3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Monday 12/5/22
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, PG/SG, Mavericks ($11,900)
Entering this game against one of his most notable rivals, Luka Doncic is on some heater.
In the past three games, Doncic has seen a slight increase (0.5 percentage points) from his season-long 38.0% usage rate, and he's done damage with him. Luka has posted an absurd 60.1 FanDuel points per 36 minutes in this time.
Yesterday's contest saw Dallas without Christian Wood due to an illness, but Wood was playing in the first two during this recent surge, so I absolutely wouldn't cross off Doncic if he's feeling well enough to play.
More than anything, I'm intrigued by this game environment. The Mavs are just 28th in pace, so they're usually relegated to low totals. However, even with Phoenix (24th in pace) in town, this game has a healthy 222.0-point total. The Suns are defensively stingy, but they do allow the 14th-most points per game to opposing point guards (27.3).
With plenty of value options to squeeze him in, "The Don" headlines my player pool today.
Giannis Antetokoumnpo, PF/SF, Bucks ($11,800)
There is a path to fitting Luka and Giannis Antetokounmpo into the same lineup, but it won't be easy.
Rather, I see "The Greek Freak" as a pivot off of Luka -- and really the only acceptable star wing on this slate. No other small-forward-eligible player above $8,000 has a value score projection above 4.50. It's a lot of oversalaried guys at that spot today.
Both Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton will play today in Orlando. The Bucks' star trio all sat on Saturday after their first game of the year together on Friday against the Lakers. I was fearful of a drop in Giannis' production with his co-star back, but it didn't come to fruition.
Antetokounmpo's usage rate (38.5%) barely saw a decrease, and Giannis still turned in a respectable 56.3 FanDuel points per 36.
The 9.5-point spread in this game isn't as large as you'd assume between a title contender and Victor Wembanyama contender, so Antetokounmpo might be a sneaky way to avoid the impending chalk with Doncic in tournaments.
Pascal Siakam, PF/C, Raptors ($10,000)
I really do like usage rates -- and especially increases in usage -- in NBA daily fantasy. For big men, I'm somewhat happier to see it lower.
In fact, it's how you saw Siakam post 58.6 FanDuel points on just 15 shots during Saturday's game. Shot volume (and efficiency) can be somewhat volume on a night-to-night basis, and Siakam's rebounds per 36 minutes (9.34), assists per 36 (7.41), and blocks plus steals per 36 (1.69) give him plenty of categories to contribute from even if his shot isn't falling.
While Fred VanVleet, Scottie Barnes, and OG Anunoby will jockey for the points they need to reach their upside, Siakam can contribute in other categories, and he's playing a ton of minutes per game (34.4).