3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 2/24/20
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 ($11,800)
The way salaries are being set this season, it makes a ton of sense to continue rolling out Giannis Antetokounmpo with abandon.
He's averaging 57.9 FanDuel points per game on the year, and since 2010, we have only seen two instances of players averaging more -- Russell Westbrook in the 2016-17 season and James Harden in 2018-19. Both of them were liable to see their salary climb into the high-$12k range and even sometimes the low-$13k range.
Giannis may not be dropping absurd 80-plus-FanDuel-point games as often as those two did (five for Russ that season and nine for Harden in his, while just one for Giannis so far this year), but Antetokounmpo has an added layer of value in being virtually blowout-proof. He's topped 50 FanDuel points in 78% of his games even though he's averaging just 30.9 minutes per game with the Bucks cruising to victory so often.
If you need the deal sweetened even further, the Washington Wizards rank dead last in the NBA in both defensive rating and total rebound rate, and both of these teams rank top five in pace.
Russell Westbrook, PG, Houston Rockets ($10,400)
Speaking of Westbrook, his salary is back down after peaking at $11,200 earlier this month.
He has been on an absolute tear since about January 11, averaging 56.7 FanDuel points per game in his last 15 contests, compared to 45.3 in the 32 games before that. This doesn't look like an arbitrary increase, either, as his style of play has changed.
Before that date, he averaged 21.3 field goal attempts, 6.3 free throw attempts and 4.8 three-point attempts per game. Since then, he's averaging 25.5 field goal and 6.8 free throw attempts, with only 2.1 three-point attempts per game. He's also seen increases in minutes (35.2 to 37.5), rebounds (7.8 to 8.2) and assists (6.9 to 7.7) per game.
He should keep rolling tonight against the New York Knicks, who check in at 22nd in defensive rating and allow the 8th-most fantasy points per minute to opposing point guards.
Spencer Dinwiddie, PG, Brooklyn Nets ($7,100)
Even playing down in pace against the defensively-sound Orlando Magic, $7.1k is a little cheap for Spencer Dinwiddie while Kyrie Irving is on the shelf. He's eclipsed 35.5 FanDuel points (5.0 per $1,000 of salary here) in four of seven games in his most recent stint sans Kyrie, with over 41 in three of those.
On the year, we've seen Dinwiddie average 28.4 per game when Kyrie plays and 39.1 per game (5.5 per $1,000 of salary) when Kyrie sits. That comes with a jump from 28.4 to 32.9 minutes per game and from a 26.4% to 31.4% usage rate. He's scored at least 35.1 in 26 of 35 such games (74.3%).
The matchup isn't ideal, but even on an eight-game slate, the price tag is too good to pass up.
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.