3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Tuesday 2/15/22
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?
Trae Young, PG, Atlanta Hawks ($10,200)
I mentioned last week that Young had the upside of a five-digit salary guard without the salary. That didn't take long.
Even with his entire cast of Hawks teammates healthy, Young has maintained a 32.6% usage rate that he's turned into 1.28 FanDuel points per minute. If you squint really hard, that's the profile of Ja Morant.
Young could also benefit from one fewer ballhandler in the lineup tonight; Bogdan Bogdanovic is questionable with the ankle issue that has plagued him most of the season. Young sees a 1.5-percentage-point increase in usage without Bogie on the floor this season.
Even though the 220.5-point total in Atlanta isn't the top one of the day, it's serviceable for a game that has just a 1.5-point spread. The Hawks combine the league's third-best offensive rating with its fourth-worst defensive rating, so the game should stay close and high-scoring on most evenings.
As a result, even with a salary hike from last week, Trae is still in play on Tuesday.
Karl-Anthony Towns, C, Minnesota Timberwolves ($9,900)
Joel Embiid is in a brutal matchup with Al Horford and the Celtics that is more than well-documented at this point. Luckily, there's an alternative.
Karl-Anthony Towns and the Timberwolves play host to the Charlotte Hornets in a game that has a massive 245.0-point total. I'm less than optimistic on the over in that spot, but it's still going to be a back-and-forth affair no matter what. These are the two highest-paced teams in the NBA.
Towns may -- somehow -- fly under the radar inside of it. After all, he's failed to eclipse 45 FanDuel points in five of his last six games. This matchup with Charlotte, though, provides a reason to buy the dip.
The Hornets allow the third-most rebounds per game (47.6) to opponents, and they allow the most second-chance points (15.0) in the NBA. A bulk of Towns' production could stem from his work on the glass tonight, and that helps ease some of the concerns that come from the shot-volume rotation he has with Anthony Edwards and D'Angelo Russell.
The enormous total in this contest will be an overwhelmingly popular option, so focus on role quality and fade recent production. It's easy to do that with Towns.
Tyrese Haliburton, PG/SG, Indiana Pacers ($9,000)
Look away, Sacramento Kings fans.
Tyrese Haliburton has absolutely destroyed his first week as a member of the Indiana Pacers. Haliburton has turned in at least 22 points in both contests, and on Saturday, he posted a whopping 16 assists.
That willingness to pass will never help his usage rate (19.1%), but make no mistake -- as long as Malcolm Brogdon is sidelined, this is Haliburton's offense.
Indiana is in a decent pace-up spot against Milwaukee on Tuesday. It leads to a 234.0-point total in this game that is stellar for DFS. The problem? It comes with the Pacers seated as a 13.0-point underdog. Though, that number may shrink throughout the day if Giannis Antetokounmpo is officially ruled out for the Bucks with his ankle issue.
Still, Haliburton resides in a salary range at guard where most options face possession-to-possession competition for their role. That includes LaMelo Ball, Caris LeVert, and Devin Booker. Haliburton is the guy should the Pacers keep this one tight.