3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Wednesday 12/1/21

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 ($11,200)

NBA daily fantasy often requires a deep breath.

Yes, Giannis Antetokounmpo has failed to score 50 FanDuel points in two of his past three games. As the Bucks have gotten healthier, Giannis' iron-clad floor appears to be no longer, but he's also still eclipsed 59 FanDuel points in four of the seven games since Khris Middleton returned.

Giannis is the top-shelf priority of the slate once again. Milwaukee's contest with Charlotte features a slate-high 231.5-point implied total between two squads that are both top-five in pace. There's only an 8.5-point spread on this game as well; oddsmakers expect the upstart Hornets to at least keep some pace.

A monstrous double-double might be a lock with Charlotte fourth-worst in estimated rebounding in the NBA. Antetokounmpo has nine games with at least 13 boards this season.

He'll be tremendously popular, but so will Hornets players because of the total. A contrarian way to use him might be as a one-off option in anticipation of a potential blowout in which he thrives.

Nikola Jokic, C, Denver Nuggets ($11,000)

With Giannis' co-stars returning, Nikola Jokic might be the most irreplaceable stud in the league.

Jokic returned from a wrist injury to a ho-hum 54.5 FanDuel points against the Heat on Monday. Miami is the single toughest matchup for centers in terms of FanDuel points per game (45.05), and Jokic nearly exceeded value in his very first game back from an extended layoff.

Jokic should be $12,000 before long. In a growing sample without Michael Porter Jr. on the floor, he still is averaging 1.90 FanDuel points per minute. Jokic wakes up in the morning on 60-burger watch in his new role, and that likely doesn't change until the return of Jamal Murray.

All of this is great in a vacuum, but even better considering Jokic is facing Orlando on Wednesday, and the lowly Magic are ceding the sixth-most FanDuel points per game to opposing centers (56.88).

There's plenty of value to fit in both Giannis and Jokic. It's likely a wise decision to do so.

Trae Young, PG, Atlanta Hawks ($9,400)

Because of the aforementioned pair of stars, guard is a little tougher to justify spending a huge amount of salary towards.

In a tiebreaker of similar options, Trae Young has two key factors in his favor -- how solid this game is to stack and his team's current rotation.

With a 218.0-point total, the Hawks contest with the Pacers is the highest total on the slate outside of Milwaukee. The Pacers also have several priorities tonight if Myles Turner is indeed ruled out again with his illness on Wednesday. All of Malcolm Brogdon, Chris Duarte, Domantas Sabonis, and Caris LeVert are under-salaried in their current role without Turner.

That makes Young a natural bring-back option with his Atlanta-best 33.6% usage rate. That's actually increased to 34.2% the past week as well as Bogdan Bogdanovic (ankle) and Cam Reddish (wrist) have fallen out of the rotation.

His salary has only increased $100 from last Wednesday, so he's the obvious top option in a game that should require a heavy presence on FanDuel. That's enough to avoid the increased salaries of Luka Doncic and LaMelo Ball, personally.