3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Monday 10/31/22
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, Bucks ($12,000)
The key fork in the road on this slate is what to do with Giannis Antetokounmpo.
There's virtually no doubt about Giannis paying off this salary in a full night's work. He's posted a 36.2% usage rate that's turned into a gaudy 1.82 FanDuel points per minute. Plus, the lowly opposing Pistons and their 120.0 defensive rating (second-worst in the NBA) aren't going to slow him down.
The "full night's work" component is the question. The Bucks are 13-point favorites, so Giannis very easily could be capped under 30 minutes in a blowout.
Giannis' workload -- and his production rate -- are harrowing to fade. I likely won't since I can pair "The Greek Freak" with some of the better value options of the day from the Detroit side, too. Jaden Ivey, Saddiq Bey, and Isaiah Stewart are all top value plugs, per our projections.
I think we play this one straight up in case Giannis -- and likely those Pistons' value guys in a close game -- detonate the slate.
Kevin Durant, SF/PF, Nets ($10,000)
There is no doubting the fantasy game of the day, though.
The Brooklyn Nets are hosting the Indiana Pacers in a game where two of the league's worst defenses will clash. Both Brooklyn and Indiana are bottom-four teams in defensive rating, but surely, they slow down the pace to protect their poor units, right? Wrong.
The Nets are 10th in overall pace, and the tanking Pacers are begging to be scored on at will with the league's fastest pace. Whew.
It's easy to love Kevin Durant in this one. His floor is absurd; he hasn't posted below 43 FanDuel points this season. However, the Pacers' weak defense is a perfect fit to get him better looks from the field. He's shot an ugly 31.3% from deep, which is why he's yet to have that monstrous game.
Perhaps the "Slim Reaper" has his best outing on a day largely known for a different type of reaper.
Tyrese Haliburton, PG/SG, Pacers ($8,700)
On the other side of that one, look at do-it-all stat-stuffer Tyrese Haliburton.
Haliburton, as one would expect, is the one player that hasn't been impacted by Indiana's rotation flux. He's played at least 33 minutes in every competitive game thus far.
There's also no doubting his clear top role on this tanking Pacers squad. He's second to only Bennedict Mathurin in usage rate (25.9%), and he's posted a stellar 1.36 FanDuel points per minute thus far.
Believe it or not, Haliburton's matchup here is even better than Durant's. Brooklyn is dead last in defensive rating (121.6), and including Tyrese himself on Saturday, they've ceded a 50-FanDuel-point scorer in three straight games.
These two squads combined for 241 points on Saturday. Outside of potentially Kyrie Irving at a massive salary, don't fade the rematch's key players on Monday.