3 NBA FanDuel Studs to Target on Thursday 10/21/21

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?

Luka Doncic, G, Dallas Mavericks ($11,000)

This season's betting favorite to win MVP opens his campaign Thursday in Atlanta.

Luka Doncic is expected by many to contend for the award as he backpacks a Dallas Mavericks squad that did not get substantially better in the offseason. Doncic last year was already first in the league in total usage (36.0%), and his 1.47 FanDuel points per minute rate of fantasy productions trailed only Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Doncic is a target that is essentially matchup proof, but he opens with a Hawks squad that was first in FanDuel points allowed per game (245.3) to opponents last season. Especially on a small slate, that will work.

Paul George, F, Los Angeles Clippers ($9,900)

Doncic may have to fight off a second career MVP run from Paul George to win the award, though.

George will also have to do plenty of heavy lifting this season for a Clippers team that will be without Kawhi Leonard for much of the season. George proved himself more than capable last season, as, during floor situations without Kawhi, he posted absurd team-high marks in usage (35.1%) and FanDuel points per minute (1.24). Those were just his regular-season numbers that don't include the playoff magic he captured to defeat Utah.

Los Angeles played very slow last year (28th in the NBA in pace), but the fast Golden State Warriors (3rd) are a tremendous speed-up opportunity for his season opener.

Bam Adebayo, C, Miami Heat ($8,200)

$8,200 is typically lower than ideal to target for a stud, but Bam Adebayo is Thursday's highest-salaried option in the middle. He's well worth it.

Miami joins Los Angeles as the other significant pace-up spot on the slate. The Heat were the second slowest team in the NBA last season, and they draw the lightning-fast Bucks (second in 2020-21 regular-season pace) in their first contest.

Adebayo's overall 24.1% usage is tremendous for a big man, but that could go down slightly with the addition of veteran Kyle Lowry. However, Adebayo can use Milwaukee's pace to make that up is on the glass. He was just 84th in rebounds per 36 minutes last season (9.6) because of Miami's low shot volume, but more chances in a better environment can always push Bam towards his ceiling.