3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Wednesday 1/11/23
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 Antetokoumpo, PF/SF, Bucks ($11,600)
The two top studs on this slate have produced below their salary lately. That could be when they're most dangerous.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is my favorite high-salary play of the day. There are three totals above 235.0 points today, and Milwaukee's game in Atlanta is one of them. However, that's not the only reason to bet on a "Greek Freak" bounceback.
The Hawks have really struggled in some of Giannis' best areas. They've allowed the fifth-most paint points per game and seventh-most second-chance points per game. That's delightful news considering Antetokounmpo is shooting just 26.8% outside the restricted area this year.
This is a slight pace-up spot for the Bucks -- who are 14th in pace -- to the 8th-highest pace in the league that Atlanta brings. The Hawks' 112.9 defensive rating (15th in the NBA) isn't scary, either.
As Giannis' salary continues to slide, the monstrous game is coming. It could be Wednesday night.
Nikola Jokic, C, Nuggets ($11,500)
There's one obvious reason I'm into Nikola Jokic less than Giannis.
It's a 13.0-point spread with the Nuggets rested, at home, and facing a Phoenix squad that just played Golden State last night. Plus, some combination of Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, and Landry Shamet will miss tonight's game, with all of them listed on the Suns' injury report.
As a result, the game could get out of hand before "The Joker" does his thing. Jokic actually enters this one having failed to eclipse 54 FanDuel points in three of his past four games -- all dominant Denver wins.
The reason to still look to Jokic is his ceiling. He posted 44 points, 15 boards, and 15 assists on Christmas versus this same Phoenix squad, an outing that totaled 81.8 FanDuel points. He's crossed 63 FanDuel points in 4 of his last 12, so that type of dominant upside is always lurking.
If the Suns can keep this one close, Jokic should devour the backups in the Phoenix frontcourt for as long as he plays.
De'Aaron Fox, PG, Kings ($8,600)
The best contest for fantasy today -- per usual -- will feature a pair of teams that aren't otherwise super relevant.
The Rockets and Kings will duel in Sacramento, and the 237.5-point total is the highest of the slate. While Giannis is still a priority with his game total, this one will get significant attention from many -- including yours truly.
De'Aaron Fox has dipped to his lowest salary in the past 14 days. That's especially enticing considering Houston cedes the most FanDuel points per game to opposing point guards.
It's a curious time to drop Swipa's salary. He's eclipsed 41 FanDuel points in five of his last seven games, and his team-best usage rate (28.7%) is still incredibly solid even with Sacramento at full strength.
Fox could also go overlooked despite the plum spot. The Pelicans are shorthanded, which will bring C.J. McCollum into lineups for many. Plus, Trae Young popped up as questionable with an illness, and the masses will likely flock to Dejounte Murray if he sits.