3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Thursday 11/3/22

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?

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG/SG, Thunder ($10,800)

Since Josh Giddey returned to just 25 minutes on Tuesday, I think we're still all clear to deploy Shai Gilgeous-Alexander on this two-game slate.

SGA's formula for paying off in daily fantasy has been very simple -- drop 30 real-life points, which he's done in four of six games. He does enough consistently in terms of playmaking (6.84 assists per 36 minutes) and swiping (2.50 steals per 36) to get there if his scoring touch is on point.

Plus, with a team-best 33.3% usage rate, he's got ample opportunity to do so. Giddey's usage rate drops 3.2 percentage points with SGA on the floor with him, so he's largely deferring to Shai in the scoring hierarchy and shouldn't be too much of a concern.

This is the better fantasy game of the day between the two. Our model likes over 228.0 total points in this one, and the spread (5.0) is smaller. SGA is the clear top option from the Oklahoma City side.

Stephen Curry, PG, Warriors ($10,200)

It's bizarre to be writing up Stephen Curry with full confidence, but he's got his best role in years with the Warriors.

Not only is he leading Golden State in minutes per game (34.4), but Curry's taken another step in terms of assists (6.80 per 36) and boards (7.85 per 36). He's no longer solely dependent on scoring, but with a team-best 30.8% usage rate, he's still doing that, too.

Orlando isn't quite the cakewalk defensively we've seen in recent years, but they're still just midpack in terms of defensive rating (111.6).

The Warriors' 121.5 defensive rating on the road is second-worst in the league, so Curry has quietly been a gold mine away from Chase Center. There's reason to believe the Magic can hang close despite the 9.0-point spread.

Given Giddey's presence still looming for SGA, I'd go as far as to call Curry the top overall stud on this slate.

Paolo Banchero, PF/SF, Magic ($8,500)

You'll have to get a bit contrarian in tournaments on this two-game slate, and Paolo Banchero will likely be that.

Banchero's worst two games as a professional have happened in the past two. They're the only two, in fact, in which he's failed to reach the 20-point mark thanks to frosty 36.4% shooting.

To me, that's the reason he's slumped. His 26.9% usage rate over the last two is close enough to his overall season mark (29.4%) to not be overly worried. Obviously, guys take fewer shots when they're missing.

Personally, I believe Banchero will be faded mostly because his slump coincided with Bol Bol entering the lineup, but Bol hasn't really eaten into Banchero's work on the glass. Banchero is averaging 7.42 rebounds per 36 minutes with Bol on the floor, and that pace is 8.12 per 36 in all situations.

If the rookie from Duke turns around his shooting slump, he could be a gamble who pays off handsomely on a two-game slate littered with obvious chalk.