3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Tuesday 10/19/21

With Klay Thompson still on the sidelines, Stephen Curry should open Golden State's season with a massive role once again. Which other studs are worth the premium on Tuesday's opening night slate?

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-salaried 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.

Which top players should be the focal points of your lineups today?

James Harden, G, Brooklyn Nets ($10,600)

Without Kyrie Irving -- a.k.a. Kanye in Sneakers -- the Nets' top two studs are both solid choices in their opener with Milwaukee.

Harden is the preferred option of the two. Last season, in floor conditions without Irving, Harden led the Nets in both usage rate (34.9%) and FanDuel Points per minute (1.63). It makes sense, as Harden slides into the point guard role with Irving on the pine -- or in this case, with a mask.

Brooklyn sees a slight pace boost when facing Milwaukee, as they ranked 11th in the NBA in pace last year, but the Bucks were 3rd in pace in 2020-21 after leading the league in that category the season prior.

Expect Harden to have a tremendous game to open the season.

Anthony Davis, C, Los Angeles Lakers ($10,000)

The new-look Lakers' production hierarchy is a fascinating discussion entering the season, but there is reason to be bullish on Anthony Davis.

Many would expect Davis takes a tertiary role to LeBron James and Russell Westbrook, but that wasn't particularly the case during a preseason in which the Lakers gave a solid effort. James led the way at a 31.6% usage rate, but Westbrook (26.1%) and Davis (26.0%) were not far behind, and the trio essentially starved out their other teammates.

What cannot be overstated, though, is that with comparable usage, Davis averaged 8.80 rebounds per 36 minutes last year. That should increase as Davis sees more time at the five this season next to Carmelo Anthony instead of Andre Drummond and Montrezl Harrell.

Davis is the only one of the big three to have never won an MVP award, and a push to win his first for the high-powered Lakers could start in primetime on Tuesday.

Stephen Curry, G, Golden State Warriors ($9,800)

With Klay Thompson still recovering from injury, the Golden State Warriors' offense remains Curry and then a giant leap back to his next teammate.

Last season, Curry entered the MVP discussion with a 34.0% usage rate and 1.40 FanDuel points per minute mark. On a site without a three-point bonus, Curry can get overlooked on FanDuel, but he still was incredibly productive, and the most notable change for him in 2020-21 was adding a career-high 5.80 rebounds per game.

The Dubs should be stronger in 2020-21 overall, but Curry is still the captain of the ship. He has the least competition for his role of any star on Tuesday's main slate, and that should not be overlooked with plenty of uncertainty within the other three squads.