3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Wednesday 11/2/22
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, G, Mavericks ($11,800)
Doncic just doesn't have Jrue Holiday or Brook Lopez standing in his path. For the Mavericks to compete, he has to be excellent. Doncic's 40.4% usage rate leads all qualifiers, and he's second to only Giannis (1.76) in FanDuel points per minute (1.75). The range of outcomes is just far more narrow for him than for Giannis.
Even with Tim Hardaway Jr. showing life with 21 points in their last game with the Magic, Doncic dropped in 44 himself. He's worth every penny in this quality environment against the Jazz. The total is modest (222.5), and Luka's Mavs are 5.5-point favorites.
Paul George, SG/SF, Clippers ($9,000)
Giannis' dud aside, he's a tremendous option today, as well. However, unless injury news goes crazy this afternoon, there isn't really enough value for both to be squeezed in optimally.
That's where this tiny salary for Paul George is helpful, but don't underestimate George's ceiling. On Monday, he recorded the highest FanDuel total of the year (78.8 points) in large part due to 35 points and 6 steals. He likely won't encroach that Wednesday, but the offensive role is where we can feel good about this salary.
The Clippers continue to operate without the aloof and mysterious Kawhi Leonard, and this team has reverted back to its early 2021-22 trend. George (33.3% usage rate with Kawhi off the floor) is the main man around a random assortment of parts, and he's good at, posting 1.40 FanDuel points per minute.
After his chart-topping effort, George will get an immediate rematch with Houston on Wednesday. If the Rockets' 114.6 defensive rating (seventh-worst in the NBA) is any indication, it likely won't go much better for the home team.
Zion Williamson, PF, Pelicans ($8,300)
I'm glad to see Zion Williamson's latest absence was short, and he's back playing extremely well.
Williamson returned Sunday against the Clippers and dropped 21 points, 12 rebounds, and 7 assists in just 30 minutes of work.
This is really uncharted territory for Zion and the Pelicans. They have him and C.J. McCollum, but Brandon Ingram (concussion) is still on the shelf. It's the first time that combination of their star trio has been together, but Sunday, Williamson led the way in usage rate (29.6%).
Even though our model likes the under here, I just love Zion's prospects on the glass in this space. The Lakers are a dream matchup for bigs when combining their awful estimated rebounding rate (47.1%) with a putrid 42.7% field-goal rate.
Though Pascal Siakam and Nikola Vucevic are worthy considerations with absences on their respective squads, I can't pass up Zion's rebounding floor in this matchup, and if Sunday was any indication, he'll get plenty of chances to score, too.