3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Monday 2/6/23
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, PF/SF, Bucks ($12,200)
I think Giannis Antetokounmpo is really trying to turn it up for an MVP bid at the moment.
Even with Khris Middleton now back and playing increasing minutes, "The Greek Freak" has continued to shoulder more and more of the Milwaukee Bucks' offense himself. Over the last five games, Giannis has eclipsed 68 FanDuel points four times, and he's done so with an insane 42.6% usage rate.
All in all, he was third in usage rate for the month of January (36.0%) behind Joel Embiid and Luka Doncic with arguably more help than either. He's pushing hard at present.
That's bad news for the Trail Blazers. Portland has a myriad of issues, but many of them coincide with Antetokounmpo's strengths. They're a bottom-10 squad in both fastbreak and paint points allowed per game.
This contest has a slate-high 242.0-point total, and there's not really a safe second Milwaukee option to turn to with Giannis dominating to this degree. He's the Buck you want.
Damian Lillard, PG, Trail Blazers ($10,200)
Speaking of "guys we want from their team," another do-it-all engine lately has been Damian Lillard.
Playing up in the Pacific Northwest, Dame can sometimes be easy to overlook, but if an east-coast scorer was dropping buckets like Dame is right now, he'd lead every NBA program. Lillard has dropped at least 40 real-life points in four of his past six games, and doing some quick math, that means he doesn't need to do much else to pay off this salary.
The three-level scorer has a better-than-perceived matchup tonight. Milwaukee's overall defensive rating is outstanding (109.9), but for whatever reason, the team has struggled to a 120.3 defensive rating with Giannis, Middleton, and Jrue Holiday sharing the floor together.
In the same supreme environment as Giannis, Lillard is the obvious starting point for a game stack, and we've got plenty of value from Dallas and Brooklyn to squeeze both in Dame and Giannis.
Kristaps Porzingis, PF/C, Wizards ($9,400)
We've written up Domantas Sabonis plenty with De'Aaron Fox still likely out but not yet officially ruled out, and Sabonis is an excellent play again tonight against the lowly Rockets.
However, Kristaps Porzingis might become a razor-sharp pivot in tournaments tonight as he's dealing with some absences on his own squad. The Wizards lost Kyle Kuzma to an ankle injury over the weekend, and Bradley Beal was a surprise listing on the injury report today with a foot issue.
Kuzma's absence alone is enough to make Porzingis really appealing. Porzingis averages 48.9 FanDuel points per 36 minutes with Kuz off the floor. That's largely thanks to an uptick of 1.11 rebounds per 36 minutes in the split.
If Beal sits, K.P. would arguably overtake Sabonis in overall priority. His per-36 rate increases to 50.7 FanDuel points without both co-stars on the court, and predictably, that's come with a sizable 32.5% usage rate, too.
We'll wait and see on news with Washington today, but Porzingis is another terrific high-salary option. This slate, after yesterday's blockbuster deal, has enormous amounts of value to open up a stars-and-scrubs approach.