3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Monday 11/14/22

Now back from injury, LaMelo Ball's workload in Charlotte's offense could get heavy very quickly. Which other studs should we build around on Monday?

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 ($11,300)

Am I somewhat concerned Giannis Antetokounmpo plays tonight? Yes. He was scratched from a probable status five days ago.

Still, if Giannis is able to suit up, he's worth well beyond the salary that he's dropped to amidst missing three of the last four games. Milwaukee is still expected to be without Jrue Holiday (ankle) and Khris Middleton (wrist).

"The Greek Freak" has balled without his co-stars. He's posted 66.8 FanDuel points per 36 minutes, and it's come with a gargantuan 37.1% usage rate. He's been the guy amidst a rotating cast of Bucks.

Milwaukee is hosting Atlanta on Monday. These are two top-15 squads in terms of pace, and the 225.5-point total here is the third-highest on Monday's slate. Assuming all is good with Giannis' knee, he'll be the key star on the slate by a country mile.

Paul George, SG/SF, Clippers ($9,300)

Given there are only two active players (Giannis and Jayson Tatum) with a salary above $10,000 at power forward (and none at center) we'll spend salary in the backcourt today.

Another great place to do so might be Paul George in a road matchup with the Rockets. After all, George has torched Houston for 58.6 FanDuel points per game in two meetings this season.

Beyond the recent success, George's outlook is a bit brighter than normal in the Clippers' muddy rotation. John Wall (and his 27.8% usage rate) will rest on the front end of Los Angeles' back-to-back tonight.

Without Wall, George sees a 0.7-percentage-point increase in usage rate. Every little bit matters, but George's usage rate is still 31.7% in all situations. He's clearly the Clips' top guy.

Houston's 116.5 defensive rating is second-worst in the NBA, and they play at the league's ninth-fastest pace. This isn't the first -- and won't be the last -- time we target a star against the youthful Rockets.

LaMelo Ball, PG, Hornets ($8,400)

In a great sight for Hornets fans, LaMelo Ball finally returned over the weekend.

His debut wasn't earth-shaking. He posted just 32.3 FanDuel points in 28 minutes and was definitely eased into action. Still, I really think he stands out at salary with a few extra days to ramp up in practice.

Last season, with Gordon Hayward and Miles Bridges off the floor, Ball posted 46.3 FanDuel points per 36 minutes. Hayward is still tending to a shoulder issue, and of course, Bridges is still out of the NBA.

In that event, we're going to want to buy LaMelo in daily fantasy before his salary returns to normal. In fact, this mark is well below his $9,000 median salary from a year ago in all situations.

Orlando's hot defensive start has cooled. They've now got the league's 10th-worst defensive rating (112.4) entering this matchup with Charlotte. It's a pretty solid spot -- on a smaller, seven-game slate -- to see if Ball's emergence starts Monday.