup for frontcourt players in particular. They rank dead-last with a 46.2% total rebound rate to open the year, which is 1.3 percentage points worse than any other team. They pair that with a below-average 108.1 defensive rating as well.
Anthony Davis has shown a solid floor this season, not falling below 47 FanDuel points in any game, and his 73-fantasy point performance last week showed off his usual upside. His 55.3 FanDuel points per game are just behind his career-high 56.1 from last season, and despite sharing the court with LeBron James, he has posted a career-high 33.8% usage rate through six games.
Blowouts are sometimes a concern in a matchup this good, but there are two reasons not to be too concerned about that. First, the Los Angeles Lakers are just 7-point favorites, which doesn't imply a particularly close matchup but isn't a big red flag like a double-digit spread would be. The other is that Davis' high usage means he'd likely play a big role in reaching the point of a blowout. As one of the most efficient fantasy producers around, -- Davis is second in the NBA with 1.69 FanDuel points per minute since the start of last season -- he could generate a full game's worth of upside in limited minutes.
Domantas Sabonis, PF, Indiana Pacers ($8,900)
He's traveling with the team for tonight's road game in Charlotte, though, and that matchup puts him in a dreamy spot if he does suit up. The Hornets rank bottom-five in both defensive rating and rebound rate to start the season and are unsurprisingly allowing top-five fantasy production to opposing power forwards.
Domas is coming off games with 47.6 and 48.4 FanDuel points, and he's topped 43 in three of five. His playing time is way up in what is shaping up to be his first season as a full-time starter. Sabonis is averaging 36.2 minutes per game, and that kind of workload will give him plenty of opportunity to take advantage of this matchup.
Our models expect him to do just that, projecting him for 44.5 FanDuel points, which would be good for 5.0 per $1,000 of salary.
Nikola Jokic, C, Denver Nuggets ($9,200)
With fantasy points in the 30's for four of his first six games this season, it's no surprise to see Nikola Jokic priced $1,600 below where he was to start the year. It's not time to give up on him just yet, though.
He averaged 1.50 FanDuel points per minute last season and 1.40 since the start of the 2016-17 season, so it's hard to read too much into a drop to 1.29 in a tiny six-game sample. For context, last year's per-minute pace would put him at 46.1 FanDuel points per game with this season's workload — an average that would beat 5-times value on tonight's reduced salary.
A matchup with the Miami Heat isn't the easiest spot for a bounce-back, with their high rankings in both defensive rating and rebound rate. They've played at the sixth-fastest pace in the NBA this year, though, helping reduce the impact of those rankings (fourth in defensive rating, but only holding opponents to the ninth-fewest points per game).
This should also keep Jokic's ownership nice and low tonight. His early-season struggles and tough matchup still leave him as a shaky cash game play, but with his huge upside and the chance that he goes overlooked on this slate, he's a great contrarian GPP play.
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.