3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Friday 1/27/23
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?
Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF/PF, Bucks ($11,500)
Giannis Antetokounmpo is in his own tier on this five-game slate.
As of early Friday, our model projects Antetokounmpo for 57.4 FanDuel points, 10.8 more than any other player. That 57.4-point projection comes out to 4.99 points per $1,000 in salary.
It's easy to see why our algorithm is so into him.
Giannis is facing the Indiana Pacers in a game with a 238.5-point total and 8.5-point spread. Indiana has been a fantasy-friendly matchup all year, ranking 21st in defensive rating and 5th in pace. They've had a tough time with power forwards, too, giving up the ninth-most FanDuel points per game (47.0) to the position over the last 15 games.
I'll be locking in Antetokounmpo and building from there.
Ja Morant, PG, Grizzlies ($10,200)
The best fantasy environment of the night is the matchup between the Memphis Grizzlies and Minnesota Timberwolves. The game boasts a 230.0-point total and 3.0-point spread. Both teams are in the top six in pace.
Sign me up.
Ja Morant is a great way to get in on the fun, and he's part of a loaded -- and tight -- second tier behind Giannis.
On the year, Minnesota has surrendered the 11th-most FanDuel points per game (48.5) to point guards. In a fast-paced game against a defense that hasn't been tough on floor generals, Ja could go nuts.
Morant posted 55.8 FanDuel points last time out, and he's capable of a similar type of outing on Friday.
Pascal Siakam, C/PF, Raptors ($9,600)
Golden State (first in pace) is a huge pace-up matchup for Toronto (26th), and that has me on Pascal Siakam.
Using bigs against the Warriors can be tricky because sometimes the Dubs go small and force opposing bigs off the court. That's not an issue here as the Raps are a small-ball squad that starts Siakam at center.
Siakam paces Toronto in usage over the past 10 games, holding a 26.5% usage rate in that span, and he's put up 46.4, 51.8 and 60.7 FanDuel points over his last three games.
As of early in the day, Siakam is my favorite play from the clustered second tier.