3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 11/14/19
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 ($12,400)
It's a lot to pay up for someone priced $1,200 ahead of everyone else on the slate, but Giannis Antetokounmpo is worth it.
He's only fallen below 50 FanDuel points once in 10 games this season, while he has topped 65 on four occasions. His 61.4 FanDuel points per game are the most in the NBA and are 8.0 more than anyone else on tonight's slate — easily warranting a $1,200 gap.
Making things even sweeter, Khris Middleton is on the shelf, and dating back to the start of last season, Giannis has a 35.0% usage rate and averages 1.81 FanDuel points per minute with Middleton off the floor, compared to 1.68 per minute on 32.9% usage with Middleton on.
Nikola Jokic, C, Denver Nuggets ($9,600)
Still too cheap thanks to some early-season duds, Nikola Jokic continues to show off his ability to fill up every area of the stat sheet. He's scored 20-plus points with 6-plus rebounds and 6-plus assists in each of his last three games, notching a combined 6 steals and 3 blocks in that stretch.
Playing time is always going to be a concern for the Joker, and that's no different tonight with the Denver Nuggets sitting as 9-point favorites. The blowout risk makes him something of a shaky cash game play, but his tournament upside is still terrific.
The Brooklyn Nets have opened the year ranking bottom-five in defensive rating while playing at a top-five pace, making this the kind of matchup that can produce a ton of fantasy upside. They're allowing more fantasy points per minute to opposing centers than any other team on the slate is allowing to any position, overall giving up the second-most in the NBA to the center position.
Jokic's fantasy efficiency is starting to bounce back, and while his 1.31 FanDuel points per minute are still well shy of last year's 1.50, that's still an efficient enough mark to give him a huge ceiling in this spot, especially while he's priced down below $10k.
Kristaps Porzingis, PF, Dallas Mavericks ($8,400)
His 1.15 FanDuel points per minute are closer to his career-high from the 2017-18 season (1.23) to his previous best (1.09), and he's topped 45 FanDuel points in four of his last eight games. That includes a pair of games with more than 50, including 52.8 just two games ago in a revenge game against the New York Knicks — who also happen to be his opponent today.
Ranking bottom-10 in defensive rating, the Knicks rank no better than 14th in fantasy production allowed to opponents at any position.
Porzingis has been a volatile fantasy producer this year, but he's shown no shortage of upside, especially in the blocks department -- his 6.6% block rate is right in line with his career-best 6.4% mark, which led the NBA in 2017-18.
A relatively short slate like tonight's, with five games on tap, is the kind of DFS slate that leaves you needing to take some more gambles with fewer safe options available. Porzingis' ceiling is unusually high for someone in this price range, and that's well worth paying for in a matchup with his former team.
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.