3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on 3/9/20

With Giannis out, Khris Middleton becomes one of the best plays on the slate. Who else should you target tonight?

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.

Nikola Jokic, C, Denver Nuggets ($9,700)

There are a few interesting things about this spot for Nikola Jokic, since Giannis Antetokounmpo has already been ruled out for the Milwaukee Bucks.

It's only a three-game slate, and the per-minute fantasy efficiency the Bucks allow to centers is the third-highest among the six teams. Workload is also often a concern in matchups against Milwaukee since they're so often blowing their opponents out, but, sans Giannis and playing in Denver, the Bucks are actually 3.5-point underdogs.

Jokic is always going to be a volatile fantasy producer, and that's been captured by the fact that he has a performance of 28.6 fantasy points as well as one of 62.1 in just his last four outings. He's averaging 50.8 FanDuel points per game over his last 15 contests though, and he shouldn't be this cheap tonight especially given this matchup is softer than it may usually be.

John Collins, PF, Atlanta Hawks ($8,600)

On such a short slate, this matchup between the Atlanta Hawks and Charlotte Hornets is by far the most exciting for fantasy purposes, sporting a 224.5-point over/under.

An interesting thing about the Hornets, however, is that despite their 24th-ranked defensive rating, they've actually held opposing point guards to bottom-five fantasy efficiency. The real way to attack them is with bigs, as they've allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per minute to opposing power forwards, and the most to centers.

Enter John Collins, who has really ramped up his production of late, eclipsing 43.0 FanDuel points (5.0 per $1,000 of salary tonight) in 10 of his last 15 games, including five of his last six. He's averaging 43.6 per game over those six and 44.6 per game over the last 15.

Khris Middleton, SG, Milwaukee Bucks ($7,000)

Bigger than the impact on Jokic above, Giannis' absence gives Khris Middleton a nice boost tonight.

We've seen Middleton play seven games with Giannis on the shelf this year, and in that sample, he's averaging 45.2 FanDuel points per game, up from 34.4 per game when Giannis plays. That comes with a nice jump in playing time (29.7 to 32.6 minutes per game) and a huge jump in usage rate, from 25.2% to 33.8%.

A matchup with the Nuggets isn't great, but with options thin on a three-game slate and Middleton priced as if Giannis is active, this one's a no-brainer.

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.