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 as a whole 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 a good 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 is likely going to leave your lineup drawing pretty close to dead.
Which top players should be the focal points of your lineups today?
Karl-Anthony Towns, C, Minnesota Timberwolves ($9,800)
Wednesday's stud variety isn't as one would hope on an 11-game slate.
A lot of stars have had trouble putting pen to paper this season due to blowouts or tough shooting nights, but amongst the selection tonight, Karl-Anthony Towns seems like a tremendous building block.
The Timberwolves center is starting to re-establish himself as the top guy after Anthony Edwards had a couple of weeks with some monstrous outings. Since the return of D'Angelo Russell last week, Towns is averaging a team-high 1.25 FanDuel points per minute. His 23.5% usage rate in this stretch is more than respectable given he's not seen the final stanza in two of the three contests due to lopsided results.
Towns is well-positioned in a meeting with Sacramento. The 225.0-point total is the highest on the slate, and the Kings are allowing the second-most offensive rebounds per game (11.8) in the NBA.
Some free putbacks should help KAT boost his FanDuel point total in a spot with a fairly solid floor.
Russell Westbrook, G, Los Angeles Lakers ($9,700)
Westbrook has had his moments in stretches as the Lakers' primary ballhandler in LeBron's stead. He's still holding a team-high 31.5% usage rate in floor situations without James this season, and his 1.27 FanDuel points per minute mark is more than respectable in that same condition.
He is a high-ceiling option in a solid game to stack with the Milwaukee Bucks. Giannis Antetokounmpo's recent dip doesn't make him an overall priority on this slate, but he and Westbrook together in a game stack of two top-10 teams in terms of pace is a solid route to go in tournaments.
No position has a lower ceiling than guard on Wednesday's slate, so if passing on Westbrook and Trae Young, the next potential best landing spot might be below $8,000 with De'Aaron Fox in a stack with Towns.
Jayson Tatum, F, Boston Celtics ($9,300)
His 47.1 FanDuel points on Monday were just the best outcome thus far in four games without JB, but the peripherals still remain elite. Tatum still has a 33.1% usage rate in floor situations without Brown this season, and he's taken at least 20 shots in every game.
He's also failed to put in more than 40% of those shots in any game, and that's really capped his upside. The shooting "slump" compared to Tatum's 45.1% career-long mark remains, but Monday's performance against Cleveland provides hope he can still put up solid fantasy efforts amidst it.
Tatum's services on the glass might with Robert Williams (knee injury) out. Tatum only sees a lift of 0.36 rebounds per 36 minutes in floor situations without Williams, but hey, every little bit counts on a tough night for stars.
Worth noting -- Tatum's game with Atlanta may seem to have a low 215.5-point total, but it's also much higher than the 201 and 199.5 totals he faced against the Cavaliers in his prior two games.