3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Wednesday 11/24/21

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, SF/PF, Milwaukee Bucks ($11,700)

In an alternate universe where we could be guaranteed the Bucks' contest with Detroit on Wednesday stayed close, Giannis Antetokounmpo would be a lock.

However, with a 15.5-point spread, the blowout concern is very real. Detroit currently has no rim protector with Isaiah Stewart suspended; they've been forced between the undersized Trey Lyles or the slow-footed rookie Luka Garza when using a center at all. Giannis scores 60.3% of his points inside the arc, so he sees by far the largest boost on his team.

The easiest way to manage this risk is to set a probability this game stays close, and allocate that amount of exposure to Giannis. numberFire's model has the Pistons covering 15 points 52.47% of the time as a decent starting point.

Antetokounmpo's median outcome in his past nine games is 62.2 FanDuel points, so this salary is more than fair in a vacuum.

With a plus matchup, he's a great option assuming the Pistons fair better than the Orlando Magic did Monday. Orlando was down 41 points at halftime, and that squashed Giannis' fantasy output.

Jimmy Butler, SF/SG, Miami Heat ($10,100)

Revenge narratives are popular targets (even if they shouldn't be), and there are few in sports like Jimmy Butler returning to Minnesota.

The infamous practice story is known, and there's a chance Butler was saving himself for tonight on the front end of a back-to-back last night in Detroit. Butler only commanded a 25.3% usage rate in the game -- a good step behind his 28.3% usage rate this season.

Butler is averaging a team-best 1.31 FanDuel points per minute this season for Miami, which would set a new career-high mark for "Buckets".

Even without the revenge narrative, Minnesota is just an objectively good matchup. The Wolves have allowed the 4th-most FanDuel points per game to shooting guards (42.08), and the 11th-most to small forwards (41.86).

Whatever Butler's true classification is, he's in a plus spot with bonus motivation heading into the holiday.

LaMelo Ball, PG, Charlotte Hornets ($9,300)

In the long grind of the NBA season, you just miss small trends in daily research.

I was perplexed why LaMelo Ball was so popular on Monday in a so-so matchup with no changes to the Charlotte Hornets' rotation in weeks. However, whether intentional or not, Ball is just taking on an increased role for Buzz City, and his salary is more than fair for it.

Ball has a 27.3% usage rate on the whole season, but that's been increased to 29.8% over the past week. He's turned that additional responsibility into 1.39 FanDuel points per minute in that stretch. That mark is even more impressive considering Ball has 12 turnovers in the past three contests to knock that total at times.

He's got the premier matchup in the NBA with Orlando on Wednesday. The Magic's 111.8 defensive rating is the second-worst in the NBA, and they just got slammed by Milwaukee for 105 points in three quarters.

He's significantly under-salaried for that current rate of production, and the matchup gives him a nice floor to add another game to the sample and see if it continues.