3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Thursday 11/17/22

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?

Kevin Durant, SF/PF, Nets ($11,500)

Like Thanos, Kevin Durant is inevitable on Thursday.

If Paul George ends up resting against the lowly Pistons with a "hand injury", no other small forward above $7,500 will be available. Luckily, we know Durant has a supreme, high-floor role in Brooklyn for as long as Kyrie Irving is suspended.

On the surface, Durant's 32.6% usage rate with Irving off the floor is excellent. However, I've got a tinge of concern given Durant hasn't taken more than 16 shots in three games. Defenses are doubling the All-Star as his supporting cast continues to flounder.

Still, K.D. has posted at least 45 FanDuel points in all but two games this season. One was Tuesday's affair in Sacramento in which the Nets trailed by 33 points entering the fourth quarter. Durant still played 30 minutes. They need him to even be remotely competitive.

With a solid 220.5-point total expected in Portland, Durant's point-per-dollar value may not be stellar on this small slate, but he's still the best overall option by a good margin.

Domantas Sabonis, PF/C, Kings ($10,200)

Both Domantas Sabonis and De'Aaron Fox got large salary bumps entering this slate, and it's because an avalanche of points is coming.

There's a 237.5-point total for the Kings' clash with the Spurs, and it makes sense. The two squads sport the fifth-worst and second-worst defensive ratings in the NBA, respectively. They also play at top-three overall paces.

Therefore, in a supreme environment, we can turn to Sabonis. Not only did he showcase a ceiling (60.2 FanDuel points) two games ago, but he also has a respectable average of 1.34 FanDuel points per minute for this salary.

Notably, I think he crushes the Spurs on the glass. San Antonio has the second-worst defensive rebounding rate (68.4%) in the NBA, and that floor of points is why I'd prefer him over his fleet-footed point guard in a lineup.

Plus, Keegan Murray is questionable to play for the Kings, which could take another rebounder out of the frontcourt. Every little bit helps on this tricky slate.

Damian Lillard, PG, Blazers ($9,000)

One of my favorite angles in daily fantasy basketball is fading hot shooting. To me, Damian Lillard is a play to do so.

It's not Lillard; he's shooting a rather frosty 40.6% from the field in November. I'm fading his teammate Jerami Grant, who is hotter than the sun and actively taking work from Lillard and the rest of the Trail Blazers.

Grant's usage has ballooned to 27.0% in November as he continues to shoot the lights out. Overall this season, he's shooting 8.0 percentage points better from the field than last season, and he's shot 13.5 percentage points better from three. He'll cool off and return closer to his October usage (18.9%) before long.

Then, it'll be Dame Time. He's already sporting the team's best usage rate in November (30.9%), but imagine when his shot starts to heat up. It'll likely trickle into the upper-30s.

Given he pairs well with Durant, Lillard is an interesting mini-stack should this game stay high-scoring and close. While most should flock to Fox in the game with a higher total, I don't mind pivoting to Portland's franchise player.