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/C, Bucks ($11,400)
I'm searching for motivation anywhere I can find it with the NBA's regular season more apathetic than ever. Giannis Antetokounmpo has some today.
With Denver in town, Giannis will square off with Nikola Jokic, who was selected instead of Antetokoumpo for the past two MVP trophies with similar numbers. That's given him a decent boost in the past. He's posted at least 24 points and 9 rebounds in six of the last eight versus the Nuggets.
Of course, we can safely put "The Greek Freak" back on the menu for this one after his appearance in Detroit on Monday. Without restriction, Giannis posted 62.9 FanDuel points per 36 minutes in the blowout win.
The Nuggets and Bucks combine for a 231-point total in Milwaukee today. That's a bit higher than we normally see Denver posted with thanks to their 99.4 pace (25th in the NBA), so oddsmakers are predicting plenty of points in this one.
On a 10-game slate, we should get plenty of value options that are available before lock. In that case, a mini-stack of Antetokounmpo and Jokic could put up serious FanDuel production on Wednesday.
Ja Morant, PG, Grizzlies ($9,900)
The highest total of the day is a 244.5-point whopper in San Francisco.
The Grizzlies and Warriors will square off at Chase Center in a playoff rematch from last season, and these two squads lead the NBA in pace. Memphis is second, and the Dubs are first. There should be a seemingly endless amount of possessions in that one.
In that event, we'll try targeting Ja Morant once again. Morant was featured in Monday's column, but he ended up sitting that contest in Sacramento to rest his ankle. He's off the injury report for today.
It's been eight games since Morant eclipsed 50 FanDuel points, so he might go a bit under the radar despite the total here. Oddly, Ja has benefitted from the absence of his big man Steven Adams, who per the aforementioned report will miss tonight's game.
With Adams off the floor, Morant averages 53.0 FanDuel points per 36 minutes on a team-best 36.0% usage rate. Now, add this environment, and we're cooking with gas.
Ja is an excellent tournament plug today.
Bradley Beal, SG, Wizards ($8,200)
The Wizards are set to be without Kristaps Porzingis for a while due to an ankle injury, yet salaries are largely unadjusted for this contest in Houston. It'll be Washington's second full game without K.P.
With Zinger off the floor this season, Beal sees a 2.2-percentage-point increase in usage rate that's manifested into an additional 3.07 FanDuel points per 36 minutes. In fact, at a lower salary, Beal (42.5 FanDuel points per 36) has outproduced Kuzma (38.9) all year. Kuzma should see far more attention after dropping 30 points in Dallas last night.
Of course, I've buried the lede given I said they're battling the Rockets. Houston's apathetic defense (116.1 defensive rating) has ceded the most FanDuel points per game to guards this season.