3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Tuesday 1/3/23
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 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 an excellent 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 will likely 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 ($12,300)
Giannis Antetokounmpo's salary might be a bit high but toss per-dollar value aside for a bit on this tiny three-game slate.
Antetokounmpo spiked for 78-plus FanDuel points in consecutive games before taking Sunday's game off. At that point, the Bucks were operating without both Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton, but Holiday should return from an illness on Tuesday.
Even with just Middleton out, Giannis still has a phenomenal case at this salary. He averages 60.0 FanDuel points per 36 minutes with Khris off the floor with a gaudy 38.8% usage rate.
There are reasons to deviate from him in tournaments. This one against Washington does have the lowest total (228.5) on the main slate. Plus, the Wizards' 112.4 defensive rating (12th-best in the NBA) isn't nearly as poor as it has been in previous seasons.
Still, "The Greek Freak" is always a high-floor option worthy of cash-game consideration.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG/SG, Thunder ($10,400)
Speaking of tough defenses, the Celtics are another.
They're seventh in defensive rating (110.6), so many might shy away from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander on this slate. The breakout guard has also failed to eclipse 45 FanDuel points in back-to-back games. However, on this small slate, those downticks might make him a phenomenal tournament play.
If you're overly concerned about SGA's matchup, it's best to remember he dropped 37 points and 8 dimes in the Thunder's visit to Boston back in November.
Overall, Gilgeous-Alexander's general production rate (50.3 FanDuel points per 36 minutes) is among the best for a star on this slate, and he does see an uptick of 0.69 rebounds per 36 minutes with Aleksej Pokusevski off the floor. Pokusevski won't play Tuesday due to a leg injury.
I love the idea of forgoing Giannis with SGA and our next candidate in a single-entry tournament.
Domantas Sabonis, PF/C, Kings ($10,300)
The single guy I wouldn't leave out in any format tonight is Domantas Sabonis.
Broken thumb and all, Sabonis has eclipsed 52 FanDuel points in seven of his past nine games, and the two exceptions have come in the last two. He's a great buy-low candidate entering this sublime matchup with Utah.
The Jazz cede the second-most FanDuel points to centers, having been on the wrong end of some crooked numbers like Joel Embiid's 103.2 FanDuel points last month. Remember when nearing 100 FanDuel points was a rarity? It's in vogue these days now.
Regardless, the Kings and Jazz should play a wild one tonight. There's a 240.5-point total on deck, and these two young clubs are top-11 squads in terms of pace. With Lauri Markkanen and De'Aaron Fox having splashed last week, their salaries are significantly elevated entering it, so Sabonis is the standout stud in the game du jour.