3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Wednesday 10/19/22
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?
Luka Doncic, PG/SG, Mavericks ($10,900)
If they do have a decent record, it'll be because of Doncic. Entering the 2022-23 campaign, the Mavs will complete their first full year without Kristaps Porzingis and Jalen Brunson. Without either on the floor last season, Luka posted an absurd 1.47 FanDuel points per minute on a hefty 37.1% usage rate.
Other than Tim Hardaway Jr. returning from injury, this Dallas squad just doesn't have a ton of guys who can regularly put the ball in the basket. That makes Doncic a daily fantasy consideration any time he's on the slate and healthy.
Wednesday's matchup is more ironic than it is desirable. Doncic vanquished the Phoenix Suns in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals last year, and he'll return to the scene of the crime. Phoenix was third in defensive rating last season, but Luka dropped 35 real-world points in that elimination game. I think he'll be okay.
With his supreme role, he's the best overall stud on the slate by a good bit.
Kevin Durant, SF/PF, Nets ($10,000)
The new-look Nets might be can't-miss in the way of a Broadway hit show, or they might be can't-miss in terms of a multi-car crash.
Kevin Durant is returning to Brooklyn after embarrassingly requesting a trade from the organization, for in combination with Durant's attitude and the Nets' insane asking price, there was minimal interest. Overall, the former league MVP is probably back to business with the lead role for his club.
Last season, Durant posted a Luka-like 1.44 FanDuel points per minute during floor situations without James Harden. Harden's in Philadelphia, so Durant (33.0% usage rate without Harden) and Kyrie Irving (29.8%) will be a two-man band leading the Brooklyn offense.
Of course, the Nets were one of the worst defensive teams in basketball last year, and with the talented Pelicans in town, this is one of two contests with a total above 230.0 points on Wednesday's 12-game slate.
Domantas Sabonis, PF/C, Kings ($8,600)
Sacramento and Portland were two of the bottom-four teams in defensive rating last year, and their offseason splashes aren't exactly defensive ones. The Blazers added Jerami Grant, and the Kings added rookie Keegan Murray, who won't play due to COVID-19 protocols.
As a result, we can feel great about seeing gobs of points in Sactown. To me, that starts with Domantas Sabonis.
Sabonis has been an elite rebounder for years, but he's shared the court with Myles Turner for much of the time in recent years. After getting traded to the Kings, Sabonis posted a whopping 13.2 rebounds per 36 minutes. He'll also benefit from a Portland squad that ceded the 13th-most paint points a year ago.
Sabonis is not the only mid-level star worth looking at in this one. Damian Lillard, De'Aaron Fox, and Jusuf Nurkic all have fair salaries at the top, and Harrison Barnes and Josh Hart are worthy value plays from each side. This is the game I'm stacking in single-entry.