3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Monday 10/24/22
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?
Jayson Tatum, SF/PF, Celtics ($10,500)
Jayson Tatum is gunning for the MVP award this season.
With at least 20 shots in every game, Tatum has upped his offensive aggression, and last year's early-season shooting slump has been avoided by a different strategy -- attack the rim. Only 24 of Tatum's 63 shots so far have come from outside. All in all, the Celtics' franchise player has a gaudy 31.5% usage rate so far.
That's notably higher than Jaylen Brown's (29.1%), which is a far cry from their near-identical marks beyond the trade deadline last season. He's also added 8.3 rebounds per contest, and that should continue to track above last season's average so long as Robert Williams is sidelined.
The Bulls are 11th in overall pace and have allowed the 7th-most FanDuel points per game to small forwards. This is a good environment for Tatum on a night he likely won't be popular.
Rudy Gobert, C, Timberwolves ($9,100)
The highest total on the night is in Minnesota, but it might be tricky to target.
The tanking Spurs will battle the 2-1 T-Wolves, and the 8.5-point spread looms large between these two teams. There's a risk it could get out of control, but the 234.5-point total here means we should see offense for as long as this one is competitive.
Enter Rudy Gobert. There were concerns in the fantasy basketball community about how he and Karl-Anthony Towns would share the rebounding duties in this two-center frontcourt. They're gone. It's all Gobert, who has collected 53 rebounds in three games so far. Towns hasn't even reached double digits in a game.
There's still room for upside beyond the glass for him, too. San Antonio has allowed the third-most points to centers so far this season, and Gobert's 1.49 blocks per 36 minutes thus far are still well behind his 2021-22 pace (2.33).
Gobert's floor is supremely high if this one stays within single digits for 48 minutes.
Kyrie Irving, PG/SG, Nets ($8,700)
This second week of the NBA season is where I really want to buy low on production drops in similar roles to last season. That fits Kyrie Irving to a tee.
Remember, Irving's odd year last year came in part with James Harden, so this year, his offensive usage should be better. His 29.2% usage rate is nearly identical to last year's mark (29.3%) so far, but I'd even expect that to increase a tinge.
Even if it doesn't, Irving should see much better nights ahead. He's shot just 39.5% from the field this year versus 46.9% a year ago. That's a large reason why Irving's 1.18 FanDuel points per minute last year has declined to begin the 2022-23 campaign (0.96).
He'll have better performances, and Monday is a great chance. The Nets are primed for a back-and-forth battle opposite the Grizzlies, and the game carries a gaudy 233.0-point total with just a 1.0-point spread.
It's the perfect environment for Irving to explode, and as Kyrie showed last year with 35-point outings in 6 of his 28 contests, he's fully capable.