3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 11/18/19
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 ($12,300)
Despite James Harden's recent run of absurd production, it's still Giannis Antetokounmpo who leads the NBA in fantasy production. His 61.3 FanDuel points per game beat out Harden's 58.9 despite the fact that Giannis is only playing 32.9 minutes per game to Harden's 36.9.
The Greek Freak hasn't posted fewer than 50 fantasy points in a game since his third contest of the year, and he's topped 70 in three of his last seven games. He's on pace for career-high marks in all of points (30.1), rebounds (14.3) and assists (6.5) while adding a combined 2.9 blocks and steals per game.
The Chicago Bulls rank a middling 14th in defensive rating while checking in at 28th in rebound rate and playing at the league's eighth-fastest pace, so this matchup should give Giannis a slight boost as well.
Russell Westbrook, PG, Houston Rockets ($9,400)
Since we're fading Harden in favor of Giannis anyway, we can double down by playing Russell Westbrook as well.
Westbrook's production has fallen off significantly since opening the season with 55.5 FanDuel points per game across his first five, but while his 43.1 per game on the year are low by his standards, it's not a terrible average at this price point.
There's also some reason to expect his efficiency to pick back up. His 30.7% usage rate is only barely down from last year's 30.9% mark, and his .460 effective field goal percentage can be expected to bounce back some, considering his .478 average over the last four seasons.
He also gets a Portland Trail Blazers squad tonight that ranks 19th in defensive rating while playing at a top-10 pace, and the Houston Rockets are 6.5-point favorites in a contest with a 231.5-point over/under on FanDuel Sportsbook, suggesting Houston should have no shortage of scoring to go around in this one.
Hassan Whiteside, C, Portland Trail Blazers ($7,900)
On the other side of that game, being 6.5-point underdogs means the risk of the Blazers getting blown out isn't huge, and they should do a ton of scoring themselves. The Rockets' third-ranked pace has made them a great fantasy matchup to target this year, as well, and they're giving up the NBA's ninth-most points, seventh-most assists and sixth-most rebounds per game.
The assist number doesn't mean much for Hassan Whiteside, but he's averaging a career-best 15.3 points to go with 12.2 rebounds per game in his first year in Portland.
A couple of quiet games last week dropped his salary significantly after it peaked at $8,500, leaving him nicely underpriced tonight. He's still topped 40 fantasy points (better than 5.0 per $1,000 of salary today) in five of his last seven games, averaging 39.2 per game in that time.
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.