3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Monday 1/30/23
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 post 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?
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, SG/PG, Thunder ($10,500)
Monday's top total (242.5 points) is in Oklahoma City, and we can turn to the home team's top player.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is on another heater during his breakout campaign. He's posted at least 34 real-life points in each of his past four games, and there are a few reasons to believe he can get there again tonight versus the Golden State Warriors.
The Dubs have been notoriously poor on defense away from Chase Center, holding the league's third-worst road defensive rating (118.3). Plus, Golden State cedes the fourth-most FanDuel points to opposing point guards (50.4), which is less surprising given Jordan Poole or Stephen Curry will routinely be their least-skilled defender on the floor.
The Thunder have also moved away from Josh Giddey a bit. Even with Luguentz Dort fighting a hamstring injury, Giddey has failed to eclipse 30 minutes in four of his past five contests. SGA sees a team-best usage rate increase of 5.3 percentage points with Giddey off the floor, so it's no surprise to see SGA scoring more given that trend.
Even at this mark (his highest salary of January), OKC's point guard is one of the few reliable Thunder targets for game stacks.
Anthony Edwards, SG/SF, Timberwolves ($9,300)
Sacramento and Minnesota played a barnburner in the Twin Cities on Saturday. In an immediate rematch, we should see fantasy points galore once again.
Due to injuries, Anthony Edwards is actually the highest-salaried small forward available on Monday's slate. Thankfully, in the aforementioned Kings-Wolves clash, he's a strong candidate to consider.
Edwards' latest run has broken down some of the issues he's run into this year. He's eclipsed 43 FanDuel points in seven of his past eight games. Not only has that quelled the nightly concern earlier this season about his floor, but five of the eight were also games Rudy Gobert started.
For the season, Ant has averaged just 36.7 FanDuel points per 36 minutes with his rim protector, Gobert, on the floor and clogging the lane. In this eight-game stretch, it's bumped to 44.8. He's starting to learn to play with "The Stifle Tower" a bit.
Especially when considering the Kings' bottom-10 defensive rating (114.7), Edwards should post another night of quality scoring in Minneapolis.
Kristaps Porzingis, PF/C, Wizards ($8,900)
Kristaps Porzingis is off of the Wizards' injury report on Monday, but he provides a conundrum that'll likely be a piece of the puzzle in tournaments tonight on FanDuel.
Without Porzingis, we had a pretty simple answer. We could have used Bradley Beal and Kyle Kuzma as studs to target a San Antonio defense that's last in the NBA in terms of defensive rating (120.1). The Spurs also allow the most FanDuel points per game to all players at all positions (47.8).
With K.P. on the floor, we've now got to think. Porzingis himself averages 45.4 FanDuel points per 36 minutes when the Wiz are at full strength, so as long as we're clear of a minute restriction before lock, he's in the driver's seat.
Importantly, both Beal (38.8 FanDuel points per 36) and Kuzma (37.7) dip well below the required production at their salaries when Washington has complete health, so Porzingis -- though risky -- might be the lone viable target here despite the matchup.
It's within the realm of possibility all three could detonate a porous Spurs defense, but the returning big man appears to be the most well-positioned of his productive trio.