3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Wednesday 11/9/22
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?
**Editor's Note: Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo was ruled out due to injury after the publishing of this article. Check numberFire's projections for the best alternatives -- and value created -- on the slate.**
Giannis Antetokounmpo, PF/SF, Bucks ($11,600)
By far, the day's top star is Giannis Antetokounmpo. The silver medal is barely identifiable behind him.
The Bucks are in Oklahoma City tonight, and they'll be without yet another member of their Big 3. Khris Middleton hasn't even started his season, and Jrue Holiday is doubtful to play tonight through an ankle injury.
A large part of that is likely due to the fact that Milwaukee comfortably beat the Thunder by 14 points just four days ago, and they're 6.0-point road favorites tonight even with Holiday's absence. He might as well rest.
In that event, Giannis woke up on watch for a 70-burger on FanDuel. He's averaged 1.86 FanDuel points per minute with Holiday off the floor this season, and he's projected for a full night of work against OKC's eighth-highest pace in the league.
It's not likely, but if Giannis' recent quiet nights in the box score curb his popularity, we should all benefit from this tremendous spot on Wednesday.
Nikola Jokic, C, Nuggets ($10,700)
I've sworn off Nikola Jokic clogging the center spot on most nights this season at a five-digit salary. This slate is a special exception.
Jokic's Nuggets are in Indiana and the 235.0-point total here is the highest on the slate. Plus, "The Joker" is coming off his first outing all season where he broke 60 FanDuel points with both Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. in the lineup.
That's been Jokic's key issue. His 24.6% usage rate -- now sharing the ball more -- doesn't imply a salary north of $11,000. However, in this pristine matchup with the Pacers, whose 115.6 defensive rating is fifth-worst in the NBA, he's excusable.
Not only is Jokic's salary lower, but the big men behind him are a trainwreck. Anthony Davis and Karl-Anthony Towns are both salaried for their roles without star teammates who will return tonight. In this lone case, I think we can take a bite at the apple with the reigning two-time MVP when spending up at center.
Ja Morant, PG, Grizzlies ($9,800)
Something about Ja Morant at this salary keeps luring me in.
Obviously, Luka Doncic has a supreme floor at guard that's hard to ignore. He's posted at least 53 FanDuel points in every game so far. However, with just a 214.0-point total in Luka's game with Orlando, maybe he's just "fine" instead of "optimal" on this huge slate.
Morant's ceiling -- at a four-digit salary -- is what I'm chasing in tournaments. We've seen Morant blow by 58 FanDuel points three times this year, and Wednesday's environment couldn't be much better.
The 234.0-point total between Memphis and San Antonio just barely trails the Denver-Indiana clash. The Spurs' young roster also has the worst defensive rating in the NBA (116.5) so far. If there's a game script where Morant was primed to explode, it would be this one.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander provides a mini-stack with Giannis at this same salary, so Morant might not be overly popular on Wednesday. I want to target him in bunches for tournaments.