NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Thursday 3/24/22

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?

Giannis Antetokounmpo, PF/SF, Milwaukee Bucks ($11,400)

With Khris Middleton out of the lineup again, Giannis Antetokounmpo should have just that much more room to be his usual self.

After all, Giannis did just post 1.92 FanDuel points per minute on Tuesday without Middleton. But Chicago was unable to keep up (as they have against just about any good team), and Antetokounmpo had to settle for just 55.9 FanDuel points in three quarters of work.

That is a concern again on Thursday. The Bucks are 13.0-point home favorites over the visiting Washington Wizards, but they do carry a 123.0-point implied team total that should be pretty sporty even in three quarters.

Washington's defense is really scuffling in March, though. Their 121.9 defensive rating is only in front of Portland. Though Giannis doesn't see massive upticks in production without Middleton, he's just an elite player in an elite spot. That will work on a five-game slate.

**Editor's Note: Antetokounmpo is now OUT on Thursday due to a knee issue. If Nikola Jokic isn't feasible at center, Pascal Siakam and Kristaps Porzingis are decent alternatives at forward.**

Devin Booker, SG, Phoenix Suns ($9,400)

With Nikola Jokic hotter than fish grease, it might be a surprise to not see him here.

That's because the Phoenix defense is, as well. Jokic is averaging just 48.6 FanDuel points per game against the Suns and Deandre Ayton's huge presence in the middle. They're in as good of form as they've held all year, too, holding the second-best defensive rating in the NBA in March.

On the other side, Devin Booker gets a Nuggets defense with the 13th-worst defensive rating (116.1) this month. Booker should have a much easier night at the office.

Amidst some weird shooting struggles, Booker is still averaging 1.32 FanDuel points per minute in totality since Chris Paul exited the lineup at the All-Star break. His usage rate in this past week of struggles (31.2%) is actually higher than his overall usage rate since CP3 went down (30.4%).

Translation -- his role is the exact same if not better. That's valuable information to have in a good matchup here, and he's unlikely to be popular based on his box scores.

In tournaments, D-Book is amongst the best ways to spend salary considering Jokic would also clog the center spot from Ayton, Nikola Vucevic, and Goga Bitadze in phenomenal spots themselves.