3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Monday 10/25/21

Giannis Antetokounmpo should start at center and see primary ball-handling duties for Milwaukee on Monday. Which other studs are worth their salary for the main 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?

Giannis Antetokounmpo, F, Milwaukee Bucks ($11,200)

The league's best per-minute producer may get even more work Monday.

With Jrue Holiday and Brook Lopez both expected to miss Monday's contest for Milwaukee, it will be up to Giannis Antetokounmpo to both start at center and deliver -- if not better -- his usual production. Game on.

Antetokounmpo was viable in a solid matchup with Indiana without the additional injury responsibility. He is already averaging 1.73 FanDuel points per minute this season on an absurd 37.0% usage rate, but he should see an uptick in boards starting at the five, as well.

With an incredibly high floor, and a Pacers squad that can keep pace as just two-point underdogs, Antetokounmpo likely woke up this morning already on watch for a 60-burger.

Paul George, F, Los Angeles Clippers ($10,500)

A second MVP candidacy for the 12-year NBA veteran is firmly underway.

Still carrying the Clippers without Kawhi Leonard, George has done all within his power to win games despite the Clips' 0-2 start. George has taken on a lofty 33.1% usage rate and delivered on it with 1.62 FanDuel points per minute. Anywhere in the vicinity of Giannis' per-minute production is inside the MVP conversation, and Paul George is firmly in that realm.

George gets to face the Portland Trail Blazers in Monday's game with the highest total on the main slate (231). He is the clear way to target the Los Angeles rotation that is still in flux with multiple new parts and pieces, and the Portland injury situation should free up plenty of salary to comfortably roster George in game stacks.

James Harden, G, Brooklyn Nets ($10,000)

A four-digit salary awaits James Harden if he cannot turn it around against the lowly Washington Wizards.

In a shocking development with no Kyrie Irving, Harden has failed to meet requisite FanDuel value in all three games that Brooklyn has played to start the season. There are some factors to monitor, but largely, this is still a former MVP with a heightened 29.4% usage rate that -- on the surface -- should be a five-digit salary player.

Harden's 39.6% shooting overall thus far is well below his last seven seasons, as in that stretch, he has never dropped below 44.0% from the field. That should regress positively, but his free throw situation is concerning, as well. Due to new league rules about flopping during shot attempts, Harden has only seen eight free-throw attempts in three games. That might be more concerning long-term, but he should eventually adjust.

Even with fewer trips to the charity stripe, Harden was Brooklyn's most productive player per minute (1.63 FanDuel points) in floor situations without Kyrie last year. He is in a great spot to turn it around in Monday's contest between two squads that were top-six in pace in the NBA last season.